How do we review each ski?

 

Testing new skis is what gets us up in morning. While we feel everyone should try out new gear before they buy it, sometimes that’s just not possible. That’s where we come in. We spend many days on the mountain every season testing new gear and giving you the most up-to-date information. Many of our reviews come from On Snow Demos, but we try to get as many days on each ski as possible. Below, is a table that shows you what we look at when reviewing skis, as well as a list of more detailed information for each category.

Criteria for Ski Reviews

 

These are the specs that will be listed for each ski

 

  • Ski Type
  • Skier Ability
  • Core Material
  • Available Lengths
  • Manufactured In
  • Ski Shape
  • Camber Profile
  • Ski Width
  • Turning Radius
  • Approximate Weight
 

These are rated on preference more than performance. This is just a general guideline based on our preference.

 

On Snow Feel Loose Turn Initiation Very Easy Flex Stiff Edge Hold Soft Snow
Semi-Stable Easy Medium/Stiff Med/Soft Snow
Stable Moderate Medium Medium Snow
Semi-Catchy Semi Challenging Soft Hard Snow
Locked In Challenging Noodle Ice
 

These are rated on performance. They range from poor to excellent. Again this is just a general guideline based on our time on the skis.

 

Powder Excellent Speed Excellent Switch Excellent Jibbing Excellent
Great Great Great Great
Good Good Good Good
Average Average Average Average
Poor Poor Poor Poor
Carving Excellent Uneven Terrain Excellent Jumps Excellent Pipe Excellent
Great Great Great Great
Good Good Good Good
Average Average Average Average
Poor Poor Poor Poor

 

Ski Type – Many skis are designed for the type of skiing you want to do. Will you be riding in the powder? Will you be carving groomers all day long? How about the park? Or maybe you want a ski that can go anywhere? This is where we tell you what type of ski this is.

Skier Ability – Some skis are made for beginners, while others are made for experts. What type of skier is this ski suited for?

Core Material – Many manufacturers will give you specs on construction material. This is important as some materials are more light-weight, while others are heavy. Some are strong, and some flex well.  All of these play a role in how the ski will perform.

Available Lengths – Your height and weight factor into what length of ski is right for you. Here we tell you what sizes are available for this particular model.

Ski Shape – Ski shape often plays an important role in where the ski will perform best. Full twin-tip skis will allow you ski switch easily, while partial or directional twins may be good in powder, but don’t perform as well while riding switch.

Camber Profile – Camber and Rocker play an important role in how a ski performs. Heavily rockered skis may work best in powder, while heavily cambered skis may hold an edge better.

Ski Width – Width will affect how a ski performs on the snow. Wider skis are generally better suited for powder, while an average width ski is better for all-mountain skiing.

Turning Radius – Turning radius is how far the ski will travel on edge before completing the turn. The larger the number, the longer the ski will be on edge. Some people prefer a ski that makes large turns, other prefer a ski that makes quicker turns for riding in bumps or trees.

On Snow Feel – This rating is all about how stable the skis are in certain situations. Some people like a ski with that squirrely feel. It’s playful, and fun, but don’t expect it to carve extremely well. Some like a stable ski, one that carves well and doesn’t catch an edge when you don’t want it to. Some very technical skiers like a ski that is extremely responsive, but be careful as these skis can catch an edge if you’re not careful.

Turn Initiation – How easy is it to get the skis on edge, and make the skis turn? Some prefer skis that transition from edge to edge without skidding. These skis require you to be a little more skilled. Other skis will turn without being completely on edge. These skis will sometimes skid through a turn, but are preferred by those who are new to the sport.

Flex – Does the board have a lot of give to it, or is it stiff? Many park riders prefer a soft flex ski that has a lot of pop. Soft flex skis often feel a little more playful, while stiff skis often handle high speeds better.

Edge Hold – How well does this ski hold an edge? Does the ski chatter or slide when making a turn? Does it hold well in all conditions or just in soft snow?

Powder – All of us here at The Good Ride love fresh powder, but the ride is often times only as good as the skis you are riding. We rate the skis on how well they float in powder. Generally speaking the wider the ski, the better they float, but this isn’t always the case.

Carving – Carving is all about how well the ski turns when really laying into it. How is this different than turning? Well to truly carve you must really be leaning into a turn and get that ski up on its edges. Once on its edge how does it perform? Does it spring out of a turn and into the next, or does it simply lack any spring out of the turn? To us carving is how well the ski springs out of a turn.

Speed – How well does the ski perform at high speeds? Is it damp, or does it chatter? Also, how does the ski retain speed in flat areas?

Uneven Terrain – Skis are often going to perform better when in perfect conditions than when in less-than-ideal conditions. For example a stiff, damp board is going to ride well at high speeds if on a nice groomed run, but how well will that same ski ride when you hit a patch of packed powder, or late afternoon slush? Does it still handle the same way, or does it now feel like you’re going to bounce right out of your boots? This category is to give you an idea of how well the ski can handle those less-than-ideal conditions.

Switch – Does the ski ride well when going backwards? Can you come into a jump switch with confidence, or does the ski lack performance while riding switch.

Jumps – How well does the ski ride off of jumps? How does it land? Is it easy to jump or does it take a lot of work to get it off the ground? How well does the ski spin?

Jibbing – How well does the ski handle rails? Can the ski take a little abuse?

Pipe – How comfortable does the ski feel in the pipe? Does it drive off of the walls well? Does it spin easily? Does it have the edge hold to deal with the icy walls?

We do not allow manufacturers to advertise on our website, and we only keep gear that really blows our minds. This is so we can be as unbiased as possible when trying out new gear. Since this gear is usually our favorite, and what we believe to be the best for a particular category, we use these skis as a baseline for all of the others skis we test.