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Looking for advice about demos

mommylater

Diva in Training
Hi everyone!

After 14 years with the same skis that I got as a beginner (well, there was a 4-5 year hiatus while starting our family), I am in the market for new skis. I've got a list of skis that I'd like to demo and am planning for at least one day, maybe two. I will have to pay to demo. Anyhow, my question is, what is the best way to demo a ski, as in how many runs or how long would you ski it?

I am an intermediate skier. I am in CO so there may be occasional powder, but mostly groomed blues. I would like to improve my skiing on slick, steeps, but there will be no bumps and off piste runs for me (doctor's orders) so I am thinking that trying each ski on the same runs will be helpful, but beyond that, what do you more experienced skiers recommend?
 

Analisa

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Depends on how long my list is. I've done a few resort-event demo days with a lot of manufacturers where they limit you to 2-3 runs, and on some personal demo days, I've had a long list to get through and haven't gotten much more in per ski. It doesn't show me which one is "the one" - but it does show me which ones I really didn't connect with.

Then I try to get out on my top 2 choices to put them through the paces, or try a size up or down to make sure I'm getting the right length.

Have you made a demo list that you're interested in testing/what's available at local shops or resort rentals?
 

Susan L

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Sounds like we both like to ski similar terrains. I am in Taos and really enjoy groomed runs, especially if they are hardpacked because I enjoy speed and using my edge. Because of multiple knee injuries from snowboarding, I generally avoid bumps - they hurt my knees. I use my Rossi Saffron for powder days/trees/bumps. Otherwise, I ski Kastle MX89 (for carving) or MX Limited 84 underfoot if I want to do small bumps. I rarely see anyone recommending Kastle, not sure why. Maybe because they are labeled as “mens” skis? Or because they are pricey? Stöckli Stormrider, Blizzard Black Pearls, Volkl Yumi/Kenja seem to be the popular choices.
We have a good selection of companies on demo days here. I personally like to ski the same runs and they ask you to come back after 2-3 runs. If you are paying for your demos, then you get all day to try them out. But for me, I found THE skis with one run. Actually as soon as I took 1 turn, I knew I have found my match. They just felt right. The rest of the run was mind blowing and I took it up for 2 more times just to make sure and that was it. I have tried skis that just did not feel right from the get go, and I usually don’t spend more time on them to try to “make” them right.
I try not to read detailed reviews on skis before demo-ing because I don’t want to expect too much just because everybody loves them. I want to have an unbiased test run based on how I feel about them. I also try not to fall for the color/pattern/design of the skis. To me, it is all about feel and my performance on them.
Once you have a list of skis on your list, you’d want to call around to see who has what - most shops would apply the cost of demo to the skis you end up buying. So it’d be nice if a store has most of what you wanted to try.
If you happen to be demo-ing on your mountain and you see a Kastle booth, try them. They do not show up at demo events that often and not too many stores carry the brand.
Have fun!
 

mommylater

Diva in Training
Sounds like we both like to ski similar terrains. I am in Taos and really enjoy groomed runs, especially if they are hardpacked because I enjoy speed and using my edge. Because of multiple knee injuries from snowboarding, I generally avoid bumps - they hurt my knees. I use my Rossi Saffron for powder days/trees/bumps. Otherwise, I ski Kastle MX89 (for carving) or MX Limited 84 underfoot if I want to do small bumps. I rarely see anyone recommending Kastle, not sure why. Maybe because they are labeled as “mens” skis? Or because they are pricey? Stöckli Stormrider, Blizzard Black Pearls, Volkl Yumi/Kenja seem to be the popular choices.
We have a good selection of companies on demo days here. I personally like to ski the same runs and they ask you to come back after 2-3 runs. If you are paying for your demos, then you get all day to try them out. But for me, I found THE skis with one run. Actually as soon as I took 1 turn, I knew I have found my match. They just felt right. The rest of the run was mind blowing and I took it up for 2 more times just to make sure and that was it. I have tried skis that just did not feel right from the get go, and I usually don’t spend more time on them to try to “make” them right.
I try not to read detailed reviews on skis before demo-ing because I don’t want to expect too much just because everybody loves them. I want to have an unbiased test run based on how I feel about them. I also try not to fall for the color/pattern/design of the skis. To me, it is all about feel and my performance on them.
Once you have a list of skis on your list, you’d want to call around to see who has what - most shops would apply the cost of demo to the skis you end up buying. So it’d be nice if a store has most of what you wanted to try.
If you happen to be demo-ing on your mountain and you see a Kastle booth, try them. They do not show up at demo events that often and not too many stores carry the brand.
Have fun!


Lots of good advice here. I know that the place that I am going to demo has at least two of the skis on my list so that is a start. I added to my last last night after reading a few more threads on here and that is likely a good thing as I only really had two skis on there to start, and yes, the store did tell me that demoing cost would go toward purchase. Thank you so much!
 

mommylater

Diva in Training
Depends on how long my list is. I've done a few resort-event demo days with a lot of manufacturers where they limit you to 2-3 runs, and on some personal demo days, I've had a long list to get through and haven't gotten much more in per ski. It doesn't show me which one is "the one" - but it does show me which ones I really didn't connect with.

Then I try to get out on my top 2 choices to put them through the paces, or try a size up or down to make sure I'm getting the right length.

Have you made a demo list that you're interested in testing/what's available at local shops or resort rentals?


I really like the idea of narrowing it down then really going out for longer. I do have a list but there were only two skis on it when I first called them so I need to call the store back to find out if they have any of the others. I am demoing at Keystone and I was fortunate to find a store (not the resort store) that is in the village at the base, so at least that will make it easier to swap out. Thanks for the advice!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I really like the idea of narrowing it down then really going out for longer.
When I did a "personal demo day" at Big Sky several years ago, I took out a model that I thought I would like early in the day. The shop was ski in/out with easy access to long groomers as well as short off-piste terrain (soft bumps in open glade) that I ready to enjoy at that stage. The tried a few others at the recommendation of an experienced tech. Finished with the favorite in the afternoon on different terrain to confirm that was the one to shop for during late season/summer.

Might find some other ideas about demo'ing in this thread from last spring:
https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/how-to-approach-a-personal-demo-day.22633/

Let us know how it goes. :smile:
 

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