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The Fall Line

THE USEFULNESS OF SKI REVIEWS
By Cathy Margiotta
Posted on 9/11/2017 3:26 PM

I am so glad that Club Express permits the verbose among us to have a blog. And now that our website is up and running smoothly, I am jumping right in to take advantage of that opportunity. I've been skiing for 45 years and teaching for 20. You bet I have plenty to say about ski technique, exercises, and equipment.


Because I was so absorbed in our lovely summer weather, I was a bit taken aback two weeks ago by the arrival of my September issue of SKI Magazine. For decades, their September issue has been the equipment review and this one continued that tradition. The reviewers don't cover all the skis and boots that are out there for purchase, so they pick the brands and models that are most popular. And of course, they divide the skis into men's and women's, then into subsets of all-mountain, freeride, and powder, etc. One thing I have found to be very true about the reviews: you can count of their accuracy. So if a review says that a particular ski is "quick and snappy," you'll probably find that is the case if you were to ski on it. If it says, "needs a confident driver," that means you better know what you're doing.


If you are in the market for skis, picking up a copy of this issue–or going online to their website–is a great way to cut through all the choices. And doing a google search for further advice is essential. Believe it or not, the skis that are stocking the shelves in ski shops right now have been skied on and bought by people skiing in the southern hemisphere. Their ski season is wrapping up, but ski shops down under have been selling and and demo'ing the 2017-2018 line of skis and boots since June. So you can count on those reviews as well.


Why do I say this? Ski manufacturers make only a certain number of skis and the ones that get the best reviews sell out quickly. If you get the September issue of Ski Magazine and suddenly one ski captures your fancy and you just have to have it, then buying it before you ski on it might be the only way to satisfy your urge. So if the write-ups make sense to you, you can spend your money with some confidence.


Just ask Steve Liberman. He got his September issue about the same time I did. The Nordica Enforcers really got his adrenalin pumping. So he calls me to talk about these skis. I have to fish the issue out of my recycle bin. And what I said to him was exactly as I stated above. You can believe the reviews and if you think they fit your skiing and you have the money, go ahead and buy them. And he did.


And I guess he and I will find out soon enough if what I just said is true.


But I also told him that it doesn't matter what the reviewers say. If you have good mechanics you can ski on just about anything. It may not fit your style, and it may not suit you, but at least you know that the ski is not right for you. But without good mechanics, well, you'll never be satisfied with the skis you use and I hope you can find somebody who will buy your used pair.


The reviews are also important if you will rent skis when you get on site. Ski shops don't carry all brands in their high-end rentals. These days you can register in advance when renting your skis. And when you do that, you can specify what type of ski or brand you want to rent. They may not have what you want, but they will offer you a similar model. Doing your homework in advance will help you ski on the boards that suit you best.


Any questions about skis? I don't know everything, but I can draw on my vastly extensive experience to help.


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