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Standards for ski comparsion

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
It seems to me there are certain skis by wich other skis are judged. Most seem to be Volkl!
Certainly the Mantra, Gotama and AC40 are the standards in their respective catagories.
K2 PE would be the standard for all mountain twin.
Volkl 6*, or Allstar certainly was a standard for carver/all mountain.

Any others?
Agree/ disagree?
post #2 of 17
I for one disagree completely. I categorize skis according to the characteristics that a skier might be looking for rather than which is the "best".

For example, compare the Volkl Mantra to the Fischer 94 or Dynastar LP. All are in the same general width catgory and have roughly similar terrain capabilities. However, all three have very different personalities and will be for a skier looking for different things. I do not set one ski up as a standard except as a way of expressing contrasts.

YMMV

SJ
post #3 of 17
Volkl is, hmmm... how do I say this politely?

Well they get demoed a lot by a lot of people who don't try a lot of other skis. Due to this they get talked about a lot on boards like this, so they are sort of a defacto standard because of this... kind of.
post #4 of 17
so what is an "all mountain" or a "blue groomer" ski? what are the catagories?
post #5 of 17
There have been a couple Volkl "standard" skis that actually served to pique my interest in a type of ski, but ultimately I ended up with another ski I liked better. For example, I demoed the 6-star extensively, but tried the Fischer RX-8 and instantly liked it better. I demoed the Mantras and thought "OK", but really fell in love with the Fischer Wateas. Owned Karmas and liked them, but the K2 PE was a better fit for me. I guess I have used word of mouth to start with Volkls a few times, but the path always took me to another brand eventually. I think Volkl definitely carries a lot of weight as a "standard", whether it's deserved or not. They have worked hard to establish the brand, and it seems to carry a "BMW" kind of image. Doesn't always make it the best ski though. Beware of standards!
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
There have been a couple Volkl "standard" skis that actually served to pique my interest in a type of ski, but ultimately I ended up with another ski I liked better. For example, I demoed the 6-star extensively, but tried the Fischer RX-8 and instantly liked it better. I demoed the Mantras and thought "OK", but really fell in love with the Fischer Wateas. Owned Karmas and liked them, but the K2 PE was a better fit for me. I guess I have used word of mouth to start with Volkls a few times, but the path always took me to another brand eventually. I think Volkl definitely carries a lot of weight as a "standard", whether it's deserved or not. They have worked hard to establish the brand, and it seems to carry a "BMW" kind of image. Doesn't always make it the best ski though. Beware of standards!
My point exactly. Volkl seems more often than not the ski everyone compares to or starts with. I'm not saying that every model they produce are the best or even that the ones I mentioned are the best. Who would be silly enough to make such a statement. All I'm saying when pointing out the attributes of a ski people always seem to compare them to a volkl. Especiall the Mantra and Gotama.
post #7 of 17
I don't really have a "standard". I just compare skis I try with one another and with what I'm used to.
post #8 of 17
I havn't demoed any skis, I'm too young, and too poor (more like I don't have enough time to go on demo day and too poor to demo on normal days), but when I search for skis, i look for a model from a company that I know of, look at the specs and reviews, and compare to other similar skis from other companies.
post #9 of 17
Agree with SJ that discussions of "best" are pointless, but that said, if the OP meant "reference point," I'd agree about a couple of brands - Rossi B's for soft skis and Volkls for moderate to stiff. Just a fact because most people end up trying these at some point, or get pointed there by a shop, or it's all you can rent and you're in a hurry to ski. Face it, almost everyone has skied a B2 and a whole lot of folks have skied something in the AC series. Discussions start around these.

Are any of the INDIVIDUAL models actually "best?" Mostly not even close, although a case could made for Goats as best powder ski for 90% of the skiers out there, and I see more NE instructors using some variant of the Supersport series as a work ski than any other, so can't be too shabby for day-in-day-out hardpack use. Also cases could be made for the WC 9S/X as best H.S./collegiate racers for females, since I see way more on same than any other brand, and maybe the Quad 104 as best high speed crud smasher out there; tend to see a lot on locals out west several days after a storm. So for me, each of these skis sets a bar, and then people who know them can debate whether X is better. (It often is, depending on what you're after) So they're reference points, like it or not...:
post #10 of 17
Regarding comparison/baseline skis, I find it amazingly appalling how BAD the Ski or Skiing magazine ski reviews are. They get all these skis and skiers together and the end result is "This ski put a smile on my face!" Huh!? WTF?

Can't they develop a few baseline standards, and then have some computers/robots test out the flex/torsion/rigidity aspects of the various boards? And then simply show the data for each ski against the baseline/each other? This might not beat a comprehensive review or a self demo, but it would sure beat their wacky score system (i.e. 3.3 piste) accompanied by something enlightenling, like "Turns, turns, turns!"

Has any of these magazines EVER said a brutal word in a ski review? Since apparently they don't have the guts too, AND since one person's dud MIGHT be another's gem, why don't they break out the robots, and let the numbers do the talking?

Doug
post #11 of 17
You should read the threads about ski tests. Some run to book length. But look, so you get all your nice numbers from all the cool robots . Then what? Do you have the tech background - and skiing expertise - to say, "oh, OK, that many cm of deflection will mean this on the slope? I'm all for physical data, but ultimately we want subjective impressions from skilled people who ski the suckers. If we think those impressions are "bad," we usually mean either "they don't agree with my/my buddies' subjective impressions/ferverent hopes," or "They weren't phrased in a way that I liked."

Wow, that's terrible. Let's ban all information that a) we disagree with and/or b) isn't worded the way we want...
post #12 of 17
Beyond,

Information I don't agree with? Are you saying there is "information" in the Ski magazine tests? I'm saying there is not, thus nothing to agree with or disagree. There is just "rah rah" nonsense.

My assumption is that having skied "a ski" similar to the "default" ski, for example, I'll be much more likely to be able to estimate how much I might like Y ski considering X ski, which I skied, rates X.X in Z category, while the other rates K.K. Frames of reference are what is needed IMO.

I think it is Dumb and Dumber where one guy asks the other to "calibrate" his girl ranking meter (1-10) using a mutually known girl from their past so that he could understand what this "9" rating for a new, as yet, unseen girl really meant.

Thanks for the tip on the testing threads.

Doug
post #13 of 17
I think numbers from a robot would be excellent if paired with a subjective review with pros and cons. Most car magazines accomplish this spectacularly... They have charts full of data on the cars and a review of the car by an expert.

As far as Volkl goes.. there is only one pair in the pro room at CVR.. Lots of K2s and Rossis though...
post #14 of 17
I disagree (to a point) and I ski on Volkls. It's not the horse, it's the jockey.

While you can define categories for comparison, actual comparison of ski performance is a subjective matter. It is next to impossible to objectively quantify the true performance of skis, due to the nature of the item and the differences in the skier and conditions. One ski may work well with a skier and worse for another but better with a different skier because they better suit their style and/or the conditions. Thus, any performance comparisons are just a snapshot for that evaluator and conditions of that day.

I believe that models within a brand tend to have similar performance characteristics due to shared design philosophies and construction methods. Your impressions on Volkls (which I agree with as I have 6 Stars & AC4s) appear to support this belief.

After 45 years on skis, I am a true believer that "it is not the wand, but the wizard", and that skiing skills play a more important role than the hardware. :
post #15 of 17
I think any popular ski becomes something of a defacto standard. Not THE STANDARD, but a standard. It usually helps if the ski has some staying power and is made for a number of years without major changes.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post
It seems to me there are certain skis by wich other skis are judged. Most seem to be Volkl!
Certainly the Mantra, Gotama and AC40 are the standards in their respective catagories.
I only ski on skis that are better than Volkls......:
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star View Post
I only ski on skis that are better than Volkls......:
Thanks for adding
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