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2008 Buyers Guides - What Do You Predict? - Page 2

post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
How many of us trust Bears of Maggots more than any ski magazine or Buyer's guide?
Beargots?
post #32 of 59
I'd tend to listen to reviews from regular skiers, a broad variety of skiers than reviews from experts biased because of commercial ventures. But we also have people who write reviews based on brand name bias. Loyality to one brand and they try to push a product because they like it on some who won't be helped in their skiing progress because of that scenario.

It's important to get reviews from lower intermediates also, but this is hard because most skiers of this level don't know how to describe what's happening while their skis are bending and turning.

Somehow we need some kind of balance to sift through this information. I enjoy the ski magazines reviews. Even though they might not be accurate for the common person, the pictures are nice. Believe me, there are many people who buy a ski cause it looks hot. They buy it and hope it improves their skiing experience. They just love to stand in the lift lines and strut their skis.
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Beargots?
Sounds too much like Beergut.

Michael
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Thats a no brainer for me.

First of all, I see the Magazines for what they are, propaganda. I don't even read them anymore. I maintain my subscription to Realskiers for historical data mostly. Peters reviews can be useful as a baseline, but I would never buy a ski based on a single review anyway.

The reviews provided by SierraJim, Dawgcatching and others here at Epic are the best available. They are best used in combination. Some bias is inevitable, but Scott's and Jim comments often provide a 1+1= "bingo" synergy that is very useful.

I only wish these guys could ski every good ski.

Cheers,

Michael
One thing that amazes me is the reluctance to demo, from some who want ski advice.
Demo days are a Blast!!
I take every chance I can to demo skis. I even try to demo stuff way beyond me and way below me to get a sense of what's out there and what they "feel" like.
These guys obviously test a lot of skis, as well as tons of other bears and maggots who have experience and no alliances with manufacturers.

Michael, if you were to buy a pair of skis for your wife or daughter, would you read a magazine to see what to look at, or would you start a thread here and ask for advice from TC?
post #35 of 59
OK....here are some points to ponder about ski tests, testers, reviews and conclusions from same.

First, there have been some kind mentions about my ski reviews and also deserved mentions about those from Scott (dawg). One of the reasons that our reviews may resonate better than some ski magazine tests is that we have a different agenda. We both have a job that requires (allows) us to stand in front of a skier, ask them questions, and then draw some conclusions from our experience. The task is to look them in the face, hand them a ski to demo (or buy outright) that fits their goals, won't make them work too hard, and puts a smile on their face. This requires that we sort the offerings from 11 ski manufacturers (in my case) into characteristic groups that can be rationally explained to a consumer that knows little about skis or skiing. "What's the difference" is not about good and bad skis, it is about fitting the customers profile. The magazine testers, while great skiers, simply don't have this goal in mind when they test skis. It is also fair to say that most of them (except for the token retailers) almost never speak to or analyze the general skiing public.

Second, testers are different. Scott and I have skied together for maybe half a day. I can say that we are in a vaugely similar ballpark as far as general ability, but he is 30-40 lbs lighter than I am and (I'm guessing here) mebbe 15 or more years younger. These factors alone would usually make our personal preferences somewhat different. However, for the most part, neither of us flavors our reviews nor reccomendations a whole lot with personal preferences. Those things do come out to some extent of course, but I for one, will very often throw a disclaimer about my preferences. Again ski magazines really can't do this because the reviews are a compilation of opinions from several skiers. I view with some amusement and occasionally mild scorn, a reccomendation from a poster here who continually suggests the same thing because it is what they have and ski on. They often have little frame of reference regarding other skis and they may also possibly lack the experience to interperet what they do know.

In any case, the general scorn of the magazine reviews is undeserved. Given what they try to accomplish and the logistical nighmare that ensues.....they do pretty well. The glitch in the system is not the testers, the editors, or the model selections. It is that too many skiers simply accept the reviews as something akin to....."and we hold these truths to be self evident......."

SJ
post #36 of 59
I predict every single ski will be "extremely stable for the burliest lines, but very forgiving, great edge hold and very nimble with a wide enough waist to float on even the deepest days."

I also predict they'll have no useful info other than having all the different skis dimensions together in one handy little package.
post #37 of 59
If you are predicting the typical "Freeskier" review....you are probably closer to right than to wrong.

SJ
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Jer, are you trying to occupy Highway Star's niche here? My 07 Freeskier review issue does not say anything about the 190 Goat being for linebackers, it gives any/all Goats a 9.5 and other raves. It does say that the 191 Supermojo is more than most folks would want, according to their biggest baddest testers. Does that make them slow and conservative? Seems reasonable to me given that everyone else in the free world agrees Heads make a stiff ski. Hey, there has to be some ski, in some length, that you'd agree is burly, yes? Do we need to convince Atomic to custom a 207 Big Daddy for you?
Yeah - I'm trying real hard to be just like HS. That's why I'm continually blowing my own horn and challenging everobody to ski-offs.: I would definetly agree that my 103's are a burly ski, but to say they're only good for charging at mach 4 is goofy. I say this because I've actually had fun on them when I wasn't skiing at highway speeds.

I can see Ski and Skiing skewing thier reviews towards casual skiers and the tourist set because that's thier target audiance, but mags like Powder and Freeskier are obviously shooting for the hard-charging crowd. That's why it's funny when they warn people away from certain skis.

Look - I'm merely stating my opinion. It's not the first time my opinion has gotten people's panties in a bunch here (see pretty much any fat ski thread). I'm not trying to convince everybody that I'm a super-pro rockstar. I'm a pretty average skier (relative to the areas I usually ski) - that's why I think it's ridiculous that magazine reviews actually warn people away from certain skis when a shlub like me can get by on them just fine. Look, if some of you want to base your ski choices on what was printed in some ski mag, that's great. I'm just saying I trust what I actually experience in the real world over what some ex-olympian says in a magazine. Seriously, if I went by what I read in magazines and online forums, I'd be taking off my skis and walking down everytime I got to a patch of moguls or hard snow.

Also - some of you really need to get a sense of humor. You get waaay too defensive at the mere mention of the word "gaper". Maybe I should start saying "the 'g' word". Would that be less offensive?
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
One thing that amazes me is the reluctance to demo, from some who want ski advice.
Demo days are a Blast!!
I take every chance I can to demo skis. I even try to demo stuff way beyond me and way below me to get a sense of what's out there and what they "feel" like.
I am the same way. I [heart] demo days!

But in all reality, todays skis are sooo good, it is really hard to find a bad one.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
I am the same way. I [heart] demo days!

But in all reality, todays skis are sooo good, it is really hard to find a bad one.
I agree, but, the idea of a review is not to say it's good or bad, but to describe it's properties.

I have recommended skis that I didn't personally care for, to women who's interests and abilities are different than mine, based on the property of the ski, and the skiers wants/needs.
post #41 of 59
My experience is that the reviews here on epic and TGR are worth while and useful for selecting skis. If a ski is well reviewed by many people here it almost always tends to be a favorite of mine once I get to try it. However, I have ended up liking many skis that were not universal picks. I think real skiers tends to have very useful reviews as well. Another really nice aspect of the personal reviews here are that you know the reviewers' biometrics, skill level, and the size of ski tested.

Magazine reviews are IMO not a good way to buy a ski. The difference between a 160 and 180cm length for a particular ski is usually a pretty big one. Its often hard to tell what was reviewed, by whom, and then from that determining which ski is good for you given your biometrics.

I also think that for most "experts" the urge is to recomend skis that people won't be disappointed in, rather than recommending the best possible ski for what they want to do. For example, when looking for a ski to learn moguls people almost unanimously told to try a "forgiving carving ski" instead of a specialized mogul ski because you don't want to be disappointed when they have to ski hard pack on the mogul boards, even if they do ski better in the moguls on the more specialized boards. This is really tragic IMO, because it prevents people from using the best possible tool for the job while they are learning, when they need the most help and are least able to determine for themselves what works for them. Bah.
post #42 of 59
Tromano, you hit on something that makes a review work best for the consumer..............
Interaction!
Lets say I am 125 lbs and ski something, and give it a bad review at a 178 length. Someone else who is 170 lbs skis the same ski in a 178 and says it rocks, and that I'm out of my mind............you just got feedback from two different body types on a ski and I may just give it a try in a 160 and love it.

In a magazine gear review they don't have the benefit of consumer feedback and participation to give all angels of gear performance.

This is why a forums are so popular for "gear purchasers".
Heck, I noticed in this thread in the supporter lounge that the search on the internet for ski gear reviews is how more than one Bear stumbled onto EpicSki.
post #43 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
Michael, if you were to buy a pair of skis for your wife or daughter, would you read a magazine to see what to look at, or would you start a thread here and ask for advice from TC?
Hi TC,

The funny thing about getting a ski for my daughters (now young adults) is that I would get the same gear I would want for myself if I weighed 100 lbs less.

I do try to avoid too much sidecut on skis less than 170cm, it shortens the turn radius too much, partially due the short lengths. One daughter is on a 160cm RX8, another will soon be on a 165cm RX9.

Michael
post #44 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Hi TC,

The funny thing about getting a ski for my daughters (now young adults) is that I would get the same gear I would want for myself if I weighed 100 lbs less.

I do try to avoid too much sidecut on skis less than 170cm, it shortens the turn radius too much, partially due the short lengths. One daughter is on a 160cm RX8, another will soon be on a 165cm RX9.

Michael
Devils advocate..does she have enough weight and strength to flex a RX9?
post #45 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Devils advocate..does she have enough weight and strength to flex a RX9?
This one can. She is 140 145 lbs and stronger than most men pound for pound. She is moving up from a GS9 that she has outgrown. When she was in high school she used a 170cm Volkl Crossranger without issues.

Phil, you worry too much .

Michael
post #46 of 59
Wow, Ski and Skiing are getting a butt kicking here.
I want to jump in on their side. A couple points.
First, you have to understand that they are reviewing skis for the same people that are advertising and paying the bills so they can't say anything too negative. Sure, there might be some connection between the number of ads and a rating but the mag also has to consider their own reputation and they do want the ratings to be accurate. Another point is that when a company believes that they have a good ski or boot, they will do their best to market it which means lots of advertising dollars are spent.
2) They do tell you who (name, sex, height, weight, etc) is doing the testing so a review from a 225 pounder might not mean too much to a 150 pounder reading the mag.
3) I find the reviews do have good info in them. Short turns vs long turns? Moguls? Float in powder, etc.
4) If a ski gets good reviews, it means that some testers liked it. It doesn't mean that somebody else will like it but it does offer some info on the characteristics of the ski.
5) Take the reviews for what they are worth and demo those skis that you think you might like.

I think that the reviews are a good introduction to the new lineups.
post #47 of 59
I predict that all of the skis reviewed in the Race, High Performance and even Performance category will turn out to have amazing edge grip and stability at speed according to the magazines, who will not tell you which one is more stable than the others or have better grip on ice.

I predict the new skis will be fatter.

I predict that new skis will get better reviews than carry-over skis, which will be tested in inappropriate lengths just to make sure.
post #48 of 59
And......the SOY winners will be new models rather than carry overs (just like Motor Trend)......:

SJ
post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyskr View Post
Wow, Ski and Skiing are getting a butt kicking here.
No.....they really aren't. They are just getting bashed by a very few folks that have little idea of the process or the value of same to the average skier. An equipment editor of those mags would laugh out loud at most of these critiques.

And yes....they are a very nice little marketing intro to at least some of the models.

SJ
post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyskr View Post
They do tell you who (name, sex, height, weight,
etc) is doing the testing so a review from a 225 pounder might not mean too much to a 150 pounder reading the mag.
Different Mags do it differently but in general, the information on each ski is simply some composite scores and a short one line description of the ski. Detailed info on specific tester and specific ski and size used is not consistently linked to their numerical scores or comments. Often comments are included, however these are generally brief, maybe one sentence, often one word. Without being linked so you know what each person thought of the ski and which size they tested its pretty useless from a which ski for me stand point. This is especially true when different sizes of the same ski have different properties, characteristics, or construction.

As for editors laughing at their reader's... History teaches us much about businesses that have stopped listening to the customers. They don't last long. Anyone in business sould know this by heart:

"Although there are few proven figures, most experts believe that you are up to 10 times more likely to keep a complaining customer (whose problem you try to solve) than you are one who says nothing.

You should also remember that it costs up to five times as much to win a new customer than to keep an old one, even if keeping a dissatisfied customer costs you now, in the long run, it will almost certainly save you money." http://www.bizhelp24.com/marketing/w...plaints-2.html



I guess its pretty tough decision as a consumer of information buy a magazine that doesn't answer my questions and laughs at me or read and participate on a free website to answer my questions... Hmmm... Tough decision. :
post #51 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
No.....They are just getting bashed by a very few folks that have little idea of the process or the value of same to the average skier. An equipment editor of those mags would laugh out loud at most of these critiques. SJ
Jim,

Considering the resources and exposure the ski mags offer, their benefit to average skiers is dubious at best. As you said earlier, the ability to match a ski to the skier is best done by a knowledgeable ski shop pro (or by an instructor).

The ski mags offer general hype to a general audience. This is a disservice to the skier. The more "average" the skier, the more harmful these generalizations are. Is an average skier in Connecticut the same profile as the average skier in Oregon? The fact that the ski Mags think that there is an average skier is part of the problem.

One of the great benefits of the Internet is the ability to research information from numerous sources quickly and cost effectively. If a skier needs info, they can go to multiple sources before picking a ski for demo or deciding on a purchase.

I'd hate to go back to the days of limited information in the hands a few.

Michael
post #52 of 59
"There is a huge difference between skiing as an industry and skiing as a way of life." - Hunter S. Thompson


I buy the buyers guides of Powder and usually Freeskier too every August. Around that time I'm usually jonesing heavily with anything having to do with skiing, so the industry's got me there - I give them my hard-earned cash to read thier goofy reviews. I laugh at thier lame reviews and thier sidebars featuring some 13 year old park rat I've never heard of and they laugh at my opinions on a message board. The thing is - when industry types start laughing at the opinions of actual skiers, sooner or later you're going to end up with a situation like we had in the 80's and 90's - when ski companies thought all they had to do to sell skis was get good WC results. I never could understand what relavence Alberto Tomba had to some regular shmuck skiing powder, but "the industry" thought it was important so I guess that's all the matters.

If I had to make ski buying decisions based on either magazine reviews or regular joe opinions on the internet, I'd choose the regular joes hands down. You'll never read discussions on the uselessness of integrated binding systems or twin tips or other taboo subjects in magazines who's very exsistence depends upon the companies who produce said equiptment.

I skied on some Armada ARVs last season. They sucked. No edge hold on hard snow, too much sidecut for powder and thier comfortable speed limit was about 15mph. Now if I was an editor of a magazine who was selling add space to Armada, I would say the ARV was a versatile all-mountain ski ( "all-mountain" meaning they suck at pretty much everything, but in a predictable, even way) and that they wouldn't be my first choice for making big, high-speed turns. This implies that it may very well be my second choice (when in reality it's probably my last choice).
post #53 of 59
Thread Starter 
Well I got the first of the 2008 buyers guides in the mail yesterday - it was Ski Racing Canada's buyers guide. Focus is on race skis and freestyle skis. And as predicated, I've spent several hours reading and rereading it.
post #54 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiNut View Post
freestyle skis.
You mean, like, for ballet and arials? That's wierd.
post #55 of 59
The first thing the mags need to do is to check the previous year's edition to ensure they don't step on it. My old beloved, now garage-queen, K2 Axispro, even though described as a carryover some year's back, were both great and lousy mogul skis on different years. Go figure.

Here's my take on the way to buy -

1) Demo. Or, when in doubt, DEMO.
2) Most companies skis have a certain feel, and you pretty quickly learn what you like. Use that as a baseline.
3) You figure out what types of skis content you like pretty quickly- wood, metal, sidcut etc. Use this as well as 2) to further reduce the candidates.
4) Demo or rent again to further reduce it down to 1 or 2.

The magazines have to make a living (read between the lines on that one). If they say "it sucks", that will impact their quality of life. It's often what isn't said you need to look for.

I have to amit though, that I've been with some skiers whose abilities I respect, and can't believe the crap skis (in my opinion) they're on, that they bought on the basis of a review.
post #56 of 59
Even demoing skis can be subject to the vagaries of the tune and wax job. Looking at different magazines to see how consistently ski models score across the board, can sometimes be helpful. Even if not, the magazines provide visual entertainment before the snow flies.

Different ski makers tend to have their own trademark flavors that appeal to different skiers (damp v. lively, etc.), though there can often be some exceptions among different models within a given ski maker's line. Of course, different sidecuts and materials can profoundly affect performance and longevity.

It seems though that all major manufacturers make pretty decent equipment for intermediates and above. So, it's hard to go too far wrong. Of course, graphics contribute mightily to a satisfactory purchase.
post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
I miss the old buyers guides where they had a blurb on every ski in the line.
I'm with you Phil. Remember when there was not only a blurb, but also a diagrammatic cross section detailing the construction of every ski along with a full set of objective lab tests describing the stiffness of Tip/Mid/Tail/Torsion. Ahh, those were the days...
post #58 of 59

Those were the days!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDeC58 View Post
I'm with you Phil. Remember when there was not only a blurb, but also a diagrammatic cross section detailing the construction of every ski along with a full set of objective lab tests describing the stiffness of Tip/Mid/Tail/Torsion. Ahh, those were the days...
I agree. The old Powder Mag Buyer's Guide had specs and info on viturally every top level ski out there, but their Guide the last 5 years has been completely useless. They review nothing smaller than an 85mm waist and the pictures of the skis are bigger than the reviews, which uniformly consist of "this ski rips in all conditions" b.s.

I bought some new skis and bindings off the net last season after extensive question and answer on this forum. It was impossible for me to demo them, but they ski exactly like I expected based on the info from you all. Even the manufaturer's length chart was way off from my perspective, but the Epic Bears info was right on. It definitely pays to do your homework, unfortunately the magazine ski tests are usually based on only 2 or 3 runs by someone who probably doesn't ski like you.
post #59 of 59
IMO, those self-consciously cute blurbs can be informative for what they DON'T say, or for a mismatch between what they say and the scores. But that takes a close read. Not nearly as much fun as assuming our experience rules for all possible skis and skiers, and blowing off anyone who disagrees.

Look, all tests involve error, and the methods that ski "tests" use can be kinda amusing to a real researcher (Disguise the topsheets with tape? Ski the "same" run in the "same" way? Yeah right). But average 6 or 8 from different testers and it'll be better, and 6 or 8 different mags averaged together will get it mostly right. (Can you cite a ski that every review source "got wrong"? Did reviewers in general hate Goats or Snoops? Or love B-2's?) The real issues are whether a specific ski was tested by enough mags, whether we can figure out its length, which makes a massive difference, and whether the testers are even vaguely our size.

Go look at which reviewers liked which skis (Ski, Ski Canada, several Euro sites), or more detailed scores (Skipressworld, Ski Canada subscribers) and you'll solve some of the mystery about size and style vs. ski. At least, you'll be in a good place to know if it's worth hassling a demo. And itsn't that the point?
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