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Ski Buyers guide out - Page 3

post #61 of 91
The mags are also facing tough online competition. I wrote resort reviews for the Inside Tracks subscription newsletter while it was alive from 1997 to 2002. Peter Keelty was Inside Tracks' equipment analyst and he probably has a much wider following now that he is online.
post #62 of 91
Inside Tracks was way cool. I bought a 10-year subscription from them! They transferred it to something else when it ended, but I was bummed...
post #63 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker
As some have noted, the mags have been repositioning themselves. I too most enjoyed the Powder of the 80's/early 90's and am less enamored of its current direction. When Powder did the "Slow Country" parody they also had a "Tweedledum and Tweedledee" parody of SKI/SKIING. Since then SKI has migrated toward Snow Country and SKIING toward the former Powder. Some of the former Powder writers now write for SKIING. But I'll admit the current issue of SKIING is pretty strange. They're going to get some letters on that pimp article. I also enjoy SBC SKIER. Its editor is Leslie Anthony, with whom I collaborated on the October 1995 Powder cover story on snowfall and ski conditions.
IMHO, when Snow Country first came out, I thought they did the best job of reviewing skis.
post #64 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
IMHO, when Snow Country first came out, I thought they did the best job of reviewing skis.
They did; then they morphed into the Snow Country we remember. Then they folded. Coincidence?
post #65 of 91
Snow Country also tried to use more realistic snowfall numbers by insisting upon a 5-year average in its annual travel issue. During the summer of 1998 the editor called me and was planning to use my stats for the next season before the mag folded.
post #66 of 91
I just got my "Buyers Guide" and boy does it stink worse than what has been written here. The reviews are mixed in classifications, there are contradictions and misinformation. If I didn't know better, I would say the blurbs were written by the manufacturers themselves. Fluff...all fluff.
post #67 of 91
There is one perspective that is relevant to this topic, which is the market positioning of the two publications, Ski is edited specifically for an older wealthier audience that is decidely not technically oreinted. They just want the best picks with out too much technical information. Bottom line: the reason so many Bears detest Ski , maybe because it is not written with them in mind. The Skiing buyer's guide suppossedly is more technical and I beleive it has been more detailed in year's past. We shall see.

As a magazine guy, I do wonder why car buffs love R&T, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, but die hard skiiers hate the ski pubs. The car books are just as much in bed with the their industry counterparts . Perhaps the reason why is becasue the car books are really not written for the average person. Lots of data on torque and skid pad. They don't dumb it down. Not the same with the ski mags.
post #68 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz
As a magazine guy, I do wonder why car buffs love R&T, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, but die hard skiiers hate the ski pubs. The car books are just as much in bed with the their industry counterparts . Perhaps the reason why is becasue the car books are really not written for the average person. Lots of data on torque and skid pad. They don't dumb it down. Not the same with the ski mags.
A precise observation. I guess that the ski biz is both specific and too small to afford a highly specialized mag for a limited group of hardcore fans.
Eleven years ago I got the idea to start a ski mag because I knew a guy who was a publisher of a successful bodybuilding title and I wrote a few articles for him. I thought it would be similar but much better because we have incomparably more people skiing than pumping iron.
I had to learn the difference the hard way: at least 95% skiers are not interested in more detailed information in a specialized magazine. They are just superficial consumers and no target group for a ski mag.
Otoh, maybe half of more or less serious iron pumpers take enormous interest in programs and supplement info. They may be provided details of curls similar to our high-end technical discussions. I´m sure that the circulation of bodybuilding/fitness titles here is much higher than that of ski mags.

The only exception I know were or maybe still are the Japanese ski mags when dealing with gear. I had two of them 10 years ago. Both had a separate gear guide of at least 300 pages with incredible details. Just imagine two pages about a ski boot with 10 pics of technical details...

No chance for a highly technical ski mag to survive unless we find some Bill Gates eager to put money into such a non-profitable project.
post #69 of 91
After looking at the magazine and what the manufacturers are offering I thought "When all you have is lemons, you make lemonade". Ski's buyers guide is lemonade.

Has the ski industry R&D cycle reached a plateau? There doesn't seem to be anything new in this years crop of skis and what struck me was the lack of diversity. Everyone is offering the same thing - mid-fat and fat skis.

Maybe its a result of the consolidation that has been occuring in the industry over the last few years or flat retail sales are hurting corproate budgets to allow the industry to develop new producsts, but I think there are going to be a lot of ski still in the shops come next spring because I didn't see anything in this year's crop of skis that I want to demo, let alone buy.
post #70 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiNut
There doesn't seem to be anything new in this years crop of skis and what struck me was the lack of diversity. Everyone is offering the same thing - mid-fat and fat skis.
SkiNut:
IMO the situation of "nothing new" has been standard for most years of ski history. There have been some really important innovations but if you look at the skis in the 60s, 70s or 80s you see that they were almost the same, maybe or probably more than nowadays.

I think that the last 10 years with the shaped skis revolution were exceptional. We´ve got used to a flow of changes and an enormous diversity as the skis, technology and materials evolved and new ground had been tested. All revolutions have their glorious days and an ebb with calming down after the storm. I´m sure that´s what we´re having now.

Btw, the ARE differencies but they are not so striking as they used to be not long ago. They may be too small for the general public to be described in mainstream ski mags but our discussions here show that there´s still a lot to speak about.
post #71 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
SkiNut:
IMO the situation of "nothing new" has been standard for most years of ski history. There have been some really important innovations but if you look at the skis in the 60s, 70s or 80s you see that they were almost the same, maybe or probably more than nowadays...


Btw, the ARE differencies but they are not so striking as they used to be not long ago. They may be too small for the general public to be described in mainstream ski mags but our discussions here show that there´s still a lot to speak about.
During the eighties despite the sameness of ski shapes, the ski mags in the USA used to depict cross sections of skis showing their respective constructions. They also provided a lot of data on boots such as forward lean, ramp angle, flex under different loads,etc. Maybe it's time for them to get back to that. Not to keep beating up on SKI's Buyers Guide, but they don't even list the ski lengths available in their guide this season. In SKI's defense they did have some other interesting articles.

I'm not particularly troubled by ex-racers involved with testing non race skis. They are, usually excellent all around skiers. The only question may be how objective they can be about intermediate skis given their ability level. Like Ski Canada does, the the testers should disclose any sponsership affiliations.
post #72 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
On the B:5, do we know it was actually tested? It sounded like not all skis are tested, so if there is no review we don't know if it was skipped for testing or a klunker.
It was. Many models were tested that didn't make the magazine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Some times the mags are limited to the skis that are sent them from the manufacturer. But I cannot imagine Atomic, Rossi, ect would not send over Metron's and Z9's.
With SKI/SKIING, this is all the time. They only test what is supplied by the manufacturer. The manufacturers also decide the categories for each model - not the editors. There are also manufacturer reps on hand that check the tune after each run, ensuring that the next tester has a "perfect" ride.

Some manufacturers have created an art form in selecting, strategizing, and preparing their mag test skis. Other manufacturers haven't figured this out, or don't have the time/resources.

As a sidebar, check out the first issue of "skiing." Count the number of ski equipment ads. There are only 4 - Rossignol, K2, Tecnica, Völkl. Something's up...either the manufacturer's aren't supporting "skiing's" new direction, or times are tough with some of these companies.
post #73 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by troutman
Some manufacturers have created an art form in selecting, strategizing, and preparing their mag test skis. Other manufacturers haven't figured this out, or don't have the time/resources.
Speaking about some European tests I know a rumor that sometimes the ski tested was different than the standard model.
Not impossible if you imagine a higher-end ski with identical dimensions but the topsheet of the "correct" lower-end model. No one takes the skis apart to check the construction...

Otoh, "selecting, strategizing, and preparing" skis for the test is, IMO, nothing but professionalism.
post #74 of 91
On the upside it should be easier to get a deal on the B5, Hot Rod or any other model that was well reviewed here but neglected by the Buyers Guide.
post #75 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall
On the upside it should be easier to get a deal on the B5, Hot Rod or any other model that was well reviewed here but neglected by the Buyers Guide.
especially if your buying Fischer skis in Canada; Ski Canada did not review any Fischer skis last year!
post #76 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall
On the upside it should be easier to get a deal on the B5, Hot Rod or any other model that was well reviewed here but neglected by the Buyers Guide.
FWIW, the Hot Rods were featured three times in the Ski buyer's guide (Top Fuel, Nitrous, and Modified).
post #77 of 91

Buyers Guide

Hi Walks:

You are right there were 3 test of Nordies, all Hot Rods.

None seemed to get a great review.

However the Volkl Allstar smoked everything in the test numbers.


Peter Keelty said in his reviews that the Allstars, the Metron B:5 and the Head IM88 were the skis that generated the most positive comments in his testing.

He noted that the Allstar received the greatest number of test cards - Indicating the most retail interest in these skis.

It looks like Volkl (K2) has a winner on their hand in 2005-2006.
post #78 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
especially if your buying Fischer skis in Canada; Ski Canada did not review any Fischer skis last year!
Its too bad but in the past Fisher has declined the request to participate in the Ski Canada test.
post #79 of 91
Fischer chose not to participate this past season although I don't know the reason why. Their skis have done well in Ski Canada's previous yearly reviews. Several manufacturers have declined in the past to participate in Ski Canada's tests including Voelkl and Salomon for whatever reasons. Saloman did participate last season. Not sure about Voelkl.

IMHO, Ski Canada still does the best job of the ski magazines with their tests.
post #80 of 91
I bought SKI Buyers' Guide in the supermarket.

(1) It wasn't quite totally useless. Boot section was interesting.

(2) Very thin.

(3) Really, very thin.

(4) Does ANYONE think that the categories are appropriately inclusive?
post #81 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe
(4) Does ANYONE think that the categories are appropriately inclusive?
Yep.
post #82 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz
You know, I am a big fan of Keelty's and support him, but I will say I have never seen him actually disparage a ski, other than to say its too burly for most skiers.
Blitz:

I don't think you need to be disparaging, but I frequently see comments on RealSkiers like "the xxx skier will probably be happier with ... and then mentions another ski from that same manufacturer." He frequently "suggests" that most people will be happier with the versatility of the second/third model rather than going for the top end (M10/M11 as opposed to B5, for example, a sentiment that I have also heard here).

Also, I have seen lots of comments recommending that the ski is only suitable for the rental fleet and should not be purchased. I don't know that there would be any value in just saying "this ski was a piece of crap."
post #83 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf
Also, I have seen lots of comments recommending that the ski is only suitable for the rental fleet and should not be purchased. I don't know that there would be any value in just saying "this ski was a piece of crap."
Sadly, even most of these skis are better than a lot of the high end gear of even 5 years ago. We have gotten very spoiled with how good the gear is actually getting.
post #84 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Sadly, even most of these skis are better than a lot of the high end gear of even 5 years ago. We have gotten very spoiled with how good the gear is actually getting.
Good point but there are still some skis that are still heads and tails above the low end stuff, enough to make a difference. It's great that we have gotten to this point and the changes still keep coming.
post #85 of 91
Thread Starter 

Powder

I just looked through the powder ski guide, talk about night and day. This mag even has the Bro in it. In the all mountain category the thinnest skis are in the high 70's. In the big mountain some are 130's. What gives with skiing? They did not do a buyers guide for the first issue. I bought it, did any of you see the pics of tanner hall doing the 900 on the gap jump not making it and breaking both ankles?

Alfonse
post #86 of 91
Their reviews come next month. I would love to see a picture of that snot nosed brat writhing in pain!
post #87 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonse
What gives with skiing? They did not do a buyers guide for the first issue.
Same parent company - they don't want to compete with each other. This is an assumption on my part, but I think that's probably part of the reason. IIRC, it's been that way for a couple of years.
post #88 of 91
Thread Starter 
The description of the impact was that it felt like he had 2 sticks of dynamite in his ski boots!!
post #89 of 91
I wish they would quit sending me Skiing. I have never subscribed, but it comes every year regadless. Fortunately, Ski does not send me instant recycling.

On the other hand, Powder continues to get better every year. Their buyers guide is decent - at least they are honest in that they don't "review" the skis, simply list what's available in various categories and what the manufaturers say about them. On the other hand, they don't review "recreational" level gear, race gear or other off-topic equipment.
post #90 of 91

Response from Joe Cutts

You may recall that I forwarded a pointer to this thread to Joe Cutts, SKI's equipment editor. He got back to me today, and was happy to have me post his response:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Cutts
Hi from Vermont, Steve. Very sorry I haven't responded sooner. It's a crazy time of year, with the big early-season issues to crank out, and I've been on the road (Chile ... not so rough). But I did take a spin through the Epic gear threads. Thanks for pointing them out. Some impressions (Feel free to share with the list.)
- Lots of astute observations in there, along with some that had me shaking my head. Blitz, especially, nails it with spooky accuracy (OK, the "hacks" remark was unecessary ...) CheckRacer offers a very interesting Euro perspective that jives with what I've heard about tests over there (and in Canada). Canyons, Troutman and Crocker also make informed observations.
- We're a mainstream mag, and will probably never entirely please as hardcore a group as you guys seem to be (any women? hello?). We do target ourselves toward expert consumers of the sport, if not the super-rad bro/bra AK hucker. Do we ever dumb it down? Well, by yours and my standards, yeah, sometimes we do, but only because people need it and we won't treat them like idiots.
- So everyone knows how it works: We define categories, then ask manufacturers to submit skis accordingly. Usually what they choose makes perfect sense. Only rarely do I suggest they go with something else, but in the end it's their call.
- SKI magazine employs an unbelievably astute team of testers who have honed their craft over successive tests. Because ski testing will never be an exact science (subjectivity, snow conditions, tuning, expense and difficulty of getting large numbers of test impressions on consistent snow ...) we have to be somewhat restrained in what and how much we say, out of fairness. But by and large, people should listen when our testers talk. They're good. They're objective. They're on your side. In fact, I'm still in awe of them after all these years, and amazed by the consensus of opinion that emerges in our debrief sessions. If a ski didn't medal, there's a reason. Which doesn't mean somebody out there won't still love it, of course.
- I promise you we're not in bed with the manufacturers. Start comparing ad pages to medals, if you must. (Start with Lange/Dynastar; Five years ago they bought zero ads, but rcvd 10 out of 12 medals and a cover shot. We're just not that smart.) If you still don't believe me, maybe I could forward some of the phone calls I've received in the weeks since the BG came out. (Hint: nobody ever calls to say, boy you guys are smart; we really think you nailed our skis).
- Overall, this is some of the best feedback I've gotten. Fair or unfair, it's honest, and it's good for me to know what avid skiers like the Bears think.
- If anyone out there is a Filemaker Pro for Mac genius, I'm looking for someone to update our ski-test data software and might be able to make them an offer they can't refuse.

Best to all, and see you on the slopes,
Joe (Corporate Ski Whore and Ski Mag equipment test director)
I'm talking with him some more about the ski-test data software, so if you're an East Coast FileMaker person, drop me a PM or e-mail...
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