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Me/NH/VT Demo Days

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Demo Events — Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont

 

Here's a listing of scheduled demo days in Northern New England.  (Updated 11/05/15)

 

Maine 

 

Sugarloaf

$5 fee. Dec. 5

Downhill Supply Co. Demo Days — Registration: Maple Room at the Base Lodge

Volkl, Head, Nordica, Atomic, K2, Rossignol, Fischer, Salomon, Parlor, Burton, Blizzard, Icelantic, Lucid.

http://sugarloaf.com/activities-and-nightlife/events

 

Sunday River

$10 fee. Nov. 28-29

Suppliers (past) Atomic, Blizzard, Head/Tyrolia, K2, Nordica, Ramp, Rossignol, Volkl/Marker, Never Summer Snowboards

http://www.sundayriver.com/events-and-activities/events-calendar/demo-days

 

Vermont

 

Jay Peak

December 19 — Powe Snowboard Demo

December 20 — Never Summer Snowboard Demo

http://jaypeakresort.com/things-to-do/events/event-listing

 

Killington 

December 15-16 

Test Fest — 2-day ski & snowboard demo event & after-party

Base of Superstar

Elan, Renoun, White Room Skis, Ramp, Icelantic, Nordica, Rossignol, Worth Skis, Powe snowboards & Gilson snowboards
(more brands to come)
November 26 — Never Summer snowboards
January 17 — Smokin' snowboards
April 23, 2016 — ski shop demos

http://www.killington.com/site/events/event451

 

Mount Snow

Saturday, Dec. 20: 

Volkl, Rossignol, Blizzard, K2, Dynastar, Nordica, Head

http://www.mountsnow.com/events/calendar/demo-day/

 

Okemo

Saturday, Dec. 12, 8 am-1 pm (last demo out at 1 pm)

http://www.okemo.com/activities/calendar/december-demo/

details pending

Spring Demo: March 19

Jackson Gore Courtyard

Nordic, Ramp, Volkl, Head, Never summer, K2, Atomic, Dynastar, Blizzard, Elan, Scott, Stockli, Icelandic, Salomon, and more

 

Pico

Mon., March 21 – Tues., March 22

Demo skis will be sold that weekend at 50% off retail.

Potter Brothers Ski & Snowboard Shop Demo

http://www.picomountain.com/site/activities/events/index.html/2012691824

details pending

 

Stowe 

Saturday, Dec. 12 

Mountainfest Demo Day

Location: Stowe Toys Center & FourRunner Quad Base Area

Black Diamond, Blizzard, Burton, Dynastar, Faction Skis, Head, Icelantic, K2, Lucid Skis, Nordica, Ramp Skis, Rossignol, Scott, Stockli, Blizzard, Volkl/Marker http://www.stowe.com/activities/event/mountainfest-demo-day/

 

 

New Hampshire

 

Crotched Mountain

Sunday, Dec. 13, 10 am - 2 pm

Never Summer Snowboards

 

Gunstock

January 16 — 17

http://www.gunstock.com/events/events/627/

 

Loon Mountain 

Dec. 12:

K2, Salomon, Dynastar, Nordica, Volkl, Marker, Line, Blizzard, Parlor, Icelantic, Aramada, and more to come

http://www.loonmtn.com/experience/events/demo-day#.Vhkb57w4Q4M

 

Mount Sunapee

December 12-13 & March 16 - 20, on the beach

BOB SKINNER’S SKI & SPORT DEMO DAYS 

Rossignol, Volkl, Nordica, Dynastar, Blizzard, Head, Fischer.

post #2 of 25

Wondering how much terrain is usually open at Sugarloaf in early Dec.  The last Daily Update on their webpage is from 10/17/15 so does that mean they haven't started snowmaking yet?  Has the date for the demo day ever been changed due to lack of snow?  That can happen in the Mid-Atlantic for early season demo days.

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Wondering how much terrain is usually open at Sugarloaf in early Dec.  The last Daily Update on their webpage is from 10/17/15 so does that mean they haven't started snowmaking yet?  Has the date for the demo day ever been changed due to lack of snow?  That can happen in the Mid-Atlantic for early season demo days.


I guess that remains to be seen. Opening day is projected to be December 4.

post #4 of 25

In the northeast, most mountain will try their best to open at least a couple of WROD for Thanksgiving weekend. So as long as the temperature remains low, those WROD will stay open for the demo dates too. Much better chance of that for the northern mountains, obviously 

 

So, who goes to those events? And do you feel you get much out of them?

 

Personally, I've never had any success in those (typically early season) demo days. For one thing, I don't enjoy ski WROD. So paying for a lift ticket to demo ski for free (on limited terrain notwithstanding) seems to defeat the purpose. Now if I have a season pass on that mountain, AND LIVE NEARBY, that may make a lot more sense. 

 

The last time I demo'ed skis, I just paid for a day of demo from a shop on the bottom of the mountain. The demo fee can be applied towards the cost of the skis so it's also a "free" demo. 

 

These days, I just buy them without demo'ing since I have a better idea of what I like and dislike now. 

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
 

In the northeast, most mountain will try their best to open at least a couple of WROD for Thanksgiving weekend. So as long as the temperature remains low, those WROD will stay open for the demo dates too. Much better chance of that for the northern mountains, obviously 

 

So, who goes to those events? And do you feel you get much out of them?

 

Personally, I've never had any success in those (typically early season) demo days. For one thing, I don't enjoy ski WROD. So paying for a lift ticket to demo ski for free (on limited terrain notwithstanding) seems to defeat the purpose. Now if I have a season pass on that mountain, AND LIVE NEARBY, that may make a lot more sense. 

 

The last time I demo'ed skis, I just paid for a day of demo from a shop on the bottom of the mountain. The demo fee can be applied towards the cost of the skis so it's also a "free" demo. 

 

These days, I just buy them without demo'ing since I have a better idea of what I like and dislike now. 


I went to Sunapee's last year on Dec. 12, and much of the mountain was open.  What it'll be like this year remains to be seen. 

 

For me, the difference of a demo day over a shop demo is convenience and price — I can try a number of skis for a price that makes my wife enthusiastic (or not unhappy at least). I have a season pass at Sunapee, too, so that helps.

 

If I've narrowed my search to a single ski, a shop demo makes sense. I did that last year at The Boot Pro in Ludlow, and bought the ski from them later in the season.  (I didn't get to use the demo-fee discount, though — there was a mixup over the first demo date, so they gave me the demo free. Good outfit, The Boot Pro.)

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

If I've narrowed my search to a single ski, a shop demo makes sense. I did that last year at The Boot Pro in Ludlow, and bought the ski from them later in the season.  (I didn't get to use the demo-fee discount, though — there was a mixup over the first demo date, so they gave me the demo free. Good outfit, The Boot Pro.)

 

I was able to swap skis too. Granted, not too many times because I need to get all the way down the mountain to do the swap. On the other hand, there's sometimes a line to swap skis at the demo events too. 

 

But the main drawback of demo event had been that I rarely get to demo the specific model I wanted to demo! I would ended up picking up whatever that's left on the demo tent, which was never what I wanted to demo. Or the wrong length for me even if I was lucky enough to find the model I wish to demo at all. 

 

With a shop demo, I can specify which one(s) to try and the length that's right for me. 

 

The only time I felt I got SOME value out of a demo event was when I didn't have a clue which model to start with! 

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

If I've narrowed my search to a single ski, a shop demo makes sense. I did that last year at The Boot Pro in Ludlow, and bought the ski from them later in the season.  (I didn't get to use the demo-fee discount, though — there was a mixup over the first demo date, so they gave me the demo free. Good outfit, The Boot Pro.)

 

I was able to swap skis too. Granted, not too many times because I need to get all the way down the mountain to do the swap. On the other hand, there's sometimes a line to swap skis at the demo events too. 

 

But the main drawback of demo event had been that I rarely get to demo the specific model I wanted to demo! I would ended up picking up whatever that's left on the demo tent, which was never what I wanted to demo. Or the wrong length for me even if I was lucky enough to find the model I wish to demo at all. 

 

With a shop demo, I can specify which one(s) to try and the length that's right for me. 

 

The only time I felt I got SOME value out of a demo event was when I didn't have a clue which model to start with! 


There are problems with demo events without a shade of doubt.  There are problems with demos in general — snow conditions, weather conditions, whether you're on or off, and all the things you mention.  

 

On the other hand, at an event, you can try skis you wouldn't try if demo logistics were harder.  

 

Anyway, it's a matter of what works for you.  I can see that if a person lived somewhere in the five boroughs, and he had to drive four or five hours to get to a demo event at which there might be minimal terrain open and a limited selection of skis, most in the wrong sizes, the rewards wouldn't equal the drawbacks.

 

(For me, it's a fifty minute drive and another early season day to bump up my season totals.)

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

On the other hand, at an event, you can try skis you wouldn't try if demo logistics were harder.  

 

That's pretty much what I found out. If I hadn't a a clue which KIND of skis I want at some point, the demo event might be a good way to try a few different types so I can rule out (or in) what features to focus in my next step of search. 

 

Last time I happened on one such event (not on purpose but I skied past and noticed the demo tent), I decided to try very different length of skis than what I was told. Turned out I like longer skis than "normal". 

post #9 of 25

If anyone makes the Sugarloaf or Stowe demo please post a Lucid review.      TYIA

post #10 of 25
The Lucid guy spends a lot of time at Saddleback. They've had some impromptu demo days, but I never felt like partaking, for some reason. I'll keep my eyes open.

I've been to the Sugarloaf demo lots of times. It's good for comparing skis back to back on hard surfaces in a crowd, most times. As others have said, you can't count on finding specific models and sizes being well tuned and available. Better to go with the flow and ski roughly relevant models in appropriate sizes, even if they're not on your short list - for fun and experience.
post #11 of 25

I always partake in the Stowe demo day, mainly because I'm there anyway.  :)  Stowe the past couple years has had a decent amount open by then -- some blue cruisers, some steeper cruisers and a bump run or two.  So there's a decent amount to  put a ski through its paces with.

 

In answer to the "is it worth it?" question...  At the very least, if you have four or five skis that you're thinking of demo'ing at some point, it allows you to narrow the list down to two or three.  There's enough shops in Stowe that if something made me smile on their demo day, I can take it out again for an all-day ski later on in the season when everything is open to form a "final" opinion.

post #12 of 25

I'm usually at Killington during their December demo days so will try a couple of pairs even if I'm not in the market for something new.  Gives me chance to try some of the stuff I've been hearing about and narrow down my list of skis I might consider in the future.  Definitely issues with not being able to get on the model and length you want, but still worth it.  I'm looking to replace my Motive 88s in a year of so and hope to get on the Motive 95s and the Head Monster 88s

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

I demo mainly to check out skis I'm curious about, and for experience with a range of styles. A run or two doesn't tell you much, of course, but it's better than no experience. If a ski hits me (as the Enforcer did last season) I'll do what Kevin does — take it out for a day.

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

Update bump.

post #15 of 25

From another thread . . . Okemo on March 19, 2016

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Springer View Post
 

Okemo My--vermont

March 19th

Test next year's skis and snowboards at our 15th annual event! This event is open to the public and features top brands of the latest gear from a variety of ski, snowboard and snowshoe companies.  Snowsports enthusiasts can visit the demo tent area in the Jackson Gore Courtyard to test-drive the latest in equipment at no charge.

Check out skis and snowboards from:

  • Nordica
  • Ramp
  • Volkl
  • Head
  • Never summer
  • K2
  • Atomic
  • Dynastar
  • Blizzard
  • Elan
  • Scott
  • Stockli
  • Icelandic
  • Salomon
  • and more!

All participants must register under the Roundhouse eave in the Courtyard prior to demoing equipment. A valid credit card is required for security.

post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

Mount Sunapee demo days, March 16-20: Rossignol, Head, Volkl, Nordica, Dynastar, Blizzard and Fischer.

post #17 of 25

this thread is a little old...any idea where to get info for this year? or do they generally follow same schedule every year?..never did a demo day but would like to

post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi phumb, 

 

After I'd compiled a list of resorts in northern New England, I researched the information for this thread by looking at web sites and/or emailing the resorts. I didn't hear back from everyone; some resorts don't have demo days.

 

Web site info can be useful, especially for dates, but don't count on the accuracy of other information. The demo mentioned above, in post #15, for instance, lists Stöckli as a participating brand. I showed up, hoping to ski a Laser AX, but Stöckli wasn't there. Kästle (a brand not listed) was there, though, so I had a chance to try the newer FX models and this season's MX 89. I asked the Kästle guy about Stöckli, and he said he thought the web site hadn't been updated in years.

 

So — trust dates, take everything else with a grain of salt.

 

If I have time, I may recreate a demo thread for this season.  It's a pretty labor-intensive project, though. 

post #19 of 25

Hey Papa...Thanks for the effort!...I'm sure its a LOT of work...no worries.. I expect I'll hear of some local days...just thinking, planing...getting antsy! Also I dont usually purchase the latest and greatest gear for any of my hobbies, usually get the tried and true a year or 2 old at a good discount!... Not what they usually push at these....thanks again!

post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phumb View Post
 

Hey Papa...Thanks for the effort!...I'm sure its a LOT of work...no worries.. I expect I'll hear of some local days...just thinking, planing...getting antsy! Also I dont usually purchase the latest and greatest gear for any of my hobbies, usually get the tried and true a year or 2 old at a good discount!... Not what they usually push at these....thanks again!


No worries!

 

Yeah, I always bought used or NOS skis until I started demoing. :D (Don't mention it to my wife.)

 

This season's purchase, though, was bought blind at really deep discount. Couldn't pass it up — and I don't think I've ever seen that brand demoing locally.

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
............

I was able to swap skis too. Granted, not too many times because I need to get all the way down the mountain to do the swap. On the other hand, there's sometimes a line to swap skis at the demo events too. 

 

But the main drawback of demo event had been that I rarely get to demo the specific model I wanted to demo! I would ended up picking up whatever that's left on the demo tent, which was never what I wanted to demo. Or the wrong length for me even if I was lucky enough to find the model I wish to demo at all. 

 

With a shop demo, I can specify which one(s) to try and the length that's right for me. 

 

The only time I felt I got SOME value out of a demo event was when I didn't have a clue which model to start with! 

 

This is particularly annoying.  Happens every time.  

The demo tents around here don't stock many skis appropriate for light weight skiers.

post #22 of 25
Quote:

Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

 

This is particularly annoying.  Happens every time.  

The demo tents around here don't stock many skis appropriate for light weight skiers.

They still aren't bringing demo skis for light weight or shorter skiers?  When I first started demo'ing at Alta, it was very difficult to find anything.  But in recent years the reps are bringing at least one ski at length that works for me (5'0", 110 lbs).  Before there were always quite a few women who were stuck waiting for the few shorter skis available.

 

I'm lucky that for the demo day at my home mountain by a local ski shop, the guy who picks the skis started bringing shorter skis after I and a few other older, petite women started showing up regularly for the demo weekend.

post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

 

This is particularly annoying.  Happens every time.  

The demo tents around here don't stock many skis appropriate for light weight skiers.

They still aren't bringing demo skis for light weight or shorter skiers?  When I first started demo'ing at Alta, it was very difficult to find anything.  But in recent years the reps are bringing at least one ski at length that works for me (5'0", 110 lbs).  Before there were always quite a few women who were stuck waiting for the few shorter skis available.

 

I'm lucky that for the demo day at my home mountain by a local ski shop, the guy who picks the skis started bringing shorter skis after I and a few other older, petite women started showing up regularly for the demo weekend.


These are the drawbacks of demo days, especially for smaller, lighter people (and maybe for larger ones, too).  I demoed the MX 89 last season at a length longer than I'd prefer to ski (in New England), and while I liked it, I wanted to try the next shorter length. Not available. (Also not available — perplexingly, considering this was Vermont — was the new MX 84.)

 

But I'm dense and heavy for my height, so I can find lots to ski, usually, while others might end up frustrated. I guess a person might try skis a bit long at the free demo, and then pay later to demo what felt close to right. (I guess I'll pay to demo the 164 MX 89 or the MX 84 in any size. :()

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

This is particularly annoying.  Happens every time.  
The demo tents around here don't stock many skis appropriate for light weight skiers.
Or Clydesdales.
post #25 of 25
Quote:

Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

 

[snip]

 

These are the drawbacks of demo days, especially for smaller, lighter people (and maybe for larger ones, too).  I demoed the MX 89 last season at a length longer than I'd prefer to ski (in New England), and while I liked it, I wanted to try the next shorter length. Not available. (Also not available — perplexingly, considering this was Vermont — was the new MX 84.)

 

But I'm dense and heavy for my height, so I can find lots to ski, usually, while others might end up frustrated. I guess a person might try skis a bit long at the free demo, and then pay later to demo what felt close to right. (I guess I'll pay to demo the 164 MX 89 or the MX 84 in any size. :()

Maybe I'm the exception, but I learned a lot demo'ing skis that were too long on very short slopes (3 min run)  in the southeast before I bought skis.  In some ways, I learned more from the skis I didn't like.  When I returned such skis, the rep could explain why it wasn't a surprise.  I've also been able to demo the same model in more than one length in order to see difference it made for me.  Later on, renting demo skis during a ski week at Tahoe and changing out at the end of the day was how I figured out which brands worked and which didn't.  Also found a ski I liked enough to buy during summer sales.

 

Initially, I didn't really care what I checked out.  I simply went to the tent with no line.  Now I know what I'd like to try but I'm open to suggestion.  I also usually check out a model that I don't expect to like.  Have been surprised doing that.

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