SkiMag.com’s Gearfinder is now live, with about 700 2013-14 ski test results plus in-depth technical information on virtually every adult recreational ski that will hit shelves this fall in North America. Gearfinder is a ski shopper’s best friend, and we hope you’ll use it as a resource.
First and foremost, you’ll find results of this year’s test—the most rigorous, objective and unbiased test in the industry, we don’t mind saying—with reviews and data that won’t appear in the magazine until our September print issue hits newsstands and mailboxes (mid August).
And yes, we said data: When we run a test, we crunch the numbers and rank the skis—just as manufacturers do when they run internal on-snow tests of their own products—and we aren’t afraid to let our readers see exactly how the scores shake out in each category. No one else does that, and it’s highly controversial. We don’t claim that testing skis is an exact science, given the vagaries of snow conditions, tester subjectivity, and test protocols. But we think you’ll agree that the numbers have value—that consensus among 18 highly experienced testers means something—and we trust our readers to use the rankings intelligently as just one piece of their own ski evaluation process.
But there’s much more than test results. We can’t test every ski on the market, but we can provide valuable information about skis we don’t test. What’s really the difference between the ski you’re looking at and the cheaper one below it in the line? Does it have a wood core? Foam core? A combination? Is it a cheap injected “squirtie” ski, or a labor-intensive sandwich layup? Is it metal-reinforced? Why does it have vertical sidewalls? Do you need more or less binding than it comes with? Those are the kinds of questions Gearfinder answers.
And remember: Gearfinder offers information on skis going back three years now—in case you’re buying yours used and want to know what you’re looking at.
And stay tuned for equally comprehensive information on boots coming soon.
Let us know what you think (editor@ skimag.com), and let the season begin.