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2015 OnTheSnow Buyer's Guide

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Some of you may recall the thread I started a few months back about what goes into a ski test.

 What goes into a ski test - a sneak peek

 

The results have been posted...

OnTheSnow's 2015 Buyer's Guide is up!

 

:popcorn

post #2 of 15

Interesting...I only went to the front-side section cuz that's what I'm interested in right now.  Is there a Kastle backlash going on?  Re. the MX83, last year's "this is the most incredible front-side ski going" to only "meh" scores and no Editor's pick.

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 

Interesting...I only went to the front-side section cuz that's what I'm interested in right now.  Is there a Kastle backlash going on?  Re. the MX83, last year's "this is the most incredible front-side ski going" to only "meh" scores and no Editor's pick.

 

I know.  Pretty interesting to compare the ratings different reviews give the same ski.  Ski's buyers' guide rates the MX83 fourth; Realskier first (power-oriented frontside).  

 

Ski's ratings are (presumably) susceptible to commercial pressures; Realskier's, they claim, aren't.  What's OnTheSnow's position, I wonder?

 

Of course, maybe this year's skis are that much better.  

 

Or maybe test panels are as subjective (why not?) as art-show juries or poetry magazine editors.  OnTheSnow rates the Powertrack 89 second among all-mountain skis.  Ski ranks it down the list — mentioned in the guide but not highlighted.  And although Realskier reviews it positively, it's not among their recommended all-mountain skis.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Having attended a ski test, I wonder how often skis are submitted with a 'less than stellar' tune. :dunno

 

There was a ski that I turned in to the head of our group that I thought had a bad tune.  I was impressed with the results of that same ski after it was checked.  

 

I can't speak for the MX83 because it wasn't one of the skis on my test list. 

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

I was looking through my notes on some of the skis in our test categories and was thinking.......What makes a manufacturer submit a certain ski in a test? 

 

Some skis are known shot stoppers with momentum in the industry.  Why resubmit that year after year when there are new skis in the line up that can use the attention. 

post #6 of 15

Ouch!  Not a lot of love for Amada's redesigned JJ/VJJ...

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I was looking through my notes on some of the skis in our test categories and was thinking.......What makes a manufacturer submit a certain ski in a test? 

Some skis are known shot stoppers with momentum in the industry.  Why resubmit that year after year when there are new skis in the line up that can use the attention. 

They want to win as many categories as possible? If they know that a competing ski is going to slay their equivalent, then why submit it? Maybe they know that some skis are not going to test well compared to others. Of course, then you'd think they would keep trying until they got it right?
post #8 of 15

Hi, Trish!

 

Fun reviews and always helpful to compare the different results from ski tests.  Question:  In numerous reviews, the tester cites a sheet of titanium in the ski.  This seems wrong.  Titanium is extremely expensive.  Don't they mean titanal, a commonly used alloy in skis?  If so, why would so many testers mis-speak?

 

Thanks!

Mike

post #9 of 15
Some info from Back Country:
Quote:
TITANAL
It’s also possible to use a certain form of metal in the actual ski laminate next to the core or fiberglass. Because of the amount the metal has to bend, however, this requires a specific type of metal that has high stiffness but can also bend and flex with the ski without cracking or yielding (becoming permanently bent). This material is called “Titanal,” and only one company in the world makes it, due to its unique combination of properties.

Titanal adds stiffness to skis and is often found in stiff all-mountain skis and racing skis. Even in these high-performance skis, manufacturers typically only use a sheet that’s about a half-millimeter thick. The other great benefit of Titanal is that it damps out vibrations because its bending stiffness is so different from the other materials surrounding it.

Though it sounds like “titanium,” Titanal is actually an aluminum alloy that includes no titanium. However, there are other metal laminates that do contain trace amounts of titanium. When you read a product description that says a ski has a titanium laminate, that actually means it has an aluminum alloy laminate with only a very small amount of titanium in it.

- See more at: http://www.backcountry.com/explore/ski-construction-explained#4
post #10 of 15
The tune, I think that's the key issue.

Do these skis come direct from the factory to the testers or are they from a local rep's supply ?

I noticed Ski Magazine meantioned the tune was not that good on a few skis.

I think most of us know you need to demo the ski before you buy it. Face it, most of the skis in these test are great, they all have a little different feel. It's about a ski that you feel comfortable with in the first 20 ft of movement. I can tell from the demo table to the lift If I like the ski. Once I get it up on the hill on edge, cements my first thought's.

Having said that, I can't remember if I demoed my Kendo's before I bought them. What got them on my radar was seeing the ski school director on them Nov,2011. We knew each other and had talked around Okemo over the years. He and I seemed to have the same likes about ski gear. My Shiro's, I read reviews on line this past March and ordered new them, they are 2011-2012 models, that were still in the wrapper. So I never skied them or a ski that wide. They feel like a wider version of my Kendo's.

For those that don't know, I've been on Volkl's since 1999, so it's hard for me not to like them. Yes I have demoed other skis.
post #11 of 15

Any rep that provides skis to demos without an excellent tune should be fired.  Inexcusable (and, yes, it happens every year).

post #12 of 15

I noticed several manufactures shipped their skis to our local tuning guru prior to shipping them to the tests.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post
 

Hi, Trish!

 

Fun reviews and always helpful to compare the different results from ski tests.  Question:  In numerous reviews, the tester cites a sheet of titanium in the ski.  This seems wrong.  Titanium is extremely expensive.  Don't they mean titanal, a commonly used alloy in skis?  If so, why would so many testers mis-speak?

 

Thanks!

Mike

Its (as you said) a misunderstanding on the part of the tester, or perhaps even the editor.  This is something I find a bit curious about testers - They come from a huge variety of walks of life.  All of them can ski, but not all of them are as educated about ski construction, not to mention materials, as the lunatic fringe that we tend to hang out with.  I would dare say, other than the manufacturer people who were there with their gear, I was probably the most knowledgeable about the skis on my list because I spend time building product pages here and educate myself.  I'm a nerd that way :o

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post
 

Any rep that provides skis to demos without an excellent tune should be fired.  Inexcusable (and, yes, it happens every year).

It happens all the time.  See my story from earlier in the thread (Quoted below) 

I think a lot of the skis at this kind of test are fresh from the factory, so there is an assumption that they are fresh and ready to ride.  Quite often a new ski is okay with the factory finish but doesn't necessarily have the tune that is optimal for that ski.  This is one reason that I  :nono: when people post asking "What's the factory tune on (pick your ski model)?"

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

Having attended a ski test, I wonder how often skis are submitted with a 'less than stellar' tune. :dunno

 

There was a ski that I turned in to the head of our group that I thought had a bad tune.  I was impressed with the results of that same ski after it was checked.  

 

I can't speak for the MX83 because it wasn't one of the skis on my test list. 

post #15 of 15

An update on the tune issue. My new Kendo's skied ok out of the box. But not what I was used too on my old Kendo's. After I put my tune on them, they are as great as my old Kendo's.

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