We’re onto our fourth day of ski testing here at Breckenridge Ski Resort, and despite a bit of inclement weather on and off, our ski testers have been lapping every day, bell-to-bell, putting hundreds of 2014 park skis to the test.
Our 2013 Ski Test Captain, Scott Kramer (28), a.k.a. @SkiTestScott, is leading the charge this week—arriving early to the hill to set up, skiing hard throughout the day and staying late to break down tents, put away skis, etc. Kramer’s favorite thing about testing the skis? “First off, it’s just a great time up here, hanging with your buds for a whole week,” he said. “But what’s super cool about the actual testing process is seeing what skis are performing well, others that aren’t, and giving feedback to the many reps on site.”
Grant Savidge (23), a tester of ours for the past six years, also shared his excitement for being a part of the annual tests. “I love seeing what the various companies are trying differently from year to year,” he explained. “What works, what doesn’t work… and seeing what [all the other testers] are excited about. It’s always fun to see the differences of opinion.” Like Kramer, Savidge digs the overall experience. “You get to hangout with all your friends for a week and just ski, all day, every day.”
Also enjoying themselves at the Park Test are some of the brand representative on site. Armada’s Josh Bishop—a former ski tester—is just one of many who return to #FreeskierFest year after year. Bishop said today:
“My favorite part of the test, by far, is how f#cking stoked everyone here is on skiing, and how many different people from the industry it brings together. From my end nowadays, I don’t really get a chance to interact with too many other companies on a personal level—we’re all busy doing our own thing throughout the season… so it’s great to get everyone together, gets us all lapping and hanging out…. and all the amazing park features are right here by Chair 5. I love #FreeskierFest. These ski tests are actually my most fun weeks of the season, by far.”
Joining us today is pro skier Nick Martini, on behalf of Salomon. This marks Martini’s first-ever visit to #FreeskierFest, and instantly, he was taken aback by the ongoings. “For the past six years, I’ve actually only skied on the Salomon Suspect,” he said. “I’ve never been involved directly in the ski testing in any way, so I always just rode on my sponsor’s main, top-line park ski. And I love it, it’s amazing, but I’m getting sort of jealous watching everyone test and experiment all the different skis by the different brands right now.”
Testers will continue to rock all day Thursday and Friday. The gallery above showcases just a few of the many skis that they’ll be ripping on. (Additional skis featured in our coverage from the past few days—see links below.)
This week only, we’re offering a super subscription deal on Freeskier magazine. Between now and April 12 you can get one year of mags for $4, two years for $7 or three years for $9. Be one of the first to get the 2014 Buyer’s Guide (complete with the results of our ski tests) delivered to your mailbox—subscribe today.
– #FreeskierFest invades Breckenridge, 2014 Park Ski Test underway (13 photos)
– Breck Parks ideal for ski testing, Bobby Brown validates
– Behind the test: How we use technology to simplify ski testing