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SKI magazine 2017 ski reviews are out

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well, it's out. No big surprises, other than indie manufacturer Wagner getting some love. Not much new product; many well-reviewed skis from recent years still up in the rankings. One thing that did strike me, however, was how skis unchanged from previous years changed places radically in the rankings. One example is the Head Superjoy woman's ski. Now, my wife is an instructor and she loved it and bought it three years ago at the National Academy in Snowbird (she bought the demo; the first one in the country, I believe). It's a fabulous hard-snow-oriented ski (75 in the waist), light but stiff, great grip, versatile. Quote from the current magazine, "After two years at number 4, it finally nabs the top spot." Come again? An unchanged ski is suddenly better than three new skis and all unchanged skis that beat it last year? Another example, the women's Temptation 88, "was number 1 two years ago, missed the cut last year, now it's back at the top..." Excuse me? This is an unchanged ski. Now we know conditions can change and reviewers are subjective, but these are mostly the same people who have tested the same skis for the past three years. If this proves anything, it is that folks who are looking for a new ski should read as many reviews as possible (Skiiing, Ski, Ski Canada, Realskiers, etc.). Google a ski that sounds promising and read online reviews (Yellow Gentian is good) and watch video reviews (skis.com has a lot). You'll start to get a consensus. Read/listen between the lines. A ski may be great for a big guy (200 lbs. plus) but not someone smaller. If reviewers consistently talk about a ski's power and dampness, a 155-lb skier may not be a good match. If reviews praise a skis playfulness and agility, a burly guy might well overpower it. There are few bad skis out there, but you need to find the ones that are best for you. After your research, you'll probably have a list of skis that are promising. At that point, demo if possible. Lots of hills have early-season demo days. Most shops will let you pay about $50 to demo for a day and return as often as you want that day to switch skis. Find a shop that has the skis you're interested in and demo them. The cost of the demo is usually subtracted from the purchase price if you buy the skis from the demo shop. Highly recommended. Good luck!

 

PS:  The most versatile and user-friendly ski I've tested in two years wasn't even mentioned this year:  the Volkl RTM 81 (orange and black topsheet last year) .  Solid feel, smooth, even flex, excellent grip on hard snow, not so stiff that it's too much work in bumps.  Excellent powering through crud and enough flotation for up to nine inches of fresh.  I weigh 160 and ski it in a 170 length; if you're anywhere in that weight range, I highly recommend a demo. 


Edited by mike_m - 8/28/16 at 6:44pm
post #2 of 14
Impact of conditions and tuning, maybe. What's the likelihood of conditions a year later, maybe on a different mountain, being the same? Zilch. Tune, might be the same, might not, but did it get tried after the same ski as last time? Clearly this ranking business is a joke unless done by a machine.
post #3 of 14
I love reading and watching most if not all ski reviews. Sure it doesn't replace demoing but you can learn a lot about skis. Size, weight, material within a ski. I've been to plenty of ski shops where I feel like these guys know less about a ski than I and of course the one I'm looking at at the time is the perfect ski for me. Some of these salespeople are no better than a shady car salesperson.

If you can come in with a little knowledge, you might be able to discern a good from a bad shop
post #4 of 14

Funny thing in Ski magazine reviews of the head monsters, think it was the 88, they said the addition of graphene in this years monster tamed the monster. same grip but easier to ski. First, the monster had graphene last year. Secondly, they are unchanged!

 

I found that very strange. Overall, i think the mags ski reviews are relatively uninformative but entertaining. ive read them for 2 decades and will continue to do so just to find out whats out there and do more research eventually.

post #5 of 14

Is there a link to these reviews somewhere?

post #6 of 14

the only time they mention line skis is a blurb about the "artwork" on the top sheets. give me a break!

 

bunch of reviews of mass produced skis

 

and how about that 35+ page ad by Deer Valley!  someone's got money to burn

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackke17 View Post
 

the only time they mention line skis is a blurb about the "artwork" on the top sheets. give me a break!

 

bunch of reviews of mass produced skis

 

and how about that 35+ page ad by Deer Valley!  someone's got money to burn

Funny you mention top-sheets, I have the opportunity to buy a pair of used skis I like but I might not because I don't like the top-sheet...I'm such a loser. :mad

 

 

I like to read the reviews from skiessentials, blistergearreview, skis.com plus other reviews that come up.

 

My buddy is looking for a new pair of skis and he's on an older pair of Nordica. I saw the review of the Nordica Enforcer 93. I think he'd be perfect on these so when we get the chance to demo, I'm going to suggest these to him.

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post
 

 Now we know conditions can change and reviewers are subjective, 

The comma should be a period.  

 

Logical human minds really want to believe that a 4.9% result with a +/-5% margin of error is significant.  It just has to be...

But it is not.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Not really.  As stated, mostly the same reviewers; conditions chosen for the test of the skis in question aren't that different year to year (blue groomers, some moderate bumps, some crud).  This wasn't an all-terrain powder/steeps test.  No reason for this I can see:  "...was number 1 two years ago, missed the cut last year, now it's back at the top...." 

 

Anyway, always fun to read, but before committing, get more info from as many sources as possible and demo if you can.

post #10 of 14

I'll mention Realskiers.com in this context, too. It's $20 / year, but you can read archived reviews (as well as current season reviews), and if you aren't flush with disposable income, you can find great older skis that are worth buying.

post #11 of 14

^^^^This. Also worth checking out Ski Canada, a whole lot better than Ski. But keep in mind that each site has its own love affairs. Real Skiers (which I subscribe to) never met a Head it didn't like. Ski Canada, ditto for Rossignol. And so on...

 

Most here seem convinced they're all run by fiendish marketing departments with preordained outcomes. I don't give "tests" or testers that much credit; the sheer amount and sources of error are staggering. "Subjective" doesn't begin to cover it; they'd be laughed out of any actual scientific" test." (Which BTW is a term with as much meaning as "natural" on a loaf of bread.) 

 

Prolly best - and more fun - to read 'em all, not to mention some of the European ones and smaller blogs from Oz and Australia, notice trends, common pluses or minuses, certain words or euphemisms that pop up. Eg, do a discourse analysis like your average intro English Lit reader, you know the one with the question section at the end of each selection. ;)

post #12 of 14
How do yo find the Euro info?
post #13 of 14
Google. Then go deep, past first few pages. European, Russian and Asian sites start showing up.
post #14 of 14

Good questions @mike_m.  I believe a co worker of yours was one of the testers.  Be interesting to see what he has to say.

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