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Ski Mag Reviews Omit Metron

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I just recieved the '06 Ski Mag Buyer's Guide featuring the usual crisp pics and some credible comments on a varied assortment of good skis.

However, for my money (or lack thereof), the best ski test available is SkiPressWorld.com. Nobody touches the breadth and depth of their assessment.

However, until SPW's reviews are released, I'm left combing the pages of Ski for an epiphaneous insight on the '06 product offerings. Immersed in my research, I was struck by the lack of ink in Ski Buyer's Guide for Atomic's "Metron" series.

It seems only the big buster "M:EX" and ladies "Balanze 11" made the cut. Other metrons were left to play with themselves.

Bears tend to be a relatively avid and fanatical forum (close to being "real"). Therefore, in view the buzz that the Metron B:5's and B:11's generated on this forum last year, why would they be omitted from Ski's stable of at least modest performers?

Could it be:
a) Ski Mags testers are often ex-racers who may not apprecite turners like the Metrons, or
b) Metron's facility as a "jack-of-all" trades, rather than "master of one" renders it a test category orphan.

What think'est thou?
post #2 of 26
This was discussed a bit in this thread: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=28549

My opinion is two-fold: they are in a new category, and they may not be as well-loved by ex-racers who tend to put them into the "no way!" category... I knew it took skiing on them over the course of a couple of weeks for me to really begin to appreciate their versatility and excellence...
post #3 of 26

Another thought, they don't need the marketing push

The metron skis got so much buzz and acceptance as a great ski last year, maybe Atomic just decided tha they didn't need the marketing push of being in the magazines this year and didn't bring them to the test.

We know that SKI and SKIINg don't test all skis and that the manufacturers pick which skis to bring. I noted that the Head iM 77 wasn't there this year (iM75 was last) and wondered if this was the same thing. Head's marketing focus may be on the XRC cross type skis, so that is what they submitted? Who knows, but it's clearly not "just" about the skis.
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
...

I was struck by the lack of ink in Ski Buyer's Guide for Atomic's "Metron" series.

It seems only the big buster "M:EX" and ladies "Balanze 11" made the cut. Other metrons were left to play with themselves.

We Bears tend to be a relatively avid and fanatical forum (close to being "real"). Therefore, in view the buzz that the Metron B:5's and B:11's generated on this forum last year, why would they be omitted from Ski's stable of at least modest performers?

Could it be:
a) Ski Mags testers are often ex-racers who may not apprecite turners like the Metrons, or
b) Metron's facility as a "jack-of-all" trades, rather than "master of one" renders it a test category orphan.

What think'est thou?
My partner (Andy Chambers) was one of the Ski testers. He is indeed an ex-racer, a former US Team World Cupper, but he certainly likes to turn (which he does a lot quicker and cleaner than just about anybody I know).

I just asked him about the tests and he looked up the test cards he kept from their days of skiing. They did not ski on either the B:5 or the B:11. Atomic didn't submit them in any category, so the testers didn't test them. Simple as that. Your beef is with Atomic, not with Ski or the testers.

Andy was somewhat mystified about the absence of the 5 or 11 because he skied on the 11 all last year and really liked it (better than the 5).

His favorite ski from this year's group was the Volkl Allstar Motion iPT something-or-other. He liked it better than he likes his B:11's.

End of report.
post #5 of 26
Maybe our new buddy from Atomic can chime in here. I as I mentioned in another thread, sometimes these mags are limited to what the manufacturer give them to test.
post #6 of 26
When you guys say B:11 you really mean the M:XI right?

The B:11 is the ladies Balanze ski.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
When you guys say B:11 you really mean the M:XI right?

The B:11 is the ladies Balanze ski.
I was thinking that too.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I just asked him about the tests and he looked up the test cards he kept from their days of skiing. They did not ski on either the B:5 or the B:11. Atomic didn't submit them in any category, so the testers didn't test them. Simple as that. Your beef is with Atomic, not with Ski or the testers.

Andy was somewhat mystified about the absence of the 5 or 11 because he skied on the 11 all last year and really liked it (better than the 5).
Bob: Thanks for the feedback. Your reply clarifies all. It appears that Atomic wants to spread the buzz on their product line. Therefore, they select which products they'd like to have illuminated in each magazine in order to focus attention on each product.

If they lump the whole line in one magazine, they run the risk of products within the Atomic line competing against each other for points and reviewer praise. By spreading the line among publications, all their products receive attention without competing against each other.

In my business (high-end audio), we're forced to do the same thing - select the right review venue for each product depending upon the market segment you wish to target (specialty audio, home theater, custom install).

Makes sense!
post #9 of 26
I'm pretty sure that would be an Atomic US decision as I'm sure Atomic Canada sent a full fleet for the ski Canada test.

I wonder too if it had something to do with category set up. Maybe each manufacturer was only allowed one ski per category and with only one or two categories that fit their ski and market they got shut out with other models which admittedly are of a very similar category.

Of course my other cynical thought was how many advertising dollars did Atomic spend in the magazine last season or going into this season. Not that the testing itself would be swayed but perhaps the number of skis allowed in the test could be.
post #10 of 26
Atomic is probably trying to push the Izor line more this year.

Personally I don't really like the ski although it grips really well on ice. I like the Metron B5 better.

It's hard to tell while demoing them because the Atomic demo bindings weight a ton.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
Atomic is probably trying to push the Izor line more this year.

Personally I don't really like the ski although it grips really well on ice. I like the Metron B5 better.

It's hard to tell while demoing them because the Atomic demo bindings weight a ton.
That's a good point. They may want to focus the hype and chatter on the new line. I haven't skied on the IZOR yet but have heard lots of great feedback from a surprising array of skiers. Both in terms of size and style of skier as well as ability level. Also great feedback in terms of price point from the purchasers.
post #12 of 26
The Izor 9:7 has so much torisional rigidity that I can see people getting into speed control issues on narrow ungroomed trails when they try to skid it and the thing rails instead.

The ski rips but tires me out way faster then the B5 which is surprising.

All the store people I spoke to love it but I wasn't crazy about it. The lower ones might be better suited for my style of skiing.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
When you guys say B:11 you really mean the M:XI right?

The B:11 is the ladies Balanze ski.
My omission.

It was the Metron M:XI that my friend skied on last season.

It's been years since I could figure out the Atomic model names. I guess I haven't had enough interest in the brand to bother deciphering the models.

Apologies.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
The Izor 9:7 has so much torisional rigidity that I can see people getting into speed control issues on narrow ungroomed trails when they try to skid it and the thing rails instead.

The ski rips but tires me out way faster then the B5 which is surprising.

All the store people I spoke to love it but I wasn't crazy about it. The lower ones might be better suited for my style of skiing.
I'm anxious to try the IZOR. My buddy decided not to carry the 9.7, and went with the 7.5.

Anybody here ski both of these?
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic_918
I'm anxious to try the IZOR. My buddy decided not to carry the 9.7, and went with the 7.5.

Anybody here ski both of these?
Why isn't he carrying the 9:7?
post #16 of 26
I've skied neither but the 7:5 will be more forgiving and therefore more versatile for a lighter or less aggresive/lower ability skier allowing more of the skidding Scalce mentions. Flip side is it may underperform for a heavy aggressive or more accomplished skier.

They all offer great value and versatility for the dollar but I think the 9:7 in particular stands out as a great ski for a low price.
post #17 of 26

Re: ski press world tests

We had the same issue @ the ski press world tests. some companies failed to enter any skis. The last one I participated in (My 15 seconds of fame link) Soloman failed to even show up, the guys from Line were great but needed help (from Rossi) to set the bindings & the Elans were deadly slow on the snow w/ poor wax.

http://www.skipressworld.com/us/en/m...ol03no0227.htm

SPW does attempt to do something few others do, the assemble several dozen testers & actually attempt to make decisions via statistical regression analysis. This is very differnt from some of other the magazines. My favorite flaw from the SKI review is "who likes this ski".... many are sponsored by those brands (& may like the ski b/c of the sponsorship or b/c they are used to the general feel of that brand).
post #18 of 26
Atomic had 5 of their top skis in the mag, it's probably hard to categorize the MB5, it would probably be in the all mtn expert group, but that's where the SX B5 was.
Realskiers said the MB5, Allstar and Head 88 got the best reviews from their testers, so sounds like there's some consistency with the comments here at least on the first 2.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I guess I haven't had enough interest in the brand to bother deciphering the models.
Bob, I really would like to keep up with all skis from all companies, but it becomes impossible with the compound-confounding names they give skis these days. So, like yourself, I concentrate on knowing two-three lines thoroughly and pretty much ignore the rest.

Manufacturers take note...a name like "Red Arrow" is much more memorable than something like "XR23 Comp Plate2 Rail Flashinthepan Lite Alpha7 with Coso LatMovement". :
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I just asked him about the tests and he looked up the test cards he kept from their days of skiing. They did not ski on either the B:5 or the B:11. Atomic didn't submit them in any category, so the testers didn't test them. Simple as that. Your beef is with Atomic, not with Ski or the testers.


End of report.
This is exactly what Head corporate told me, they choose what to send. THe problem is that Ski and Skiing hold their tests out to be the "end all of tests" and it's not. It's a platform for manufacturers to get press on what they want to pump.
post #21 of 26
Why would a ski company not submit a ski? I can see not submitting a "dog", but why even manufacture a dog? I would think that most publicity is good publicity and their own people should be able to tell if the ski is unsaleable.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog
It's a platform for manufacturers to get press on what they want to pump.
Or, as the boss of the biggest European ski test once said, the test is a "speaking trumpet" for the companies.
(I hope it´s the word - megaphone is its synonym)

NE1:
The most striking realistic example:
Nordica Dobermann PRO GS XBS ALU, PRO SL XBS ALU, PRO RC XBS ALU, PRO SC XBS ALU, PRO SRC XBS (they are 5 different skis!)
Care to decipher?

As to submitting skis, I mentioned in some other thread that if there is only one ski/category/company - which is often technically necessary in a week test - and you have 3 or 4 similar skis you have to make a choice. You mostly take the "highest" model but not always. The most expensive top model of those 3 or 4 often is a ski for experts and it won´t be a bestseller. You want to push ski Nr. 2 or even 3 as the one which will attract the masses and make the sales and profits.
post #23 of 26

Canadian Ski Mag Testing Methods

Originally posted by iriponsnow:[quote]SPW does attempt to do something few others do, the assemble several dozen testers & actually attempt to make decisions via statistical regression analysis. This is very differnt from some of other the magazines. My favorite flaw from the SKI review is "who likes this ski".... many are sponsored by those brands (& may like the ski b/c of the sponsorship or b/c they are used to the general feel of that brand).[/QUOTE] One of the Canadian magazines I read last season actually taped over the top sheet of the test skis so testers didn't know what brand they were on.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashski
Originally posted by iriponsnow:
Quote:
SPW does attempt to do something few others do, the assemble several dozen testers & actually attempt to make decisions via statistical regression analysis. This is very differnt from some of other the magazines. My favorite flaw from the SKI review is "who likes this ski".... many are sponsored by those brands (& may like the ski b/c of the sponsorship or b/c they are used to the general feel of that brand).
One of the Canadian magazines I read last season actually taped over the top sheet of the test skis so testers didn't know what brand they were on.
Most people will know what skis they are on ragardless of white tape being put on the topsheet.

It's pretty easy to determine a manufacturer with a conmbination of construction, shape, and on snow feel. Most skis have a logo on the base anyway.

You can't hide a Metron B5 with tape.
post #25 of 26
Camouflaging the topsheets by a tape was standard in most tests till the mid-90s. It was accompanied by identical bindings for all skis. As we know the skis of the pre-shaped era were also almost identical in dimensions, everything flat, so that the only thing revealing the ski´s identity was the base.

Nevertheless, Salomon introducing the cap skis and coming with the Prolink arms (those external dampeners appeared later on other skis as well, e.g. Head and Kastle) was one of the first blows. Shaped skis were so much different in dimensions and shapes that the disguise became irrelevant. Further, the first pre-drilled plates appeared and the company bindings (e.g. Atomic). Companies like Atomic or Rossignol required their own bindings and refused to accept the uniform one (a Look/Rossi pivot or a fullflex Atomic don´t work the same as a two-piece step-in Marker which used to be a popular uniform "independent" binding).

As Scalce writes, the combination of various brand- and skispecific features makes masking skis redundant. Most tests I know don´t use it anymore, although there are a few exceptions.
The reason is to eliminate the influence of graphics from the testers´evaluation process (a ski I like gets subconscioussly better grades than a ski I find ugly).
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
The most striking realistic example:
Nordica Dobermann PRO GS XBS ALU, PRO SL XBS ALU, PRO RC XBS ALU, PRO SC XBS ALU, PRO SRC XBS (they are 5 different skis!)
Exactly! How the heck does Nordica expect that even knowledgable and dedicated followers of ski evolution are going to remember what is what?

I have a lot of people ask me for ski advice. Unfortunately, I can provide expert advice on only a couple of ski lines as a result of the gobbledegook names.

Now that I think about it, that must be a major problem for shop employees (or at least those who care).
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