The industry as a whole is still suffering from a long Covid lag in that the supply chain is still behind and some product was nonexistent for review. Almost a dozen key new offerings for this coming season were either not available or limited to more limited sizing than we have seen in past years at industry demo events. If you read our preview that we posted in the spring, “2024, What’s hot and whats new”, you will read that we were expecting a plethora of new skis for this season and we were unfortunately disappointed in the limited new offerings or even updates, which makes me hope “next year” … which is what I said last year. I am hoping this year is not like last year and next year will eventually arrive and, from the whisperings on 2025 early releases, I am hopefully optimistic for the future.
For those new to SkiTalk and how we review skis (or those who have been following us), this will be new information or a reminder. First of all, we do NOT use a number rating for skis. In reality, what is the difference between a 8.7 verses an 8.6 rating? That could be a tune, the snow conditions the ski was tested in, or it could be that the tester was just not "on" that day. You will also notice we don’t do a “Ski of the Year”. We could ask 10 people from each region and get 15 different viable skis that could be “Ski of the Year” and all would be worthy winners in their own rights. Instead, we bestow our coveted “Tester’s Choice” award on skis that one or more testers feel are a step above the competition.
Who do we use as testers? We use skiers like you, skiers who, as we say, have “achievable skill sets”. We don’t use top level racers or high level instructors who, quite frankly, could get on two 2x4’s and ski better than the average skier. The main thing we look for in a tester is someone who can discern the differences and nuances of a ski and, most importantly, be able to explain who that ski is for and who will get the most out of it … along with who should avoid it. SkiTalk tester range from returning advanced skiers to coaches to racers so you get a wide range of opinions on most skis.