Gear

SKI Magazine Gear Tester: Michael Rogan

Meet the guy who teaches ski instructors how to ski.

Michael Rogan is a man who needs no introduction in the skiing world. As PSIA Alpine Team Coach, Michael is ski instructing’s head honcho—the guy who teaches all the other certified ski instructors how to ski and teach skiing. He is also SKI Magazine’s Director of Instruction, the operations manager at Ski Portillo in Chile, formerly a technique and fundamental skills coach and currently still a special project/camp coach for the U.S. Ski Team. Michael started his illustrious ski career in Rhinebeck, N.Y., then Catamount, N.Y., before moving west to split his time between South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Portillo, Chile.

Vitals

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • Age: 52 
  • Years testing for SKI: Every single one since 1998 
  • Avg. days per season: 51+
  • Home mountain: Heavenly Ski Resort  and Portillo, Chile 

Skiing Style & Terrain Preference

  • Technically clean
  • Athletic
  • Crud
  • Bumps
Michael Rogan carves on skis
The man, the myth, the legend: Michael Rogan, PSIA Alpine Team Coach, SKI’s director of instruction, and an official SKI Magazine gear tester. Photo courtesy of Keri Bascetta

“I’ll be the first in line on the Mike Rogan wanna-be train,” says fellow SKI tester Matt Schiller. “I’ve known and skied with him for 20 years, and I’m proud to work on his boot set up. Someone once called me his “mini me,” but I need another 20 years to get close. Mike’s skiing is consistent, powerful, and precise.”

Watch: Michael Rogan’s Bump Skiing Tips

Ski Preference

The qualities Michael looks for in a ski:

  • Versatility
  • Positive edge engagement
  • Highest ranked ski from SKI Test 2021: Völkl Kendo 88
2021 Volkl Kendo 88 Men's Frontside Ski
The 2021 Völkl Kendo 88 was entered into the men’s Frontside category of SKI Test and scored high marks for Stability at Speed and Hard Snow Integrity. Photo courtesy of Völkl

Michael’s Gear 

Ski: Nordica Enforcer 94

Nordica Enforcer 94 2021
Introducing: the 2021 Nordica Enforcer 94Photo courtesy of Nordica

Ski Boot: Nordica Dobermann (custom build)

Nordica Dobermann GP 130 Ski Boot
The Nordica Dobermann GP 130 is a race inspired boot with a stiff flex and a 98mm last. Photo courtesy of Nordica

Biggest Gear Epiphany

“Modern skis that are GREAT have a very wide range of attributes. What I thought was a great ski but only did one type of turn is no longer good enough.”

If you like Michael’s take on skis, you might also agree with…

“Mark Elling. He’s a very knowledgable tester with years of experience. We’re about the same size, and he’s very smooth and natural in all conditions. But all the testers are pros who have SKI readers’ best interest in mind, or they don’t last as a tester.”