Last week, Freeskier hosted the 2014 Microbrew Ski Test* on Aspen’s Snowmass Mountain. In our three days on Snowmass we enjoyed a blower pow day and a couple of bluebird days, too. The varied conditions enabled us to successfully test loads of skis, and the Microbrew Test as a whole provided us a chance to get our staff and ski testers warmed up heading into this week’s All-Mountain Ski Test.
Unloading and labeling skis near Aspen’s 1A Lift Sunday evening. The skis were later transported by snow cat to our Ski Test HQ at the summit of Aspen Mountain.
For the next five days, we’ll be ripping hot laps on Aspen’s Ajax Mountain, testing skis made by skiing’s biggest brands. We’ll provide daily coverage on freeskier.com, in addition to regular updates on Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to follow the #FreeskierFest hashtag for the latest and greatest.
One thing we’re extremely excited about this year is our new #FreeskierFest microsite, built for use by our ski testers to help streamline the scoring/rating process [displayed on the left]. It works as follows: Each tester creates an account. After spinning a lap on one particular set of skis, testers select the brand and model via dropdown menu. Then, they’re able to specify length of ski and rate the product (on a scale of 1-5) in categories including versatility, carving, playfulness, stability, float/powder and overall stoke. Additionally, testers fill out specific comments about each ski—both likes and dislikes. While testers submit their forms, we’re able to monitor in real time which skis are being used often and which need additional testing. This allows us to ensure each ski receives an adequate amount of reviews, thereby providing an accurate test result. The hundreds of scores and reviews we collect later serve as the basis for selection of our Editor’s Picks in the 2014 Buyer’s Guide.
While it may seem early to start thinking about the 2013/14 season and your next big ski purchase, production of the Buyer’s Guide will begin in the not too distant future. To ensure you get your hands on skiing’s best Buyer’s Guide, and to stoke out those of you who are following along with #FreeskierFest, we’re offering a discount on Freeskier magazine subscriptions, this week only. Between now and March 16 you can get one year of mags for $4, two years for $7 or three years for $9. Those are markdowns from the standard rates: one year for $9.95, two years for $14.95 and three years for $19.95. Canadian and foreign subscribers need to pay additional shipping costs.
Be among the first to get the 2014 Buyer’s Guide shipped right to your mailbox. Take advantage of our #FreeskierFest subscription deal now.
Ski Test Captain Scott Kramer oversees the unloading of skis Sunday evening
*Ski manufacturers fall into Freeskier’s Microbrew designation based on SIA reports. The twenty biggest ski manufacturers—based on dollars/units sold annually—are invited to the All-Mountain Ski Test. The remainder fall into the Microbrew category.