One of the harbingers of ski season arrived in my mailbox the other day: the SKI Magazine Buyer’s Guide.
For someone like me, buyer’s guides can be dangerous. Do I need new skis? No. Do I want new skis? Does Kim Kardashian want new shoes? It’s a ridiculous question. Need has nothing to do with it.
My ski quiver right now is perfectly fine. I have a pair of 2012 Volkl Auras, which I absolutely love. They’re great for just about everything: powder, hard snow, trees, you name it. A great all mountain ski. In fact, this year SKI named the Auras tops in their Mixed Snow, West category. I also have a pair of Volkl Tierras from the same year. The Tierras aren’t made anymore, but their hard-snow performance is spectacular. In fact, this is the second pair I’ve owned; the first I skied into the ground. And yes, I have a third pair of skis, too: the Atomic Century, also from 2012. A good year, obviously. The Century is way fun in powder, but unfortunately, I think mine are a little long. I’d love to sell them, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet (interested? drop me a note).
So why do I even bother looking at the Buyer’s Guide?
I tell myself it’s for professional reasons. I have to keep on top of what’s new for THE FORUM or THE BLOG. And yes, that’s true, to some extent.
The real reason is because, as Jimmy Carter said of himself, I have “lust in my heart.” It’s only human nature to want the latest and greatest. The fashion, car, and computer industries have traded on this for years. And for many people, there’s also the hope that this ski is the one that’ll make me ski better. It’s what I call the “Magic Feather Theory,” in honor of Dumbo, the little elephant in the children’s movie, who was certain he could fly if he only held a magic feather.
Sure, I know that the best way to review skis is to try them yourself. What’s good for one person may not be right for another. It’s why there are so many skis out there. And yes, I love to demo. But before I do, I have to look. Buyer’s Guides are a great starting point.
Here are a few of the skis I wouldn’t mind owning, should the need arise:
Blizzard Viva 8.0: I demoed these last year, and their hard snow performance was spectacular. It’s snappy, stable, easy to turn, and oh so much fun. Want.
Nordica Nemesis: I’ve skied this a few times, and every time, I think I’ve fallen in love. Then I say to myself, “I already have the Auras. Do I really need this ski?” No. But then again, why not?
Atomic Elysian: Another one I’ve demoed and considered outstanding. It’s quick, forgiving, holds a good edge on the hard stuff, yet wide enough to play in the pow. Another great, fun ski that’ll take you anywhere on the mountain with a smile on your face.
Then there are all the skis I haven’t tried yet, but know I could just as easily fall in love with (I’m looking at you, Blizzard Samba). Plus there are jackets to drool over, boots, gloves (I think I’d kill for a pair of the new heated mittens. But at over $300., no thanks).
First world problems, I know.
Now I need to get my hands on the Powder Buyer’s Guide. Purely for professional reasons, of course.