New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

skiing buyer's guide - Page 2

post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by troutman View Post
Good point, but I would offer this:

1) the buyer's guide is pretty indicative of what will happen for the rest of the year. If you were a ski manufacturer, why would you skip the buyer's guide?, If you had the ad $ for an up-front spread, why would you save it for later in the year? The mags will tell you that the buyer's guides and resort guides easily see more eyeballs than all of the other issues combined.

2) Many ads are yet to be purchased. How can the mags rig the results if they don't know who's going to buck up the $?

Speaking of ads, it's pretty interesting to see where the manufacturers have put their money. If you compare the first issues of Powder and Skiing, it's pretty clear that the industry is moving toward Powder.
I doubt that the tests are "rigged" so much as edited. You don't want to say too much negative about an advertiser's product. "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything." One of the magazines had funny tester quotes on some of the dogs of the tests, but they never identified the skis.

More important, how many ringers make it into the test? Many manufacturers (and this has been talked about in articles in the ski mags) will enter hand built product that is not representative of production skis. That will certainly skew the results. LewBob
post #32 of 56

re: magazine tests

-when i worked for a different ski company sometime around September we would get rolls of stickers with different magazines logos that said "best in test" "gold medal winnner" etc. that we or our tech reps would then go around to retailers and stick on whatever skis had suppoesedly done well in the tests, the rolls were HUGE and in my territory i probably got more stickers than all the skis available for sale in the region. Keep in mind that i was only representing one of the gear makers and all the other manufacturers reps got the same rolls...some retailers even kept extra stickers to put on slow moving skis...i used the extra stickers for sighting in rifles at 200 yards and just recently ran out...
-in the great white north the national magazine claims to have run ski tests longer than any other publication, but having participated a couple of times the tests are a joke:
-the testers may or may not have been on snow during the winter, seriously, i had at least two say to me"right around the intro of shaped skis "i hope i remember how to do this i've been in the office all winter..."
-the testers may or may not have been drunk or hungover during testing....
-as testing is done in April the conditions may or may not have reflected the best ski for skiing 12-14 inches of fresh slush and thats about it....
post #33 of 56
At least Ski Canada is open about their methodology, and even lets you know who the testers are, they're personal information (height, weight, age, skiing style, etc.) and give each of their 3 top picks for each category. It certainly isn't perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than most other mags.

For instance Freeskier gave the Supermojo their only 10/10 last year, which I'm sure had more people than me salivating at that ski. Not until I did more research did I learn that the ski is in fact as stiff as a 2x4, and only really appropriate for the 1% of the skiing population that rips open chutes at 50mph +, as the pro skiers were probably doing in their testing. That's just bad info to give to the avg. consumer, without more information on the testers and methodology.

Waxman, when did you participate in the tests? From the people I knew involved the alst year or two it sounds like a pretty good system...
post #34 of 56
I always liked looking at the pictures, I'm like "Ooh, that one looks cool, I want that one."
post #35 of 56
Since I have not bought a new this season ski in about 10 years I need a mag that will review the best skis from last season. My feet and the snow don't havea clue that I'm not on the t pick fo this season. Last year skis at 1/2 price work just fine. It is kind of un to look at all the new pretty colors but I'm happy to shop the bargin rack.
Now back to rants on how bad the reviews are
post #36 of 56
up til last year, meaning i did not participate last year...
post #37 of 56
The unfortunate thing is that anyone buying a top rated ski off a magazine review probably has no business skiing on it. Ski shops are fortunate for this fact I guess, because any intermediate skier really looking for value would be buying a pair of lightly used or last years model skis off Ebay.
post #38 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiNut View Post
Rather than the manufacturers buying the results, I was wondering when the manufactures find out if they are "in" or "out" and whether or not they use this clout to influence what the ski shops are ordering? I've seen the skis with stickers on them annoucing that the ski received a best buy rating.
You're close, but it's actually the other way around. Almost all of the ordering is done by the end of March, before the mag testing takes place.

What has started to happen in the last few years is this: The shops ask the manufacturers what 3-4 models they are most confident will do well in the magazines, and then demand the right to return or exchange the product should the ski not win.

Waxman's right about the stickers. Once the results are public, reps travel all over stickering their product with "Gold Medal" stickers. This happens on the shops.
post #39 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewBob View Post
I doubt that the tests are "rigged" so much as edited. You don't want to say too much negative about an advertiser's product. "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything." One of the magazines had funny tester quotes on some of the dogs of the tests, but they never identified the skis.

More important, how many ringers make it into the test? Many manufacturers (and this has been talked about in articles in the ski mags) will enter hand built product that is not representative of production skis. That will certainly skew the results. LewBob
Yes, they are generously edited, but this is far different than the usual accusation that ad $$ = gold medals.

At least this year, Skiing actually includes the number of skis tested in each category. Most people are unaware that 20-25 models are tested in each category - they think that if their favorite model wasn't among the 8 Gold Medal skis, it wasn't included in the test. This usually isn't the case - it probably was tested and did not do very well.

Regarding the "ringer" skis, there was a rumor going around the test a few years ago that the Nordicas and Elans (same factory) were "enhanced," but this was never proven and the results certainly didn't show it.

I've said this before, and I will say it again. Other than the skis themselves, the biggest x-factor in the tests is tuning preparation. It is absolutely amazing how many manufacturers cannot tune their own product to it's peak performance. Some companies simply don't care - they just ship the skis to the test and hope for the best. Most companies send at least the local rep to keep an eye on things. Only a few do it right and actually try to tune the skis to the conditions and maintain that consistency throughout the test.

And personally, I don't think that is unfair.
post #40 of 56
I remember when mags had reviews/blurbs of all the skis in the line. People were able to move up and down the prodcut like to see what the gained or lost with each variation.
post #41 of 56
But when I look at the skis that have received the best buy/gold star award, its hard to disagree with the results (below). On the men's side, its Volkl, K2, Atomic and Dynastar. I don't think you could go wrong buying any of these skis. I think it would be hard to argue that the Volkl Allstar or Atomic SL12 are not top notch skis.


Volkl AC4 (1 ski quiver, expert)
Volkl Gotama (big MT expert)
K2 Spatula (powder specialty)
Volkl Allstar (frontside expert)
Volkl AC2 (1 ski quiver, advanced)
Dynastar Contact 9 (frontside advanced)
Volkl Racetiger GS Race Stock (GS Race)
Atomic SL:12 (SL Race)
Nordica Olympia Victory (Women's 1 ski quiver)
Nordica Olympia Conquer (Women's big MT expert)
K2 Burnin' Luv (Women's frontside expert)
Fischer Vision 73 (Women's 1 ski quiver, advanced)
Volkl Attiva S4 (Women's frontside advanced)

What is interesting is the absence of Rossi (what happended to the Bandit line?) and Salomon from the list. If it was really about $, then where is the new Rossi Mutex?

I like the approach that SkiCanada Mag has. But out a buyers guide that highlights what is new and lists each companies offerings in a series of detailed charts that give info on ski dimensions, radius, price, etc., and do a seperate ski test based on what the manufacuters bring to the event. Last year Dynastar and Volkl were in the buyers guide but D-star and Volkl did not take part in the ski tests.

But hey, I'm still checking the mailbox for my copy of the buyers guide to arrive.
post #42 of 56
Yes, these are all good skis, actually how many ski produced today are "bad" skis? The issue is that these are not the the only skis that you will see raved about here, by real skiers (as in genuine) who actually ski them under real world conditions. When I when I called Head, they told me they have control over which skis are submitted for the test and for which category. This ties back into more marketing than substance. There are just more skis that perform better than what shows up in the reviews. A true review would incorporate independent testing of skis outside of the control and influence of the manufacturers. (see realskiers.com)
post #43 of 56
the only way for independant testing would be the Consumer Reports method of buying each item they test
They can buy any model they wish to review and are not influenced by the manufacturer.
They might get better deals on their purchases through their relationships but the reviews can be done more effectively and honestly give us good, fair and reliable information to help us make good purchases
It sounds expensive for ski mags but they could resell them ,get them at wholesale rates and most likey recoup most of their investments .
I bet employees would be lining up for the very slightly used and mounted skis and boots.
post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl View Post
The unfortunate thing is that anyone buying a top rated ski off a magazine review probably has no business skiing on it. Ski shops are fortunate for this fact I guess, because any intermediate skier really looking for value would be buying a pair of lightly used or last years model skis off Ebay.
I think there are too many skis for someone to find the best one for them without the aid of some sort of guide. I used the guides to select which skis to demo. Sometimes you have to read between the lines, but if you do a careful read of all the guides you can generally select a few top models that have the characteristics your looking for. I just wish they would be more specific, ie. rate them on a 1-10 scale on different aspects AND LET US KNOW WHAT RATING THEY GOT. I guess that would ruffle too many feathers.
post #45 of 56
troutman, mentions "ringers", how about having one of your world cup technicians tune the skis, i personally have seen 3 companies do this(didn't matter to me if the money was better i would have been one) but what do you think the skis with the factory tune/wax skied like compared to those....although i always enjoy "level 4 expert skiers" coming back and telling the manufacturers rep that the skis are "railed"....nope, loser they are sharp....
post #46 of 56
The best tune I ever skied was straight from the Kastle factory after pealing off the sticky wrapper from the bases on my SGs.
post #47 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49 View Post
Since I have not bought a new this season ski in about 10 years I need a mag that will review the best skis from last season. My feet and the snow don't havea clue that I'm not on the t pick fo this season. Last year skis at 1/2 price work just fine. It is kind of un to look at all the new pretty colors but I'm happy to shop the bargin rack.
Now back to rants on how bad the reviews are
Dude you're on the interweb....you could just do some research online...

...actually the info the web can be scattered and overwhelming....perhaps someone here should put up a few sticky threads, each with all the skis available in a given categories (carver, mid-fat, fat, twin tips, whatever - you get the picture), with the dimensions, avail lengths, 1st year of current design and a small blurb on it's stiffness/performance level....

...then we can all discuss these skis and confuse people again
post #48 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman View Post
troutman, mentions "ringers", how about having one of your world cup technicians tune the skis, i personally have seen 3 companies do this(didn't matter to me if the money was better i would have been one) but what do you think the skis with the factory tune/wax skied like compared to those....although i always enjoy "level 4 expert skiers" coming back and telling the manufacturers rep that the skis are "railed"....nope, loser they are sharp....
Actually, LewBob mentioned the ringers, I was just contributing what I knew of the subject.

Regarding WC techs tuning for the mag tests, it can work both ways. I've seen the very same techs you're talking about put a WC SL hone on a women's midfat tested on a somewhat sloppy day....oops. Doesn't take a genius to figure out why that one didn't get a gold medal.

I don't have a problem with the manufacturers tuning their skis as they see fit, as long as the skis are the same skis that are available to the public. After all, most of us here are performance skiers that tune our skis as we see fit, right? If a company isn't interested in tuning skis (or even maintaining any consistent tune) for such an important event - every bit as important as the Olympics in terms of selling skis - they deserve to lose.
post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-EastCoaster View Post
Dude you're on the interweb....you could just do some research online...

...actually the info the web can be scattered and overwhelming....perhaps someone here should put up a few sticky threads, each with all the skis available in a given categories (carver, mid-fat, fat, twin tips, whatever - you get the picture), with the dimensions, avail lengths, 1st year of current design and a small blurb on it's stiffness/performance level....

...then we can all discuss these skis and confuse people again
Something along the lines of what you're thinking of is a sticky on TGR.
post #50 of 56
I havn't gotten my SKI or SKIING yet. I have been a subscriber to SKI for years and I still have 2 issues left and havn't gotten them yet. I just subscribed to SKIING a week ago for the first time. I real excited about both of them, it's just I'm getting them late. Has everyone else gotten there's?
post #51 of 56
what i don't get is why review guides don't mention stiffness too often. a stiffness scale would definitely help people out along with an explanation of how to choose ski stiffness, etc.
post #52 of 56
X eastcoaster, Dude ya mean I can get info on ski gear on line? Thought this thing was only good for dirty pics and epic ski. I mean like wow this opens a whole new world to me
post #53 of 56
I'm not as good a skier as many here, but good enough to pass a PSIA Level 2 skiing exam. I have seldom found much to disagree with magazine buyers' guides when it comes to skis. The one exception to that is Salomon skis, which seem to me to have a different feel. I demoed the Salomon Scrambler Hot last year for grins on an icy day, and was surprised at how good the edge hold was, even though reviews said it lacked edge hold, especially for heavier skiers. Other than that, I have tracked very close on many, many skis, and I find that being heavy I have experiences much closer to those of the heavier testers. That makes the reviews very valuable as aplace to start. Further, since I get to order pro-form, many times I have to order early in the season before I get to try skis, and I find the buyers' guides very useful, although I find conversations with reps useful as well.

I don't have anywhere near the comparable experience in trying boots, but it seems to me that fit is so much more improtant than on-hill tests that the real data we need is fit data and stiffness information. At one event I went to last year we used rental boots, and when we took up some of the excess space in the boots the boots felt like they had stiffened 100%. The implication is that trying on boots at random without fitting them would give little or no clue as to the effective stiffness.

Further, oddball boots like the Flexon/Krypton probably feel different, and their owners probably have a slightly diffent technique. How can a three or four run tester ever be comfortable with something like that, which might be very good if skied over an entire season.

What I think is a lot more revealing about a boot is the long term experience of a user, which might show up in the consumer reviews on this forum.

Now the real question- what is the best source of boot fit data, and where can I get comparisons to previous year boots so I can see if the fit has changed substantially within a line?
post #54 of 56
Try asking Jeff Bergeron (the first thread in this forum). He'll be answering boot questions soon.
post #55 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
Something along the lines of what you're thinking of is a sticky on TGR.
That was actually the impetus for my suggestion Josh
post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-EastCoaster View Post
If you have ever skied "big mountain" skis in "big mountain" terrain on "big mountain" snow at "big mountain" speeds you would know what I'm talking about...you can reiterate some rediculous float formula all day - but I can tell you without hesitation that whatever the minimum length and width that calculation produces for a ski to float me would make a rediculous choice for my skiing....

...to all the epic folk that wanted to have fun in this thread, I am truly sorry for the part I played in it's death...all I wanted to do was make fun of one small rediculous aspect of this year's ski gear guide...

...defibrillator stat!!



...yes we make fun of these reviews and know that they are largely BS...but yeah, skinut & finndogs comments have me realizing that these reviews do fuel sales from "avg" consumers in a somewhat rediculous, perhaps even unscrupulous way....for many buyers who don't know any better it's like going to the polls and picking who to vote for with your only resource being a fox news breakdown of the candidates!!
Getting a little cranky in the hot days of August?

Realistically -- these guides help sell magazines, and frankly, if you were to go blindly by what the magazine reviews recommend, you'd be better informed and get a better result than simply walking into most shops and asking them for help.

Majority of skiers out there still just rent gear occasionally, and the "dedicated" ones actually own their own gear -- 1 pair of skis -- and that's it. You, me, and practically everyone on Epic and/or TGR is way out in the minority when it comes to focusing on skiing and ski gear.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion