Originally Posted by Jimski
There might be another factor at play: maybe a ski / ski brand gets polarized opinions when there is an imbalance between its performance and the "cool quotient" (the cool/uncool ratio) -- of the ski or ski brand in the eyes of the skiing public. For example: many Nordica models get decent reviews, but Nordica's cool quotient is neutral (i.e., its cool/uncool ratio = 1), so low polarization. By contrast, Volkl skis get a lot of good reviews (let me know if you need cites), but some/many (at least on Epic) consider Volkl to be uncool, so high polarization. Just a theory.
I like this, because it takes what's ultimately a subjective assessment ("I hate/love this ski") beyond physical ski qualities into cognitive terrain. We rarely demo a ski with no preconceptions or biases. So I think the missing element here is what language/mind people call "memes." (Think cultural version of a gene, cultural bit competing against others, spread virally. Examples: Pop music, car styles, UTube, latest fusion food.) Why not skis?
For instance, I used to ski only Volkls. Loved them. Then, I like to say, they lost their characteristic glassy feel and went toward pistons and beef. So I only ski the Goats now. Well, OK, and that could well be about torsional balance. Snow Rangers remain one of the most balanced, versatile skis I've ever been on.
But I also notice that my falling out of love correlates nicely with joining Epic, which was just starting to diss Volkls, and with me noticing that everyone else on the slope was skiing Volkls too. Kind of like, if I'm driving the same car or listening to the same tune as everyone else, either it's the best car/tune out there, or it's lost its edge. And the people around me don't think its the best car/tune...Hmmm. So what's this buzz I hear about Heads?
(Only now the Head meme is being driven out of the top 40 by the Blizzard and Kastle memes.) Unless you're Richie.