Ever wonder where all those gear tests in Ski Magazine come from? Who is that elusive lucky guy or gal that gets to go to some mysterious ski resort and test next year’s skis? Where do they go? Where do they stay?
Sometimes we aren’t thinking about those silly little details while reading about next season’s all mountain skis. We might just be shamelessly willing to slide our credit cards and don’t care who writes the review. Sometimes we just want to know the basics like dimensions and construction and we make our opinions off of that. But skis need to be tested before they are sold. Someone has to give us a window into what they will be like.
What’s a Ski Review?
These ski reviews we drool over every fall have authority. An Expert, you could say, is testing skis and writing reviews. One of our own experts, Stephanie Humes, got the chance of a lifetime to get out to Snowbird Ski Resort for a week to test all of 2013/14 model year skis. So when your eyes are glazed over from looking at next years gear issue of Ski Magazine, Stephanie will have been the one to grace the pages with her words.
It isn’t a sales pitch while ski testing. Reps and athletes have to keep quiet and can’t boast about new technology and features so that the testers remain unbiased and write educated reviews. This way the gear reviews you read are trustworthy. Educated people who are good at skiing are trying out these skis and writing about them. This opportunity helps Stephanie help you when you’re picking out your next pair of skis. And it helps us online gurus to give authority to our product descriptions for the online shoppers out there in interweb land.
Our Expert at the Scene
Stephanie has actually had the chance to do this before. In her words they “needed someone that was a local chick.” Stephanie isn’t any “local chick” though. She has been invited three years running now. Her attention to detail is what makes her perfect for testing skis. And trust me, she is very particular about the details. She can pick apart a ski, looking at each material, the construction, and shape to determine what skier type and terrain that ski would be good for. That way when you’re looking at Atomic, K2, and Salomon boots, or the newest pair of Kastle skis, not only can she tell you all about it but she can give you her personal impression.
Needless to say she is a kickass skier and a badass boot fitter. She has been at Jans a long time and manages our Park City Mountain Resort Location. And in her quest to satisfy her customers she is always looking to learn. She was stoked to hang out with boot fitting legends like Mark Elling and Bob Gleason and ski with some of the top talent in the country. I’m sure she was able to pick up some boot fitting tips along the way.
After testing she had the chance to kick it with her roommate Kim Beekman, a fellow tester and editor at Ski Magazine. Networking and making friends is another great aspect about testing skis. You have such great opportunities for networking.
And what a better venue than Snowbird? The world famous resort is known for its diverse terrain, huge amounts of snowfall, and genuine vibes. Perfect for unleashing next ski season’s arsenal of ski goodies and ski experts alike.
After the Gear Review
So what is one to do when done after a long day of testing and writing reviews? What else happens when you put a bunch of kick ass skiers in the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird: they party. The bars were full and people were having all kinds of après ski fun every night. Fun is a big part of this industry and ski testing wouldn’t be the same if it were all business.
– Paul Boyle, Marketing Specialist