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Revisions in the Gear Review section

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

We are looking to simplify the review section with categories that are simpler and more defined that what we have which is the following...

Screen shot 2010-05-22 at 12.23.14 PM.png

There can be and is confusion with the 8 categories when they can be simplified to (example):


On Piste (Frontside)

Backside (Off Piste/Big Mountain)








Woman's models can be variations of any of the these categories. 


The ratings I would also consider being modified from:

Screen shot 2010-05-22 at 12.24.07 PM.png


These can be different for each category of ski so "edge grip" while useful on a race ski, might not be as important on a powder ski. So, please consider options for each type of ski. (please note the sub categories have no effect on the "Overall" value. 



Please submit ideas and we will look and consider all that can work within the parameters of the software. 





post #2 of 10

Seems like it should work, suggest that the "frontside/backside" be altered a bit to: "Predominately groomed," "Predominately ungroomed," My rationale is that many frontsides (if you mean lift served) have both groomed and trees and such that are mostly ungroomed and/or bumps. Lot of eastern skiing is like this, as well as places out west like Mammoth or Steamboat. Backside means various things to various people; I always think of Vail, where the "back bowls" are lift served and many have groomed centers, not to mention lodges, plus a bunch of ungroomed that gets cut up quickly. But for others, "backside" means deeper powder, or even near resort hiking/skinning terrain (eg, sidebounds). You could do nicely on the backside of Vail the day after a storm with midfats. Not so Jackson Hole. 


Since the point is that skis are oriented toward snow conditions, not which side of the mountain you're on, might be useful to stick with the snow. 


Agree with the revision away from "big mountain/all mountain" etc. since everyone thinks they a) have skis that rock everywhere, and b) ski on/want to ski on big mountains or on skis that will reduce said moutains to whimpering. 


As far as the star ratings, all are useful to me except "performance," which can mean anything, and "durability," which will vary according to the skier. For a good reference IMO, look at Ski Press World's numerical ratings. You wouldn't need so many, but I really like having categories like "Ease of initiation," or "Stability," not to mention "Forgiveness." And I find "Edge grip" to be highly relevant for any ski that you use with a lift. You may not use your edges in powder, but you sure do getting to it and back again unless you skin for your turns. OTOH, it's a misnomer, in that you're less concerned about sharpness (which will be largely a function of tuning) than how easily you can deploy your edges, how predictable they are, what kind of feedback they give you. Would rather be on a very dull pair of Blizzards than a very sharp pair of K2's...()

Edited by beyond - 5/27/10 at 1:06am
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

We got one mans opinion, and a good one at that. Please keep these coming. 

post #4 of 10

Front side and groomer skis = race skis

post #5 of 10

How about rating both type and performance based on end use? When I think of my own skis I pick ones for the day based on the following.



Ski type, biased toward: 1 - 5 (0 = not applicable)



All mountain

Powder (I think big mountain is a subset here for the most part)



Performance ratings: 1 - 5 (0 = not applicable)

All Mountain (versatility, suitable for a variety of terrain)

Race course

Hard snow groomers  

Soft snow groomers 







Fischer Watea 84

Ski Type:

Race 0

Cruiser 4

All mountain 5

Powder 3

Park 1



All Mountain 5

Race course 0

Hard snow groomers 2

Soft snow groomers 4

Trees 4

Moguls 4

Powder 3

Park 1


In general I don't find ratings for value, durability, etc particularly valuable. I want to know how the ski will work in particular terrain. There are obviously more ways to divide up categories. I just wanted to show what an end use rating system might look like. There also needs to be a rating for how friendly the ski is to use to differentiate say a race stock gs ski from a beginner ski. Maybe a simple 1 - 5 rating for beginner to expert is appropriate. Level could span values. For example I would rate the Watea 84 3 - 5 as suitable for intermidiate to expert skiers.

post #6 of 10

I don't think you'll ever come up with a system that will please all the people all the time.  Problem is everyone has their own definitions based on their own skills and where they predominantly ski.


That said, here's what I use:


Hard-Pack: < 75mm underfoot

All-Terrain w/ groomed bias: 75-85mm underfoot

All-Terrain w/ ungroomed bias: 85-95mm underfoot

Deep-Snow: > 95mm underfoot




BTW - I also hate the terms frontside and backside - they have no real meaning on most mountains.  Let's talk about the snow conditions when we're discussing ski categories - not mountain locations.

post #7 of 10

I'm puzzled why no one has mentioned "stiffness", an extremely important trait.  I suppose it's implied when one rates a ski for "edge grip" or "hard-snow groomers", but while stiffness can be involved in giving a ski good edge grip, those traits aren't perfectly correlated.


And I'd include a descriptor that is really important for me, "dampness".


I like Noodler's categories:



Hard-Pack: < 75mm underfoot

All-Terrain w/ groomed bias: 75-85mm underfoot

All-Terrain w/ ungroomed bias: 85-95mm underfoot

Deep-Snow: > 95mm underfoot


Although we must recognize that the divisions between those categories will likely evolve.


And how can anyone presume to know a ski's durability if they haven't owned them for several years?

post #8 of 10

^^^^Nice point about dampness; something to do with feel/liveliness/dampness would be money. Agree stiffness is a significant issue, problem of course is that it's tied up to weight of user. A 220 lb guy would find some skis noodles that I'd find moderately stiff. Guess if each reviewer had to declare weight, height, length of ski tested, or be banned for life, it'd work...


Actually, that brings up a related issue. Would be nice if reviews stated typical speeds skied. I can make a stiff ski flex like crazy if I go fast enough. 

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Dampness and stiffness is soooo subjective. I have ideas past this but they are still on paper. 


I am liking RCahill's direction of where the tester feels the strengths are. 


I agree the testers specs should be included as well as what boot he/she tested with 


Lets keep the ideas coming. 

post #10 of 10

Here's a simple one: let the collective decide about a ski's category. 


Instead of trying to slot a ski into a niche by fiat, let people reviewing the ski specify the category that describes how they use/view the ski. 


On the surface, this may sound like it will lead to confusion. However, lots of skis seem to be arbitrarily stuck into one category or another based on length or width, etc. Often in ways that confuse rather than illuminate. For example, many people on Hell Bents consider them to be "all mountain" skis. And sort of bristle at slotting them as a pure powder ski. OTOH, some folks consider them powder/bc jibbing type skis. Letting the reviewer "decide" or "describe"  how they view and use the ski can shed a whole lot of light on the review.


Personally, I think that seeing some visual aide about how the "voting" is going for a particular ski might be pretty revealing. 


This may reduce to something along the lines of rcahill's comments - although I think the implementation needs to be simple for the reviewer to understand & quick to enter. I bet your logs show a decent number of abandoned reviews  - many likely because the reviewer stopped to scratch their head & then walked away.

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