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Equipment Reviews - Walking the Talk - Page 2

post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
You read a review about a ski that suggests its is far too stiff and unforgiving. Its a one trick pony that can't be used for anything but riding the radius of the sidecut. This is similar to reviews by some others so you figure its reasonable. Later you ski in person with this skier and realize he/she couldn't bend a ski if it was a noodle.

You read a review about a new pair of ski boots. The reviewer blasts the boots as being far too soft and flexible. This surprises you because you've seen the boots and even tried them on and they didn't feel so soft. Later you see video of the reviewer. He is constantly driving his shins against the tongue working to pressure his tips as much as humanly possible.
Max,

I think that including weight, skier level (appoximate) and additional info on skiing style / other skis liked would help and reduce the need for a video.give even more than a video would and certainly would address these issues.

Also review of ski boots is pretty whack. I have never seen reviews of ski boots on here, well few. And I never read them because they are worthless. Does anyone seriously buy boots based on reviews without having tried them on? If you do I am sure the boot flexing too much is going to be the least of your worries.

Usually you just go to the boot fitter try on two or three likely brands, find the right size, then try on some different models and see how they flex. Reviews have no bearing since I will try them on my self every time.
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
There are dazzling expert level skiers that are poor ski testers and there are also mid level advanced skiers that are fantastic testers. The review is a different subject than the test. The content of a review will differ according to the goal of the reviewer.

A video critque of a reviewer would be nearly worthless to me.

SJ
As Always Sj hits the nail on the head.
Its not necessarily an Expert skier's talent to recognize the properties of a ski. I'm certainly not an expert, yet, I can tell you if a ski is stiff, has torsional flex, has quick edge change, is stable at speed, etc.
The stats of the reviewer are important to me, as well as the ability to recognize those type of properties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post

If Epic, as a community, wants to improve the standard for ski reviews we should develop a format for submission. This is very common in the world of Grant proposals and other technical writing. A format requires the writer to provide vital data; including who, what, where, when...
Michael
You can bet that this hasn't escaped us, and we may have some good things in store.
post #33 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post
I thought I was doing good work.....
You are. No need to stop. Again, the question asked is only to ascertain if the community gives more credibility to reviews from people that they have seen ski. That's it. No one is suggesting video is or should be a requirement to post a review.

Credibility is variable and it is something that can be gained in various ways. In your case you earned a large amount by writing detailed well thought out reviews (and many other good posts).

So far the majority seem to think video doesn't add to credibility for gear reviews.
post #34 of 69
But really.













What difference does it make?
post #35 of 69
[moderator comment]
As a side note to this discussion: This topic has nothing to do with outlining EpicSki policy or plans in any way, nor is it an attempt to change anything that goes on with our current gear review process. We, and everyone that reads here are extremely grateful for the time that everyone puts into reviewing gear.
[/moderator comment]

Later

GREG
post #36 of 69
My personal thoughts on this entire topic are that for gear reviews I would rather see a large number of reviews from all different skiers than one or two reviews from someone that I have seen a few video clips of. Others have said it better than I, but there are too many variables that go into gear preference to be able to select gear simply based on the way someone skis.
Later
GREG
post #37 of 69
Thread Starter 
I'm going to rephrase the original question in this thread because people are misunderstanding the intent of the question.

Let's take the example where you read two reviews on the NEWFANGLED powder ski. One reviewer say this ski just eats up powder. The other disagrees. Which review do you give more weight to in the following instances:

1) Both reviewers have written many well thought out reviews and you have agreed with both many times before.

2) Same as above but you tend to agree with one more than the other.

3) One reviewer always writes detailed reviews, the other short and sweet.

4) One reviewer you have seen ski and he rocks, the other you haven't seen.

5) One reviewer you have seen ski and he doesn't rock, the other you haven't seen.
post #38 of 69
I don't see credentials ever being required to post a ski review here. If you spend enough time here, you probably have a pretty good idea where most of the regulars are in terms of expertise, or lack thereof. Ski reviews require a reasonable skill level, but its really a lot more important to have an understanding of your skiing and experience on a number of related skis. I can accept the ski review by the person who just bought a new pair of skis and feels they make him ski better than ever, and yet I'll give more weight to the review that shows the reviewer has experience on at least three different pairs in the same category. Comparing and RX8 to a Gotama is kind of futile after all.

I like Barrettscv idea of a formatted review. If you look back at reviews by Noodler and ssh, you can see they followed a standardized format in many of their reviews. Phil has been working to develop a much improved ski review section that will enable standardized information to be entered by EpicSki reviewers and hopefully index the database by ski type, flex, width and other characteristics. Noodler had some ideas on that, but is seemingly on summer vacation from ski conversations. :

I am opposed to the idea of giving people a "reputation" score, or requiring any form of credentials. Information such as where you ski, how often, conditions encountered, skis you liked, skis you disliked, terrain preference; all help me judge what is being said and can help organize a review. This place is supposed to be fun, and ski reviews are usually written to share that sentiment, so I'm against making rules or requesting credentials. IMHO, that bit of divisiveness didn't work out so good for parts of the forum where that is considered a prerequisite.
post #39 of 69
I don't get much out of ski reviews, but I suppose I would be more interested if the reviewer was similar to me in skill and style.

If the reviewer says how he or she skis, readers have a better idea about how the review applies to them.

Another question about a reviewer's cred is how many skis has the reviewer skied? Obviously, experiencing many skis gives one a basis for comparison and should hone the ability to detect subtle differences.
post #40 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
I'm going to rephrase the original question in this thread because people are misunderstanding the intent of the question.

Let's take the example where you read two reviews on the NEWFANGLED powder ski. One reviewer say this ski just eats up powder. The other disagrees. Which review do you give more weight to in the following instances:

1) Both reviewers have written many well thought out reviews and you have agreed with both many times before.

2) Same as above but you tend to agree with one more than the other.

3) One reviewer always writes detailed reviews, the other short and sweet.

4) One reviewer you have seen ski and he rocks, the other you haven't seen.

5) One reviewer you have seen ski and he doesn't rock, the other you haven't seen.
Max, we have that review. If I felt I could buy Tyrone Shoelaces turns, I would ski on 192 fat Bros and Lotus DP skis. His experience on skis is very different from mine. Expert, alone does not make the review persuasive to me. OTOH, I find I have a great deal in common with SierraJim, and tend to enjoy the same skis and ski lengths he does. I can read a ssh review and try his Afterburners or Metrons. My results are quite different from his on those skis. A Philpug review is useless without pictures due to the outstanding accessories and hot wimmen. Your results may vary, but I think the regular users of this site know exactly what reviews are meaningful for them without any need to post video or have any further knowledge of the reviewers skiing.

Getting together to ski is highly recommended anyway.
post #41 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
. A Philpug review is useless without pictures due to the outstanding accessories and hot wimmen.

Getting together to ski is highly recommended anyway.
Why, thank you very much!
And yes, getting together is more fun that a barrel of monkeys:
post #42 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Getting together to ski is highly recommended anyway.
Absolutely. BTW, I had alot of respect for reviews written by Dawgcatching long before I saw him ski, but after I skied a couple of runs with him his credibility went up even more. It was like, "Man, that guy can really ski, I should listen to what he says".
post #43 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
Why, thank you very much!
And yes, getting together is more fun that a barrel of monkeys:
Ouch, you gotta warn us to put sunglasses on before you flash Phil's yellow suit at us!
post #44 of 69
Seems to be a lot of agreement that even if we don't need videos for cred, weight, height, description of style/mission makes any review/what ski thread lot more useful. Yet I bet half the thread starters don't do this, so always followup posts etc. Yeah, I know sometimes we can do a search and find out (or we're supposed to have it memorized), but just pasting in a standard intro is a lot more efficient.

Useful to have a sticky or announcement at the top of gear disc/reviews to encourage this?

(No, not another step in slippery slope to fascist moderator control, just advice for folks who may not think about it before posting. )
post #45 of 69
I tend to be long-winded cuz I'm a writer, but:

"This place is supposed to be fun, and ski reviews are usually written to share that sentiment, so I'm against making rules or requesting credentials."

That pretty much sums up my stance (thanks Cirque!)

I ended up stumbling upon Epic when I was researching skis 2 seasons ago. Reviews kept popping up saying "Barking Bear Review of Volkl Karma" and the like. I finally checked out the site after having spent time on each company website, also on Exoticskis.com, and Realskiers, as well as religiously reading SKI and Skiing.

I enjoyed the way I was immediately embraced by the likes of Phil P, Cirque, and a few others, who were helpful with advice, recommendations, and the like.

At the end of the day it should be about fun and skiing.

BTW, what is meant by a NEWFANGLED powder ski? If it's referring to something like the Spatula or Praxis or Lotus, well those have been around for several seasons now and are considered the norm in some circles.



In reference to that, I bought a pair of Spatulas without ever having tested them based solely on the praise and reviews I'd read about them over at TGR.

To me it goes without saying that when you review a ski you automatically include: height, weight, length of ski, where skied, conditions, other skis you have liked/disliked.

Funny thing is that if you don't include those items somebody usually posts a reply telling you that it would be most helpful if you had done so.

That said, I would totally give more weight to a particular person's opinion if I had actually skied with him/her (i.e. I've ridden with Cirque, MTT, Scotskier, Uncle Louie, DonDenver and several others and somewhat know their style). I still like reading reviews from folks I've never met, though.

Again, a review is just a review. It should be informative, but in reference to skiing, FUN, FUN, FUN (which is the most wonderful thing about Tiggers!)

FWIW, I would totally trust any reviews from the fart bag clan pictured above. Totally.
post #46 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
BTW, what is meant by a NEWFANGLED powder ski? If it's referring to something like the Spatula or Praxis or Lotus, well those have been around for several seasons now and are considered the norm in some circles.

"Newfangled" - very modern creation/invention/technique not available only as short a time ago as, say about, 20 years.

After you read a few reviews of skis that you have skied yourself you start to get a handle on the reviewers. It helps if they also state their weight and what they were doing with the skis, types of turn, terrain, speed, etcetera.
post #47 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
Volkl Gotama??
Yup.
post #48 of 69
This is a open forum. A skier that lacks good skiing skills that writes a review my be not help everyone but it may help a skier of similar skills. Just because someone is not a great skier does not take away from their experience they have with a ski. Skis have personalities and each person has a skiing style, the goal is to take what information you can get and match the ski personality to your style. More reviews by different reviewers equals more data to gather from. With all this being said, each review should be taken with a grain of salt.
post #49 of 69
What really puzzles me:
I can't believe how many times we've told people to demo, but they want to buy based on other users reviews.
I get that, to a point, because a review may influence what I demo, and I may buy without trying a ski, but I am fickle and have options galore in my quiver.
I love to Demo!!!
I hit every demo tent I can, and because of that, I've gotten a good feel of the tendancies and properties different skis offer. I'm NOT an expert, but I can tell you what the ski feels like.

When I'm looking for a ski, and read a review, I use my experience to take those property descriptions of reviewers to determine if a ski should be on my short list.

So Why don't more people like to demo!?
post #50 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
So Why don't more people like to demo!?
I suspect the main problem is one of access. You have to be lucky enough to be at the hill when the demo event is happening. Otherwise, you are stuck with demoing from shops at $30ish a pop.

In addition to that, if you want to buy during off season sales then demoing isn't possible.

And then there are the skis (like Praxis and real slalom and GS skis) that are very hard to find available for demos. Sometimes reviews and knowledge of ski shape and general manufacturer characteristics is all you have to go on.
post #51 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockdude View Post
This is a open forum. A skier that lacks good skiing skills that writes a review my be not help everyone but it may help a skier of similar skills. Just because someone is not a great skier does not take away from their experience they have with a ski. Skis have personalities and each person has a skiing style, the goal is to take what information you can get and match the ski personality to your style. More reviews by different reviewers equals more data to gather from. With all this being said, each review should be taken with a grain of salt.
That's how I look at it. Echoing Cirque's point about Tyrone Shoelaces, a true expert who will experience a ski much differently than most of us.
post #52 of 69
Or if you want to order in August which I usually do in order to get what I want before it sells out.
post #53 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
I suspect the main problem is one of access. You have to be lucky enough to be at the hill when the demo event is happening. Otherwise, you are stuck with demoing from shops at $30ish a pop.

In addition to that, if you want to buy during off season sales then demoing isn't possible.

And then there are the skis (like Praxis and real slalom and GS skis) that are very hard to find available for demos. Sometimes reviews and knowledge of ski shape and general manufacturer characteristics is all you have to go on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Or if you want to order in August which I usually do in order to get what I want before it sells out.
Well Duh!
I get all that! I'm blonde, but I'm not THAT blonde!:
But seriously, how many times has the demo tent been at your hill and you have to urge a friend to demo?
I think I scare the demo guys tho
post #54 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

i personally enjoy being able to read a review from someone like SJ who has way more years dedicated to trying skis than I do and then reading a persons review who may not have as much experience. it's good to have the balance.

that said, i think it goes without saying that one should mention the ski (dimensions, length, etc.), where they tested it, how many runs, conditions, etc.

Sure, a person's credentials should be taken into account, but chances are what I like about a ski may not necessarily be what you like about a ski.

SJ's experience is partly the number of skis he is able to test or ski. When he talks about a ski, he speaks from a knowledge of having skied many types.

If I were to write a review, full disclosure ought to equal a statement that I have only one (or two) skis in my quiver and really don't have much from which I can compare. But that doesn't mean that I can't write a review. It's just limited in scope, and that should be disclosed.

For me, these reviews help me become aware of a ski that I might be interested in. I bought my Top Fuels last season because of a review here on Epic. It was a ski that I had never even heard of prior to that discussion. I became open to that ski as one that might be appropriate for me and then I talked to others and read more before the decison was made.

For me, these reviews are without a doubt helpful, especially when the writer is honest about his or her qualifications.
post #55 of 69
I absolutely feel that anyone should be able to post ski reviews and would vigorously oppose any movement to limit posting to "qualified" posters, but that said: I agree that the poster should be diligent enough to post info regarding his weight, ability, skiing style, snow conditions and length of ski model tested. I would not object if there was a "form" in which the above info was gathered as long as the text of the review was free flowing as desired.

As I recall, in the "old days", there used to be a "suggested format" which was accessible by hyperlink and available to work from. Is this still possible?
post #56 of 69
I'm with SierraJim and the majority on this one!
I also agree that a relatively solid format is a good idea. Those that put up quite a few reviews tend to use this, like SJ, Dawgcatching, SSH, Noodler etc. I get alot from these individuals reviews. I've skied with SJ and Dawg and in some cases we have distinctively different likes and dislikes, but their well educated perpective give me more data. Is it possible that I'm a slightly higher level skier and would like different skis based on that? Well, interestingly, I probably am a bit stronger then these 2, but I tend to like friendlier skis (read, I'm a bit wimpy). SJ really liked the Nomad one day at sugarbowl, while it felt demanding and punitive on my feet. Does that mean I don't learn from his reviews because we see some things differently? NO. His reviews tell me alot more then "I like them", or "I don't like them". They give some quality feedback on strengths, weaknesses and personality. Same with Dawg. While he has many less miles on skis then I do, he is a very good skier and is very systematic in his approach to ski testing. I read out the data that I find useful. Are their reviews more useful to me since I've skied with them? That is an interesting question and in some ways gets to the heart of this original question asked by Max. To answer that, I'd have to say yes, although that doesn't mean I need video to understand a point of view. I got good data from their reviews before I skied with them. As a bit of a technical thinker myself, I do feel that I can glean a little more data out of their reviews having skied with them. I just have more information to filter the data through. That being said, I have a similiar feeling with Noodler. I've never skied with him, never saw any video, and have never even talked to him besides in print on this forum. Why do I take what he has to say about skis to heart? Over time, I have read many of his reviews. He has described his level, age, terrain of choice, and style clearly and has provided concise feedback on his perceptions of the skis. Having skied many of the skis he has reviewed, I recognize that his perceptions are accurate and in many ways congruent with mine.

My intention here isn't to give a few regular testers votes of confidence, but to illustrate why data is valuable to me through these as examples. Someone like Phil or Cirq may have a testers data that they give higher weight to in their decisions based on past reviews, style, age, speed, etc...

Does someone have to be the highest level skier to test these skis and provide good feedback? NO! Honestly, to name drop, I've skied alot with my friend Robbie Huntoon (the ski stuntman for Hot Dog, the movie) who used to do all the ski testing for "Snow Country" when it was the mag to have. He also tested for "Ski mag". I'm a pretty good skier, but I think Robbie and my opinion of skis is almost opposite. In many ways, Eric DesLauriers is similiar. I'd put more weight on a review from SierraJim for instance higher then from Eric D. In some ways, I may ski more similiarly to Eric then Jim, but E likes skis that I would never even look at. (and mismounted at that) So, we all have video available of Eric D and Robbie (just go to the video store), should we weigh those reviews higher based on that info? I'd say not. Should we want the ski the Darren Ralves skis on? you've got to be kidding. I've skied with quite a few world class skier in my day and I was downright awestruck at how fast that guy skis all the time (see last years thread on this). Real skiers (no pun intended, Max) just don't ski anywhere near that fast and don't need the skis that support that.

Last item, word count... So, for some reason, this may be one of my longest posts ever. (maybe because i havn't posted for a few months...), but length doesn't create quality. I got a PM last week from a supporter thanking me for a review of the Head IM82. He directly stated that I gave him more info that he needed in a short paragraph than he'd had in pages. I havn't gone back and read my review, but knowing me it was short and probably not too systematic, just my quick perceptions, but it helped someone. They took what they knew about me, took those perceptions and got worthwhile data. No video, just data compliation.

Anyway, as has often been said here, use this information as a base for demoing. ski a few skis and see what you feel. If you're at an area and they are demoing a certain brand you aren't drawn to, ski a few anyway. Then as you read reviews of skis you've skied, you can cross reference your experience with the reviewer and learn something about them and yourself.

And, now to be controversial... for most of us, go wider, shorter and softer .
(and be VERY aware of mounting point, but that's a whole 'nother thread...)
Cheers,
Holiday
post #57 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post
I'm with SierraJim and the majority on this one!
Great post. However, I think you may have inadvertently taken the side that video or knowledge does help with relation to a ski review, at least in the context of the original question.

Take your example of Eric and the skis he would review well. Knowing how he skis clearly puts the context of the review in a different light. The same would be true if he was reviewing skis you enjoy (similar to the ones I like) and classifying them as wimpy. Knowledge of his skiing would put that into the right context.

By no means am I suggesting video should be a requirement. But its hard to discount the extra credibility gained when a reader knows how someone skis. The written description of one's skill level helps but as they say a picture is worth a 1000 words.
post #58 of 69
How many of us are influenced by the celebrity factor and the desire to buy the turn that say Eric D, HH, Bob Barnes, Nick Herrin or maybe you relate more to celebrities like Sarah Burke, Nobis, McConkey, Seth Morisson, Mancuso, Bode Miller, other great skiers we see? An endorsement of skis in a review by these guys clearly carries a lot of weight with some people and is much of the idea behind sponsorships of athletes from local ski instructors and patrollers to the immortals. Who most affects what you will buy? An online review at a forum, sponsored athlete, magazine review, your ski coach?

The answer is probably different for everyone reading this thread. If you identify with racing, you look for something different than freeskiers or skiers with an appreciation for technical carving.

I've learned some things from this thread about what is being looked for in a review in the forums. We should start a thread and try to brainstorm suggestions for content and recommended format for the ideal review. We won't make it mandatory, but at least we can use your ideas and post a sticky to give an outline of what members are looking for.
post #59 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Who most affects what you will buy? An online review at a forum, sponsored athlete, magazine review, your ski coach?
That's a great question. I'd change it just a bit to who determines which skis I will demo.

In order:

1st- Coach
2nd- Online Reviews

I don't read mag reviews any longer and I assume that sponsored athletes are on a different build with the same graphics so I don't give any weight to that.
post #60 of 69
I think we really need video of the tester on the skis being reviewed and video of the same skier on another ski in the same category at the very least.

Let the reader decide which ski performed better. Besides, unless the reviewer has studied video of himself on the test ski, how can he know how well it performed?
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