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How We Test Skis

How We Test Skis

Gear
By Paul Hochman
posted: 08/14/2002

Ski testing begins at the ski industry trade show in Las Vegas, where, with input from the editors, ski manufacturers choose which skis they wish to have tested in each skier type.

The skis are then mounted, masked and shipped to Beaver Creek, where they are sorted and cataloged. On each day of the test, groups of testers are assigned to each skier-type. They take runs on each ski in the group, and after each run, they fill out a test card, noting their opinions and ranking the skis in several criteria: Hard-Snow Grip, Long Turns, Short Turns, Moguls, Crud, etc.

When a skier-type has been completed, testers convene for an afternoon debriefing session, an open and often wide-ranging discussion, in which they evaluate the group as a whole and reveal their favorites. Data from the test cards is entered into a customized database, which ranks the skis. Information from the database and debriefing sessions is then used to determine the medal winners.

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