In a market dominated by product that, generally speaking, is all pretty legit, it’s a daunting task to sort out the boys from the men, the skis from the noodles, the quality from the crap. Every August, as we are dreaming lucid dreams of long pow laps, Powder and Freeskier Magazine rise to the challenge and bring us the beta on the latest and greatest. So, who did it better?
Ski Critique Technique
This is quite probably the most critical consideration when it comes to a buyers guide, for what are skiers more interested in than skis? Both Powder and Freeskier have taken radically different approaches to the task.
Gathering an array of testers from male to female, young to old, rail rallying park rats to big mountain rallying dudes, they likely have someone who closely matches your style. Each tested is then able to choose their favorite ski from each category. You get the unbiased yet personalized opinion of 1.
With a hodgepodge of testers, Freeskier pools the results from all the ski testers and presents you with an overall score of the ski based on 4 categories: Playfulness, Stability, Float, and Carving. You don’t know if your getting the opinions of a legion of overweight hippies or some 70 pound high school cheerleaders, your just going to have to take their tester selection on faith.
Which technique is the most efficient for you the buyer? Well that’s open for debate, but the moral of the story is, all the skis these days are pretty frickin’ fun, just go with the cooler topsheet. It’ll make for a good conversation piece on those long lift rides.
So how much “guiding” did these guys actually do? Well here’s a breakdown of content provided:
– 69 pages of reviews
– 195 pages total
– Gear Reviewed
– Categories tested:
- Powder Selection
- All-Mountain Selection
- Park Ski Selection
- Dream Trip
– Product descriptions listed by brand, written by that brand.
– 166 Pages of gear
– 259 pages total
– Gear Reviewed
- and more!
– Categories Tested:
- All Mountain
- Big Mountain
– Product descriptions listed by brand, written by that brand
– Camber profile of skis (quite useful!)
In addition to generous amount of pages granted strictly to gear, Freeskier also brings us the Editor’s Setup, a nice touch for those who are to lazy to dream up their own quiver. Additionally, the Epics photo section in the front of the mag has descriptions of what the pros, the big dogs, the gods, are wearing, so you too can emerge looking just as steezy as Mr. T-Pretzel himself.
When it comes down to it, both magazines get the point across: skiing is fun, here are some tools to make it more fun. But I must admit, I’ve got to give this years Buyer’s Guide Beat Down to Freeskier for it’s overwhelming completeness. But what do you guys think? Powder or Freeskier? More importantly, what are you adding to the quiver for 2012??
Just as a final voice on the topic, here’s what the roommates had to say.
– Relate to the writers and editors
– Better Format
– Non-pro skier opinions about “stuff”
Jesse, a skier
It’s fu*&king Gay
Jason, not a skier