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Why No Length Shown in Ski Reviews?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know why no length is shown in reviews from SKI and SKIING?

The mags used to publish "length tested" info for each model. No more.

According to Peter Keelty and his website (realskiers.com, which publishes respected reviews), skis of different lengths within the same model, often perform completely differently.

In other words, a Mantra in 177 doesn't necessarily perform the same for a 160 lb person as a Mantra 184 performs for a 190 lb person.

Changes in geometry and flex patterns from size to size, may result in major differences in ski behavior, within the same model. Size matters.

In addition, to my knowledge, the ski mfgrs don't supply the testers with a variety of lengths. Yet, the testers vary vastly in size and weight.

The ski mags helpfully reveal the size, weight and background of the testers. Why then, not publish the tested ski sizes in the reviews?
post #2 of 7
I bought the ski buyers guide just so I could play too.

I'm not too impressed, though I am amazed at all the progress that has been made. A few years ago the RX8 was winning all kinds of awards, but in the company todays crop they are an also-ran, barely topping 3 (1=poor, 2=fair, 3=AVG, 4=very good, 5=excellent) out of 5 for its best scores.

Maybe it's the categories.

All mountain expert speed: the RX8 is not really a speed ski compared to say a WC or Mach 3 Power, so I can see it getting low marks there. It's more a plain and simple all-mountain (ski magazine-)expert ski. However, Phat is where it's at YO, and the RX ainn't fat enough to be in with the all mountain free-ride crowd, and there is no all mountain expert that isn't "speed"; it seems all experts speed. I've seen video of the experts (though you are too humble to admit your rankings), and I beg to differ.

They really should have a hardsnow/softsnow split.

But what's this? The past-champion RX8 is found amongst the women's skis. Was it reviewed by both men and women or only by women? What length did they test indeed? What were they thinking? "It's not really a speed ski, but women don't ski that fast?":
post #3 of 7
Captain Strato,
You might find the test results from Ski Canada mag will fill in some missing info. Two sizes are provided for testing for men and women and lengths tested are declared.
post #4 of 7
I can't understand that either, in some skis like the Titan 9 and the Sandstorm, the sidecuts are totally different in the different lengths, making it even more necessary to know what length is tested.
post #5 of 7
I agree....but let me provide some background. I was a ski-tester for a ski-mag. I won't say which one, as don't want to bite the hand that feeds you...but in general here is stuff to consider.

Size does matter (where have I heard that before: ), but things where so disorganized, becuase not only did you have the testers, but you also had all the ski shop reps there too, trying skiis so as to know what they wanted to purchase to sell in their shop. However I can say almost without exception the skis where 170cm (some abit more, some less, but generally they were 170s).

Other things too, was the test was done late last spring...it was actually my last day skiing for the year...so hard in the morning, slush by 11am. Hence some guys got to test the GS boards at 8am, some tested them at 2pm....that will give a huge difference too. Also the testers were never told what the ski was...and you were skiing (as you do) in a group, hence it is also possible you took a SL ski on a bump run, then being spring, and since you sometimes only get one run (sometimes more), you may have never really got the chance to see what the ski can do...plus as I mentioned, if you didn't get on them early, it was all slush anyway.

Other points...some skis where well tuned, others weren't. That makes a noticiable difference for sure, especially earlier in the day...plus, I have to admit, but 2pm, and you have been on your 17th pair of skis...it is getting pretty hard to tell the difference somtimes...I mean..."geez are these skis better at short turns then that 3rd pair I tried?"...you always tend to compare what is on your feet now...to what was on them just before.

Another point, some skis you really liked and gave them top marks, then your next pair was BETTER!...but you already gave away your top marks, hence you can't differentiate, even thou you wish you could now downgrade those other pair....

Having said that, my advice is, use the mags to cut your choice down to 2 or 3 skis...the good stuff does tend to stand out regardless...ie the "gold star" or the "editor's picks" or whatever...then make you final choice on gut, or better yet, your own test.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
SkiDude72: I appreciate your comments - enlightening and insightful. It's the first time I've had a view as to how testing's done (apart from the glowing preamble in mags), and what testers go through.

It sounds like a chaotic process, but I suppose everyone has to live with it. Clearly, it's not an ideal situation - but what is?

I suppose the law of averages should smooth out the anomalies you mentioned, if there's enough testers.

It appears that testing is tough to do well. If I demo even 3 pair of skis in a day, I get confused. I can't imagine what it's like to assess a dozen or more, especially when you have no control of sizing (potentially a HUGE factor).

In spite of all these issues, why can't the ski mags publish the size? Are they afraid they'll lose credibility with the consumers?

Thanks again for your comments, SkiDude. Most interesting.
post #7 of 7
Ski review of the future: (Insert model name) is a ski we can confirm exists. That is all.
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