I was chatting with a ski-friend that's a well-respected ski tester about some of the intricacies surrounding ski testing.
Several questions and theories were tossed around, including some that I'll capture here.
For me, I've wondered the following about my own skiing: I like Stockli, Nordica (I liked nordicas even back to the “hot rod” series) from way back. And I liked “older” atomics but don’t like the “new” offerings. I’ve never liked dynastar or rossignol, and always found K2 boring
(same with salomon). Blizzard skis have always been "meh" to me and disinteresting (sort of sophmoric--average at a lot of stuff, but not especially standout-ish at anything in particular).
So my thoughts/questions are these:
1. Does a "skier" vs "one who skis" (no matter how frequently or infrequently) like a certain brand or type of ski? Do manufacturers cater the person who "skis" rather than skiers?
2. How important is what we read on forums, in magazines, or see on tv (or even from our peer group) to our personal decision making? (I know I get into the "herd" mentality myself.)
3. Are people honest with themselves and their gear consultant on how and what they ski? For example, I skied 30 some odd days last year. VERY few of the runs I did were off-trail (even on trips I took) vs on groomers. Yet, I skied (the majority of time) on 95mm waisted skis. Also, I have noted MANY people over-estimate their ability to staff who is really trying to help them choose a good product for THEMSELVES.
NOTE that I am NOT talking about race-stock or non-production skis. Honestly, at a certain level (race room) skis are pretty much all built and perform the same--but like race cars, those products should not be driven by the vast majority of us.