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Reviews - keeping it real

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

I'm guessing all the skiers who test skis for Ski Magazine are "top level experts" and almost all of the skiers who post here are not. I'd believe a magazine before a random recreational skier posting on the internet. I know you guys enjoy reading each other's impressions of different skis, but let's keep it real, folks.

Yes but if you are a random recreational skier who skis like the random recreational skier posting the review and unlikely to change your ways would you be better off taking the random recreational skier's advice?

 

I read all the reviews I can get my hands on, and factor in from the given information the possible causes for the given faults and strong points of the ski reviewed, whether they be due to user error, style, test conditions or ski characteristics.  It certainly makes it easier if video is available, but you can tell a lot from what people write.  Sure you might be mislead. I for example, could be a very literate person who has never skied, but I think you have more to go on making assumptions of the reviewer's skiing than reading a review by an "expert" who has made assumptions about your "intermediate" skiing and what ski is right for you.

 

Granted the typical random skier is less adept at this (everybody likes to think they are better than the average bear).

 

Discuss 

 

post #2 of 13

That's why they invented demo ....

 

Read, demo, buy (or not).

post #3 of 13

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfr View Post

That's why they invented demo ....

 

Read, demo, buy (or not).


This is correct, but wait for the obligatory "yeah, but how do you know if they're tuned" nonsense

.

 

After reading "reviews" (including one that was essentially for a topsheet), I realized the reviews here are useless. I've seen reviews from someone who only skis flat New England areas, touting their epiphany over their first experience on an all mountain ski after spending all their time on "race skis". Of course they've only been on one brand due to some loyalty issues, and wouldn't have a clue what that brand's feel is like compared to others, yet the ski enthusiastically recommended . Compared to what?

 

Skis are like women - everyone likes something different. In my case, I learned to ski 40+ years ago, and want something that can carve, and handle big mountains (I live on the least coast but don't ski here) but also deal with the artifacts of my old style, and there are some skis that do that well. Others really suck at it, and to me, no ski should constrain what you can do, but I see them in liftlines, and sometimes there's recommendations about them here.

 

There's also skis described as "damp" (although every person seemingly uses that term to describe something different), that I think are the most useless POS available. So did one of the usual well known contributors here, until he changed the brands he carries, now they're not so bad - go figure. 

 

No doubt the demo, demo, demo argument will go on forever. I don't buy without demoing first, but I also wouldn't have the balls to post a review as many do who appear to have a much lower skill set than me.

 

Two friends that I ski with are truly top-notch. One is from Italy who's mother was, many year ago on the Italian Olympic team, and the other hangs at A-Basin and I catch up with from time to time. That's what I find so laughable about self-proclaimed "top-level experts" - they need to ski with a real one to find out their true skill level.

 

In both cases, these guys are on 185-200cm OLD boards, and in the case of my Italian buddy, uses soft woman's boots, so he can get the feel of the hill. Now, how many reviews do you see here from twits who have to have "race boots" (again for flat hills), to post such reviews - pathetic.

 

Really - for reviews try realskiers, or someone you ski with who's opinions you trust. Most of the mag reviews are crap - I've seen the exact same ski from two years in a row go from being great at one thing, to suddenly becoming great at another, and not so good at what they were last year - who took out the most pages is who gets the gold.

post #4 of 13

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

 

After reading "reviews" (including one that was essentially for a topsheet), I realized the reviews here are useless.

 

No doubt the demo, demo, demo argument will go on forever. I don't buy without demoing first, but I also wouldn't have the balls to post a review as many do who appear to have a much lower skill set than me.

 

Two friends that I ski with are truly top-notch. One is from Italy who's mother was, many year ago on the Italian Olympic team, and the other hangs at A-Basin and I catch up with from time to time. That's what I find so laughable about self-proclaimed "top-level experts" - they need to ski with a real one to find out their true skill level.

 

In both cases, these guys are on 185-200cm OLD boards, and in the case of my Italian buddy, uses soft woman's boots, so he can get the feel of the hill. Now, how many reviews do you see here from twits who have to have "race boots" (again for flat hills), to post such reviews - pathetic.

 

Really - for reviews try realskiers, or someone you ski with who's opinions you trust. Most of the mag reviews are crap - I've seen the exact same ski from two years in a row go from being great at one thing, to suddenly becoming great at another, and not so good at what they were last year - who took out the most pages is who gets the gold.

I guess we'll never find out what you really think!

 

So , you could just post your own reviews ya know and increase the quality of the reading. I wouldn't use a reference about your friends such as: "One is from Italy who's mother was, many year ago on the Italian Olympic team". ( I half expected to see, 'and he's a cross dresser' after the "he skis in women's boots". But hey, maybe I spend too much time in nyc).  Generally people don't really get what that has to do with the skis on your feet.

 

Realskiers: their reviews can be good, but anything Head is great generally leading one to be suspect the same as any other magazine.

 

Probably you don't wear a helmet either, might I suggest a few...

 

or this one for the Italian whose mother was an Olympian...

 

Keeping it Real for the Fam....

 

Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

 


Introducing the new Vail Ski School Director;

 

edit:

Well I see it's all come about because of this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

..... I asked the owner (a high level expert like me, but he doesn't pay for skis)....

 

....There is also a chance that I might actually know how to ski (check my profile for a video link if you have doubts), have been doing it for a long time on a lot of boards, and have a valid opinion as to what works well with contemporary movement in all conditions on all terrain.....


Following those Knee Binding threads where CHRISfromRI was a big 'player' explains all of that.


Edited by Tog - 4/18/2009 at 05:13 pm GMT
post #5 of 13

I think there are benefits to reviews coming from a variety of sources.  Of those mentioned already, each has its strengths and weaknesses.  Ski Magazine uses "experts" -- i.e., people with a lot of skiing experience -- and I believe they mask the top of the skis so the tester doesn't know what brand it is (can anyone confirm this?).  Also, they and RealSkier each use their own standard testing format, which helps in comparing between skis. 

 

One of the benefits of the Epic ski reviews is that the reviewer can tell you his/her weight and skill level.  A Volkl AC-50 might be great for a 210-pounder, but his review won't be necessarily relevant to me at 150 pounds (after a big dinner).  A review by someone who is about my own weight, skill level, and skiing in conditions that I typically ski in is quite relevant for me.  Also, some of the reviews on Epic are by skiers who own the skis and have skied them over several months in varying conditions -- so the reviews are less of a snapshot than either Ski Magazine or RealSkier. 

 

On the other hand, some of the reviewers on Epic seem to be swayed by brand or size bias.  Also, recognizing that all ski reviews are to some degree subjective, some of the Epic descriptions seem to push the subjectivity envelop: for example, describing a ski as "boring"  (what does that mean: too easy to ski? not finicky enough? dull colors?).  For some, such purely subjective info may be relevant; for me it's not useful.

 

So, I read them all, talk to fellow skiers while riding the lift, talk to the skiers/sales people at my local store.... and then (for now) stick with the skis I have.


Edited by Jimski - 4/20/2009 at 06:23 pm GMT
post #6 of 13

I tend to trust reviews by people I know who ski similarly to me but a tad better... and are a similar weight and size. I use the tad better part because I am to improve all the time so I want a ski to grow into.

 

I ignore reviews by unknown folks over the internet. Mostly because I know of "advanced"  and "expert" skiers who will review a skis carving ability, when I am pretty darn sure they have never linked carved turns in their lives.

post #7 of 13

If you know what type of ski you are looking for or what you like, a review by any half decent skier could provide useful information.  You often have to read between the lines to gleen the skis charateristics, but OTOH I have been very impressed by the caliber of reviews on this forum.  The magazine tests often have the "experts" take a couple runs on 6 different skis, and they never seem to want to get negative because the ski companies are advertisers, whereas here we tend to get a real demo day experience related by the tester, with all the good, bad and the ugly.

post #8 of 13

Funny, I've read through reviews and have been eager to hear what "they" have to say, but its personal droolage, and peers who influence my gear buying most.

 

When I do a review, I try very hard to recognize the properties of the ski more than my personal likes and dislikes, mostly because something that really gets me excited may not be the same thing that gets you excited, eh?

 

This podcast from Stu Campbell had some interesting insights on Ski Gear Reviews.

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/71183/finally-stu-campbell-podcast 

post #9 of 13

I like the reviews here and on TGR and have posted a few myself.  I appreciate that people take the time to share their impressions of a ski.  Their perspective is, just that, THEIR perspective.  I take into account their approach to skiing and the other skis they may like or dislike.  Some folks over time (e.g. Sierra Jim) have developed a reputation for reliability in terms of what they think about skis.  I may not agree with his opinions on every ski but I trust that his impressions are thoughtful and well researched...isn't that all we can really ask from someone else's opinion on a ski? 

 

Skiing is a very personal thing and thus very unique and customized.  Each of us has a taste for the type of skis we like and don't like and how that jibes with our own personal style.  I also know that there TEND to be more reviews of big mountain fat skis on TGR...its a bias of the constituency over there.  As long as I know that bias then I can evaluate those reviews within that context.  

 

I hope people continue to review skis that's part of what makes this community fun.  This is not rocket science, after all. 

post #10 of 13

It's been said before, but it bears repeating.

 

IMO 80% or of reviews on this board reflect what a person likes or dislikes in a ski. Case in point: Look at my Demo Day at Dodge thread. I demoed a pair of Salomon Tornados and disliked the skis. Turns out this other poster (cuda7050) demoed the exact same pair of Tornados (they only had one pair) on the same day and loved them. Same coonditions, Same tune. Same pair of skis.

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/82296/demo-day-at-dodge

 

What is really interesting is that I found the Tornados too wimpy for my tastes and I am a lower level skier than cuda7050. I just happen to like stiffer skies than I should considering my skiing ability.

 

 

post #11 of 13

Can't buy into the "reviews are useless-it's all individual taste" POV simply because reviews from various sources coalesce. Everyone on earth agrees that a Legend Pro is a stiff ski, and needs some input to operate well, just like everyone agrees that the Supersonic is a lively ski with a easy tail, or Rossis with foam cores are like vanilla ice cream. There's a pattern. So if you read a bunch, and look for patterns, you at least have a better sense of which skis you're intrigued by are non-starters and which may bear more fantasy. Plus I've developed a decent sense of how to weight many Bear's reviews just from skiing the same skis. 

 

IMO the real issue about any "test" is not accuracy (if I'm the standard, are these results like mine would be? Naw. So I learn to adjust for differences), but reproducibility. Meaning, can you get the same results at different times for the same ski? Not even close.

 

In 07, for instance, Ski Press World gushed about how balanced and easy and versatile the iM82 was - a great ski for women and lighter men, it opined. Fairly high scores.Then the next year (same ski, same lengths, new graphics) said all the iM82 wanted was speed, speed, speed. Decent but relatively lower scores. Then this season (still same ski, same lengths, again new graphics) said the 82 "cuts, floats, sails, and soars." Highest rated in its class. I can only conclude a) they never reread their own reviews, or b) they're too blitzed to care about consistency  

 

Most of the other mags do the same thing, but it's harder to tell what's up because they don't publish test lengths or break down the scores. 

 

Conclusion: Only trust Epic! When the time is right, will go public with my highly secret equation that weights all Epic reviewers for all possible readers needing all possible skis. Meanwhile, gotta go advise AIG about some mortgages. I have a great idea for spreading out risk. You sell it, see...  

post #12 of 13

Maybe there should be a field in the reviews for a skier to check off their "ski ability level" with a link to the standard descriptions of those levels?  Another field for "average number of days skied per year", etc.?

post #13 of 13

Most reviewers already put their skier level in the review and if they forget, posters usually ask for such stats.

 

Reviews = useful?  I really don't care actually.  I'm a gear maven who doesn't actually own any of the stuff.  I'm much more heavily researched in computers and electronics and I'm spoiled there because there are reviews of almost every product that launches.  I like reading reviews about almost anything so I don't really care that much if the tester is fully qualified or knows what I want in a ski or anything. 

 

The biggest annoyance for me is how a couple of skis seem to get all the attention.  Every time a question as asked "What ski should I get" people always recommend the same ~10 skis.  There must be some other skis out there that don't get any love for some reason but are great to use. 

 

So the point is, keep writing reviews all you people who do.  I adore reading them as long as you use decent grammar and capitalize and punctuate.  I don't mind mistakes and misspellings as this is a forum after all, but when I have to work to understand what is being said ... this is a complaint meant for another thread perhaps.  

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