April 13 – 16, Freeskier invaded Copper Mountain, CO for its 2015 Park Ski Test. Over the course of four action-packed days, testers strapped on hundreds of next year’s best skis; the results from the test will serve as the basis for our ski reviews and the selection of Editor’s Picks in the 2015 Buyer’s Guide. During a typical run, testers grab a pair of skis off the rack, adjust the bindings with the help of one of the many knowledgeable on-site reps, hop on the chair, then jib, jump, slide and rip their way down Copper Mountain. Once they get to the bottom, the skis go back on the rack, the tester fills out his or her test form, and it’s on to the next one. This is the routine from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. each and every day.
For the second straight year, our testers utilized our custom microsite to streamline the scoring/rating process. At the beginning of the test, each tester creates an account. Once logged in—and after having taken a run on one particular pair of skis—testers are able to browse the brands via dropdown menu. After selecting a manufacturer, they can highlight one of that brand’s skis in another dropdown. Next, 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, swing weight and overall stoke. Additionally, testers can fill out specific comments about each ski. As the testers submit their forms, we’re able to monitor which skis are being tested often and which may need some extra lovin’. This allows us to ensure each ski receives an adequate amount of reviews, thereby providing an accurate test result. By the end of the week, we amassed thousands of scores and reviews; that data will serve as the basis for our ski reviews and the selection of our Editor’s Picks in the 2015 Buyer’s Guide.