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Product Review Template

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

 

Title:  Review: 20XX / Brand / Model (use this in the title line)

 

Product:

Length/size Tested: 

Dimensions:   /    /

Camber: Traditional / Early rise / Tip & Tail w/camber / Reverse camber/full rocker / Other (describe) (pick one)

 

Binding: Demo or Suggested

Mount point: Suggested (boot center) or Other (please specify)

 

Environment of Conditions:

*Location of review:

*Runs Taken:

*Snow Conditions:

*Demo or Own: 

 

Summary (inc. Strengths & Weaknesses):

 

 

Other skis in class:

 

 

Tester Info:

Age: 

Height/Weight:

Average days on snow: 0-10, 11-25, 30+  (pick one)

Years Skiing: 0-5, 6-15, 15-30, 30+  (pick one)

Skis in your Quiver:

 

Aggressiveness: Conservative / Moderate(Finesse) / Aggressive(Driver) / Competitor (pick one)

Preferred Terrain (select one, delete the rest): race course, groomers, terrain park, bumps, off-piste, trees

 

 

READ BELOW......

 

 

Please copy and paste above template for your product reviews

  • If there is already a thread/review started for your product, please add to that, do not start a new thread
  • Limit each thread/post to one product. 
  • Do NOT include size in title line. 

 


Edited by Philpug - 4/20/11 at 4:46am
post #2 of 18

Nice template.

 

IMHO, I think another item that might add context to the review is: Preferred Terrain/Home Hill.

 

This would allow the reader to put the reviewers evaluations in a larger context: e.g. someone who spends 99% of their time on 300 foot hills in the Midwest reviewing a Line Prophet 100 and commenting on it's suitability for moguls, powder, etc.

 

Being able to make sense of the contents of a review is more about getting inside the mind of the reviewer than evaluating the supplied information itself.

post #3 of 18

Phil, this is a good direction for testing reviews.  I spent some time this morning trying to find substantive reviews for skis and quickly became frustrated with the quality of review content.  I did finally remember the Epic ski review page and found what I was looking for there, but for the forums ... the template will add good structure to the reviews posted. Thanks ...

 

Dorm

post #4 of 18

Summary

 

This is a winter sport.

post #5 of 18

Putting "competitor" at the top of the aggressiveness scale seems odd to me. While competitors are often "aggressive" in their environment, it is hard to map that to a broader reality. I know at least 3 or 4  people, not "competitors", who ski more "aggressively" in varied terrain & conditions than all but the most elite "competitors" in the country. It makes no sense to convolute the two.

 

IMO competitor or not is a completely different axis than aggressiveness.  

 

Having a specific section for the reviewer to state their "biases" might not be a bad idea. For example, a couple of well regarded local reviewers here have carried a narrower, cambered ski bias quite strongly into the last couple years. Great guys. But I consider their reviews of most rockered skis pretty useless due to the technique bias they bring over. If they made their technique and gear preferences clear, many might benefit (including folks with similar preferences who would know to stay away..). Likewise, I dumped non-rockered skis a few years ago -- my judgements about a conventional ski are a foregone conclusion... so knowing where I'm coming from just in terms of preference & philosophy helps calibrate any review I might write. 


Edited by spindrift - 1/8/11 at 11:00am
post #6 of 18

Spindrfit, good points but I think Competitor is just synonymous with racer.

 

I think a lot of the confusion can be rectified by including the 'Home Hill/Preferred Terrain'  Item I suggested. If someone lists 'Race course/Icy hardpack' as their preferred terrain, you have a pretty good idea of where they are coming from when they comment on a skis performance. If they say a ski has poor edge grip, that may translate to--for someone who is used to skiing on 68mm well-tuned GS skis in a race course.

 

I know this is all nit-picking, but comments really don't mean anything unless you can put them into context. Most of the time someone posts a review, you have no idea where they are coming from. Someone stating that they ski 30 days a year doesn't give you much to work with. Knowing where they are spending the 30 days a year does.

 

Anyways, time to ski.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

Putting "competitor" at the top of the aggressiveness scale seems odd to me. While competitors are often "aggressive" in their environment, it is hard to map that to a broader reality. I know at least 3 or 4  people, not "competitors", who ski more "aggressively" in varied terrain & conditions than all but the most elite "competitors" in the country. It makes no sense to convolute the two.

 

IMO competitor or not is a completely different axis than aggressiveness.  

 

Having a specific section for the reviewer to state their "biases" might not be a bad idea. For example, a couple of well regarded local reviewers here have carried a narrower, cambered ski bias quite strongly into the bast couple years. Great guys. But I consider their reviews of most rockered skis pretty useless due to the technique bias they bring over. If they made their technique and gear preferences clear, many might benefit (including folks with similar preferences who would know to stay away..). Likewise, I dumped non-rockered skis a few years ago -- my judgements about a conventional ski are a foregone conclusion... so knowing where I'm coming from just in terms of preference & philosophy helps calibrate any review I might write. 

Competitor could be "big mountain" or "racing" competitor.  Not saying that good skiers won't be competitors, but most all of the very best skiers I know either are/were racers or big-mountain competitors, at least on a local level.  An alternative could be some sort of more specific rating or skill level. For example, if you can ski a double-black bump run at Mary Jane fluidly w/o stopping, you are probably a true expert, but much of that can be hard to quantify.    
 

That is pretty easy to solve: just have the reviewers post video of themselves skiing. It will be much easier to see any technique bias in a video or MA. I try to do that as much as possible, so people know where I am coming from, what terrain I ski, and how that ski performed.   Most, if not all, people are going to have some sort of  preference based on technique; some skis are harder to drive than others, some require more skill than others, some are more forgiving than others, et cetera.  This is what makes reviewing skis so much fun: one person's Porsche 911 Turbo could be another's Chevy Sprint.  There are plenty of hacks that love benign, forgiving skis, and plenty of good skiers that won't ski anything but the most aggressive ski on the rack; it isn't a bias, but rather a performance issue.   OTOH, highly skilled skiers are much less likely to hold specific biases based on technique (good ski technique is universal;allowing for individual factors, good skiing is good skiing), but skilled testers going to be likely to flesh out any differences based on what the ski is meant to do vs. what it isn't meant to do. 

 

This is the real key to ski testing; knowing that each ski has a design idea in mind, and figuring out who and what that ski was designed for, vs. just discounting a ski because it doesn't meet the tester's version of an ideal ski.  Probably less than 15% of the skis I have tested in the past year are skis I would like to own, but that hardly makes them bad skis; in fact, many are incredible skis, but not models that would really fit where and how I ski, or a need in my quiver. 

 

If you are looking for ski-specific biases (something like "I ski at Whiteface and prefer narrower skis that hold well on ice"), then that should be pretty obvious when they post their quiver, which is one of the review components.  When a guy like me posts their quiver (Kastle RX12, Blizzard magnum 8.1, Elan Apex, Kastle MX98, Kastle MX108, Dynastar Huge Rocker, Praxis Powder (on loan)), it really doesn't tell people much, except that I like skis and own a ski shop biggrin.gif

post #8 of 18

That would preclude everyone who doesn't have easy access to a willing friend and a video camera (and a conducive area -- I think you'd get slammed at some of the busier resorts) from ever posting a review. 

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

That would preclude everyone who doesn't have easy access to a willing friend and a video camera (and a conducive area -- I think you'd get slammed at some of the busier resorts) from ever posting a review. 



Yeah, I know, but it is super helpful if available.  I wouldn't say "required", just "suggested".  It seems like the pro reviews on mtbr.com have been going that direction.

post #10 of 18
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

... OTOH, highly skilled skiers are much less likely to hold specific biases based on technique (good ski technique is universal;allowing for individual factors, good skiing is good skiing), but skilled testers going to be likely to flesh out any differences based on what the ski is meant to do vs. what it isn't meant to do.... 

 


 

Your own reviews of rockered and wider skis over the past few years prove this statement manifestly  incorrect. Technique is not "universal". If it were, McConkey would not have bothered to write his little treatise. 

 

I'm just saying that an open statement of technique history/preference will make reviews more useful. We all carry biases (regardless of skill level). Making it part of the template would be a good thing IMO. That's all.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

If anyone wants to ADD anything to their reviews....by all means feel free to do so. Anything to make the review better. 

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

... OTOH, highly skilled skiers are much less likely to hold specific biases based on technique (good ski technique is universal;allowing for individual factors, good skiing is good skiing), but skilled testers going to be likely to flesh out any differences based on what the ski is meant to do vs. what it isn't meant to do.... 

 


 

Your own reviews of rockered and wider skis over the past few years prove this statement manifestly  incorrect. Technique is not "universal". If it were, McConkey would not have bothered to write his little treatise. 

 

I'm just saying that an open statement of technique history/preference will make reviews more useful. We all carry biases (regardless of skill level). Making it part of the template would be a good thing IMO. That's all.

Oooohhh, spitting match!  Did you ever bother to watch Shane ski?  The guy freakin' rips-some of his skiing was simply epic!  I haven't seen an MA that shows his skiing was anything but fluid, precise, and yes, technically sound.  His innovations changed the industry, but that didn't make him any less of a skier, or a product of re-designing skis.  And, yeah, I hate rockered skis.  That is why I own, what, 4 pair?  roflmao.gif     

 

Here you go: http://www.zapiks.com/shane-mcconkey-push.html

 

Gorgeous skiing: dynamic, fluid, feline-like quickness, feet always in the right place, beautiful ILE/OLR pedal moves with the feet and retraction to get across the fall line, hands up in front, ready to attack the fall line.

 

I see this guy making those same moves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thQPB2D78BA

 

Hmmm, maybe, just maybe, they have something in common, besides traveling at 85mph down a scary, die-if-you-fall zone?

 

 

 

 

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Please copy and paste above template for you product reviews
  • If there is already a thread/review started for your product, please add to that, do not start a new thread


Coupla minor suggestions:

 

1) "Your" has an "r" at the end. 

2) Addition thing is unclear. Do you mean, go back and revise your initial review, even if years ago and before miles of drift? Or does this refer to additional reviews by others of same product? Or do you add a new post to your own existing thread? 

3) Might help to mention somewhere whether review is of demoed ski or purchased ski. The "weaknesses" of skis we've just paid for take a while to become evident. wink.gif

 

I'll leave Dawgcatching and Spindrift to wrestle over whether competitor is badder than aggressive (I'd opt for "slays entire planets," or SEP,  for the top category) and whether we should all submit wobbly teles of us at 100 yards trying our hardest to look SEP. 

 

Otherwise, good work! 

post #15 of 18

See Phil, drift is in our blood...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
Gorgeous skiing: dynamic, fluid, feline-like quickness, feet always in the right place, beautiful ILE/OLR pedal moves with the feet and retraction to get across the fall line, hands up in front, ready to attack the fall line.


Hmm. I must have hit a different link. What I see in the most extreme segments is a tiny figure, usually too deep to see anything much about the feet or legs, showing unreal balance and recovery, nice shot of him getting his uphill shoulder and pole way back behind him at around 2:20 or so, sometimes so far in the backseat he's sitting on his skis, often doing heavy duty counter rotation to get the turn done, you get the idea. Reminds me of Bode, who's let's say unorthodox in his technique. 

 

Point being that yep, he no doubt had a fully modern (or post-modern) set of technical skills because I assume he raced once upon a time. But you mostly see the perfect, fluid, form in the closer shots in more moderate terrain. When he - or any other elite extreme skier - is in true no fall zones, technique takes a, umm, backseat to staying up when almost anyone else would crash and die. 

 

Now you could argue that behind all that recovery are technical skills. Agree to a point. But I think balance is something a bit different than just good technique. Years ago an instructor at the bird once told me that I skied a lot better than I looked. Meaning that I was handling terrain that I shouldn't have, given my many technical mistakes. But I had been skiing since I was 3, I was strong, and I had really good balance and recovery skills. I've gotten rid of some of the mistakes, but I don't ski that stuff any better or faster, just maybe more securely. 

 

Over at TGR, in fact, they're boasting about how no one gives a shit about carving anymore; it's for old guys over at Epic. And over here in the instruction forum they're complaining about being asked by their schools to teach "drifting." OK, maybe all these freeriders are inferior skiers. But a lot of them of them who are 19, never raced, and slide all their turns could leave you confused and dazed as they richotchet through the woods and huck off big pillows. There are new genres of skiing out there that do not depend on the same skill sets that you and I value, and for better or worse Shane actually started many of them. Competitors, as in racing, may not be where it's at anymore, aggression-wise. 

 

Are you old enough to recall Wedel? That was good technique in the 60's. smile.gif


Edited by beyond - 1/11/11 at 10:00am
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

Point being that yep, he no doubt had a fully modern (or post-modern) set of technical skills because I assume he raced once upon a time. But you mostly see the perfect, fluid, form in the closer shots in more moderate terrain. When he - or any other elite extreme skier - is in true no fall zones, technique takes a, umm, backseat to staying up when almost anyone else would crash and die. 

 

Now you could argue that behind all that recovery are technical skills. Agree to a point. But I think balance is something a bit different than just good technique. Years ago an instructor at the bird once told me that I skied a lot better than I looked. Meaning that I was handling terrain that I shouldn't have, given my many technical mistakes. But I had been skiing since I was 3, I was strong, and I had really good balance and recovery skills. I've gotten rid of some of the mistakes, but I don't ski that stuff any better or faster, just maybe more securely. 

 

 

Well said. (was referring to the steep section about 1/2 way through in the earlier post)  Not being an instructor, I look at that as some serious "skills" that would and are possible because he is able to balance and recover, with a very dynamic flow in doing so.  There is that old vid. of him ripping bumps around somewhere, so obviously the guy had the skills; whether it is new school or old school (whatever that means), it is really beautiful skiing.  

 

I do think the carving or not carving is somewhat irrelevant on steeps: you do what the terrain allows you to do, and modern skis certainly give us leeway in that regard.  Are there people out there saying that every turn has to be carved (aside from the obvious subset, not that they hang around on Epic).  It is fun to put the skis onto edge; to find that balance point that allows the ski to move down the fall line instead of travel across it on steeps.  Plus, nobody can arc cleanly the steepest terrain: too much speed would be involved.  Watching a WC GS recently, the fastest guys make the same move: drift toward the gate, taking a nearly L-shaped line, and hit the edges to blast out of the turn; it isn't really carving either, and is done for the same reason, as they end up out of the course in short order.  At least that is what it looks like to the untrained eye.  I wasn't aware that too many technical arguments over big-mountain skiing were going on; it seems like in that environment, you do what is necessary to ski the line, and then ski the line as you would like to ski it. I doubt many big-mountain skiers worry to much about their "form", like racers who only care about getting to the line first.  I can't quite put my head around an "us vs. them" argument in skiing; Eric Pollard and Hugo Harrison obviously have different skiing styles, but both are fun (and a little unnerving) to watch, just as I feel that watching a big mountain ski video is just as impressive as watching a guy like Tommy Ford ski GS with throttle open here up on the mountain. The raw power and athleticism is crazy to behold, when you see it in person.  Different brush strokes of the same art form.  

 

post #17 of 18

Hey, folks, I would love to get feedback on the "keeper-reviews" that will be put onto the product pages (if available). I understand that this thread is about the Gear Review forum, the rich but disorganized pool from where the eventual keepers will come. I would like feedback on a review template for the product page "official EpicSki review."

 

 

Here's the model used on different skis. Dawgcatching is the reviewer, because I know he can ski well and he's obviously very articulate and thorough. 

http://www.epicski.com/products/2011-fischer-motive-84-ski

http://www.epicski.com/products/2011-dynastar-6th-sense-slicer-ski

http://www.epicski.com/products/2011-blizzard-the-one-iq-max

http://www.epicski.com/products/2011-fischer-watea-98-ski

 

Thanks so much. I also would appreciate hearing about other great reviews in the Gear Review Forum to get them the proper posterity they deserve. 

post #18 of 18

This template really needs a "other skies I'm comparing to" section. I've read quite a few glowing reviews of powder skis only to read somewhere in the middle that the owner is coming from skinny carvers (or carve-biased midfats). Of course s/he's going to love them. IMO, these types of reviews are of very limited value, and highlighting that fact in the template would be a valuable piece of information.

 

Thanks!

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