SKI Magazine's ski testers invade the slopes of Beaver Creek, Colo. to sample next year's product and give their view of what's hot and what's not. For more on how they test, read on.Beaver Creek, Colo. April 11, 2001--April means ski test time for SKI Magazine. Each year, the magazine's gear editors gather a team of testers to put the upcoming season's skis through the paces.
For the 12th consecutive year, testers convened at Beaver Creek, Colo., where the test camp is set up. This year, 24 world-class skiers, including Olympic racers and bumpers, veteran ski instructors, coaches and ski enthusiasts were in attendance. They tested approximately 140 pairs of next season's premier product.
Skis are broken down into various categories: all mountain carver, all-mountain expert, player, aspiring carver, and GS and slalom race skis. Each ski is concealed with tape to prevent testers from being influenced by graphics or brands.
Then for four days, each tester skis between 30 and 40 pairs of skis. To ensure that all the skis' strengths and weaknesses are discovered, testers take them into a variety of terrain ranging from trees and steeps to hard-packed corduroy, bumps and soft spring corn. They also use a wide range of skiing techniques from high-speed carving and airplane turns to short, quick slalom turns. As they ride the lift between runs, they take notes and grade the ski's performance in a variety of situations. Their feedback¿noted on test cards¿is then input into a database and used to generate the ratings and writeups you read in SKI's annual September Buyers Guides.
To read more about which models won SKI's coveted Gold Medal awards, you'll need to check out SKI's Buyers Guide 2002, due out on newsstands Aug. 15!