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What is a Demo Day for Skis? - A Beginner Zone Thread - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post


A beginner/intermediate has no business being on Kirkwood-type steeps, and you won't find them.   You will, however, find Breckenridge-level steeps if you look carefully.

 

Not to derail, and I've never been to Kirkwood, but if you think a beginner/intermediate can ski all the steeps at Breck, you don't know much about Breck - and if a beginner/intermediate were to read your comment and take it seriously, they would have a Very Bad Day.

 

  Um, wot?     How does my pointing out that such steeps do exist here argue that a beginner/intermediate should be on them?    

 I also don't understand how taking my comment seriously could result in a Very Bad Day, since it is a warning, to wit: Steeps Exist Here!   

 

That is a pretty big misreading.     I'm sorry that I couldn't both prevent that misreading and be subtle about the conflict in terms within the post I was responding to.

post #32 of 52

So anyway,

 

I never participated in a demo day, or demoing skis, as a beginner. My first two pairs of skis were hand me downs, and after that I based brand loyalty on celebrity sponsorships. I have to think that demoing, even without knowing much/anything about skis, would have to have been a better way to pick skis.

post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

How does my pointing out that such steeps do exist here argue that a beginner/intermediate should be on them?    

 

For what it's worth, I think I read it somewhat that way too. "A beginner/intermediate has no business being on Kirkwood-type steeps, and you won't find them.   You will, however, find Breckenridge-level steeps if you look carefully."

 

I took that to mean that a beginner/intermediate SHOULD seek out Breck level steeps. (And for that matter, try easier goat tracks or nice, non-Jay-type trees.)

 

Looking back at it and reading it a few times, I don't think you were saying that? But it was tough to parse that way.

 

Good point about the various snow conditions that can be found though.... although some place like, say, Whitetail, will tend to be pretty consistent conditions on every one of their slopes a lot of the time.

post #34 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

Good point about the various snow conditions that can be found though.... although some place like, say, Whitetail, will tend to be pretty consistent conditions on every one of their slopes a lot of the time.

Although even at a place like Whitetail, there are places that are more challenging.  When I had a chance to free ski with an instructor who knew the place very well, he certainly knew where to find them.  That is also the case at Massanutten.  When my coach there wanted to demonstrate something that required a steeper pitch, we ended up on a very short section between two trails that I normally would never have noticed.

 

I'm beginning to think that perhaps the level of "intermediate" in the Mid-Atlantic that I'm thinking about is someone who is at least comfortable on any black with no bumps.  It probably would be harder to demo skis on Mid-A blues only.  In the sense of really testing out skis for performance capabilities.  But at the same time, I think any beginner/intermediate would learn something useful when skiing demo skis.  Like anything else, learning how to make the best use of a demo day takes practice.

post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

I took that to mean that a beginner/intermediate SHOULD seek out Breck level steeps. (And for that matter, try easier goat tracks or nice, non-Jay-type trees.)

 

Looking back at it and reading it a few times, I don't think you were saying that? But it was tough to parse that way.

 

OK, I'll take your word for it.     I'll even add to the warning:   Mid Atlantic trails get steeper the further down you go.    Don't commit based on how the entrance looks.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

Good point about the various snow conditions that can be found though.... although some place like, say, Whitetail, will tend to be pretty consistent conditions on every one of their slopes a lot of the time.


True enough.   

What I didn't really mention above is that on-mountain demo reps will often restrict you to one or two lifts and one side of the mountain.    So, say demoing at Okemo becomes demoing on the greens above Jackson Gore (you took the lift up to the top?  BAD boy!); one isn't that badly off demoing at, say, Roundtop.

post #36 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

What I didn't really mention above is that on-mountain demo reps will often restrict you to one or two lifts and one side of the mountain.    So, say demoing at Okemo becomes demoing on the greens above Jackson Gore (you took the lift up to the top?  BAD boy!); one isn't that badly off demoing at, say, Roundtop.

Interesting.  You're talking about on a demo day, correct?  Only being able to demo on green trails seems . . . a bit silly.  Have you been to a demo day like that?

 

I guess it pays to find out as much as possible before making plans to attend a demo day that involves more than a couple hours drive.

 

The only big mountains I've done free demo days at are Alta and Big Sky (single brand tent).  No restrictions on where to go.

post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

What I didn't really mention above is that on-mountain demo reps will often restrict you to one or two lifts and one side of the mountain.    So, say demoing at Okemo becomes demoing on the greens above Jackson Gore (you took the lift up to the top?  BAD boy!); one isn't that badly off demoing at, say, Roundtop.

Interesting.  You're talking about on a demo day, correct?  Only being able to demo on green trails seems . . . a bit silly.  Have you been to a demo day like that?

 

It's might be justified in early season or when the snow cover is otherwise sketchy.       And yes, several.    

 

The remedy is to get chatty with the rep if you can, and ask nicely to take the ski beyond the limit.  At the Okemo example I cited above the Faction and Ramp reps  told me to go have as much fun as I could find.   The Head guy wanted his skis back.

post #38 of 52
I've never been to a demo day that restricted me other than to say don't take them where the base will get messed up. I suspect that inverted aerial maneuvers and rails would also be against the rules.
post #39 of 52

I found my first pair of skis through a demo at Loveland.  The first time I did the upgrade rental that lets you demo as many of last year's skis as you want (not the usual mass rental option), so I tried out 4-5 skis that day.  Then I went back a month later and did the demo at the shop where you get 3 of the current year's skis over the course of the day.  I had skis in mind to that I wanted to try (partly based on reading reviews at this site) but I took the advice of the guy at the shop to try out the Nordica Patrons and I ended up liking them the best of all.  So then I found a pair of those on eBay and I still love taking them out when it's a powder day.  

 

I'd demo again just for fun if it was free or if someplace around here had a day for it.  But I also recommend taking the advice of the person at the shop, especially if you've made real clear the kind of skiing you're gonna do.

post #40 of 52
Thread Starter 

For those just noticing, the idea for this Beginner Zone thread is to answer basic questions that a beginner/intermediate may have after reading advice about buying skis that includes something like "demo before making a decision."  Including questions they don't know enough to ask.  If you are a beginner or intermediate who has never been to a demo day, feel free to ask questions.  It helps to mention the region where you plan to ski most.

 

There are a few different types of demo days open to anyone who wants to check out a few skis.  The most common are:

*  a tent set up by a ski shop with skis from multiple brands
*  a tent set up by the rep of one brand
*  lots of tents (10-30) set up by reps of different brands for a day or two
*  a "personal demo day" created by renting demo skis, usually from a shop at the mountain
 
Demo tents are usually set up near the base, but may be mid-mountain near the base of a lift that accesses terrain appropriate for intermediate or advanced/expert skiers likely to want to try out skis.  Please read Post #1 for more about how a demo day works.
post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 I have to think that demoing, even without knowing much/anything about skis, would have to have been a better way to pick skis.

It is always interesting to demo skis.  Different brands of skis that are suitable in type and size for the skier will feel different to each of us, some top quality brands feel just not much fun, and others feel great. 

post #42 of 52
Thread Starter 

For those in NY and PA, came across an online list of demo days happening mostly in Dec and Jan.  Pretty sure these have been happening every year for a while.  Details for those sponsored by a ski shop are usually available on the shops website. If a ski area has a calendar of events on their website, demo days get listed.  But sometimes not until November.

 

http://www.ewsra.org/consumerdemo

 

2015-16 Consumer Demo Schedule

 
 
Date Ski Area COMMENTS Ski Area Phone #
DECEMBER      
11 Gore Mountain    
Friday North Creek, NY Goldstock's - 518-382-2037 518-792-1304
       
12 Hunter Mountain    
Saturday Hunter, NY   518-263-4223
       
13 Hunter Mountain     
Sunday Hunter, NY   518-263-4223
       
18 Jack Frost - Big Boulder    
Friday White Haven, PA Buckman's - 610-495-7495 570-443-8425
       
19 Holiday Valley    
Saturday Ellicottville, NY   716-699-2345
       
20 Jiminy Peak    
Sunday   Potter Brothers 814-338-5119
       
JANUARY      
8 Whitetail    
Friday Merchersburg, PA Ski Center / Alpine 717-328-9400
       
9 Seven Springs    
Saturday Seven Springs, PA Willi's  814-352-7777
       
10 Ski Roundtop    
Sunday Lewisberry, PA   717-432-9633
       
13 Blue Mountain    
Wednesday Palmerton, PA Buckman's - 610-495-7495 610-495-7495
       
21 Elk Mountain    
Thursday Union Dale, PA Buckman's - 610-495-7495 570-679-4400
       
FEBRUARY      
18 Royal Mountain    
Thursday Caroga Lake, NY Alpin Haus 518-835-6445
       
March      
1 Bear Creek Ladies Day  
Tuesday Macungie, PA Buckman's - 610-495-7495 866-SKI-AT-BC
post #43 of 52
Thread Starter 

During early season, there are demo days held in all regions in the U.S.  Here are some of the places with demo days in late Nov or Dec (before Christmas week).

 

Grand Targhee, WY

Colorado Demo Days, Copper, CO
Outdoor Divas, Loveland, CO

 
Potter Brothers, Jimmy Peak, MA
Holiday Valley, NY
Okemo, VT
Killington, VT
Loon, NH
 
Buckmans, Jack Frost/Big Boulder , PA
SugarFest, Sugar Mountain, Banner Elk, NC
Snowshoe, WV
post #44 of 52
Whitefish. Currently scheduled for 12/12. But, given the snow forecast, I'm guessing that date could get pushed.
post #45 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

For those in NY and PA, came across an online list of demo days happening mostly in Dec and Jan.  Pretty sure these have been happening every year for a while.  Details for those sponsored by a ski shop are usually available on the shops website. If a ski area has a calendar of events on their website, demo days get listed.  But sometimes not until November.

 

http://www.ewsra.org/consumerdemo

 

2015-16 Consumer Demo Schedule

 
 
Date Ski Area COMMENTS Ski Area Phone #
DECEMBER      
11 Gore Mountain    
Friday North Creek, NY Goldstock's - 518-382-2037 518-792-1304
       
12 Hunter Mountain    
Saturday Hunter, NY   518-263-4223
       
13 Hunter Mountain     
Sunday Hunter, NY   518-263-4223
       
18 Jack Frost - Big Boulder    
Friday White Haven, PA Buckman's - 610-495-7495 570-443-8425
       
19 Holiday Valley    
Saturday Ellicottville, NY   716-699-2345
       
20 Jiminy Peak    
Sunday   Potter Brothers 814-338-5119
       
JANUARY      
8 Whitetail    
Friday Merchersburg, PA Ski Center / Alpine 717-328-9400
       
9 Seven Springs    
Saturday Seven Springs, PA Willi's  814-352-7777
       
10 Ski Roundtop    
Sunday Lewisberry, PA   717-432-9633
       
13 Blue Mountain    
Wednesday Palmerton, PA Buckman's - 610-495-7495 610-495-7495
       
21 Elk Mountain    
Thursday Union Dale, PA Buckman's - 610-495-7495 570-679-4400
       
FEBRUARY      
18 Royal Mountain    
Thursday Caroga Lake, NY Alpin Haus 518-835-6445
       
March      
1 Bear Creek Ladies Day  
Tuesday Macungie, PA Buckman's - 610-495-7495 866-SKI-AT-BC


Apparently the dates are wrong for Buckman's events at Blue and Elk.  Actually Jan. 14 and Jan. 22 according to the Buckman's website.  Can get a discounted lift ticket at Beckman's in advance.  Always good to double-check with either the ski shop or the ski area.

 

As mentioned for Whiteface, early season dates can also change because of lack of snow.  I remember that happening at Snowshoe a few years ago when there was not enough snow even during Christmas week.

post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


Apparently the dates are wrong for Buckman's events at Blue and Elk.  Actually Jan. 14 and Jan. 22 according to the Buckman's website.  Can get a discounted lift ticket at Beckman's in advance.  Always good to double-check with either the ski shop or the ski area.

As mentioned for Whiteface, early season dates can also change because of lack of snow.  I remember that happening at Snowshoe a few years ago when there was not enough snow even during Christmas week.

Since Whiteface hasn't been mentioned until now, I assume you mean us. WhiteFISH. Ski the Fish!


biggrin.gif
post #47 of 52
Thread Starter 

For those who live in the northeast, check out this thread for demo day dates for 2015-16.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/143354/me-nh-vt-demo-days

post #48 of 52
Thread Starter 

Here's an example of impressions that an advanced/expert skier can have when demo'ing a variety of skis.  In this case, the notes are from an instructor who attended a demo day for industry professionals.  Can click on the link (green arrow) to go to the original post/thread.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post
 

Just got back from the demos at Loveland.  Wanted to try possible replacements for two of my go-to skis: my everyday teaching skis (versatile, but biased toward the frontside with a waist around 80) that I can comfortably ski all day for six days straight(!) and a possible replacement for my moderate-depth soft-snow skis; again, ones that are versatile (good in snow up to 10 inches, in trees and bumps, but also with good hard-snow grip).  My current skis are previous-generation Volkl RTM 80s and Rossi S3s.    

 

Conditions were perfect for demos:  The first day, we had about 9 inches of fresh at 9 AM, turning to crud by 10, then bumps by midday.  The next day was clear and cold, with the trail starting as a velvet groomer and turning into hardpack and firm bumps by midday.

Me: Copper instructor, 5' 10", 165 lbs., modern technique. I'm what's called a "feeler," so my reviews are quick impressions of well-regarded/well-reviewed advanced-expert skis. Notes were scribbled on the chairlift after a run: totally subjective! I like skis that are just "there" underneath me as a natural extension of me, whatever the condition: not so stiff that my legs are always being pounded (i.e., older Volkl carvers/Mantra), not so soft that they don't give me confidence on hardpack or at speed.

 

So, with that disclaimer, and taking into account that a 230-lb. linebacker would certainly prefer skis I find to be too stiff or burly, these were my notes.  All models were skied in 170-177 lengths for the narrow mid-fats; 177-180 for the wider skis.  As a general note, there are very few bad skis out there!  Manufacturers have seemed to settle, in general, on a design of camber underfoot with varying degrees of early rise, and modest rise in the tails.  The defining difference I found was the degree of firmness/stiffness in the ski.  Obviously, my preference, at my weight, is a ski with less of a burly construction (usually with less, or no, metal). 

 

Starred skis (*) were my favorites.

 

 

 

Narrow mid-fats, 78-84 waist

 

Everyday, go-to skis.  Looking for playful, versatile, shorter-turning skis with decent off-piste performance and good grip on boilerplate.

 

*Volkl RTM 80 (177 length):  Excellent everyday ski for 90 percent of ski days.  Very versatile.  Very good in crud, bumps, and hardpack.  Livelier and firmer than previous version of RTM 80s. 

 

*Dynastar Powertrack 84 (176)  Very user friendly and easy to ski.  Great for a mellow or advancing skier.  Very good in crud, bumps, and hardpack.  More of a speed limit than the Volkl and less dynamic, but fabulous for most recreational skiers at most areas.

 

*K2 Ikonic 80 (170):  A very good ski from K2.  Good in crud, bumps, and hardpack.  Damp, but not dead; huge improvement over Rictor 82s.  New Volkl RTM 80 a bit better for a dynamic skier. 

 

Kastle CPM 82 (172):  Very good ski.  Powerful carver; great on hardpack, pretty good in crud, but too firm for me to ski everyday.

 

Head Instinct (83 waist; 177 length).  Very good ski but too stiff for my weight.   

 

 

Soft-snow skis to replace Rossi S3, 95-102 waist

 

Looking for playful skis optimized for soft snow up to about 10 inches but with decent hard-snow grip and good in soft bumps and trees.

 

*Atomic Automatic 102 (180); *Salomon Rocker 2 100 (178):  Both excellent, versatile skis, nimble, good in everything I encountered over the two days.  Both a bit firmer than my S3 but ski very similarly. 

 

*Dynastar Cham 97 (178)  Excellent ski.  Big change from the previous iteration of Chams.  A bit more dynamic than the two above but not burly at all.  Equal versatility.  Looks like a wider version of Powertrack 84s and 89s.

 

*Line Sick Day 95 (179)  Very nice.  Good in crud, bumps, and hardpack.  A bit damper and less nimble than the Salomons or Atomics above.

 

Volkl 90 Eight (177):  Powerful, versatile ski, but a bit too firm for me. 

 

Scott Sagebrush (100 waist, 178 length):  Very nice ski, but not really playful and a bit too firm for me.

 

Atomic Vantage 100  (180):  Excellent, versatile ski for someone over 180 lbs., but too burly for me.

 

Fischer Ranger 98:  (180):  Burliest of all demoed.  Excellent, versatile ski for someone over 180 lbs., but not for me.

 

Line Sick Day 102 (179)  Too wide to be nimble, better for deep snow.  Good in crud; unwieldy in bumps.

 

K2 Pinnacle 95 (177)  No.  Tried at Epic A-Basin gathering.  Huge early rise.  Never knew where it was going to take me.  (Very mixed reactions from testers; some liked it a lot.)

 

Hope this was of some use.  Have a great season!

Mike

 

For those just noticing, the idea for this Beginner Zone thread is to answer basic questions that a beginner/intermediate may have after reading advice about buying skis that includes something like "demo before making a decision."  Including questions they don't know enough to ask.  If you are a beginner or intermediate who has never been to a demo day, feel free to ask questions.  It helps to mention the region where you plan to ski most.

 

There are a few different types of demo days open to anyone who wants to check out a few skis.  The most common are:

*  a tent set up by a ski shop with skis from multiple brands
*  a tent set up by the rep of one brand
*  lots of tents (10-30) set up by reps of different brands for a day or two
*  a "personal demo day" created by renting demo skis, usually from a shop at the mountain
 
Demo tents are usually set up near the base, but may be mid-mountain near the base of a lift that accesses terrain appropriate for intermediate or advanced/expert skiers likely to want to try out skis.  Please read Post #1 for more about how a demo day works.
post #49 of 52
Thread Starter 

If you are planning a ski vacation at a destination resort and thinking of taking the opportunity to do a personal demo day, one thing to keep in mind is that a ski shop can only handle so many brands.  At larger resorts, there are usually several ski shops (different ownership) that typically try not to carry the same brands.

 

For example, at Big Sky if you want to demo Rossignol skis then the only place to go is the resort rental center.  There is also a fairly large independent ski shop at at the base that carries quite a few other brands, but doesn't carry any Rossi skis.  At Alta, there are three companies with ski shops at various places either at a base or at mid-mountain.  It pays to ask what brands they carry before deciding which shop to rent from. Prices vary a bit as well. Also a shop at the Peruvian Lodge, which I think carries Kastle.

post #50 of 52
Thread Starter 

The following summary of a demo day in March 2016 was written by an experienced older skier who clearly knows how to demo.  An intermediate just starting to check out different skis would not be able to tell as much from only one run.  However, an intermediate can usually tell whether a ski is fun or not fun even after only one or two runs on a groomer.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/146239/demo-day-just-mid-width-skis

 

I checked out some skis at free demo days in the Mid-Atlantic in early Jan.  Very little terrain was open, essentially just a couple short (<3 min) groomers of manmade snow.  Since I've been demo'ing pretty regularly for almost ten years, I still learned a lot.

 

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/early-jan-2016-demo-days-in-the-mid-atlantic.20602/

post #51 of 52
Thread Starter 

Here's a short list of tips when checking out skis at a free Demo Day.

 

1)  Know the DIN for your ski bindings

2)  Look at your boots for the Boot Sole Length (BSL), will be needed for registration

3)  Have a credit card available for registration

4)  Keep track of the brand, model, and length of each ski you try

5)  Test skis on the same terrain, ideally with some variation along the route

 

6)  Be flexible about what length to try, go longer or shorter

7)  Do not worry that much about what ability level a model is designed for

 

For #4, I started taking a picture of skis that I took out for a run or two.  Ideally, it's good to make notes about whether you like a model or not when you return a pair of skis.

 

When there is time, I like to try one model that I like at two different lengths.  Recently had a chance to check out one of the Head Joy line to confirm that a shorter length than my normal length is not as much fun.  Was 5cm shorter but I could easily feel the difference.  Might not be as obvious for an intermediate, but I remember knowing very quickly if a ski was too long when I starting going to demo days.

 

post #52 of 52
Thread Starter 

A mini-TR about a demo day during early season in Australia 2016:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/146916/australia-new-zealand-2016/60#post_2007040

 

Note that pictures were taken of the various skis tried.  I find that's the best way to be able to remember which skis I take out, especially on a demo day with multiple tents.

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