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Completely the wrong approach to a ski test

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We inadvertently tried something entirely new last week. Ski tests are excellent affairs; you get to really experience the way in which small changes in design approach affect performance. But this was something else.

Having arrived at midnight, the three of us spent an hour getting the car into the garage - digging, scraping, skidding and sliding - and using up the next morning in a meeting with builders, we rush down to the garage and grab skis, throwing them into the back of the hire estate. Phew, we can get quite a few hours on the hill. We are in-country for 5 days, and we have lost one morning...drat.

We hurry to sort passes, DINs, and scrape the storage wax from the skis. Then it's up to Violettes and some amazing runs in Canadian powder - the first time it has been in Switzerland in industrial volumes rather than tiny pockets. We ski some excellent terrain and have huge fun.

Then, at 3.45, Ant looks down at his skis and says '...er I seem to have two entirely different skis on...'. It's true. One 160 and a completely different geometry 150. Both Salomon, both blue and white. Throughout the day, he's skied tough terrain on these mismatched things without any problem at all, and since we have been in deep clag, using goggles covered in water droplets and powder, none of us have spotted it. In the morning, I'd grabbed two mixed skis which were adjacent to each other (who moved them together? Builders? Me in the Summer? The kids?) and we'd got them out of the car, set the DINs, got into gondolas, all without noticing - and we are pretty observant and careful people. Dummies.

From that point on, he just couldn't ski on them with any confidence, and we had to pack up and go home. So....no problem before, problem after noticing .... all in the head?

Welcome to the 'mixed-ski ski test - a mind game'. Bonkers.




Sent from my iPad
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm amazed you didn't notice when pairing the skis together to carry them. I have to admit I still can't understand how you didn't notice when carrying the skis to the gondola and going up it. You didn't stop somewhere and pick up one of someone else's ski by mistake did you?

I guess there must have just been too much else going on at the time.

I'm sure you'd have noticed much quicker if skiing on piste in nice clear conditions. As you say, it's amazing how you can't ski in a pair of skis once you've lost confidence in them, I guess we're taking a big leap of faith that they're going to do what we're expecting them to and if we no longer believe that then there's no way you can continue.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Fri 26-01-18 10:34; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Brilliant. Nothing like a randomised double-blind trial to bring out unbiased scientific results!
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@valais2, sorry.... you lost me at dins and storage wax!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Very much a head game
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Awesome! I tend to think there is an element of mind games going on when testing skis. For me, if I simply don't like the top sheet graphics or the shape of the tips when looking down then I'm unlikely to get on with them. Can't say I've ever tried different length skis on each foot Laughing
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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This could be the start of a fantastic experiment. Use car wrap vinyl to cover a wide range of skis, to hide their branding etc. Goggles, with tape along the bottom to stop people glancing down (that would need a bit of getting used to first but one instructor told me it was a valid teaching technique). Assistant issues skier with a pair at the top of the course. Ski down a course of varying grades under a bit of time pressure, get to the bottom, another assistant removes skis so skier can't see them, skier fills in a short questionnaire about feelings of ski.

Reminds me of the blind wine tasting results when expert tasters didn't notice the red was just white with food colouring added Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Yes, it would be good to remove the tester's knowledge of brand and model. I'm sure a lot of ski tests are influenced significantly by the users' preconceived ideas of how a particular ski should perform and whether or not they simply like the look of it. Especially now there are very few obvious dogs in the market with extremely close performance metrics in each segment. I have heard of ski tests where the topsheet is covered to make the ski more anonymous, which is an excellent way to do it.
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Can completely sympathise, once after a mountain cafe stop a friend noticed a 4 inch vertical crack in one of my skis. No idea how or when it got there, but couldn't ski at all after that, limped down to the mountain and straight to the hire shop. Luckily I managed to convince them that I hadn't done anything which could cause this damage and they were also rather puzzled as to how this could've happened, reckoned it must've been a manufacturing flaw to start with. No idea how long I'd been skiing on them in that condition.
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Orange200 wrote:
This could be the start of a fantastic experiment. Use car wrap vinyl to cover a wide range of skis, to hide their branding etc. Goggles, with tape along the bottom to stop people glancing down (that would need a bit of getting used to first but one instructor told me it was a valid teaching technique). Assistant issues skier with a pair at the top of the course. Ski down a course of varying grades under a bit of time pressure, get to the bottom, another assistant removes skis so skier can't see them, skier fills in a short questionnaire about feelings of ski.


A bit like this then? https://www.snowboarder.com/the-best-park-snowboards-of-2018-snowboarders-blackboard-experiment-results/
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Yup Smile
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@HandyHand, perfect. I would trust the results of that kind of blind test over a conventional test where the tester is fully aware of branding any day.
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@uktrailmonster, agreed. Problem is I've now 'got' to find £470 for a new board Neutral
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Just get me to test the skis. i always ski like I have completely different skis on either foot
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I managed to get a set of skis set up so the bindings were staggered. I think the toe piece had moved dying travel so one was about 2 inches further forward than the other. Was confused why one didn’t fit my boot but only moved the heel piece to adjust it. Didn’t realise until the end of the day, although wondered why I’d been skiing crap all day.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Orange200, ...spot on...we've invented a new sort of double-blindness - blind trialling by hiding the skis under half a metre of powder, then idiocy-blindness since we were handling the skis without seeing the difference - Maden's 'intentionality of perception' - we assumed the skis were the same so we just didn't perceive the difference....
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
under a new name wrote:
Very much a head game


With a prefix
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Mike Pow, ...sad, but true. We indeed behaved like a bunch of them.
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Orange200 wrote:
This could be the start of a fantastic experiment. Use car wrap vinyl to cover a wide range of skis, to hide their branding etc. Goggles, with tape along the bottom to stop people glancing down (that would need a bit of getting used to first but one instructor told me it was a valid teaching technique). Assistant issues skier with a pair at the top of the course. Ski down a course of varying grades under a bit of time pressure, get to the bottom, another assistant removes skis so skier can't see them, skier fills in a short questionnaire about feelings of ski.

Reminds me of the blind wine tasting results when expert tasters didn't notice the red was just white with food colouring added Very Happy


Surely it would save a bit of time just to blindfold the skier? That way there's no chance of them glancing down Cool
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I think that might be classed as a “confounding factor” Very Happy
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Do you remember which turns went better .. port or starboard?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
First time I went skiing in Italy in the 70s I took my boots & skis back to the hotel from a very crowded hire shop and couldn't understand the next morning why one boot wouldn't go on. Looking closely it was it was several sizes smaller than the other one and presumably someone else had a very sloppy boot.
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