Once upon a time, skiers had to go to a ski shop to buy their equipment. How quaint! Now, with just a few keystrokes, one can visit scores of online gear purveyors, most of which blare messages of bargains galore behind their glistening portals.
You can’t consider yourself a complete golfer if you can’t put every club in the bag to good use. Skiers also have a bag of clubs, not in the sense of having 14 skis from which to choose, but in the arsenal of turn shapes and turning techniques that can be deployed in any given circumstance.
This reverie may strike some readers as an odd blog entry from a person who writes over 200 ski reviews a season for realskiers.com, but chances are a new ski won’t change your skiing as much as learning how to use the tools you have. (There are exceptions, of course, but we’ll deal with them later.)
A fierce debate has been raging within the narrow corridors of the ski trade for longer than the Thirty Years War. If you haven’t caught wind of it, it’s because each shop resolves the debate for its own customers, presenting the case that works for them.
I’m not normally a crusader against fat, or any other form of self-indulgence for that matter. My bona fides as a bon vivant have been attested to by no less a luminary than John Fry, the finest editor ever to work the ski beat, along with a few hundred other skiers and revelers of my generation. I like butter in my cooking and marbling in my meat, but even I draw the line at deep-fried dairy products and skis that are too fat for the skier’s own good.
I suppose if you’re part of a publicly held company, your brand has an obligation to pursue every possible profit opportunity. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so a market niche attracts the maximum number of entrants.
Skiing has many charms, but being cheap isn’t one of them. Only the likes of princes and pashas can indulge in the sport with a blind eye to its costs.
Ski boots are the most commonly replaced piece of equipment because when they stop working, they get your attention by hurting like hell. RealSkiers.com has some tips leading to savvy boot buying.
For most of the last century there was only one archetype of the perfect ski, namely, the Race ski. Every ski made for every level of skier sprang from the same soil.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, preseason ski sales are an exciting time. There are lots of new toys to inspect and drool over, alongside a hodgepodge of relics, ex-rentals, curios, hand-me-downs and, amidst the dross, some rare gems of recent vintage at come-hither prices. Plan on plundering the used ski market? Read on.
Some of this will be familiar to some readers, but it is worth repeating and may be, in fact, among the most important equipment advice we can offer in this or any other season.
Alas, there is no "perfect" ski, although skis in general are vastly superior to those available only a few years ago. Nevertheless, each year we publish a list of skis we consider to be the best available, a list we call Realskiers' Skis of the Year.
Our Gear Guide takes a different approach than most. Rather than list and praise a selection of shiny new ski models and boots “suggested” by various manufacturers, we focus on evergreen fundamentals that should help you sort through the equipment jungle.
Preseason sales this fall should offer some of the best bargains in years, not only in savings, but also in availability of top rated equipment. This fall, after the worst snow year in memory, there should be great deals on great gear.
OK, 2011/12 hasn’t been the greatest season on record—some say the worst. Nevertheless, there has been some reasonable skiing, even in the climate-challenged Northeast. Equipment sales, however, have been down.
My last column, Boots 101, surveys boot fitting, including defining characteristics of an effective boot fit process to help identify true boot pros, but space did not allow discussion of one of the most important and least considered performance requirements.