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How We Test Skis: From Prep to Test

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1  Vegas Test director Paul Hochman (right) attends the ski-industry trade show in Las Vegas to meet with manufacturers (here, Geoff Curtis and Mike…

1 Vegas Test director Paul Hochman (right) attends the ski-industry trade show in Las Vegas to meet with manufacturers (here, Geoff Curtis and Mike DeSantis of Völkl). The goal: pick each company’s top models for testing.

7  Consensus  Before test card results are entered into a database, we debrief¿gathering at our hotel, The Charter, to discuss the skis and…

7 Consensus Before test card results are entered into a database, we debrief¿gathering at our hotel, The Charter, to discuss the skis and informally rank them. Roughly half the skis will medal and be written up in the magazine.

6 Paperwork After each run, testers promptly complete test cards, which include numerical scoring and a comment section. Here, Taos patroller Rachel…

6 Paperwork After each run, testers promptly complete test cards, which include numerical scoring and a comment section. Here, Taos patroller Rachel Moscarella records her thoughts; other testers do so on the lift ride up.

5 Blasting Off Testers push skis to their limits, discerning the differences. It's serious work. Here, tester Doug Sabanosh avoids smiling even…

5 Blasting Off Testers push skis to their limits, discerning the differences. It’s serious work. Here, tester Doug Sabanosh avoids smiling even though it is a bluebird day and his skis have been tuned by World Cup service technicians.

4  Dialing In Skis are adjusted to fit each tester's boot-sole length, weight and skiing style by certified technicians from Gorsuch, Ltd., ski shop.…
File photo

4 Dialing In Skis are adjusted to fit each tester’s boot-sole length, weight and skiing style by certified technicians from Gorsuch, Ltd., ski shop. Manufacturer personnel are on hand to deal with any edge damage or tune problems.

3  The Gear Test skis¿250 pairs¿are tuned and masked by the manufacturers, then delivered to Beaver Creek to be cataloged and coded. In the test…

3 The Gear Test skis¿250 pairs¿are tuned and masked by the manufacturers, then delivered to Beaver Creek to be cataloged and coded. In the test corral, they are then separated by Skier Type: Player, All-Mountain Expert, etc.

1  Vegas Test director Paul Hochman (right) attends the ski-industry trade show in Las Vegas to meet with manufacturers (here, Geoff Curtis and Mike…

1 Vegas Test director Paul Hochman (right) attends the ski-industry trade show in Las Vegas to meet with manufacturers (here, Geoff Curtis and Mike DeSantis of Völkl). The goal: pick each company’s top models for testing.

2  Beaver Creek Testers converge for a week in April. They meet each morning at 7:45 a.m. to determine the day's business. Groups of testers are…

2 Beaver Creek Testers converge for a week in April. They meet each morning at 7:45 a.m. to determine the day’s business. Groups of testers are assigned to each category of ski being tested that day.