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As the ski season winds down, gear testers from SKI Magazine hit the slopes to give next year’s skis the once over.Beaver Creek, CO, May 5–March and April meant ski test time for SKI Magazine. Every year, the Magazine’s gear editors round up their team of approximately 20 testers to test next season’s skis. This year, the testers hit the slopes of Beaver Creek to rip it up on 125 pairs next season’s crop of freeride, slalom, and giant slalom skis.
I caught up with some of the testers at Beaver Creek where they took run after run, rating each skis overall performance. The testers represent a myriad of skiing backgrounds ranging from World Cup Racers and World Cup Bumpers, to professional ski instructors and ski enthusiasts.
Some of the testers include:
Stu Campbell, 13-year tester, former ski instructor, and SKI Magazine instruction editor.
Nelson Carmichael, former World Cup and Olympic mogul skier and part of SKI Magazine’s professional staff.
Tamara McKinney, former Olympic and World Cup racer and part of SKI Magazine’s professional staff.
Kathy Ryan, 14-year tester and professional ski instructor of more than 20 years.For four days, the test team skied some 20-25 different models of next year’s skis in a variety of terrain and snow conditions that included hard-packed corduroy, bumps, and soft spring corn snow.Tape concealed each skis identity to prevent brand or model influence on the testers. Testing procedures then divided skis into male and female categories including freeride, giant slalom, and all-mountain expert.To ensure that all of the skis reveal their strengths and weaknesses in most situations, testers used a wide range of skiing techniques from high-speed carving, airplane turns, and elegant GS turns, to short, quick slalom turns.For complete results of this season’s SKI Magazine ski test, check out the SKI Magazine Buyers Guide 2001, due out this September.