In the past week, I've had cause to learn some factory specified weights on several skis (various brands), and compare them to the "real" weights, meaning weighed by myself or people here I trust. The differences are startling: "Official" reported specs were from 10% to 14% lower than actual weight; typically 250-350 g per pair. The discrepancies were always in the same direction; factory reports were lower than "real" weights.
That doesn't mean much for groomer performance, but can have an small but noticable impact in soft snow and bumps, and the unsprung weight obviously means more for AT and tech set-ups where you have to walk; people routinely worry about that much difference in binding models, for instance.
I might just attribute this to business as usual, except that it isn't. Back in the day, when magazines published physical data on skis, as did most makers, I did the same thing with my own gear over the space of several years, and the differences were trivial. My old Gotamas, for instance, were 30-40 g heavier than the factory specs, inside of 20 g to the magazine specs. And in a few cases, my measured weights (on a scale accurate to 20 g) were lighter than the factory's claim. So I'm wondering if the grade deflation has gotten worse because the New Hot Thing is AT. Problem with that hypothesis is that very few people who buy skis with AT gear actually ever leave the ropes or skin. And manufacturers know this. So why bother to lie if you may get caught?
Now what I'm curious about is other's experience. Is this systematic across the industry, or in your experience are some brands worse offenders than others? Who can we believe? If the systematic bias is not systematic, that means some brands should make out like bandits if they're truly light instead of marketing light.