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Ski Reviews, which are your favorite? - Page 2

Poll Results: Favorite Review site/publication, please vote for your favorite three or so. (in alphabetical order)

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 52% of voters (63)
    Blistergear
  • 63% of voters (76)
    Epicski
  • 5% of voters (7)
    Freeskier
  • 16% of voters (20)
    On The Snow
  • 7% of voters (9)
    Powder
  • 38% of voters (46)
    Realskiers
  • 22% of voters (27)
    Ski Canada
  • 10% of voters (12)
    Ski Magazine
  • 9% of voters (11)
    Skiing Magazine
  • 10% of voters (12)
    Other (please mention in a post)
120 Total Votes  
post #31 of 292

I find Epic and Blister to be the most "honest" and far-reaching in terms of expertise, information, and conditions covered, etc.

 

What I find GENERALLY lacking across the board is a recommendation of "Who's it for?".  Any expert tester can get on a ski and say it's got great float, smeary, carvy, blah, blah.  Of course they say that, because they have the tools to make any ski do what they want.  But saying, "This is for the power skier who's a Clyde and looking for a rocket to slay the groomers" vs "This is for a lightweight person who wants to ease off the throttle and dabble in the bumps" are two VERY different things than saying, "This skis great!" or "It's quick!"  WTH does that tell me?  Nothing!

 

 

To reviewers:  PLEASE PLEASE jump in with both feet and tell us who would suit a particular ski (or vice versa).  Don't sit on the fence, trying to maximize market appeal.  DON'T tell me it's a great ski.  Don't even just tell me why it's a great ski.  Tell me WHO should buy it, why it's great for me or not.

 

Also: please tell me what a ski DOESN'T do well.  I won't name names, but I demo'd a particular ski that was widely regarded as a good ski, except turns out it was a garbage ski for a heavier power skier on the hardpack.  Nowhere did anyone say "for lightweights only!" or "don't expect to lay down tracks on this one". 

 

Do no reviewers ever say anything "negative" about any ski, ever?  Focusing on the positive is one thing, but please be honest.  Again, screw market appeal; speak to us like we're intelligent and interested buyers.  I want a ski, but I want the right one FOR ME.

 

 

Thanks. *gets off soapbox*

post #32 of 292
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Yes, you are a rare and unique individual, just like everyone else;). But why be an anti conformist for sake of it? Reminds me of the old Yogi-ism...."No one goes there any more, it's too crowded". 

Absolutely. But it's part of the human condition to conform or non-conform for the sake of it - it's all just tribalism by some means or another.  I bet in Miata owner's club you talk smack on Honda owners just like the werewolves trash talk vampires.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=biRW7Etevkk

 

You're not saying you'd be happy with the same ride as everyone on your block?  One or two maybe that you'd then have an affinity with but everyone?  Wouldn't that cause you to feel a little bit less special.

Actually not. I am past "Either you are with me or you are against me". Such as Don Juan DeMarco sees beauty in every woman, I see beauty in every ski...

post #33 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

I find Epic and Blister to be the most "honest" and far-reaching in terms of expertise, information, and conditions covered, etc.

 

What I find GENERALLY lacking across the board is a recommendation of "Who's it for?".  Any expert tester can get on a ski and say it's got great float, smeary, carvy, blah, blah.  Of course they say that, because they have the tools to make any ski do what they want.  But saying, "This is for the power skiier who's a Clyde and looking for a rocket to slay the groomers" vs "This is for a lightweight person who wants to ease off the throttle and dabble in the bumps" are two VERY different things than saying, "This skis great!" or "It's quick!"  WTH does that tell me?  Nothing!

 

 

To reviewers:  PLEASE PLEASE jump in with both feet and tell us who would suit a particular ski (or vice versa).  Don't sit on the fence, trying to maximize market appeal.  DON'T tell me it's a great ski.  Don't even just tell me why it's a great ski.  Tell me WHO should buy it, why it's great for me or not.

GREAT POST!:yahoo:

post #34 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

 

On of the nice things about epic reviews is that most of us have no skin in the game. Some do, and it's disclosed. I could not care less, and it does not benefit me one iota, if someone buys a ski that I like. 

 

You do have skin in the game - social capital, whether that's conscious or unconscious.  So someone buying a ski you've recommended is an upvote, being a reliable and honest "citizen demo'er" is another.  It's not a bad thing - after all epic is a community not just a database but unless someone is pure trolling they are putting something at stake with everything they venture an opinion on.

 

I feel pretty much the same as you. I only tried one ski at SIA that I wouldn't be happy skiing (and that might have been down to demo length/tune).  I really liked the marquee prestige price skis I tried and would rate them best in show for me (Kastle BMX105HP, DPS 112 RPC)  but then I'd probably turn round and recommend average Joe go buy the Cham 2.0 107 in that class because it fitted my perception best of what most skiers want. 

post #35 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

 

 

 

No one want to be made a fool and guerrilla marketing is wrong but ya' know, the cool thing is that you could add a ski to your demo list and  then try it yourself. You can also cross-reference the reviews with others to see if the traits align. After demoing, If your experience is different, you should post your findings.That would be very helpful to others who may align more closely to your skiing and preferences.  But ruling out a ski just 'cause a lot of reviewers like it (Enforcer is universally lauded with the possible exception of Realskiers- I'm not even actually sure of what they said since it contradicts itself) doesn't make sense.  Now, you may just like to find those undiscovered gems like the Fischer 95 and that's cool too but don't sell yourself short just because a lot of folks like a ski. There are a lot of folks here (like myself) who post up reviews because they feel it may help others. I'm pretty self-conscious about my skiing and my writing skills but I hope, as a non-expert and not in the industry that others may find them helpful.  If my review just happen to agree with others, that doesn't make me a shill. 

 

Interesting that you would bring up the Motive 95.  I skied on that ski a lot last year, probably about 80 days, in a wide variety of conditions and think it might be the best all round ski I've ever been on.  I got onto the Motive 95 without a demo on the recommendation of my shop guy who said it was one of the best skis he ever used.  Fischer provided me with two pairs of skis last year and will again this year so I could be construed as biased, but Nearly everyone I know who skied the Motive 95 loved it.  In Ski Magazines reviews the Motive 95 scored at the back of the pack and was the only Fischer ski reviewed in the magazine.  They hammered on how it was a burly ski for strong skiers with big thighs.  SegBrown loves it and her thighs aren't huge;).  I don't even think that Ski Magazine had the Motive in the right category.  They reviewed it with skis in the lower waist sizes because it was a 95 and the next class started at 98 or something.  I think that the Motive should have been judged with the Enforcer and the Bonafide and it would have done better.  Being last in it's "class" in a magazines reviews won't help sales of this really great ski.

post #36 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
 

 

Interesting that you would bring up the Motive 95.  I skied on that ski a lot last year, probably about 80 days, in a wide variety of conditions and think it might be the best all round ski I've ever been on.  I got onto the Motive 95 without a demo on the recommendation of my shop guy who said it was one of the best skis he ever used.  Fischer provided me with two pairs of skis last year and will again this year so I could be construed as biased, but Nearly everyone I know who skied the Motive 95 loved it.  In Ski Magazines reviews the Motive 95 scored at the back of the pack and was the only Fischer ski reviewed in the magazine.  They hammered on how it was a burly ski for strong skiers with big thighs.  SegBrown loves it and her thighs aren't huge;).  I don't even think that Ski Magazine had the Motive in the right category.  They reviewed it with skis in the lower waist sizes because it was a 95 and the next class started at 98 or something.  I think that the Motive should have been judged with the Enforcer and the Bonafide and it would have done better.  Being last in it's "class" in a magazines reviews won't help sales of this really great ski.

The 95 is a ski I became interested in when skiing at the Gathering at JH.  I was skiing with Segbrown, Cgeig, fairtomiddlin Coskigirl and TOG.  All great skiers with excellent technical skills, most of them were skiing on them.  So when I got the opportunity to demo them with Segbrown at copper, I was blown away by them, so much to the point, I bought a pair.  So having some consensus from others I respect did encourage me to try them,  Keep in mind, I still feel the Kastle FX94 is one of the best ski's I have ever skied.   

 

Ski manufacturers have a real problem with the reviews IMHO, they submit a ski but I don't know how much control they really have once that's done. 


Edited by Finndog - 9/17/15 at 10:02am
post #37 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

Whenever I bought gear I always came here; buying a new pair of skis is how I found EpicSki (I was one of the countless what-ski-should-I-buy-first-post? folks). What drew me to the reviews here was the fact that I could ask follow-ups. I like the fact that instead of just reading some professionals opinion, I could actually ask someone who may be more on my level what their experience was and get answers to follow up questions.

To me with reviews it's like the difference between reading about a movie in a Roger Ebert column (the ski mags) vs. Rotten Tomatoes (EpicSki). A professional may give you some deep, intellectual insights; however the non-professional 'every man' viewpoint, although less technical, provided very practical insights for me as a recreational skier. 

That's what I dislike about our one post "review" area where you give them stars. There's no discussion.
post #38 of 292
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

Whenever I bought gear I always came here; buying a new pair of skis is how I found EpicSki (I was one of the countless what-ski-should-I-buy-first-post? folks). What drew me to the reviews here was the fact that I could ask follow-ups. I like the fact that instead of just reading some professionals opinion, I could actually ask someone who may be more on my level what their experience was and get answers to follow up questions.

To me with reviews it's like the difference between reading about a movie in a Roger Ebert column (the ski mags) vs. Rotten Tomatoes (EpicSki). A professional may give you some deep, intellectual insights; however the non-professional 'every man' viewpoint, although less technical, provided very practical insights for me as a recreational skier. 

That's what I dislike about our one post "review" area where you give them stars. There's no discussion.

I do think that is one of the huge selling point for your review, they are interactive and not static. 

post #39 of 292

My Ski Canada magazine 2016 Buyers Guide issue arrived a few weeks ago. The guide covers a few skis, boot, bindings, poles, mostly highlighting new stuff or changes to old products. A lot of the tech info reads like it came straight from the ski rep. However there is useful info there. For instance I found out that the difference between the Kastle BMX 105 and 105HP is that the HP has 2 layers of titanal metal. They also have the new generation Hollowtech ?? which makes the skis lighter.

 

In a separate section the magazine has 59 skis tested in Big Mountain, Slalom, and Expert All-Mountain categories. Next issue they will be reporting on On-Piste Cruisers and Adventure All-Mountain. Next issue after that its Easy Cruisers and then Powder skis (tested at Mike Wiegele Heli Skiing at Blue River B.C.)

 

The testers, about 40 in all are ski instructors, mostly CSIA L3 or L4 and/or examiners, are listed on a bio-page that includes the testers 3 favourite skis in each category, who they are sponsored by or personal ski if not sponsored, where they first started skiing and current home mountain. Height, weight, age and skier style (finesse, power, technical etc.) are also listed.

 

The actual ski data from the tests are tabulated and presented on a recommendations bar graph that summarizes best suited for: Skier Weight (lower-heavier), Skier Ability (novice-expert), Snow Conditions (soft-hard), Skier Style (finesse-power). They also glean comments from report cards and sometime publish opposing comments.

 

The testers get one run per ski and then after getting another ski to test, they fill out a report card on the previous ski while riding the lift in preparation for the next ski to be tested.

 

The non heli test moves around to different western Canada resorts, spending two consecutive seasons at each resort.

post #40 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

 

You do have skin in the game - social capital, whether that's conscious or unconscious.  So someone buying a ski you've recommended is an upvote, being a reliable and honest "citizen demo'er" is another.  It's not a bad thing - after all epic is a community not just a database but unless someone is pure trolling they are putting something at stake with everything they venture an opinion on.

 

Well, not too much. The only upvote I value is if they like the ski, not if they buy it. Sales and advertising, that's what I mean about skin in the game, and that's where the criticism lies (selling a ski literally, not figuratively). 


Edited by segbrown - 9/17/15 at 10:58am
post #41 of 292
One run? How much can that tell you?
post #42 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

One run? How much can that tell you?

 

I work part time at a demo centre so I get to do quite a bit of demoing and find that I need at least 2 or 3 runs to get a feel for the ski and what it can or can't do. However I am not a CSIA L3 or L4 and having skied with or watched some friends who are L3 and L4 and  I would have to say these folks know what they are doing on a ski hill. Also as instructors they have a much better idea of what a novice or intermediate can do and what they need to improve their skiing.

 

Also these days there aren't really any bad skis, but there are subtle differences between different skis and subtle differences between skiers and what they like or don't like.

 

With over 1000 different ski models for sale in North America, the purpose of a ski test isn't to tell you what ski to buy, its purpose is to tell you what ski to demo.

post #43 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

I find Epic and Blister to be the most "honest" and far-reaching in terms of expertise, information, and conditions covered, etc.

 

What I find GENERALLY lacking across the board is a recommendation of "Who's it for?".  Any expert tester can get on a ski and say it's got great float, smeary, carvy, blah, blah.  Of course they say that, because they have the tools to make any ski do what they want.  But saying, "This is for the power skier who's a Clyde and looking for a rocket to slay the groomers" vs "This is for a lightweight person who wants to ease off the throttle and dabble in the bumps" are two VERY different things than saying, "This skis great!" or "It's quick!"  WTH does that tell me?  Nothing!

 

 

To reviewers:  PLEASE PLEASE jump in with both feet and tell us who would suit a particular ski (or vice versa).  Don't sit on the fence, trying to maximize market appeal.  DON'T tell me it's a great ski.  Don't even just tell me why it's a great ski.  Tell me WHO should buy it, why it's great for me or not.

 

Also: please tell me what a ski DOESN'T do well.  I won't name names, but I demo'd a particular ski that was widely regarded as a good ski, except turns out it was a garbage ski for a heavier power skier on the hardpack.  Nowhere did anyone say "for lightweights only!" or "don't expect to lay down tracks on this one". 

 

Do no reviewers ever say anything "negative" about any ski, ever?  Focusing on the positive is one thing, but please be honest.  Again, screw market appeal; speak to us like we're intelligent and interested buyers.  I want a ski, but I want the right one FOR ME.

 

 

Thanks. *gets off soapbox*

 

I mostly agree with you, but here is the counterpoint (at least as it fits this site's reviews):   My reviews are highly personal, I know that, but right now, they kind of have to be. It's the reason we put down our height, weight, preferred terrain, etc. Just like you want us to extrapolate who a ski is for, we need you to extrapolate a little bit, too.

 

One thing about epic is that you end up with non-pro reviewers. There are positives about that, many of which have been discussed, but there are also negatives. It's not an accident that the best and most comprehensive reviews here are from pros. I, however, am not a pro. I don't get to synthesize as much information from a wide range of skiers in shops and at demos or even during lessons. I can guess and say, "Yeah this is probably the right ski for X and not Y," and I do a little of that but I'm not comfortable yet in my own experience to jump in with both feet and feel honest about it. And that will go for many of the reviews you see on this site, whether they are "official" or not. It's just part of the trade-off: we have no sponsor, we earn no commission, we gain nothing material by sharing our opinions. (Well, I guess I do sell some used skis on here, so I take part of that back ... I'm losing money on those, though, not gaining!)

 

For sure, I am working on incorporating more of that in reviews, but it is true that the strength of epic is that you can reply to a reviewer and ask the type of specific questions that aren't (or even can't be) addressed initially. 

post #44 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

I find Epic and Blister to be the most "honest" and far-reaching in terms of expertise, information, and conditions covered, etc.

 

What I find GENERALLY lacking across the board is a recommendation of "Who's it for?".  Any expert tester can get on a ski and say it's got great float, smeary, carvy, blah, blah.  Of course they say that, because they have the tools to make any ski do what they want.  But saying, "This is for the power skier who's a Clyde and looking for a rocket to slay the groomers" vs "This is for a lightweight person who wants to ease off the throttle and dabble in the bumps" are two VERY different things than saying, "This skis great!" or "It's quick!"  WTH does that tell me?  Nothing!

 

 

To reviewers:  PLEASE PLEASE jump in with both feet and tell us who would suit a particular ski (or vice versa).  Don't sit on the fence, trying to maximize market appeal.  DON'T tell me it's a great ski.  Don't even just tell me why it's a great ski.  Tell me WHO should buy it, why it's great for me or not.

 

Also: please tell me what a ski DOESN'T do well.  I won't name names, but I demo'd a particular ski that was widely regarded as a good ski, except turns out it was a garbage ski for a heavier power skier on the hardpack.  Nowhere did anyone say "for lightweights only!" or "don't expect to lay down tracks on this one". 

 

Do no reviewers ever say anything "negative" about any ski, ever?  Focusing on the positive is one thing, but please be honest.  Again, screw market appeal; speak to us like we're intelligent and interested buyers.  I want a ski, but I want the right one FOR ME.

 

 

Thanks. *gets off soapbox*

 

^^A great soapbox post.

 

Gunnerbob you should check out Ski Canada magazine tests as they do a pretty good job of addressing some of your issues.

 

Disclaimer: I am a big fan of Ski Canada having had a subscription going back to the early 70s when they were called Ski Canada Journal and printed on newsprint. I also know some of the testers, have had some letters to the editor published and also I've been quoted in the editor's column.

post #45 of 292

Of course I like Philpugs ski review's, as well as FinnDog's. My favorite website is realskiers.com.

I also read the reviews in Ski, Skiing, and Powder Magazine. Blister Gear website reviews are great as well.

Video ski reviews on youtube can be helpful. After reading or watching 5 reviews you get a good idea

of the ski. 

 

My last 2 ski's Kastle MX88, and Volkl V Werks 84 I bought without demoing. I like both skis.

 

I am looking for a 90s width ski now. I demoed the  Volkl Mantra, Stockli 95, and Blizzard Bonafide at Sun Valley last year. The problem was I liked

every ski I demoed.  I would like to demo the Kastle MX 98, and the FX 95. and a few others in the catagory. Many ski's get great

reviews so it some ways they don't help you that much . Its impractical to demo lots of skis. So the conundrum becomes what ski you should get. 

By the way I am leaning toward the new Bonafide.

 

I look forward to talking to Phil at the True North store at Northstar. We all need a ski consultant.

post #46 of 292
If they're all equally good for you, then easy, the cheap one.
Quote:
So the conundrum becomes what ski you should get.
post #47 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunValleySteve View Post
. Its impractical to demo lots of skis. So the conundrum becomes what ski you should get.

 

Both...or the ones that match the pants

post #48 of 292
Social capital.. Interesting. Generally I'm only interested in helping folks have the experience they're looking for on snow. If I can help them find an appropriate/approximate tool, great! But in the end, I get more satisfaction from helping someone on the hill simply use their tools better. smile.gif
post #49 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post


That's what I dislike about our one post "review" area where you give them stars. There's no discussion.

 

Honestly, I dont even look at those.  Good observation 

post #50 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunValleySteve View Post
 

Of course I like Philpugs ski review's, as well as FinnDog's. My favorite website is realskiers.com.

I also read the reviews in Ski, Skiing, and Powder Magazine. Blister Gear website reviews are great as well.

Video ski reviews on youtube can be helpful. After reading or watching 5 reviews you get a good idea

of the ski. 

 

My last 2 ski's Kastle MX88, and Volkl V Werks 84 I bought without demoing. I like both skis.

 

I am looking for a 90s width ski now. I demoed the  Volkl Mantra, Stockli 95, and Blizzard Bonafide at Sun Valley last year. The problem was I liked

every ski I demoed.  I would like to demo the Kastle MX 98, and the FX 95. and a few others in the catagory. Many ski's get great

reviews so it some ways they don't help you that much . Its impractical to demo lots of skis. So the conundrum becomes what ski you should get. 

By the way I am leaning toward the new Bonafide.

 

I look forward to talking to Phil at the True North store at Northstar. We all need a ski consultant.

  Thanks, so add in the Fischer Motive 95 to your list ;)

post #51 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Social capital.. Interesting.

 

 

"All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, public health, and the concepts of dignitas and auctoritas, what have the Romans ever done for us?"

 

post #52 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

I find Epic and Blister to be the most "honest" and far-reaching in terms of expertise, information, and conditions covered, etc.

 

What I find GENERALLY lacking across the board is a recommendation of "Who's it for?".  Any expert tester can get on a ski and say it's got great float, smeary, carvy, blah, blah.  Of course they say that, because they have the tools to make any ski do what they want.  But saying, "This is for the power skier who's a Clyde and looking for a rocket to slay the groomers" vs "This is for a lightweight person who wants to ease off the throttle and dabble in the bumps" are two VERY different things than saying, "This skis great!" or "It's quick!"  WTH does that tell me?  Nothing!

 

 

To reviewers:  PLEASE PLEASE jump in with both feet and tell us who would suit a particular ski (or vice versa).  Don't sit on the fence, trying to maximize market appeal.  DON'T tell me it's a great ski.  Don't even just tell me why it's a great ski.  Tell me WHO should buy it, why it's great for me or not.

 

Also: please tell me what a ski DOESN'T do well.  I won't name names, but I demo'd a particular ski that was widely regarded as a good ski, except turns out it was a garbage ski for a heavier power skier on the hardpack.  Nowhere did anyone say "for lightweights only!" or "don't expect to lay down tracks on this one". 

 

Do no reviewers ever say anything "negative" about any ski, ever?  Focusing on the positive is one thing, but please be honest.  Again, screw market appeal; speak to us like we're intelligent and interested buyers.  I want a ski, but I want the right one FOR ME.

 

 

Thanks. *gets off soapbox*

I will just add on to what @segbrown posted and its just a clarification.  A reviewer can add their opinions about who a ski is good for but the skier (person reading the review) MUST understand their abilities; strengths weaknesses as well as an understanding of what good technique is.  

post #53 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post


"All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, public health, and the concepts of dignitas and auctoritas, what have the Romans ever done for us?"


 

The Romans invented skis too? smile.gif
post #54 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

 

"All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, public health, and the concepts of dignitas and auctoritas, what have the Romans ever done for us?"

 

 

 

Reg: [reading prepared statement] "We, the People's Front of Judea, brackets, official, end brackets, do hereby convey our sincere fraternal and sisterly greetings to you, Brian, on this, the occasion of your martyrdom. "

Brian: What?

Reg: "Your death will stand as a landmark in the continuing struggle to liberate the parent land from the hands of the Roman imperialist aggressors, excluding those concerned with drainage, medicine, roads, housing, education, viniculture and any other Romans contributing to the welfare of Jews of both sexes and hermaphrodites..."

post #55 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

I mostly agree with you, but here is the counterpoint (at least as it fits this site's reviews):   My reviews are highly personal, I know that, but right now, they kind of have to be. It's the reason we put down our height, weight, preferred terrain, etc. Just like you want us to extrapolate who a ski is for, we need you to extrapolate a little bit, too.

One thing about epic is that you end up with non-pro reviewers. There are positives about that, many of which have been discussed, but there are also negatives. It's not an accident that the best and most comprehensive reviews here are from pros. I, however, am not a pro. I don't get to synthesize as much information from a wide range of skiers in shops and at demos or even during lessons. I can guess and say, "Yeah this is probably the right ski for X and not Y," and I do a little of that but I'm not comfortable yet in my own experience to jump in with both feet and feel honest about it. And that will go for many of the reviews you see on this site, whether they are "official" or not. It's just part of the trade-off: we have no sponsor, we earn no commission, we gain nothing material by sharing our opinions. (Well, I guess I do sell some used skis on here, so I take part of that back ... I'm losing money on those, though, not gaining!)

For sure, I am working on incorporating more of that in reviews, but it is true that the strength of epic is that you can reply to a reviewer and ask the type of specific questions that aren't (or even can't be) addressed initially. 

^^^I like the "non-pro" reviews, and think it is almost entirely a positive. Honestly, I think there is an opening in the market to have lesser skiers (I mean like Level 7's) review skis, because they have the most to gain and maximum perspective on how ski A helped with problem B and how ski C was useless because they lacked the skills to access it. We need more of this and less "go take a lesson".

(The rest of this isn't directed at the quote above)

I voted for Epic, and also for Blister, and I think those two together make a good "whole". I think Epic could become a unified review and feedback site with some additions. Blister cannot, because the interactive aspect is very limited, reviews are typically not local, and there are a limited number of (good) reviewers.

Where EpicSki can be a little bit narrow, at least as I see it, is the relatively homogenous demographic. This is an older demographic, often of lifelong skiers, which means skiers who grew up with long straight boards, moved to short(er) sidecut boards, and have been moving through the evolution in dimensional shapes and increasing lengths. In that, there is a commonality in "how you ski" that lays over "what you ski".

As an example, I met a guy late season at A-Basin who was on the same skis as me, and I said "nice skis!" and we chatted a bit. He had just gotten back into skiing after a number of years and wasn't sure if he liked his new skis. As he skied away, sound fundamentals apparent, short small radius turns, I thought "he's skiing these the same way he skied his last set and isn't going to like them. They'll just be big and imprecise." And then I went and covered a bunch of flaws with speed and a big smile on my face. I am working very hard to improve, but I still want flaw coverage and bigger smiles.

One of the biggest problems with ski reviews is the skiers are too good. Most buyers are not. I like Blister in this regard, because they do two things that Epic typically does not: 1) contextualize reviews clearly between "freeride" oriented skis and more classically directional skis, and 2) there is always a profile pic, which tells a lot about a ski's intended use for resort skiers.

The freeride/directional contrast is largely lacking here. I think that is the demographics bit, so those skis largely don't get reviewed at all. However, an awful lot of younger people choose these skis in comparison to what is out there, and IMO, most new skiers should. That cut can often be reviewed as "fun" vs. "purpose", and I think Blister does an excellent job of reviews that focus on taking a freeride ski into more serious terrain and commenting on the limits and surprises. As a relatively newer skier starting later in life, I can quickly discern that a pro level skier hitting a variable snow 40 degree pitch in Las Lenas with positive notes on a freeride ski is way more than I am likely ever doing and I can relax about biasing to max fun over max purpose. On Epic, taken at face value, I am going to die.

So. I think EpicSki has the best reviewer format (interactive), locally savvy resort reviewers in many cases, etc., but needs to challenge its DNA more by skiing a wider range of the type of skis we actually see every day. Those of us who stand to benefit most (newer adult skiers looking to rapidly improve) would gain from this.

Going back to the Enforcer, you can say "Of course. Nordica took a powder oriented design, made the tail a bit more directional, gave it a classic mount position, and integrated metal, so it is going to appeal hugely to skier X." But what if I don't need the chops and want more fun and powder focus? As Blister said:

On the spectrum of directional, 100mm-wide chargers, this is about as forgiving as it gets, and about as quick & smooth & stable as it gets.

That qualifier is huge. On the spectrum of directional chargers, the ski type of preference on Epic. What if what I want instead is a more playful ski that still has plenty of chops for "dicking around the resort" on typical days? Well, how about the still warm body of the Fischer Motive 95? No? Here's a Kastle FX HP 95. No? Over here a new and improved Bonafide. How's the budget? You might like the Stockli Stormrider. Or buy two sets of these Head Monster 88's for that cost, what a bargain and you don't need that extra width anyway.

What if I want quicker, less directional design focus? More fun in typical small powder days, a drifter with purpose. Willing to trade a bit of stability chops?

That's when I go cross reference with Blister.
post #56 of 292

I will endeavor to add some kind of "who this is good for"  when I do a review but honestly don't know that I can determine that based on a few runs.  Maybe if I went to SIA or other industry events, I'd have more experience.  

 

I will say I get frustrated when looking for a good crud-and-chop ski, that might also be a good enough powder ski in the region where I typically ski (PNW with the heavy dense snow we receive, very different than light fluffy stuff), for myself (relatively light at 5-10 and 145 lbs).  I see descriptions of "good crud ski, perfect for charging in open bowls" or some description, from a review 50-100 lbs heavier than me and going faster than I want to or care to go.   

 

Yeah yeah, I know, Fischer Motive 95. Beat you to it.  It's the answer for everything.  

 

Don't get me wrong, I tend to like Fischer skis, just haven't demoed the Motive 95 yet.  Loved the Motive 86.  Have really liked Watea/Big Stix, though found I go bounced around a bit on the Big stix 110 in just the conditions I described earlier.  Have some interest in the new Ranger 108, maybe 98.

 

But I digress.  I can tell you if a ski isn't for me.  I'm not sure I could really say who a ski is best suited for.  I've realized this the more I've skied and taught in the last few years, than when I first posted on here.

 

That said I like the interactive quality of follow up feedback to Epic reviews, plus the detail in detailed reviews, plus it's nice when I've actually met and skied with the reviewer a bit.  I like the thorough detail of Blister, but as stated, I'm not a pro skier and what they tend to write doesn't usually have much relevance to what I'm looking for, if I am being honest with my abilities and where I am likely to ski.  SkiCanada does seem to be more descriptive of a ski's traits and who it might work for, they are also more realistic about what skis most people should be looking at rather than just the buzz-maker models.  

 

Ski and Skiing seem to be drinking whatever Kool-Aid they're drinking that season.  I honestly haven't paid much attention to OnTheSnow reviews yet.


Edited by DesiredUsername - 9/17/15 at 12:30pm
post #57 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post
 

  

 

I will say I get frustrated when looking for a good crud-and-chop ski, that might also be a good enough powder ski in the region where I typically ski (PNW with the heavy dense snow we receive, very different than light fluffy stuff), for myself (relatively light at 5-10 and 145 lbs).  I see descriptions of "good crud ski, perfect for charging in open bowls" or some description, from a review 50-100 lbs heavier than me and going faster than I want to or care to go.   

 

Yeah yeah, I know, Fischer Motive 95. Beat you to it.  It's the answer for everything.  

 

 

Damn, you are quick :D

post #58 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

I have more confidence in Epic reviews because the people on here tend to be a broader sampling of skiers in terms or age, weight and height.  When I look at the reviews in the ski mags, a large percentage of the reviewers are 30-40 years younger than me, weigh 40-50 pounds more and are several inches taller.  What works well for them might not work for me at all.  

 

Yeh, true that.  A bunch of 200-pounders test the Brahma and find it to be playful...  Also, Skiing magazine tends to have a fixation with the "next great ski" -- first the Bonafide, then the Soul 7, now the Enforcer.  Of course, I still read it every year.

 

Realskiers has value because they have a larger number of testers.  Also, I like their rating system, if only because it's a bit different than the others.  But Jackson Hogue is hard to take -- he's the only one I've read in over a year to use the word "plethora".

 

I'm liking Blister Gear more and more.  A tad technical, but they tell it like it is.

 

Epic is my favorite: I feel like I know the testers (although in truth, I've never met any of them), and I can actually discuss skis and gear with them.  I do miss SJ's annual test summaries  -- what's happened to him?

post #59 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

 

I mostly agree with you, but here is the counterpoint (at least as it fits this site's reviews):   My reviews are highly personal, I know that, but right now, they kind of have to be. It's the reason we put down our height, weight, preferred terrain, etc. Just like you want us to extrapolate who a ski is for, we need you to extrapolate a little bit, too.

 

One thing about epic is that you end up with non-pro reviewers. There are positives about that, many of which have been discussed, but there are also negatives. It's not an accident that the best and most comprehensive reviews here are from pros. I, however, am not a pro. I don't get to synthesize as much information from a wide range of skiers in shops and at demos or even during lessons. I can guess and say, "Yeah this is probably the right ski for X and not Y," and I do a little of that but I'm not comfortable yet in my own experience to jump in with both feet and feel honest about it. And that will go for many of the reviews you see on this site, whether they are "official" or not. It's just part of the trade-off: we have no sponsor, we earn no commission, we gain nothing material by sharing our opinions. (Well, I guess I do sell some used skis on here, so I take part of that back ... I'm losing money on those, though, not gaining!)

 

For sure, I am working on incorporating more of that in reviews, but it is true that the strength of epic is that you can reply to a reviewer and ask the type of specific questions that aren't (or even can't be) addressed initially. 

 

Excellent points, and I should elaborate: I am talking about reviews in general, not necessarily the personal ones here at Epic.  I rate those highly.  I've read with interest the reviews from Phil, Dawg, and you! (and others).  I do pay attention to the info, as it does help. For example, Dawg is nowhere near my size despite his abilities, Phil is more my size but more of a "finesse" than a "power" skiier.  So I've tried to identify with certain people who fit my "mold", so to speak.  When I was demoing at Steamboat, @Finndog picked up on my preferences pretty quick and save me a ton of headache by having me try certain skis (or not).  In fact, he nailed me down to a "T" after a few runs and I bought a pair on the spot which weren't even on my radar originally!  He's another one that helps provide great reviews here too, amongst several others.

 

You are absolutely right of course, and I guess I'm pointing the finger at those "media types" who typically regurgitate marketing-speak from the manufacturers....."this ski has X technology so it's awesome!"  Whatever.  That's different than saying, "Ski X is really nimble and flexy, would work great for someone <180lbs who wants to smear turns and stay out of the bumps, etc, etc".  That sort of thing.  Those characterizations are GOLD.  The old, "Quick edge to edge, good float" mean absolutely nothing to anyone and it's filler and a lame excuse for a reviewer.

 

And thanks for your reviews and others who do such a great job here at Epic! Thumbs Up 

post #60 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post


"All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, public health, and the concepts of dignitas and auctoritas, what have the Romans ever done for us?"


 

The Romans invented skis too? smile.gif

 

No, and you're lucky or we'd have Ciceronian names for those too, instead of just for the various forms of social capital.

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