I’ve been thinking for a while now that most ski reviews suck. You have an interest in some equipment for the upcoming season so you do a couple google searches and what you wind up with is the manufacturer’s regurgitated marketing campaign. If you’re lucky someone will have actually tested the ski and what they’ve done is rate the ski much like a movie critic,they give the ski a grade and then average it out. Well that’s OK ,but what if (like me) you don’t happen to agree with ski tester number 5? Well then you’re left to demo skis (which is a time and resource consuming effort) not to mention a financial drain. (fun? Yes! Viable option for most? Not really!)
I’d be more than happy to suggest a standardized test for skis. It would be a pretty simple deal so that instead of saying that ski brand A is “stiff” we could load up a binding (with a weighted boot sole) under load and measure deflection so that stiffness has a meaningful number,and do the same for shovel and tail flex as well as torsional stiffness. Over time these numbers would give greater meaning to the words rendered in reviews. I’d like to see the same thing happen with ski boots. How hard would it be to load the boot after under a specific weight and measure deflection? It’s not rocket surgery is it? Flex number 100 sounds cool but it’s almost totally meaningless.
I’m not disputing that clever marketing sells new equipment but I’d really like to see the cold hard fact and data to help me choose the ski and boot that’s most likely to fit me rather than what ski tester number 5 or 1,000,000 thinks. Who’s with me?