Test Categories

Reading Time: 3 minutes

All-terrain cruising, long and short turns As well as checking agility and competence in soft snow, testers skied this category up to high cruising speeds for recreational skiers and assessed stability in long and short turns on the groomed. Testers pushed the limits in this category. They expect these skis to do everything and test them aggressively. Overall versatility in managing all kinds of conditions defined the best skis in this category. Waist 76-86. (Fall 2009 issue)

All-terrain skiing, moderate speeds, medium turns To match the expectations for this group, testing was not as fast or aggressive as in the high-performance Expert All-Mountain category. The same assessment of comfort in ungroomed snow was checked, with special attention to such things as how balanced they felt (sweet spot) and general good manners in less-than-perfect conditions. Testers want these skis to respond to every demand, and also be manageable and predictable. Waist 75-85. (Fall 2009 issue.)

Like the name says—and beyond This freeride category continues to test the limits of design—as well as graphics. Twintips long ago evolved from the terrain park to the trees and off under the ropes. Big Mountain skis are being seen more and more all over the mountain and age spectrum now. Manoeuvrability and stability make them popular choices for travelling through tricky off-piste terrain as well as high-speed riding, taking air and landing switch. There are some radical setups such as degrees of camber, binding positions and fl ex patterns that make these skis more difficult to judge, so read the ski data carefully. Waist 90+. (Fall 2009 issue.)

High-performance GS-radius turns These cruisers were not tested in gates, but most skis in this category have a racing pedigree. Testers pushed the limits to find the best balance between raw edge hold and user-friendliness. Where versatility is a big factor in All-Mountain skis, testers devoted special attention to such things as agility, power and edge grip for these skis. That said, testers did move in and out of a variety of terrain and asked the skis to demonstrate some versatility. The category is not expected to have a speed limit. Waist 68-78. (Buyer’s Guide 2010 issue)

Mid-range performance in long and short turns These skis represent excellent value, but also reasonable performance at intermediate to advanced speeds on groomed slopes. Appropriate criteria such as ease of initiation and stability got a lot of attention in identifying the best skis in this category. This category represents for many skiers their first carving skis and skis that can grow with them as speed and skills increase. Waist 70-75. (Buyer’s Guide 2010 issue.)

Fat boys, off-piste, heli- and cat-skiing This most obvious category simply means big-snow and soft-snow. These skis hang in shop windows in places like Rossland, Revelstoke and Fernie more than they actually make it to car roofs, but if you still have room in your quiver, the long, über-wide boards with modest sidecuts and soft, even flexes will give you some unforgettable fl otation and easy turning in the deep stuff. Waist 90+. (Travel Guide 2010 issue.)

so many skis make it to the annual Ski Canada Test that it’s virtually impossible to test and rate them all. But when the formal testing for the day is complete at Big White each day, our testers are more than happy to take a few runs on skis brought along by proud manufacturers. These skis re judged outside the parameters of Ski Canada’s traditional test categories. . From their overall feedback, we get an impression of how the ski performs and feels,where the ski is best suited. Enjoy the ride!

To top