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How to approach a demo day?


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I'll be doing my first ever demo day this weekend and I would like to know some tips to make the most of it. I have jotted down a few of models that I am interested in trying but what else should I be keeping in mind? On average how many runs should you do with each model to really get a feel for the ski and whether or not it is right for you?


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
How many runs depends on how long the runs :D My main testing run is 2400 vertical, and sometimes I need to do a lot more than one run to REALLY get a feel for a ski.

Honestly, if you like one, stay on it longer and see if you can find some mixed conditions to test it in.
If you don't like one, don't hesitate to take it back. Or, give it a couple runs to see if you adjust and end up liking it after all.

Keep in mind that you are testing the conditions, not just the ski, if that makes sense. Hero snow will tend to make a lot of skis feel really good.


Staff member
It also depends on the lift situation. I would suggest that you use the Flying Mile chair and the singles line. It's a holiday weekend and with 50cm of snow expected, It's going to be a zoo.


Angel Diva
I'll be doing my first ever demo day this weekend and I would like to know some tips to make the most of it. I have jotted down a few of models that I am interested in trying but what else should I be keeping in mind? On average how many runs should you do with each model to really get a feel for the ski and whether or not it is right for you?
Are you doing a personal demo day? On the mountain?

I've learned something even taking a run or two that only lasts 2-3 min on free demo days. Runs are short in the mid-Atlantic (PA, VA). When I'm paying to demo skis at a big mountain, I usually do two runs. But if I don't like a pair of skis, I'll return it after one run. If I find skis more fun, might do another run. Especially if I can go another route that has different conditions. For a model I like, if possible I'll take it out at more than one length. Doesn't matter what the other length is longer or shorter.

May find some other ideas from this thread from last season:


Angel Diva
marzNC - there is a demo day at Tremblant on Saturday. Atomic, Salomon, Rossi, Blizzard, Nordica, Head, Dynastar, Leki and Burton are usually there. It's free.
Ah, forgot that it's not a holiday weekend in Canada this weekend.

@QCskier : for free demo days, best to arrive early. I like to walk around even while the reps are setting up to see what's available. Sometimes when things get busy, I'm not that picky about what skis I take out. Always learn something whether I find skis fun or difficult to turn.
You usually don't get to decide for yourself how long to keep the skis. The demo days I've attended have a limit on how long you can keep the skis. At Crystal it's 2 runs; at Whistler I think it's an hour. That often won't feel like long enough but remember that people are waiting for the skis. It's super frustrating when the reps tell you that the person who has the skis you want to try (and that maybe even made it a point to go to the demo day for) has been gone longer than 2 runs and should be back any minute, and they don't appear. If you feel like you are interested in a ski but need to ski them more then remember you can always demo them for money from a shop; a lot of places credit the demo fees you rack up (usually only up to 3) toward the purchase of new skis.


Staff member
At this demo, they usually ask for 2 runs and back. The problem is depending on the lift wait, what is 2 runs!!

Oh, and this demo is still this years stuff, as far as I know.
My home Mt demo day usually isn't very busy. (1yr I tried 15 skis- no I didn't go to lunch or Bathroom)
I Like to take a run on an easier trail, then turn up the volume on a black trail.
I look for conditions the ski is made for and go there.
If I really like the ski I'll take more runs if I can get away w/it.
Once I narrow down favorites I have taken the favs back out for ski off.

I take notes with the conditions snow type and air temp I'm testing in
I note the ski length, width and exact name.
I note what I liked and didn't like.
Turn initiation and tracking
Quickness in small turns
Big Turn feel
Weight of Skis (do my knees hurt? would 1 size up or down be better?)

I usually end up w/a +/- System..
My Favorites are +1- +5 or Lots of Stars
Minus for negatives

Taking Photos of the skis helps too-
wish I could text better I could put notes on my phone too..


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
One more thing to note: the EXACT binding on the ski. Because ramp angle matters. And sometimes you'll get out on a demo ski and love it, then buy it mounted with a different binding with a different ramp angle, and suddenly, the love is not there. Ask me how I know...


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Demo Day has come and gone. I was able to try three different models:

1) Rossignol Experience 84ai
2) Head i.Rally
3) Atomic Vantage X 83 CTI

I was most looking forward to demoing the Rossignols but in the end they weren't my favourite ski. They were okay but I really enjoyed sking with the Atomics. While the turn initiation was not as good as the Rossignols they were much more stable and performed very well on east coast ice.
Anyone run into trouble at the bigger demo days with not stocking smaller sizes?
Bigger, smaller, doesn't matter what size demo day. Most of the time I simply ask what the shortest length available is and then decide if it's remotely possible to learn something from taking a run or two. Needs to be under 166 for 80mm or wider or under 150 for narrower widths. Although it's been a bit easier in recent years compared to when I started demo'ing about ten years ago.
Last week I walked into the booths and simply asked what was the longest women's ski they had in 80s/90s. Only a few had anything in upper 160s/low 170s. If they didn't have anything, they'd show me the mens in a 177/180 and ask if that will do. :rolleyes: I currently ski on 163 (too short) and a 168 and am looking for a shorter radius ski for days when I want to poke around in chopped up and bumpy snow.


Certified Ski Diva
While I didn't try any skis, it was SUCH a busy day, given it was a long weekend for some tourists. The Flying Mile lines were thick and slow, and forget about the gondola...

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