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Ski brand/model biases/prejudices- where did they come from, when did you last change? - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe strummer View Post

I can demo a car or a golf club pretty easily. Not so a ski. Demo days on ski hills are few and far between. Renting or demoing from a ski shop costs money.

As a result, you can never know if a better ski exists. So you just end up sticking with what you know best.

I'm very loyal to Elan. They're too small to be big and too big to be small, which I learnt in business school is not a good position to be in.

Hence the only way Elan can survive is through innovation. Waveflex, Amphibio, TBT are just some innovations that have kept them ahead of the curve.

I like Elans a lot. I've rented and demoed a bunch of other brands, but I always feel like Goldilocks: they're either too hot or not hot enough. It's always a pleasure to go back to my own skis.

post #32 of 44
Head skis are damp and stable and carve well.

Salomon skis are light and poppy and approachable.

K2 skis are friendly and approachable but with 'tude - a Labrador with body piercings and tattoos?

Lange makes the best boots.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 
To the skiers reading this thread...well, we don't give a damn since early adopters will ski anything that works. On an icy day, we are happy on a pair of SL skis regardless of the name or graphics. On a powder day, we'll ski the appropriate tool even if it isn't what the public finds popular. We don't care, do we?

Well pretty much it shouldn't matter but the closer people get to "the industry" the more biases they'll pick up. I tend to believe that at a certain level people get above ski differences and can flex their style to adapt to skis. Additionally below a certain lower level there is not a lot of point in getting too hung up on it as most modern skis are pretty good and picking the right size and shape is probably more important. I also tend to believe that there is a lot of ego in adherence to ski brand - if it works for you great but that in itself doesn't make you a better skier. I really enjoy "point and shoot" skis when I get on them but I don't fool myself that I've suddenly become a better skier, just that I've happened to come across the right ski for conditions and attitude on that day for me.
post #34 of 44

I too am in the 'brands have a feel' camp. It may or may not change over time, but for that period it seems to be true for me. It's not about better or worse, it's about the skis feel and how that effects your skiing. Energy, dampness, flex characteristics and yes even noise are some of the variables.

 

Since I'm in New England let's talk firmish snow for a minute. First, for non refrozen groomed frontside, I like energy, a fairly strong tail, great edge hold with little dampness at all. This is Blizzard Supersonic territory for me.

If the snow is a bit softer or more mixed in consistency, I want a little more width underfoot, maybe a bit of early rise at both ends but still good camber and hold, adding in a touch of damping to smooth out the fun. Think Rossi e83 here. If refrozen is the order of the day now I'm on basically detuned race skis. Dial up the damping to control the chatter, max torsional stiffness for the needed grip and just enough flex to keep them from being completely unforgiving. Kastle RX, Fischer Prog 9+, Dynastar Speed Course Ti, Head Supershape, etc. Lots in this category that work.

 

So really the right tool for the job, not because it has a certain name on it but because it works the way I like it for the conditions at the time. And up here we get lots of chances to play with that equation because they can change by the hour! There are more good skis than ever out there, so find the ones that work for you and enjoy, that's what it's all about :D

post #35 of 44

In an age of specialization I rely on the experience of others when purchasing skis. Epic and Blister employ pros who spend their life demo ing skis. Writers are articulate and have a sound and detailed way to describe ski construction and how it performs in various snow conditions....crud, powder, blower, hard pack, bumps and various aspects of the turn...initiating, apex, weighting, edge control, body position, slarve, carve, etc. Wonderful!  After years of ski purchasing and skiing, you develop an understand of these concepts and make purchase based this information and knowledge. Then you develop your own conclusions and likes and dislikes. Ski brand under these circumstances has less impact. BUT, most people do not buy skis this way. Magazines, ratings, friends, sales hype are powerful influences.

Hats of to Phil and Trek and everyone who takes the time to share their insight.  

post #36 of 44
Epic employs testers? I thought the shops they worked for were paying them and we just got the benefit of it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmartini View Post

In an age of specialization I rely on the experience of others when purchasing skis. Epic and Blister employ pros who spend their life demo ing skis.
post #37 of 44

What Whiteroom said. Especially about all skis catching up. 

 

Or: Buying into a narrative about how we ski and what we should be on, even if that narrative is wrong for us as actual skiers. The latest and greatest game changer may not work for us, but if enough members of the group we aspire to talk it up, we want to put ourselves into the story. Otherwise no one would ever buy Ferraris...

 

Or: Our brains literally form different circuits to new input that fits with existing biases/belief systems. So when we test a different brand, the stimuli won't be processed the same way, may even be ignored, if it doesn't go to the happy place where our beliefs about our current brand lives. I guess an economist would also talk about chasing sunk costs, and a psychologist about how we make the grass greener on our side of the fence, everybody has their model. 

 

Or: Brand inertia. It takes more contradictions to my expectations than it should before I'll try out the idea that another brand might be better. For example, was strictly a Head Monster guy, despite a lot of evidence I might be better served elsewhere, until I tried Kastles, and even then it took a while. At first I was skiing them because I thought I should, everyone said they were great. After a bit, I realized they were, for me. Ironically, brand that's held up for me over the greatest length of time has been Rossignol.

post #38 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Epic employs testers? I thought the shops they worked for were paying them and we just got the benefit of it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmartini View Post

In an age of specialization I rely on the experience of others when purchasing skis. Epic and Blister employ pros who spend their life demo ing skis.

Actually it is more the other way around. 

post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Epic employs testers? I thought the shops they worked for were paying them and we just got the benefit of it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmartini View Post

In an age of specialization I rely on the experience of others when purchasing skis. Epic and Blister employ pros who spend their life demo ing skis.

 

I wish we had the budget to pay testers. 

post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I saw this over on a car forum and I thought it would be interesting to do here. We all get out preconceived notions on brands and products and manufacturers change designs faster than we change opinions. 

I've gotten to test a bunch of skis over the past 2-3 seasons. Honestly, there's a butt ton of great skis out there in nearly every catagory. Of the skis in my closet, exactly one pair was demoed in the same length,etc... Before receiving/purchasing/skiing on them. I can't say I've been disappointed with any of them. Yes, I do have a prejudice against skis made in countries that don't have first world worker and environmental protection standards, and yes, I give bonus points to product made in countries that have health benefits built in, but I don't expect others to. That's my issue and don't make it anyone else's.

Brands..., If I had to choose based on a contract a la hill rep'ing, etc... I have a severe 'Head' foot, so I might be limited, but so happens the skis work fine as well, even if there are other individual skis in a particular category from other manufactures that I might like more. In general, i prefer damp and smooth over 'playful' most days of the week. Until 4 years ago, i never owned a Head product of any kind. If gear is given to me, I'll happily ride it unless it truly stinks, and as said above, there's very little bad gear out there these days.
Edited by markojp - 5/26/15 at 10:02am
post #41 of 44


Ops! My bad. Epic may not employ or have a budget for testers .... but it provides a forum for those who work the slopes and provide a wealth of valuable information that is objective. Not sales hype. 

post #42 of 44

I became a Fischer fan when they let us have the good skis for WC competition.  Over the years the Fischer Skis I have been on have not changed my impression of them, and I'll be a Fischer fan until they do.

 

I agree with the Family Resemblance feel for different skis.  Volants feel like Volants, Völkls feel like Völkls, Dynastars feel like Dynastars,  Atomics feel like Atomics.  This is not to imply that there is no difference in feel between a race ski and a recreational ski from the same family; there is.

 

I also agree that while feeling different, you can extract very similar performance out of a ski of the same level from different families.  An atomic may feel more rock solid and a Fischer may feel more sensitive/brittle  on crusty refrozen snow, but each will deliver a great high performance turn.

post #43 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmartini View Post
 


Ops! My bad. Epic may not employ or have a budget for testers .... but it provides a forum for those who work the slopes and provide a wealth of valuable information that is objective. Not sales hype. 

 

As I understand it - @Trekchick and @Philpug are kind enough to share some of their personal fleet with the people they ski with, and there are a handful of regulars here who attend SIA and share their impressions. 

post #44 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmartini View Post
 


Ops! My bad. Epic may not employ or have a budget for testers .... but it provides a forum for those who work the slopes and provide a wealth of valuable information that is objective. Not sales hype. 

 

As I understand it - @Trekchick and @Philpug are kind enough to share some of their personal fleet with the people they ski with, and there are a handful of regulars here who attend SIA and share their impressions. 


That, and we also get some demos from some industry people.  Head, K2 Fischer, Scott...

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