Ski Test 2014/2015: Sneak a Peek at Next Season's Skis

17th March 2014 | Heather B. Fried

News Regions: North America, Rocky Mountains, United States, Utah

Resorts in this article: Snowbird

Apparel sponsor, Eider, did a fantastic job matching skier profile to outerwear line.

Apparel sponsor, Eider, did a fantastic job matching skier profile to outerwear line.

Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

The fourth annual OnTheSnow Ski Test took to the slopes March 6–8, 2014, returning to Snowbird, Utah, home to some of the most famed terrain the world over. With chutes, steeps and trees tucked into Gad Valley’s every nook and cranny, it’s a ski demo paradise.

DAY 1: FRONTSIDE SKIS

DAY 2: POWDER SKiS

DAY 3: ALL-MOUNTAIN FRONT & BACK

PHOTO GALLERY: 2014/2015 SKI TEST BROUGHT TO LIFE

 

 

 SKI TEST BY THE NUMBERS 

Although we’re always joking that ski testers lead a rough life, there’s a pretty high level of diligence that comes with three days of game-on Snowbird skiing, lapping Gadzoom run after Gadzoom run when Mineral Basin is right there, beckoning “Come rip me, I won’t tell.”

Trumping that temptation, the next pair of planks summoned our ski testers toward the base even louder—reminding them that getting down and onto the next pair is the only way we’ll fulfill our obligation to review more than 115 skis, from the likes of Armada, Atomic, Blizzard, Dynastar, Elan, Faction, Fischer, Head, Kästle, K2, Line, Nordica, Ramp, Rossignol, Salomon, Scott and Völkl.

Yep, that's 17 brands. And it took 20 testers 40 mechanical pencils, more than 700 test cards and fuel from 68 lunches to properely review them all. Where would we be without our two binding techs and support from countless manufacturers, taking care that our test skis were in tip top? On our faces, that's where.

3 DAYS IN THE LIFE OF AN ONTHESNOW SKI TESTER

Between satisfying swishes of freshly-tuned skis slicing snow, its right back to the base to re-rack, click into the next pair and load the lift quickly enough to recall every detail of the last ski’s personality—not to mention its 1–5 rating on each of our official test categories:

> Carving
> Playfulness
> Stability
> Float in Powder
> Versatility

Ski testers have a "rough life."

Copyright: Cody Downard Photography

This year's Ski Test took a turn in the opposite direction of last year's progression. Conditions had us carving up the frontside on the narrowest waist widths for day one; perusing the powder on the fatties after 5" fell into day two; and letting 'er rip a wide range of terrain on an equally wide range of waist widths (88–110 mm under foot) for day three's all-mountain front/all-mountain back—a new category division we're making for next season that you can read all about in full detail here.

It gets even better. OnTheSnow ski testers looked amazing on the mountain... and not just because they're all former or current pro skiers. Testers got geared up and swaged out more than ever before thanks to our incredible lineup of Ski Test sponsors:

anon. optics had us feeling safe and seeing clearly with helmets and goggles; Casio Pro Trek kept us on time with watches; DonJoy knee braces put some pep in our step; Eider jackets and pants matched each skier's style to a T; Bud Light quenched our thirst during the OnTheSnow après; and SmartWool beanies and socks had us covered and comfy, head to toe.  

Still wondering what it's like to be an OnTheSnow ski tester? Know this: it doesn't suck. If there’s a better way to spend three days, we've yet to experience it. Better yet, let our photographer Cody Downard paint the portrait...

PHOTO GALLERY: 2014/2015 SKI TEST BROUGHT TO LIFE

Be on the lookout this fall for our official 2015 ski gear guide that compiles all our reviews, followed by our editors' choice skis for next season. 

Gallery

View All

Advertisement

Advertisement

Gallery

Get More From On The Snow

Get More From On The Snow Get snow reports, forecasts, and conditions for your favorite resorts, mountains and ski areas. Get Started

Advertisement