Originally Posted by cfr
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.