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Paid Review Site

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I saw a web site online that lists detailed ski reviews - it is techsupportforskier. Does anyone have any experience with this site? Are the reviews really worth the $20 they charge?
post #2 of 21
You'll see many references to that site on this forum often under the name of the guy that runs it, Pete Keelty, or its other name, realskiers.com. They review more models than anyone else and keep prior year reviews available. (They are one of the few places where you can find reviews on how well twin-tips ski.) If you shop for deals on recent year models on eBay, at ski swaps, etc. the $20 is well worth it.
post #3 of 21
I do not think so, there is great information around here on the forum. Also you should not believe that the testers are less biased than most epicskiers (take out some designated Atomicfans here, na just kidding).
Look at the Austrian ski tests. The test many skis too. But it is always better to try yourself.
post #4 of 21
Well done, extremecarver!

Atomic Metron:b5, of course.

Oh. You didn't ask for a recommendation. Sorry...
post #5 of 21
I would really like to throw my support behind Peter Kelty and his site. I know that there are many diverse opinions about ski reviews--but I beleive Kelty does the best job. Kelty does not see his site as an alternative to personal demos and there is certainly a tremendous amount of good info on this site, but Tech Support provides info on a wider variety of choices. I don't mean to dismiss the $20.00 bucks, but I think the money is worth if you want a comprehensive view of teh market. Just my 2 cents.
post #6 of 21
I'd second the blitz / rio posts. I think that site is a great supplement to this one in evaluating eBay and similar deals. And if I could afford new equipment, then it would still be valuable, and I wouldn't worry about the $20. As it is though it's saved me way more than $20 each year I've subscribed.

Pretty good graphics from 2001 yr to present, so when you have a sketchy description but pictures of gear on eBay you can figure out pretty well what you're bidding on.

Also, once you figure out the point of view on techsupportforskiers.com, you can pretty well rely on the evaluations. Obviously no dialogue like here; but the upside is you've got that consistent point of view. And it's about 10,000 times better than Ski magazine and the like.
post #7 of 21
This place is good but it can also be confusing and overwhelming. Ask for a good intermediate ski for groomers and before you know it people are recommending B5s, AX4s, Explosiv's and Flexon boots. It takes lots and lots of reading as well as paying attention to get the useful information from here.
post #8 of 21
Also, the techsupportforskiers site is good for finding comparable skis from different manufacturers. It seems like there's often a frenzy over Model X from Brand Y, and you can figure out on techsupport that Model A from Brand B is very similar, but a better buy. They compare types of skis in a much more rational way than the ski mags and also include basic specs like sidecut, radius, available lengths, etc. So like Rio says it simplifies things pretty nicely.
post #9 of 21
I joined it last year. It's fun. Is it essential? No. Can you do without it? Yes. But I have no regrets: it's fun to read reviews over and over.
post #10 of 21
I'd recommend relying on both techsupportforskiers and the bears. techsupportforskiers judges all skis using a uniform set of criteria, the bears is a great body of testimonials. I am a firm believer in demoing before buying having done that twice before. However, last summer I bought Atomic SL9's cheap without ever having skied them but relying on techsupportforskiers reviews and testimonials from the bears. I had more fun on those skis this winter than I have had in a while.

The techsupportforskiers review was spot on as were the comments on this site.
post #11 of 21
i spent my 20-ish buck and was happy.

i read as many reviews as i can, for skis i might buy, skis i have bought and even skis i'll never buy.

i decided on skis for my wife (5' 4", 110) based on the review at tech..
the comment was essentially "several women tester bouught these skis
for themselves after testing" [elan fusion 08 ]

bought from a member here (dawgcatcher) at a great price....

i would agree with the poster here as to the sentiment of intermediates
(sometimes) being steered toward advanced/expert gear

post #12 of 21
I've found it to be money well spent. Not only do they review almost everything worth reviewing - they are consistent about it. The value of the site goes up over time (= multiple years of subscriptions) as you get a sense of their approach and their biases. They also seem pretty consistent and pretty on target about which skis are good expert vs intermediate vs beginner skis. So while you may not end up agreeing with Peter all the time, you'll know how to translate his site's assesments into what you'll likely think. And he also does not suffer from any "length inadequacy" issues. The historical reviews are also worthwhile.

Note that there are two levels of membership these days - one gets you basic site stuff for 20 bucks and the other gets you that plus personal advice/consulting from Peter for 30 bucks. When I had some questions for him a few years ago, he was quite responsive - plus he took the trouble to check in with his contacts at Salomon to double check the latest word on my question (it was when people in general were just starting to play with rearward PR binding mount positions & there was much disagreement in the world).

Anyway, you'll get your 20 bucks back just in time saved by avoiding inappropriate demos...

I just wish he'd get the preliminary 06 ski reviews up there!
post #13 of 21

Teck Support for Skiers critque

Yeah I hear you Spindrift:

The only problem w/ TechSupportfor skiers is they are SLOW....they will tout the 2006 ski previews for early May then in May they will update the tease w/ COMMING IN JUNE/JULY...then delay 'till August..or early September.

I'll always subscribe to Peter's site because I'm an info junkie, BUT someone is going to figue out how to be more responsive to the enthuesiasts needs soon and they will trump Peter.
The info is floating out there in cyberspace, i see it in bits and pieces from varoius sources, but someone has to put it all together in a defintive manner, in a timely fashon, and with real impressions from the actual point of view of an analytical skier, ( My money is on SSH!!! (8^o) ) He is the closest to my reality and I would always seek his input if available.

TSFS forums are lame-o big; time drek! ( IMHO only - no offense ment) But hey, who can compare to the Barking Bear anyway?????

Don't underestimate the power of the BEAR!
post #14 of 21
Peter Keelty's site performs a service for me that no other site performs - the ski reviews, and personal contact with Peter when you have a question. The reviews are very well organized - and ARCHIVED from year to year. For what I pay, it's one of the best bargains I know. It's NOT a "universal" site such as EpicSki - it's one of those "niche" things. It fills the niche very well, and chatting with Peter himself is a pleasure.
post #15 of 21
Does anyone know if Keelty still does reviews the way they did three or four years ago?

As I understood it, he gave identical review cards to literally hundreds or even thousands of skiers - people like shop techs, patrollers, instructors, ski bums, etc. The beauty of that system was that he got so much input that I believe you could effectively rule out personal biases *and* editorial/advertising influences.

He even provided a whole bunch of skis for a demo day at the SLC EpicSki Gathering a few years ago. Quite a few of us tried skis and filled out review cards.

I've felt that his reviews are the closest thing there is in the US to a relatively objective summary. Add in the fact that he makes the archives available so you can look up data on old models and you have a tremendously useful site.

post #16 of 21
Keelty's advice for me has been 100% on the mark. The reviews include some obscure products not discussed here...well worth the $20.
post #17 of 21
I demoed all season trying to find the right skis. I also read every review I could find:
and more..

After trying many 2005 skis, techsupportforskiers.com is the one site I agreed with most, they are awesome. The 20 bucks was woth it for the ski reviews. But the boot reviews are just a link to http://www.bootfitters.com/index.html .
The forums are not very active (but the other members there are top notch if they reply), http://www.epicski.com/ has the best ski forums I could find. The articles at techsupportforskiers.com are excellent too.

So, if you are looking for new skis the $20 is well worth the ski reviews at http://www.techsupportforskiers.com/ . Just always keep in mind, reviews should tell you what skis to demo. Always Demo demo demo, because your review is really the only one that should determine what to purchase.
post #18 of 21
Originally Posted by oboe
Peter Keelty's site performs a service for me that no other site performs - the ski reviews, and personal contact with Peter when you have a question.
I would like to second that. Earlier in the year I emailed with Peter back and forth. He help me narrow down the list of skis I should demo. I ended up buying the skis that he recommended. Money well spent.

post #19 of 21
There is one thing they don't do in terms of reviews. They don't review "obscure" or boutique skis. Or ones from new manufacturers that are really pushing the envelope. I'd love to see relatively objective (and qualified) reviews on things like Bro Models, Phantom Crystal Ships, Claws, Odyssey's, and others. I don't see any reason the TSFS folks should not have reviews on these. Right now the best and most qualified comments on these sorts of skis seem to be found over at TGR.

Still, I pay my $$ to Peter every year and feel I get good value for it. Certainly a better value than the subscription price for most ski rags!
post #20 of 21
I have enjoyed the info & vast amounts of skis they look at. The nice thing about the site is the Number of skis & testers used. they will also not shy away from telling you that a product is not worth your time (something you never see in a magazine). $$$ well spent. they also tend to be more objective & informed in terms of there comments on products & trends in the industry. they are not so swayed by what is put out there as currently cool & are not afraid to call BS on a particular trend or fad.

that being said, i have found their reviews to be largely accurate & on target

As Gotama points out the forums are really blahhhh... a little too tech oriented but who else could compare to the bear? I also am right there w/ spindrift in saying it is time to test some of the smaller unique brands out there... bros anyone?
post #21 of 21
Originally Posted by oboe
Peter Keelty's site performs a service for me that no other site performs - the ski reviews, and personal contact with Peter when you have a question. The reviews are very well organized - and ARCHIVED from year to year. For what I pay, it's one of the best bargains I know. It's NOT a "universal" site such as EpicSki - it's one of those "niche" things. It fills the niche very well, and chatting with Peter himself is a pleasure.

when I returned to skiing after a decade hiatus, I joined Keelty's site and had e-mail and telephone conversations with him regarding ski choices. his commentary was very valuable. he has his own biases, but you can see from reading his articles and his "best skis of 2005" sort of pieces that he does not try to hide his personal bias, and balances it with the knowledge that different skiers like different things in a ski.

I'm a spastic info junkie and researcher and I don't think you can touch the detail and comprehensiveness of Keelty's ski reviews for $20.

when used in conjunction with EpicSki and TGR, you almost cannot go wrong with ski gear info. I think it's worth the $20 at Keelty's.
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