EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Ski review/test jargon..
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ski review/test jargon..

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Sitting having a coffee (no snow yet) and reading some reviews today. When reviewers use the terms heavier skier - what is a heavier skier? What would the mid point for a male skier be and what would the low and high ranges be? Or a female skier for that mater. What do the ski companies use as a definition?

Same for soft snow vs hard snow, finesse vs aggressive? What I would call soft snow here in Ontario might be referred to as 

hard somewhere else (even Ontario vs Quebec or Eastern NY or the US northeast) depend upon your definition of hard.

Is there some commonly agreed upon definitions?

 

Thanks for reading

 

Regards

Stephen

post #2 of 8

I guess the best way to understand it and remove specific measurerments is to compare ski flex to skier. A heavy skier would be someone who can bend the ski under question fairly easily. A lighter skier relative to a ski would be someone who finds the ski cannot be bent easily. I don't think there is any way to quantify that. If you put a 90 pounds skier on a pair of 140 cm Rossignol rentals, they could probably bend it fairly easy, so it's all relative.

 

Finesse means you use more gentle, relaxed movements to drive the ski and get it to perform. On a finesse-type ski, you don't need to apply a lot of input to make something happen. This type of ski is likely lighter and softer, although there are exceptions. Most lighter skiers would typically prefer this type of ski, but that is a generalization.

 

Aggressive means the ski likes to be driven aggressively with a lot of input. It takes force or weight to bend it and nothing exciting happens without a lot of input. A heavier skier would probably prefer this type of ski as they could too easily bend a softer ski.

 

The analogy I would use is to driving a car. A finesse driver is someone who gradually changes lanes, doesn't accelerate quickly or brake hard, and prefers a light touch on the steering wheel. Nothing happens quickly and the car is driven smoothly. An aggressive driver is someone who darts in and out of lanes quickly and mashes the accelerator to the peddle. Also, for unknown reasons, they likes to speed up to a stop light then slam on the brakes.  

 

 

.

post #3 of 8


Quote:

Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post

 Also, for unknown reasons, they likes to speed up to a stop light then slam on the brakes.  

 

 

.


Just in case the light changes ...  ;)
 

post #4 of 8

I would guess the average weight for a guy would be around 180 lbs.  If you weight more, then you are heavier than the average bear; if you weigh less you are lighter than the average bear.

 

If a pole basket goes into the snow it's soft.  If a pole tip doesn't go into the snow it's hardpack;  If you can see yourself in it it's ice.

 

It's quite simple really; everybody just has to agree with me.biggrin.gifwink.gif

 

I ski with finesse and power at the same time.  "Power is nothing without control."

 

post #5 of 8

Steve,

 

You are reading way too much into this.  I was a ski tester for a while and I can tell you it is not at all scientific or an exact science.  It is a bunch of ski guys ripping around on new skis, jotting down a few points on each one.  Terms are relative, that is about it.  At the end of the day the magazines, not the companies do the reviews...but the magazines rely on the ski companies for advertising revenue, but they rely on the public for magazine sales, so they are stuck wanting to provide useful info to you the ski mag buyer, but not upset the ski companies...hence everything is deliberatley vague.  Comments are often "almagmated" by the editors as well.

 

For example:

 

Tester 1 writes:  Beefy skis, stable at high speed, but you need to go really fast to flex them.

Tester 2 writes:  Great hold on ice, too stiff for bumps or slush.

Tester 3 (small female) writes:  These skis suck.

 

Editors put in magazine: "Designed for heavier skiers, great for hard or icy conditions and at high speed"

 

My advice..look for the "gold star" or "editors choice" or what have you...the good stuff rises to the top.

post #6 of 8



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

My advice..look for the "gold star" or "editors choice" or what have you...the good stuff rises to the top.



 IMO, the gold star stuff in SKI mags has more to do with who paid for the most advertising space.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveb View Post

Sitting having a coffee (no snow yet) and reading some reviews today. When reviewers use the terms heavier skier - what is a heavier skier? What would the mid point for a male skier be and what would the low and high ranges be? Or a female skier for that mater. What do the ski companies use as a definition?

Same for soft snow vs hard snow, finesse vs aggressive? What I would call soft snow here in Ontario might be referred to as 

hard somewhere else (even Ontario vs Quebec or Eastern NY or the US northeast) depend upon your definition of hard.

Is there some commonly agreed upon definitions?

 

Thanks for reading

 

Regards

Stephen


Good question! I always try to identify: 1) my size and skill level  2) exactly what conditions I tested in; if possible, what runs.  

 

I would consider hard snow either manmade, early morning spring snow that has yet to thaw, or rained-on ice. Most Western groomers are just that, and don't qualify as "hard". Firm, perhaps. 

 

Heavy skier: Not me!  Probably close to 200lbs or over. 

 

Finesse skier: more of a lighter touch, balance, vs. aggressive (big Austrian dude that can squat 450).  Then again, any good skier or ex-racer probably has more than average power in their legs and can ski with power at times: it is required.  I often think of "finesse skiing" in the review sense as less dynamic: the guy pivoting his way down the hill, not moving his feet much, not moving fluidly.   Most good skiers are going to be dynamic in their turns. 

 

Mags leave this stuff as vague as possible, which is probably why most of the "reviews" are more than paid ads for the company running the big full-page spread somewhere else in the mag.  The exception being that freebee magazine that has the actual ratings and who it is recommended for.   

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks all..

I'm not trying to read more into it, I'm more interested in using reviews as a means of identifying skis that I might want to try based upon similarities between the tester profile and my own build/style - or by comments IE heavy/light - hard/soft etc.

Me, I'm 6-2 185 and a finesse skier - meaning (in my own mind that is) I rely more on a softer/smoother technique while dynamic - so I have just contradicted dawg where he suggests that finesse means less dynamic. So by being dynamic - does this mean I ski with power? Anyway it is interesting as one of the reviews I was reading (in this case Ski Canada Magazine) comments were made by a tester that just so happens I recognize as someone I had taken lessons from in the not so distant past and he has classified himself as finesse (and he is certainly dynamic - CSIA 4 (I think) ) in his profile. But if I was asked to look at 2 skiers coming down the hill, I would need to be shown the difference between finesse and power.

 

I was just hoping someone could in someway quantify so I could relate - does this mean I have snow fever? 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Ski review/test jargon..