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Skis/boots/bindings etc. that are just terrible

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm starting a new thread so that I don't hijack the one about skiing being so expensive.

dgangi raised a good point that I've wondered about... Ski Mag will list some nasty comments about unnamed skis for humor in a seperate sidenote in the gear review. I can remember a few years back when they use to actually give skis a score (A, B, etc) What happened to this? Was it really dropped to make companies happier and more income for the mags?

Basically when you read an article today, all the gear seems to be wonderful at face value. When you actually read reviews some are filled with alot of fluff. Some skis don't even appear in sections you thought they should be in. Were they not submitted? Were they terrible and dropped? Whats the deal?

Another note on reviews... Do testers try various lengths of skis, or at least lengths that are "correct" for them. The skis bahavior can change dramatically with length and beyond ski-press i can't think of another publication that actually lists the lengths tested.
post #2 of 18
skis which are deemed below average usually arent listed in ski reviews, simply because mags want ski companies to advertise on their pages and if you're tearing apart their product they'll pull their ads. Basically, if its not listed, its not recommended. I do remember reading something though where they said that probably 90% of what they test these days is good stuff and rarely do they ever find a ski which is a real dog.

The closest thing i can think of these days which bombed were soft boots, which still sold reasonably well, and you'll still find people who loved them- not enough to justify continued production, though.
post #3 of 18
Look on the Review forum of EpicSki. You'll see folks that love a ski, and others that hate that same ski. For me last year, the well-regarded Head i.M75 Chip was the one I hated. Others swear by it. Just proof that YMMV.

I think that makes it really had to say that something is unequivocally bad. Perhaps there are some out there, but it doesn't really seem that way...
post #4 of 18
I totally agree about the Head i.M75. I've tried that ski soooo many times--in different lengths, different binding positions, different snow conditions, trying to find out how everyone else seems to love the ski (at great cost, I might add). I kept on thinking that there must be something I'm missing since the ski has received such wide acclaim. My final opinion after everything--its the worst ski I've ever skied on and I am absolutely miserable on them. The skis are so heavy--theyre a pain to carry around, they kill my legs on the lift, and theyre very difficult to turn (forget moguls). From now on, I never trust reviews. You must ski it yourself to know--reviews mean nothing.

Just my two and a half cents
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takecontrol618
skis which are deemed below average usually arent listed in ski reviews, simply because mags want ski companies to advertise on their pages and if you're tearing apart their product they'll pull their ads. Basically, if its not listed, its not recommended. I do remember reading something though where they said that probably 90% of what they test these days is good stuff and rarely do they ever find a ski which is a real dog.
Although some of what isn't listed or isn't listed appropriately stems from a lack of advertising on that particular manufacturer's part.

RJP: Freeskier makes note of differences in length for particular skis, and also make it well known when they are ********ting and haven't actually tested something thoroughly.
post #6 of 18
The habit of not publishing results of some "poor" skis is an American one (SKI, maybe SKIING).
In Europe, all skis tested get their reviews and they all get positive ones, even if the scores of individual criteria were not so good. That´s politics.
I don´t think it´s necessary to list all the reasons why... etc.
One point I find important is a statistical one.
The more testers you have the bigger the chance a ski finds both its lovers and haters, and, naturally, others somewhere between.
The resulting picture, even if there were some absolutely negative Fs, will never be that of an F because the positive reviews make a final B or C at the worst.
Reading the official results you hardly know if you belonged to the lovers or haters.
If you take part in such a big international test (I did repeatedly in Europe) you don´t find all skis as good as the test finally says. You exchange your impressions with other testers (even if that´s not allowed sometimes) and you hear some brutal critique.
(I can remember "the ski musn´t get to the customer!" by an experienced Swiss ski teacher about a ski that got - surprise! - a very positive review though I haven´t heard a good word about it on the slope.)
The only way to find out is to demo/test personally.

OTOH, it´s true that there are very few, if any, really poor skis. The manufacturers don´t want to risk and take care.
Rumor goes they sometimes send a "better" model into the test with the graphics of a "lower" one. I don ´t know about a test taking skis apart to check if the ski really is what it should be. Even if there were, you could always "make some later change" based on cost calculations or so...

Sorry for the nasty picture but I have my experience.
A few years back I found out that in the Czech version of the biggest European test the translation for one brand didn´t correspond with the German original using some better, stronger, etc. words to improve the formulations used and the final impression.
When I made it public on the net and told the German publisher I became public enemy Nr. 1 for both of them. Did they need any criticism of the great business and someone poking into it? You bet they didn´t.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Although some of what isn't listed or isn't listed appropriately stems from a lack of advertising on that particular manufacturer's part.
Once again, I'll call BS on this tired myth...please see this past year's reviews. Ogasaka received two very positive reviews and have never advertised in the US anywhere.

Also, if you notice what companies recieved the most total awards (Fischer, Volkl, Atomic) and then bother to count their ad placements, you'll notice that is is significantly less than Rossi, K2, and Salomon - who didn't receive quite as many awards.

To answer the original question of the thread, the reason why there are very few, if any, negative comments in the actual write ups is pretty simple - most of the skis are pretty darn good.

There are anywhere between 20 and 50 models tested in each category, and the best 6-8 get written up in the mag for the award.

There certainly are some skis that suck...skis so bad, or badly prepared, that the testers share their feelings immediately with company reps at the bottom of the hill. About 4 years ago, a tester actually threw the skis at a rep saying..."what are you trying to do, kill me?"

But you'll never read about that in the mag...
post #8 of 18
WTF, are you gapers bored or something? leave this tawdry crap for Paula's Ski Lovers.
post #9 of 18
troutman,
it´s not just the ads.
There may be other reasons as well.
If - hypothetically - K2 invited some European publisher to heliskiing in Alaska how many would not accept and how many would show their gratitude later in the mag?
If - again just hypopthetically - a company gave the mag skis, clothes - do you think it would get the same treatment as the rest?
You may have read my story about the fake test translation.
The man who translated the test was the brother of the brand´s rep.
He was boy-friend (later husband) of the mag´s publisher. You tell me everything was just accidental...
I don´t know if all this applies for America but I know the ropes over here.
Sorry.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin
From now on, I never trust reviews. You must ski it yourself to know--reviews mean nothing.
I essentially agree. However, I think if you tend to agree with the reviewer's reviews of skis that you have tried, then that particular reviewer may be worth something to you. For example, knowing how you feel about the Head that everyone else loved, I'd pay more attention to your reviews of other skis (since we agree).

So, what do you think of the Fischer RX8 and Atomic M:b5?
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
WTF, are you gapers bored or something? leave this tawdry crap for Paula's Ski Lovers.
You keep talking about that place... How much time are you spending there, Gonz?!
post #12 of 18
Hm... you think those magazines *buy* the skis they review?

Do you think a manufacturer would send the crappiest ski they had to Skiing for them to test and review it?

That should answer the question of why there are no reviews of the trash skis..
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
You keep talking about that place... How much time are you spending there, Gonz?!
actually, I want to know when all these gaper transients are going back there. these stupid questions are annoying and ridiculous. they waste the bandwidth.
post #14 of 18

Why don't they review skis for all levels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnythan
Hm... you think those magazines *buy* the skis they review?

Do you think a manufacturer would send the crappiest ski they had to Skiing for them to test and review it?

That should answer the question of why there are no reviews of the trash skis..
Another complaint I have with the ski magazine reviews is that they ONLY review high-end products. I'm not sure if this is because the ski magazine readers are all snooty expert skiers and the magazines are targeting this demographic OR if the ski magazines are trying to promote massively expensive equipment.

Case in point -- my wife is an intermediate skier. She's no expert and would never benefit from expert level equipment. I found some '04 K2 Escape 3500 IBC skis at a closeout price and went looking for reviews on them. The K2 3500 is considered an "intermediate" ski, which in my mind fits the description of the majority of skiers on the hill. It certainly fits the description of my wife. Ski magazine reviewed a lot of K2 skis over the past few years, and the lowest-end K2 ski they reviewed was the Escape 5500 IBC - an advanced ski that costs well over $700! In fact, every K2 ski package reviewed by Ski magazine since 2004 was over $700 (a few 2003 models were less). What gives? What about the rest of the population that wants a good intermediate ski without breaking the bank? I'm sure sales of intermediate K2 ski gear far outnumber their advanced equipment...and I'm sure this goes for all vendors. So why doesn't Ski magazine (or any other magazine) review this "bread-and-butter" level equipment?

Same goes for boots. Everything reviewed is costly and geared towards advanced skiers.

That would be like Car & Driver only reviewing Lexus cars and better (ps - they don't -- they review everything from Bentley's to Hyundai's), or the Bicycling magazine reviewing only $5000 Colnagos (they don't - they look at lots of cheaper bikes), or Rodale's Scuba Diving reviewing only titanium regulators (they don't - they review the cheaper stuff too), or...you get the point.

Anybody else notice this?

Thx...Doug
post #15 of 18
They do..
post #16 of 18
I demo a lot of skis and find the reports are fairly accurate, as far as I can tell with my feelings, even when I read the reviews after I demo the skis. One thing I find crucial, since I am fairly hefty at 245, is to pay attention to what the heaviest testers had to say. I bet some lightweights would like a different bunch of skis. I ski in Pennsylvania, and often ski on what our area euphemistically calls "hardpack." I don't find myself as drwn to the wider waist skisas I might were I out West. Last, I have talked to the guys who run the demo vans and evey so often a ski goes out with a bad tune. This, of course, makes the experience less than wonderful. Further, a ski's tune and design are intended to complement each other. If you have a skiing style which does not take advantage of a ski's design, you may attempt to tune it differently after you purchase it, and of course, your results may vary. You should take a few lessons from someone well-versed in how to handle the current equipment before you demo, so that you take advantage of a ski's features.
post #17 of 18
When I was testing skis at ski shows when I was buying for a store, I tended to get more impressed with some of the entry to mid level skis than the upper end skis. But when I skied them I would also ski them like I was an intermediate..skidding turns and with a couple of scotches in me (j/k about the scotch..it was beer )but even pushing the ski, I was impressed.

I do enjoy some of the reviewer "outtakes" that the mags sometimes post..most are far from flettering, but tend not to "name names".
post #18 of 18
when I tested skis for Ski-Press, we were told that only skis w/ positive rating made the review pages. We tested a boat load of skis & only a handfull made the magazine...there are limits to testing too. Most companies only send 1 mens , 1 womens size. Blizzard & Head were asking men to test 185s as a men's reference length. Line skis techs were so confused they had to ask rossi to help them with the bindings & had no Idea how to wax skis. Elan seamed to chose the wrong wax too that year.
The skis that did well were the ones that had the right wax, right size & were good in the softer snow common to end of the season tests.
What would really be helpful would be if the mag. published the list of contenders along w/ the winners. Some skis lost out b/c they were not correctly entered into the correct category by the Co. & some brands choose not to enter the test or only selectivity enter skis.
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