- 760 Posts. Joined 1/2014
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No, they do not. See post #75 above. Nothing being discussed in this thread has anything to do with anything that was actually said. The idea of 'RIP's' and 'BGP's' is absolutely silly, this entire thread is a Strawman, it is essentially worthless mental masturbation. Sorry if I got a little off track, I sometimes do when I am flogging the bishop.
I kinda agree again. When I was living back in Europe I never knew such an animal exist (RIP) I only found out here on Epic.
You don't seem to have followed this thread ( from before it was transfered here until now) and I risk to repet myself, but anyways the question is not about who is qualified who is not . At the beginning of the thread 4 usernames were thrown here and I asked what exactly makes their opinions more valid then anyone else's opinion . See the answers from markojp - it is not my way of thinking anyways. I still think you should be a good skier with the ability to put your onsnow feelings into words and recommendations, but again I can read your recommendations with the same curiosity and interest even if you don't fall into this category.
Philippe Juneau ( the guy from the video above) is a Quebec's ski tester engaged by the ski shops chain Oberson that has ski
shops near Montreal ( in Laval and cartier dix 30 Brossard) He exclusively reviews and recommends skis that are being sold by Oberson. It is up to you to decide how neutral and objective his presentations are , but for me personally it is always a pleasure watching them.English versions are available as well .
The four main things that determine how a ski will perform are length, width, sidecut, and flex. The first 3 are easy to find out. The 4th is tough without skiing the ski yourself or talking to someone who has skied it AND a ski you have skied and compared the two. Objective information about flex is tough to come by. The other thing that is impossible to predict is how the 4 factors will interact to produce a ski that is just right for a given skier. Maybe you can predict how you'll like a ski from the stats. I can't. I need reviews or demoing or both--the stats just narrow the field to a manageable number of options.
The hot skis in a given year--like the Bonafide, which I have--are not best skis for a particular type of skier or type of skiing. They are usually one ski quivers--suitable for a wide range of conditions and skier ability. That should be obvious--the more people in more places who can use the ski the more potential buyers there are. People who sell skis like to sell popular skis because most customers are going to be satisfied, no matter how badly they've overestimated their ability or how often they ski powder. Most people who have Bonafides like them. You're not going to find a race ski or powder ski as the ski everyone has to have. (One way to tell a great ski, in retrospect, is when you see a lot of them in low tide conditions, when people bring out their old skis--the ones they still like to ski. Around here one of those seems to be the Apache Recon--I see tons of those still. It's the only ski I've ever saved for a rock ski that I actually use--all the other old skis have been no fun compared to my new ones, so I throw them out after the first time I use them for rocks.)
I like Blister reviews--of the skis I've bought based on their reviews I've pretty much agreed with their assessment.
Again I wouldn't go with exact names ,( knowing the usual practices here ) this may create unnecessary confrontation , opposing one RIP(if this notion ever exist) to another or trying to MA persons who know this sport pretty well, this will lead us nowhere.I know what I'm talking about and I'm pretty sure that most of the regular posters here know their '' indisputable authorities '' pretty well too. It is better to discuss principles , not individuals (in their absence from the discussion) But since Philippe Juneau was already exposed for a discussion here let me satisfy (may be partially) your curiosity. Yes, I think he is a decent skier and a reliable ski tester. However I have 2 small problems with his presentations. First , he will never say anything negative about a ski that one can find for sale in Oberson ski shops and second , the way he presents the skis makes them all kinda quite similar -- whether he demos a frontside carver like Rossi Hero ST for example or a powderish ski like the Soul 7 they all ski the same when you watch his videos. Other then that it is always a pleasure watching him and particularly his video trip reports from all over Europe and NA - this guy travels a lot.
Thanks for finally answering!
It was a straightforward question - only about the skiing part.
The next post shows why it's a yes/no question. There's no need to ma Phllippe.
There's no need to ma Phllippe.
Specific skis suit specific styles of skiing, Whist a detailed MA may not be in order, it is pertinent to now if the tester has the skills to put the equipment through it's full range.
What does being an excellent skier have to do with recommending skis for the general public? I would probably stay away from a ski that Ted Ligety recommended. I'm sure it would eat me up. A ski reviewer should certainly be a competent skier--Phillipe certainly is based on the little we see. More important is having skied a very large number of skis in a critical manner and having enough practice at reviewing skis and skiing skill to evaluate things like stiffness, how a ski likes to be handled, whether the mounting point is right, etc. In other words, it's a job. That's why I like
Blister reviews, because reviewing is what they do. Although I'm sure the reviewers are much better skiers than I am they are able to evaluate a ski in a way that a weaker and less skilled skier can find useful. The two skis I've bought on their recommendation have been exactly as expected.
I don't speak French but Phillipe's video is what I would call a sales demo, not a review.
I think Philpug does excellent reviews--particularly since his reviews compare a lot of skis in the same class so if you ski one you can get a good idea of how you might like the others.
And how exactly you will evaluate if '' the tester has the skills to put the equipment through it's full range '' What will be your criteria ? And btw how the 4 names mentioned by markojp at the beginning of this thread match your criteria ?
And that's fine - as far as @beyond's post #7 went, he forgot to do a bullet point on audience bias. Breaking through listener/reader bias is possibly (depending on the reader ) a justifying rationale for the authoritarian aspects of ski recommendation. It remains to be decided whether
1) It is easier for the RIP/gearpro to actively break out of their bias box than it is for the reader to be passively broken out of theirs.
2) In an activity where enjoyment is the goal, can we really break someone out of their preconceptions and still have them enjoy themselves at a level to justify the breaking?
Does explicit evidencing matter? If there's no authority behind a post, why bother posting at all?
In my idiom, what you're noticing is the difference between implicit, understood, or acknowledged authority and self-asserted authority. Sure, self assertion gets old fast.
To my mind a more interesting question is: Assuming pros are less biased how is it that they train to overcome bias?
How do you pick what to buy then try?
Any shop that employees people with a lot of strong biases doesn't have a very good business model. That said, in my experience, the training a shop offers new hires, which includes participating in pre season rep talks and demos ( Reps are very good about answering 'Who is this ski for?"), and an in house session with the hard goods buyer to understand what is ordered, why, and for whom. This also includes time with experienced sales staff, both formally and informally. So what does less biased mean? To repeat myself, it means that when a customer comes into the shop, you ask a bunch of questions to understand THEIR narrative for enjoyment, and how they participate in the sport (racer? tech? off piste? touring?... etc..), then you find or suggest products that will meet their needs. Many shops and manufactures also have performance guarantees. If the product doesn't meet the customer's needs, then it can be returned for credit within a reasonable amount of time (4-5 ski days), and exchanged for a new ski. If there's a difference in cost (more), the customer covers it. If less, then the shop reimburses. Money is where the mouth is. It doesn't get any more clear than that.
The only thing I have a very strong opinion about are people who go into a shop looking for an inflateable avy bag with no experience, training, other basic avy tool essentials (shovel/probe/beacon) and knowledge/practice of their use, and think that bag's the ticket to their health and well being in the back country. I won't sell them a bag without the other tools and giving them pamplets/links etc... to local avy training information, courses, and training schedules. That's where I draw my line. My employer can deal with it... doesn't do us a bit of good getting customers killed by their ignorance/hubris.