I just subscribed to Powder (also get SKI). I actually like the articles in Powder. Granted they're a bit short, but I enjoy reading the personal accounts of riding a mountain or the diary of the guys who went to Patagonia. The Pix are okay, but they sort of tie into that whole "myth" we have been jawing about elsewhere. Having never read Powder before, I'm not terribly disappointed with what I'm getting for $11.
SKI, however, has changed considerably from when I last religiously read it many years ago. I still like some of the more personal articles (I would never have gone to JH last year to ride the final tram had it not been for some article about the final days of the tram in SKI. I've also read a great story about skiing in Russia in that mag). But it seems a lot more "slick."
I'm kind of an "old school" journalist myself and I actually like to read articles as opposed to the short-attention span stuff that FHM and Maxim (and the Internet) have made the norm over the past few years.
I can honestly say that from working at an internet site (http://music.ign.com/
) the attention span of the average male from 14-29 (our core demo) is really, really, really, really short. If I write anything longer than 500 words they won't read it (I'm not sure they even read our 250 word reviews, but just look at the overall score we give something instead). I think the days of multi-page, 5000 word in-depth articles/features/interviews are slowly waning.
Besides, what do you think is gonna get a kid or a kid-at-heart more stoked about skiing? A sweet picture of somebody BASE jumping off a cliff into powder or a long article about the BASE jump? A picture is usually worth a thousand words...