What do you get when you mix over 200 of next year’s best skis with 30 ski testers, 3,362 acres of world-class skiing terrain and 4,406 feet of vertical rise? You get serious leg burn and you get FREESKIER’s 2018 Ski Test.
The most comprehensive ski test in the biz is back, kicking off today at Snowmass Resort, in Aspen, Colorado. Over the course of the next week we’ll test the ever-loving snot out of skinny skis, fat skis and everything in between, all with the goal of filling our annual Buyer’s Guide (coming September, 2018 — subscribe today) with trustworthy rankings and reviews that’ll aid you in your future quest to purchase brand spankin’ new skis.
The big show began today as dozens of ski manufacturing reps—including product managers, engineers, ski-builders and marketing managers—rolled into Snowmass Village, just a short drive away from downtown Aspen, with perfectly tuned skis in tow.
With the help of our many staffers, plus a horde of veteran ski testers, the planks were transferred from truck beds to snowcats and whisked to our Ski Test HQ, situated at mid-mountain. There, in a vast storage room, the skis were arranged according to waist width: 85 to 99 mm, 100 to 114 mm and 115 mm-plus. Come morning, we’ll collect said skis and test ‘em to kingdom come, across Snowmass’ 21 chairlifts, servicing 94 trails and a mighty-fine mix of cruisers, glades and steeps. And after each high-octane testing experience, ski testers will immediately log their feedback and ratings via our custom testing app.
The snow has been flying all day here at Snowmass and that’s great news; we expect prime-time conditions in which to test powder skis tomorrow.
How we rank the skis
Utilizing said app, testers rate skis on a scale of 1 to 10, for categories including carving, stability, versatility, float, playfulness and overall stoke. The ratings are monitored in real time; if a certain ski has received enough reviews to satisfy our needs, we’ll pull it from the racks. This real-time observation ensures a thorough and proper evaluation of each ski in the test. Collectively, the data gathered serves as the foundation of our annual Buyer’s Guide.
How to follow along
Things are about to get buck-wild here at Snowmass. To be sure you don’t miss a beat this week, tune into freeskier.com daily and be sure to follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter; the official hashtag this week is #FREESKIERFEST. Via our ski test coverage you’ll enjoy sneak peeks of next year’s top products; photo galleries; detailed information about how we test skis; videos; Instagram roundups and more.