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Ski Reviews: is 2 runs enough?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Wanted to move the discussion from this thread
http://forums.epicski.com/newreply.p...eply&p=1024208 to a more appropriate place.

Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post
Wrong, skis are easy to understand, people require more than speed dating...

Developing an opinion of a ski is based on more than just skiing.

Skis are designed and constructed to function a certain way.

Understanding the dimensions, construction, and materials used provides an foundation for ski testing. If you have done some research on a ski model, It can be both simple and effective to know if the ski performs as intended without using the ski for hours.

If the OP was providing a review that speculated wildly about a product, I could understand these critical comments. However the review is both accurate and honest.

I was replying to the guy who said that 2 runs is a better truer evaluation of the skis performance than a longer more in depth evaluation.

I agree with the highlighted text above that 2 runs really only tells you whether or not the skis live up to your expectations and maybe how they compare relative to other skis. Good information to know... However I think the overal impression of the reviewer, what criteria will be evaluated, has alot to do with the expectations of the review and how the ski fits in with whatever other skis that person has been on lately. 2 runs doesn't give you a real broad window of experience on that ski to judge its real capabilities.

Look how many people sell skis with like 10 days on them. In the past I have gone out and demo some skis, be all psyched at the results then once I get the skis and start using them everyday its like the magic fizzles. Don't think the real performance of a ski becomes clear until you are fully dialed in on that ski. Some skis are really sensitive to mount point, tune, balance, being skied a certain way, etc.. And once you get dialed in the whole feel of the ski changed. I personally think that once I am on a set of skis for a while that leads to better skiing than with large quivers and frequent changes.

I think the real test of a good ski is one that has been skied 100+ days and is nearly beat to death and the guy has another fresh pair that he is just waiting
to mount up. That is when you know the ski is good.
post #2 of 4
I can tell a lot after just a few turns, but if I have the ski for a day I have a better handle on it. To properly judge a ski I need to have it for the whole day. Of course maybe I'm not that good a judge.

It also takes me a lot longer to know a car than it does most folk. A test drive will tell me if I like it or not, but I need a lot of seat time (thousands of miles) before I will feel comfortable pushing the envelope with it. I don't mind pushing the skis past their limit on the first run though.
post #3 of 4
This depends heavily on what is a 'true evaluaion of a sk'. Any self-review and evaluation is always a comparison to skis one is currently using and what skis one has been on in the past. It's a comparison, nothing more. All you have to judge things by is what you have experienced.

Also, even if you were to use the skis on 20 runs instead of 2, 20,000 feet of vertical instead of 2,000, you are still limited to the conditions available for the day and will never be able to get a gauge for how the ski handles in all conditions at any time and place. This is where experience plays a part -- understanding how taper, flex, etc..will translate to other parts of the mountain, those you spend less time on but are not able to test that day perhaps.

As you stated, unless you have owned the ski for 100+ days. there are no comprehensie evaluations of the skis capabilities.

Usually, the review/impressions are something along the lines of:

These skis better on hardpack than my {insert ski name here}

These skis handle moguls better than my {insert ski name here}

Wow, the edge grip on these things compared to my {insert ski name here} is phenomenol.

etc. etc..

Is two runs sufficient to determine how a ski handles on certain conditions and possibly others?

If you ski mainly on frontside groomers, most definately yes.

At least for me. If I had the money, I would have no qualms whatsoever purchasing the 4x4 after only 4 runs down a 400 foot run at HV knowing it exceeds what I currently own and would likely excel on terrain I visit much less.
post #4 of 4
I have mentioned this before, but I think short/numerous demos may cause me to under-appreciate some skis.

I can normally tell if I dislike a ski in the *current* conditions within a single run (often within a few turns). Those skis don't get a second look.

It may take me several days to really appreciate a ski I do like, or to experience the ski in a wide range of conditions and really take it for a spin.

After realizing this, it makes me wonder if I downplayed any demos simply because I didn't have enough time on the skis. Of course, there are a lot of good skis, so even if I only fall in love with the top 10%, that's still a lot of choices.

As we all know, the ski tune can have a big effect too. I wonder how many skis I hated just because the tune sucked.

Overall, I think demos are purely entertainment for me. The may help me hone in on my next conquest, but I'd have a hard time thinking it was a reliable way to sort/rate a large number of skis. I'd want to try the skis in a range of conditions over several days, and the tune would have to be right across the board.
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