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Keelty's ski reviews.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I just broke down and subscribed to the real skiers reviews (peter keelty's?). I have to tell you that I've already gotten my money's worth. I am currently enjoying just the reviews. If you are considering buying new skis, you should check them out; the reviews I've seen so far jive pretty well with what I've experienced on the hill. While not every single ski has been tested, many have.
post #2 of 27
I have managed to save hundreds, no thousands, of dollars on gear by using Real Skiers data. How? I no longer follow the ski mags and retail sales advice and overpay. When you need to buy for a family of four skiers, the dollars can add up fast.

I can provide a recent purchase as a case. I saw a 3 year old, new, never-drilled pair of Fischer Worldcup RC for $200. The data on Real Skiers indicated that the ski is the same as the current model, except graphics. Did I buy, you bet.

The cost of the membership was returned five times, on that purchase alone.

Cheers,

Barrettscv
post #3 of 27
It's a great tool...if you find a deal, you can reference a ski's performance in seconds....and get the deal! Keelty's site saved me a lot of chatter here.
post #4 of 27
Yeah the data on realskiers is good, but let's not forget that epic is the best and it is free

I hope Bud Heishman's idea will become reality. If this happens, it will be the most objective ski and boot and binding test. And it will be free. I asked him and i've got the proof on the thread.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
........ you should check them out; the reviews I've seen so far jive pretty well with what I've experienced on the hill. ......
Ghost:

You hit on one of the key features of relying upon those reveiws. You have to understand where your skiing style/preferences fall compared to theirs. If their review of skis matches skis you have used, then I think you can have a greater reliance on thier assessments. In general, they tend to favor skis with lots of versatility in terms of skier skill and terrain suitability and target their assessment at the Sport skier, not the patroller or instructor or other pro's.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf
Ghost:

You hit on one of the key features of relying upon those reveiws. You have to understand where your skiing style/preferences fall compared to theirs. If their review of skis matches skis you have used, then I think you can have a greater reliance on thier assessments. In general, they tend to favor skis with lots of versatility in terms of skier skill and terrain suitability and target their assessment at the Sport skier, not the patroller or instructor or other pro's.
Although it is a good point about determining whether the reviews tend to match your experience, your last part "they tend to favor..." is inaccurate.
Who is the "they"? There is not a small panel of reviewers, or ones that have a certain aggenda for how they will rate skis. The way the service works is that Peter Keelty, the editor/compiler, bases his unbiased conclusions on the basis of hundreds of reports from a wide range of skiers across the nation without filtering them through his personal (or a group of personal) opinions.
He does however use a large percentage of non-professional skiers (like ski shop employees etc.), thus the name REALskiers. But, theoretically, this should not produce reviews which distort the accurate desription of a particular model. It will just reflect a wider spectrum of liked choices, and may define larger percentages shying away from skis which a smaller percentage may still prefer, for example.
A high performance race model may be touted as: "non-forgiving, needs a lot of energy, most will probably prefer the next model down, etc.". This is accurate, you just need to know whether you are the one to specifically benefit from what "most" may not prefer, or not.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Gandalf,
I supose a patroller would have to read between the lines to discern the info he needs. It is aimed at the sport/recreation skier and highlights the information needed by someone like me; that's part of it, but not all. Having reviews from last year and giving the "straight" goods is what I like.

Some highlights:
1) Speed limits.
I, about a year ago, knowing nothing much about skis, nor exactly how I fit in to the scheme of things level-wise, modern technique, the short-shape revolution or anything else (I think I've learned something from this forum; as soon as my wife recovers from my subscribing to realskiers.com I' fork over a membership) go to rent skis for my daughter. I don't know what to say about her ability, but she seems to ski all-right on the blues to me, she's nowhere as adept as I am and I'm (being a humble CANADIAN member of this forum )nowhere near an expert. For me it's easy I rent RX8 'cause SSH said I should try 'em. Besides I've been blasting everything in sight with SG racing skis for umpteen years; I can handle whatever you throw at me. For her I know she is going to ski at a fairly good clip compared to other people, but not what I would call fast; I still have to wait for her and I'm not even trying to go fast. I've heard that Head make some pretty good-performing skis and she is a woman, so I get these head lightning things. The shop seems to think they are appropriate for an intermediate as described above. She has difficulty, and decides "more advanced" skis are not for her. I see her struggling with rentals and suggest she try something like a Rossi 9S oversize or Equipe (which I find perform ok and are very very forgiving imho). She doesn't want to try an Oversize 9S; the Head Lightning was scary enough. I assume that maybe she had too much ski; what do I know :. I Look at the review on Keelty's sight, and see a warning about the low speed limit on the demo ski she tried out. BINGO. Why didn't Ski Canada, Ski, or any other mag tell me these would wash out and rattle like a set of castonets on crack at 25 mph? I remember being told the old chicken hart dynastar comp slaloms were stable because of the damper thingy, I took a pair up to SG speeds one day, just to see if it was true. Since I knew what I was doing, I can only imagine how my daughter felt on a steep (for her) black with those abortions on her feet: .

This year the ratings include a "works best at" speed range. I demo SX10 and find it has a speed limit above which it does not operate effectively, a lower effective limit than an Equipe SC or SX11. Someone else posts that is not the case. I figure "bad tune" or trashed demo, and demo it again. Same results:. Not surprising if one can count; 11 is more than 10. Keelty seems to agree that the 10 has more than the 11. I think the limit is higher, but at least he shows the difference.

3) Choosing skis
I recently go into a ski store and ask what ski for my daughter, for hard snow and ice, skis faster than the majority of skiers on the hill, carves most turns, but when the going gets hairy (blacks) she has diffuculty, won't even attempt double blacks, even on supposedly more stable longer rentals, but really for some reason liked Balanze 11. I do not buy skis; suggestions do not match up with what Keelty's reviews say about the skis; they do not have the same performance characteristics as a BALANZE 11. A burning Love was not suggested, but would have been more suitable, as would a Head I Monster 72, or possibly a Wild Thang (If I can ever get her on a pair of Heads again). By comparing what he says about skis I know I understand what he is saying about the other skis.


2) Levels.
Keelty's reviews follow approximately the levels used in ski schools, and the appropriate symbol is placed beside each ski. Magazines and manufactures tend to overrate their skis skill requirements. Keelty even has a few symbols to take into account the people who are very proficient in "old-style" technique. I don't know if I totally agree with the number of skiing days/years it takes to reach a certain level, and I didn't follow the normal path in developing my skills, but I can understand what he means when he describes the ski.

The reviews of the rentals she has been on explain a lot, she will be skiing on Balanze 11s, Burning Loves, or some other similar ski.

Any good reviewer, doesn't tell you what he liked and didn't like, he tells you why. If he liked it because it worked so well in deep pow even though it was maybe not so good on hard ice, I know that it is not the best ski for Ontario. He doesn't just pick them he tells you a lot of information about the ski that you can use to make help up your own mind.
post #8 of 27
Agree that Keelty's site is great, largely because his sampling technique gets away from a couple of skiers having exagerated impact on one ski's ratings. Also agree his symbols are especially useful to deduce a ski's limitations, which can be more informative than its strengths. Disagree that he biases toward "sport" skis. You just have to take his numbers at face value: You may be good enough to worship a ski he says "is not for everyone" and gets "2's" for "forgiveness." But most skiers won't be.

You also have to accept the fact that his outcomes can run oddly counter to popular wisdom. Unlike every other review source, for example, he doesn't go nuts over Fischer RX9's - and has only moderate numbers for RX8's - while he rates Elans higher than most places. And the guy loooves Heads. So you have to flag certain tendencies like these when you're weighing skis. I'd assume the "real" RX9 performance is somewhere between his "most skiers will prefer the RX8" and the adoration of the other sites. Not sure where RS's "tendencies" come from, in fact, since Keelty uses so many testers. Have a hunch it's because his sample is weighted toward experienced ski shop types that prefer certain characteristics.

Still, I like his approach more than any other review source, and the transparency is refreshing. Incidentally, I kinda like Ski Canada. They give a lot more details, like top 3 skis for each reviewer, than the glib one-run wonders at Ski or Skiing...
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sywsyw
Yeah the data on realskiers is good, but let's not forget that epic is the best and it is free

I hope Bud Heishman's idea will become reality. If this happens, it will be the most objective ski and boot and binding test. And it will be free. I asked him and i've got the proof on the thread.
I agree on Keelty's site. Especially since he tends to agree with me!

I also hope that the site that Bud and I have been discussing becomes a reality, not the least because it's likely to allow me to be part of making it into what it should be.

...and all of you will be part of that, as well! More news on that as it breaks...
post #10 of 27
The best feature of Keelty's service is that it's one on one--Peter answers any question about any ski put to him by a full member in full detail. The Thumbnail reviews help narrow down three to four types of skis, but then you can follow up directly with Peter to get the detailed lowdown on any given ski. In this capacity his site can be a great way to figure out if a given ski is a quality 'patroller' or 'instructor' tool.

The only downside (for some) to peter's service is that, by default, it's decidedly western (as opposed to Eastern)--something to keep in mind -for instance, when a ski is said to by capable of bumps...he means the big soft, round kind, not the icy, narrow shark teeth kind. The caveat here is that, again, the one on one email service can help clear up regional terrain suitability-and, the fact that Mr. Keelty cut his teeth in the skiing business at Stowe in the glory days --so he feels our pain!

All in all-it's the best dedicated ski tech/info service available.

Liam
post #11 of 27
I have just subscribed to Peter's website and i'd just like to say it is definately worth it already-fantastic value...

However, i have just tried to get into the member's question section but it just says error on page when i press the "ask question" button-can anyone tell me why this is?

Cheers,
Chris
post #12 of 27

Two levels of membership

There are two levels of membership. Lower level enables access to ski reviews and articles, full membership provides access to the question and answer option. I think the basic membership is $19, the upgrade to full membership is on the RealSkiers site and is another $15. Strange that I didn't see anything on the main page that allowed a single transaction to join at full membership. If you did join as full member, then maybe it takes a day or two before Peter gets his access files updated?



Note the Optional phrase in the following description:
Personal Consulting: top pros, including PMTS™ founder Harald Harb, Inside Tracks Tech Editor and gear "guru" Peter Keelty and World Freestyle Champion-turned-all-mountain-coach John Clendenin, answer your equipment and technique questions 1-on-1 (optional). Our coaches will help you find the best equipment for your skiing style, physical build, skill level, preferred terrain/conditions and budget.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf
There are two levels of membership. Lower level enables access to ski reviews and articles, full membership provides access to the question and answer option. I think the basic membership is $19, the upgrade to full membership is on the RealSkiers site and is another $15. Strange that I didn't see anything on the main page that allowed a single transaction to join at full membership. If you did join as full member, then maybe it takes a day or two before Peter gets his access files updated?



Note the Optional phrase in the following description:
Personal Consulting: top pros, including PMTS™ founder Harald Harb, Inside Tracks Tech Editor and gear "guru" Peter Keelty and World Freestyle Champion-turned-all-mountain-coach John Clendenin, answer your equipment and technique questions 1-on-1 (optional). Our coaches will help you find the best equipment for your skiing style, physical build, skill level, preferred terrain/conditions and budget.
I felt a little insulted at first when I discovered after paying my dues that I was a second-class citizen , and not entitled to having my questions answered, but I suppose if you want a payed consultant to answer any and all ski questions you might have $34./year is pretty cheap: , and if you don't need advice, it's nice to have the option of just going with reviews and articles and throwing that $15 towards another demo . Consulting is free on epicski .
post #14 of 27
I have just updated to full membership, but it still says "done, but with error on page" at the bottom of the page when i open the member's questions icon-has anyone else experienced this-if so, why?

Cheers
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_5000
I have just updated to full membership, but it still says "done, but with error on page" at the bottom of the page when i open the member's questions icon-has anyone else experienced this-if so, why?

Cheers
I upgraded from subscriber to member last month without a hitch. Give Peter a little time to process the order. He will send you an email to acknowledge the upgrade.

Barrettscv
post #16 of 27
Cheers barrettscv-will he send me a new password-i assume that's what the problem is-look forward to making use of the site...
post #17 of 27
Helluvaskier, ssh, dawgcatching and others here post the best reviews I've seen. www.footloosesports and www.gords.com are two ski shops that also have very good reviews. I'm looking forward to what Bud Heishman and ssh come up with. I think they are planning on including more technical data in their reviews than is currently available.

Couple of caveats on the "demo, demo, demo" mantra:
A lot of the demo experience is dependant on how well the ski happens to be tuned when you get it.

I believe it was Pierre who recently made the interesting point in another thread that when demoing there is a real tendency to gravitate towards the ski that simply best accommodates existing bad habits. I'll tryu to dig up the thread and verify the author but it is an interesting view.
post #18 of 27
I buy gear too often, his pages do not "refresh" in time for my next purchase.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy
A lot of the demo experience is dependant on how well the ski happens to be tuned when you get it.
Too true . The worst ski I ever tried was an Elan Fusion SLX. The marker prerelesed as I tried to skate toward the lift. The skis had absolutely the worse edge grip of any ski I've ever been on with metal edges. I knew it had to be tune, and turned it in for an other ski, which worked much better.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf
Ghost:
In general, they tend to favor skis with lots of versatility in terms of skier skill and terrain suitability and target their assessment at the Sport skier, not the patroller or instructor or other pro's.
disagree, but this isn't the first time someone tried to have a cock-swinging contest over a ski review.

we bow in obeisance to gandalf's staff.
post #21 of 27

Wow

Sounds like I just got served. Sorry to offend you, gonzo. I can understand the "I disagree" part. I didn't really comprehend the purpose of the rest of the post.

I was just offering the opinion that it appeared to me that most of the skis with the yellow background (?highly recommended?) usually had three or more different skier suitability icons.

My reverence for patrollers and instructors leads me to assume that they primarily focus on skis with the black (highest level) icons.

FWIW, I wasn't intending to denigrate the RealSkiers site. I have been a member since about the 4th month and continue to believe it is very worthwhile and cost effective, and am quite honestly amazed that Peter is able to do the quality job he does compared to the ski reviews the magazines provide.
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf
Sounds like I just got served. Sorry to offend you, gonzo. I can understand the "I disagree" part. I didn't really comprehend the purpose of the rest of the post.

I was just offering the opinion that it appeared to me that most of the skis with the yellow background (?highly recommended?) usually had three or more different skier suitability icons.

My reverence for patrollers and instructors leads me to assume that they primarily focus on skis with the black (highest level) icons.

FWIW, I wasn't intending to denigrate the RealSkiers site. I have been a member since about the 4th month and continue to believe it is very worthwhile and cost effective, and am quite honestly amazed that Peter is able to do the quality job he does compared to the ski reviews the magazines provide.
I see what you mean now Gandalf. When I said the reviews were good, I wasn't even thinking about the yellow stars. When you said they weren't suited to pros, you meant the star reccomendtions, not the reviews. That's what I like about the reviews. They have the symbols, so you can make your own reccomendations once you clue into how they rate skis you like. For example if you tend to like skis that have the black skier and find wanting the skis that only go up to the blue icon, then you know you probably wouldn't like a ski that doesn't have the black skier icon.
post #23 of 27
Peter's definitions...
Quote:
Pro: Name is a bit limiting, although professional skiers make up a large percentage of this group. Includes: top level club, NCAA, development team and World Cup athletes, many coaches, some instructors, some patrollers, many professional freeriders, most ski film stars, most professional ski testers, many industry members. The best skiers on the hill. They advance the sport and change how we ski. a.k.a. World Class Skiers. Most ski 100+ days, many ski full time.
Quote:
Expert: Former pro-level skiers who currently ski considerably fewer days per season than working pros. Includes ex-NCAA athletes, former coaches and instructors, other racers and athletes, many coaches, many instructors, some patrollers, some professional freeriders, most junior and development athletes, many ski testers, many industry members, a few committed recreational skiers for whom coaching, instruction and camps are major skiing motivations.



It helps to keep that in mind when looking at the reviews. A blue icon is still a very good skier.


Most of the recommendations that do not include the black levels are noted for improving skiers. Many of the race skis only have black icons but are still recommended.
The Dynastar SUV 12.1 is recommended but only has the green icon.


Just because it has a yellow box doesn't mean it is recommended to everybody. It means its a stand out in its class of skis.
post #24 of 27
Unless I'm wrong, the reviews come from a number of different folks around the country, including shop guys and pros. So the commentary should help with some of this, too. See http://www.ts2003.com/members/03skis/_Aread_first.htm
post #25 of 27
I've just succumbed and stumped up my 19.95, but could someone who is more au fait with these reviews tell me what he means by "front side bias"? Ta!eng
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by eng_ch
I've just succumbed and stumped up my 19.95, but could someone who is more au fait with these reviews tell me what he means by "front side bias"? Ta!eng
I've taken that to mean "on-piste" or groomed.
post #27 of 27
That's roughly correct except 'front side skiing' very much includes moguls.
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