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Who buys skis based on reviews and recommendations? - Page 2

post #31 of 57
Everyone has touched on some very good points and the analogy with opposite sex is most apt, as every serious skier develops a "relationship" with their skis. Sometimes there is "love" and sometimes there is a "breakup". For casual skiers, this does not apply.

Can you determine a good fit in a one day demo? Yes and no, although initial impressions rarely change. As with any product and more so with skis, the user must adapt to the product. Sometimes you can tell immediately, sometimes not.

I personally believe that vendor reputation and reviews can help to cull the pool of candidates into a mangeable few. Usually, it is enough to make the decision (it works for me). Ultimately, a demo will tell if there is a fit or not. But demos of a specific model are sometimes unachievable.

Thus, love is in the eye of the beholder, regardless of how you get there. If you are happy, that is all that matters.
post #32 of 57
I use reviews here for the most part. Some here ski more like I do so their reviews seem to be more in line with my preferences. Some have worked out, some didn't. The 78 is a ski that I bought based on review but didn't end up liking; a good ski, just overly damp. I have made some mistakes but very happy with most. I like to demo but I don't know if a few runs will really tell you and like most, a lot of the skis just aren't available for demo.
post #33 of 57
For me, I would never buy based on magazine reccomendations- but I would buy based on what I get from feedback here. What I did for my last pair was demo a few pairs of midfats, saw the different behaviors exhibited by said skis and then made my choice based on recommendations from posters here as to what ski would give me the best of all the things I liked- the liveliness, pop and lightness of the PE, the stiffness of the Watea, and increased durability... I ended up getting the Mojo 90 having never tried it and couldn't be happier.

You can buy skis sight unseen, but you have to be able to describe what you like and don't like in a ski and be able to decipher from others what to expect in your new choice. I was looking for something kinda stiff, light and lively with a ton of pop that would allow me so smash freshies and rip groomers too... And for me the Mojo was just the ticket. It's a similar situation for me now because I've never tried the BRO 183 but preordered based on stellar reccomendations. I'm sure I'll love it!
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
Do you buy cars without taking them out for a test drive? Of course not - the seats may not feel right, the handling might not be what you like, the ride too choppy, headroom too short, pedals to close / far, whatever. So why would you buy skis without trying them?

Some years ago I was buying a sports car and read every review I could find, but couldn't agree with what the mags said, then eventually figured out that I wasn't going to take the car on the race course, or drive it continuously at 9/10's, so one of the other choices was better for me. Same with skis - listening to someone at one hill when you'll be at another, who's an ex-Olympic racer when you're not, in prime conditions etc could bear no relation to where you are or how you ski.

Sure, I have a couple of friends who I ski with whose opinions I trust, but even then, I want to try it before buying.

Some years ago I was addicted to one brand too (in that case K2), then I started the demoing things and found some other brands way better (for me). I've also found since that some brands have some excellent skis and some stinkers in their line-ups, and just being a drone to one brand is a huge mistake. I've tried most of the top brand skis out there, and can see when someone's buying on hype versus reality, since the ski really, well, sucked compared to the competition.

I chuckle when I see those who only deal with one brand, believe demoing is a waste or can overcome any skis deficiences - why bother - try them first then you'll know, otherwise you're guessing. This is supposed to be about having fun - find your true ski love - don't be guessing because of a brand or what "they" said.
This counts for wives too, right?

BTW, what sports car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fudman22 View Post
Everyone has touched on some very good points and the analogy with opposite sex is most apt, as every serious skier develops a "relationship" with their skis. Sometimes there is "love" and sometimes there is a "breakup". For casual skiers, this does not apply.

Can you determine a good fit in a one day demo? Yes and no, although initial impressions rarely change. As with any product and more so with skis, the user must adapt to the product. Sometimes you can tell immediately, sometimes not.

I personally believe that vendor reputation and reviews can help to cull the pool of candidates into a mangeable few. Usually, it is enough to make the decision (it works for me). Ultimately, a demo will tell if there is a fit or not. But demos of a specific model are sometimes unachievable.

Thus, love is in the eye of the beholder, regardless of how you get there. If you are happy, that is all that matters.
I do not fall in love with skis, lust maybe, but not love.
post #35 of 57
Remember, you can love your skis, you just can't Love your skis....
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
Do you buy cars without taking them out for a test drive? Of course not - the seats may not feel right, the handling might not be what you like, the ride too choppy, headroom too short, pedals to close / far, whatever. So why would you buy skis without trying them? ....
Uh, because skis are a lot cheaper than sports cars, and a making a mistake on your purchase isn't as big of a deal?
post #37 of 57
Cause they're 1/2 off (or more) and you can ski for a while and re-sell with little down-side.
post #38 of 57

NOT implying that ski magazines would do anything like this!

Wine Magazine humbled by hoax (phony review)


Pay your money and get a great review!



NY Post article

WINE MAG HUMBLED BY HOAX

August 23, 2008 --
THE faces over at the Wine Spectator are redder than a bottle of fine Bordeaux this week, after the highly respected magazine gave a prestigious award to a restaurant that never existed.

Wine connoisseur and watchdog Robin Goldstein, curious as to how the mag selected the world's best wine restaurants, submitted an application for an "Award of Excellence" for a phony eatery he called "Osteria L'Intrepido" with a Milan address.

He set up a fake Web site, created a menu of "somewhat bumbling nouvelle-Italian recipes," and invented a high-priced wine list that included "some of the lowest-scoring Italian wines in Wine Spectator over the past few decades" - among them, a 1982 Brunello di Montalcino that "smells barnyardy and tastes decayed." Still, the imaginary eatery was honored in this month's issue.

It was a shock to top local restaurateurs.

"We make an assumption that it's an excellent magazine," Gramercy Tavern beverage director Juliette Pope told Page Six. "Hopefully, it was just a fluke."

Goldstein, author of "The Wine Trials," wrote on his blog: "While Osteria L'Intrepido may be the first to win an Award of Excellence for an imaginary restaurant, it's unlikely that it was the first submission that didn't accurately reflect the contents of a restaurant's wine cellar."

Wine Spectator Executive Editor Thomas Matthews told us the magazine was the victim of a clever hoaxer, fuming, "This was a mugging. Why would he do this?" Asked whether heads would roll, he said, "Do you punish the victim of a mugging?" Matthews called Goldstein "a malicious person" who pulled "an act of malicious duplicity," and he insisted the magazine never claimed to have visited all of the nearly 4,500 restaurants that paid a $250 fee to apply for the award.

But, he said, "Wine Spectator will clearly have to be more vigilant in the future."



Here's another one. I love the description of one of the select wines.

Chicago Trib article:



Trib article

chicagotribune.com
Hoax leaves bitter taste for wine magazine
Author makes up restaurant in Italy; it wins award for excellence despite spotty wine list
By Jerry Hirsch

Tribune Newspapers

August 24, 2008

Milan, Italy's Osteria L'Intrepido restaurant won Wine Spectator magazine's award of excellence this year despite a wine list that features a 1993 Amarone Classico Gioe S. Sofia, which the magazine once likened to "paint thinner and nail varnish."

Even worse: Osteria L'Intrepido doesn't exist.

To the magazine's chagrin, the restaurant is a Web-based fiction devised by wine critic and author Robin Goldstein, who said he wanted to expose the lack of any foundation for many food and wine awards.

To pull off the hoax, Goldstein created a bogus Web site for the restaurant and submitted an application for the award that included a copy of the restaurant's menu (which he described as "a fun amalgamation of somewhat bumbling nouvelle-Italian recipes") and a wine list well-stocked with dogs like the 1993 Amarone.

The application also included what Goldstein suggests was the key qualification: a $250 entry fee.

"I am interested in what's behind all the ratings and reviews we read. … The level of scrutiny is not sufficient," said Goldstein, who revealed the prank while presenting a paper at an American Association of Wine Economists meeting in Portland, Ore.

In response, Wine Spectator Executive Editor Thomas Matthews said in a posting on the New York-based magazine's Web site that it did "make significant efforts to verify the facts."

"We called the restaurant multiple times; each time we reached an answering machine and a message from a person purporting to be from the restaurant claiming that it was closed at the moment," he said. "Googling the restaurant turned up an actual address and located it on a map of Milan. The restaurant sent us a link to a Web site that listed its menu."

Wine Spectator even found discussion about the restaurant from purported diners on the foodie Web site Chowhound.

In a telephone interview, Matthews denounced Goldstein's actions as a "publicity-seeking scam." He also denied that the award of excellence was designed to generate revenue for the magazine.

"This is a program that recognizes the efforts restaurants put into their wine lists," he said.

Matthews said the magazine did not attempt to visit the phony Milan restaurant; it never visits about 200 of the establishments that get its award each year. But he said the awards had contributed to the growing popularity of wine since they were started by the magazine in 1981.

Getting the award, however, isn't exactly like winning an Olympic medal. This year, nearly 4,500 restaurants spent $250 each to apply or reapply for the Wine Spectator award, and all but 319 won the award of excellence or some greater kudos, Matthews said.

That translates to more than $1 million in annual revenue.

Tom Pirko, a beverage industry consultant, said the hoax would dent the magazine's credibility.

"This gets down to what the Wine Spectator is all about. It's not exactly Wine for Dummies; it's more Wine for the Gullible," Pirko said. "This gives the appearance of paying for advertising disguised as a contest."

When Goldstein crafted the bogus wine list for Osteria L'Intrepido (Italian for "the fearless restaurant"), he also included a 1985 Barbaresco Asij Ceretto, which Wine Spectator described as "earthy, swampy, gamy, harsh and tannic."

"While Osteria L'Intrepido may be the first to win an award of excellence for an imaginary restaurant," Goldstein said, "it's unlikely that it was the first submission that didn't accurately reflect the restaurant."

Los Angeles Times
post #39 of 57
Thread Starter 
Not to further derail this, but a few weeks ago I opened a bottle of wine, a cheap wine, and poured a glass for my gal, she said what wine is this, took a look and then said yuck I dont like this one pour me the other one, referring to a bottle that cost 3 times more. I proceeded to open the more expensive bottle but when she turned her back I poured the cheap one in a new glass. She took a sip and said now thats a good wine..........LOL I soooo busted her.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
Do you buy cars without taking them out for a test drive? Of course not - the seats may not feel right, the handling might not be what you like, the ride too choppy, headroom too short, pedals to close / far, whatever.
Yes most of the time...it's a car for getting from point a to point b in the most effiecent manner possible....don't care about the seats, handling means nothing, I can tell about headroom from sitting in it on the lot...move the seat up if it's to far.

I care about skis and I don't care about cars so not a good analogy.
post #41 of 57
Drink what you like, drive what you like, ski what you like, just don't ski or drive while drinking
post #42 of 57
I bought my HEAD Xenons based on the recommendation of the salesman at the local ski shop. He sold me my first pair of skis and they worked out well so I trust his opinion. He basically said it would either be the Xenons or Rossi Z5's and since they no longer had any Z5's left I went with the Xenons. I hadn't even heard of them at the time but at 425 w/ bindings it was a sweet deal and once I saw the reviews (mostly here on Epic) for them, I was happier and more comfortable with getting them. We'll see how well they perform for me when this season starts (I got them at the end of the season).
post #43 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
Do you buy cars without taking them out for a test drive? Of course not - the seats may not feel right, the handling might not be what you like, the ride too choppy, headroom too short, pedals to close / far, whatever. So why would you buy skis without trying them?
Yet we buy homes for hundreds of thousands without ever having lived there!

I usually buy without demoing due to lack of time and available skis. I don't want to spend precious vacation time dealing with getting rental/demos either, unless I really need them. I would rather just go ski.

I buy them based on process of elimination, budget, availability, specs and what I think would be fun to try out and own for at least a while. It's not a huge purchase like a car or house so if I really hate them I can sell them off for little loss. I have bought skis that weren't perfectly suited for me but never really 'hated' any of them.
post #44 of 57
The ski rag reviews do serve a purpose as stated above for those who do not have ready access to demo days or even early season skiing (gasp).
The other part of this discussion which is not brought up here becuase of the type of people reading a skiing thread in August, is that a great many people cannot tell the more subtle differences between skis. Heck even the large differences. It is like guys and their golf clubs; if you can't snap the head of a club don't waste money on graphite shafts. That doesn't mean that they don't want them becuase a former touring pro said that they "effortlessly shape shots." This rambling diatribe is directly akin to flexing a ski and the need for the stiffest gnarliest boards when you are still skidding turns. Folks just want to say they are on the top rated all mountain expert ski.

Looong point short: I suppose that there is a large portion of the skiing community is served (influenced) for better or worse by the reviews and many, many people buy strictly based upon them. They want to be told what is what. Baaahhhh can you say we are a nation of sheep.
post #45 of 57
Generally I demo. However, I just bought two pairs of skis without demoing. The first, a pair of AC40's, I picked up because I like my AC4's so much, found a pair at the pre-season sale at a somewhat reasonable price (that may fall come the real open of the sale Friday, in which case I get the lower price), and because I couldn't find any last season after February.

The second pair, last year's Fischer's World Cup RC4 RC, is a cheater GS ski that was recommended for me by Mermer Blakesley, Tog, and several others. Both Mermer and Tog have skied with me, so I tend to think they likely know what would work for me. Also, it is near impossible to even find a ski under 70 mm for sale in CO (although I did see the whole line of Volkl race skis at Ski Deals last weekend -- a first), let alone be able to demo it. And the price was ok -- $600 with bindings.

Don't think I'd buy on the basis of a magazine review.

Mike
post #46 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
Not to further derail this, but a few weeks ago I opened a bottle of wine, a cheap wine, and poured a glass for my gal, she said what wine is this, took a look and then said yuck I dont like this one pour me the other one, referring to a bottle that cost 3 times more. I proceeded to open the more expensive bottle but when she turned her back I poured the cheap one in a new glass. She took a sip and said now thats a good wine..........LOL I soooo busted her.
You're a sly dog Richie.
post #47 of 57
As a rule, I try to use the reviews to decide what to demo. However when a deal comes along I rely on the reviews to help me decide.

For my current quiver: I used reviews to decide to demo the Kästle SGs, in three lengths. Also demoed anything I had an opportunity to just for fun, but in my "quest" for the best high speed all-mountain (I guess you had to be there, times were different) ski. The reviews steered me towards the Kästle SG. I used reviews to decide what to demo from the shops, and demoed whatever else was available on the hill, and then extrapolated my experience combined with reviews to decide to get the Fischer WC SC. I found a deal on the Volant Machete G, and inquired here about them. They seemed like they would fit in so I got them. They made a nice deep snow ski. I realized there was a hole in the quiver for a GS-sized turning hard snow ski, so when the Volkl P50 F1s, I checked the reviews, liked em and bought.
post #48 of 57
I just received my new Volkl AC50's. They're stiffer than I expected.

I'm sure I'll love 'em. But, a small voice says: "Maybe you should have demo'd".
post #49 of 57
Thread Starter 
I think in part my choice to only buy one brand is to just make the buying process simpler. No question Head makes good, no great skis, but I am not so foolish to think they are the only ones, I have been tempted many a times to swing the Atomic stick...but decided to stay true. Making it rather easy for me to buy without testing.
post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
BTW, what sports car?
I'm old - this was in 1984 between an RX-7, Supra and 280-ZX. The RX-7 was the mags choice, and I don't (didn't) disagree, but I needed a nice GT car to do 200-300 miles in a day, and the Supra was soooo much nicer as a cruiser.

1984, bright red with the top "wing". Gawd I loved that car. The ex got it , and (as expected) trashed it.
post #51 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post
Yes most of the time...it's a car for getting from point a to point b in the most effiecent manner possible....don't care about the seats, handling means nothing, I can tell about headroom from sitting in it on the lot...move the seat up if it's to far.

I care about skis and I don't care about cars so not a good analogy.
Don't know what you're missing.

Heel-toeing some slinky handling little bandit through mountain roads, up-downshifting through the switchbacks, sliding the tail a little and pointing the nose using the gas, your favorite tunes playing loud, sunroof open, and the seat heaters in the comfy and side bolstered seats giving your rump a little warmth.......The most efficient manner doesn't have to be boring.

How much time do you spend in your car - and you don't care about the seats? Well, OK. Getting from point A to B depends on how you do it - you can ski on "functional" skis too, but why?
post #52 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
I'm old - this was in 1984 between an RX-7, Supra and 280-ZX. The RX-7 was the mags choice, and I don't (didn't) disagree, but I needed a nice GT car to do 200-300 miles in a day, and the Supra was soooo much nicer as a cruiser.

1984, bright red with the top "wing". Gawd I loved that car. The ex got it , and (as expected) trashed it.
If you had waited a year, the GSL-SE with the 13B came out...fun little toy.
post #53 of 57
Speaking of wines...this looked like a fun movie. Will see when it comes out on DVD: Bottleshock
post #54 of 57
in spite of the crappy plastic and horrible rear end lift.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
If you had waited a year, the GSL-SE with the 13B came out...fun little toy.
I helped a work mate buy one of these once. Brilliant guy, network engineering, Westinghouse scholar ...

He had 5 months of Taurus driving to prepare him for the experience. (Nothing in China did, that's for sure).

25 days into the winter he wraps it around a light post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Speaking of wines...this looked like a fun movie. Will see when it comes out on DVD: Bottleshock
It was OK. Kinda breeds interest in Montelena now that its Euro-owned. Alan Rickman's speech "... because I'm British, and...you're not" is the howler that makes it worth owning.
post #55 of 57
The trailer just for Rickman looked worth it. Will wait for PPV.
post #56 of 57
In the past 7 yrs, the only pair of skis I have bought w/o demoing are my Fischer Atuas. There are so many demo programs out there that you can take advantage of, that you really shouldn't need to by on faith alone.
post #57 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadman View Post
In the past 7 yrs, the only pair of skis I have bought w/o demoing are my Fischer Atuas. There are so many demo programs out there that you can take advantage of, that you really shouldn't need to by on faith alone.
"Faith" is the right word. Many us seem spiritually bound to our brand(s).

Once you become familiar with what works for you, there's a tendency to fly the flag for that brand - sometimes to the extent of buying sight unseen.

It's not always the smart choice.
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