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RealSkiers: A Potpourri Of Pungent Opinion


A blank canvas in the Wasatch invites the skier to etch clean lines on its surface. (RealSkiers)

As the 2017/18 ski season shifts from bright anticipation to rapidly dimming memory, it’s time to look back and take stock of where we’ve been and what we’ve pondered in the past seven months. To this end, here are links to all the recent Revelations you may have missed, along with a skinny summary of its contents.


Realskiers.com Solves World Hunger! In which I herald the coming alliance with Masterfit Enterprises and America’s Best Bootfitters.

What You Pay For The contributions that materials, design, consistency, finish and philosophy make to the value of a ski.

Not Dead Yet! An appeal to the middle-aged not to succumb to defeatist self-talk; skiing isn’t what’s killing you – it’s what keeping you alive.

Deceptively Fast This exposé of the potential inaccuracy of GPS-based speed measurement apps merits a follow-up.

It’s a Woman’s World Part I In which I explain why the unisex Big Mountain market and the Alpine women’s market share the same design philosophy.

It’s a Woman’s World Part II Further exploration of the significant Frontside and All-Mountain East genres.

It’s a Woman’s World Part III I conclude the most comprehensive examination of the women’s ski market published during the current season.

On Anticipation No skill is more significant or more redolent with metaphysical aroma than anticipation, as this chapter from Snowbird Secrets elucidates.

The Vanishing Ski Bum Heedless development has driven ski bums – and the services they provide – further away from the resorts they serve.

Lessons in Humility The digital age enables any skier to contribute to the Realskiers ski-test database. If only Siri could understand a word I was saying…

Ski of the Year There’s no such beast. Instead, there’s a constellation of star products, each adapted to different skier styles and terrain preferences.

The Family of Skiers The family of skiers has evolved into a remarkably diverse collection of sub-cultures. Yet there is more that connects us than separates us.

Where Are Rear-Entry Boots Now that We Need Them? Rear-entry boots were widely derided out of existence. Why many skiers long for their return.

Unbalanced by Design Bootfitters assume anyone who has skied for 20+ years would know how to buckle their boots. Beware of assuming too much…

You Have One Hour, and You Need All New Gear How to shop in a hurry and not screw yourself in the process.

Does a Ski Possess a Soul? Even at major brands like Völkl, ski making is a blend of cutting-edge industrialization and handmade artisanship.

A Brief Explanation of Why Skiers are Better than Everyone Else The most widely read and admired post of the year. A few grouches didn’t get it.

How to Be a Good Customer We live in the Golden Age of Consumer Ratings. But there are two sides to every story.

The Special Joys of Flying Solo You have to take your ski days as you find them. It never hurts to have a wingman, but it hurts even more to not ski at all.

Baseline Basics Of all the visible traits of a pair of skis, perhaps the most indicative of on-snow behavior is its baseline, where the ski meets the snow.

First Impressions The annual ski show has become a sub-set of a much larger confab, but that may not be the biggest obstacle to its survival.

Ski Test Primer So, just how do you test a ski, anyway? A how-to guide for those using Realskiers free app. (Links to the test app are on the home page.)

Slowing the Pace of Model Turnover or No Time Like the Present There are fewer new models coming out next year, so there’s no need to wait for gratification.

On Patience An examination of why patience is the most challenging of virtues. Not about skiing per se, but a perspective on an attribute often required of skiers.

What Makes Specialty Shops Special When tragedy struck, a local ski shop stepped up. So did the rest of the community.

Power vs. Finesse Power and Finesse aren’t exact opposites, but they do exist at opposite ends of a spectrum of ski styles and skis made for these styles.

Lessons in Empathy Bootfitting is tough on both fitter and fittee. It’s a tricky process that requires patience and good will on both sides.

The Best of Times Skiing brings people together and helps to keep them together over a span of decades.

The season opened auspiciously on the slopes Sölden. (RealSkiers)

This won’t be the last Revelation of the season, but the fat lady is starting to warm up her vocal chords. A winter that for me began in Sölden, Austria and reached its apogee powder skiing in the Wasatch two weeks ago is on its last legs. I’m off next week to test boots with the Masterfit and America’s Best Bootfitters outfit at Silver Mountain, Idaho and I’ve many skis still to rate before I wrap up the ski test season at Mammoth Mountain next month. Thanks to our most excellent friends at Footloose Sports for their immense help in facilitating our inspection of the Non-FIS Race and Powder categories. I couldn’t do this without their help and the support of other dedicated specialty ski shops around the country. To all my eternal thanks.

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