Skialper Magazine Takes Gear Reviews to the Next Level

Post by blogger | November 17, 2015      
Skialper gear guide, in English and Italian, is over the top in details.

Skialper Buyer’s guide, in English and Italian, is over the top in details.

Move over magazines, wipe your chins mouth breathing gear bloggers, bow down We are all humbled. We should take up winter golfing in Arizona and get a job writing kitchen recipe apps.

The art and science of the published “gear guide” for backcountry ski touring has now been taken to a level that is patently ridiculous — in a good way. I’ve got a PDF copy of this season’s Skialper Buyer’s Guide, and I’m sitting here as stunned as if I’d just done a belly flop cliff dive. You want the ultimate chart of weight vs running surface? Look no farther. You want authentic photos of each boot, with laser generated measurements of the interior? That dream is realized. And so much more.

Yes, information like that has been available in the past (including from Skialper), but in various western European languages. Italians are rightly proud of their amazingly expressive lingua. But this time around the content creators at Skialper have put in the effort (and no doubt expense) of publishing their guide in BOTH Italian and ENGLISH. Yes, they want to sell it. So what. Just get out your credit card and buy ALL the information. No more sifting around through various websites that let you read for free and attempt to pay their expenses with horrible nefarious sidebar advertising!

Be it known that some publications actually charge companies to be in their gear reviews. I guess they’re essentially selling it as advertising. Skialper told me they, first, do not “charge” companies to participate in their reviews, but they also make a huge effort to separate their advertising from their editorial. I believe them, though one of course should be diligent when reading pop content in any magazine, or website (including for that matter. When you look at the mag you’ll see their attitude about gear review doesn’t seem to affect the amount of advertising they can sell. More power to them. Clearly, the advertising revenue plays a huge part in making this thing possible. Their online guide to the guide:

“We ask manufacturers to give us skis, boots, boards, bindings and skins. Taking part in the test is free and no company pays a penny to feature in the Buyer’s Guide. The gear reaching us has to be new, identical to the one you’ll find in a shop…”

This is supposed to be a review, so can I think of any cons? The cost (7.50 euros for paper, seems reasonable for more than 300 pages, albeit with many pages being advertising). Note this is the price in Europe, shipping will be added if you want a paper copy overseas — that sort of postage can be expensive. As for a quantity of information that might seem a bit extreme: it’s a gear guide, so the more geeked out the better. Though readers seeking a more “soulful” and less data oriented style of reviewing might want to look elsewhere. Regarding the English, Skialper’s translation is what I’d term “grade B,” meaning in many cases the English could have used a final touch from a native speaker/writer as it’s a bit stilted — sometimes to the extent of needing interpretation by the reader or perhaps a quick trip to Google Translate. The usual effort is made to divide uphill skiing into categories. In this case: Skimo; Fitness Touring (big vert); Uphilling at resorts; Ski Touring (the big catch-all); Elite (near as I can tell, more the alpinist side); Steep (extreme skiing); Freetouring (heavier gear, emphasis on descent); Freeride (highly aggressive, heavy gear, might use mechanized access). For the purpose of a gear buyer’s guide these are probably useful, but could perhaps be a little less nuanced.

My top picks for amazing positivity? Skialper used the same binding on all skis (ATK but of course, since it’s Italian), and tuned all the skis. These two things are huge. I mean, how in the world can you really run a ski test when you just throw skis on the snow with various bindings and iffy factory tunes (or sometimes a beater edge and base from previous testing)? Perhaps that’s why the beer seems to be as important as the skis in some magazine reviews; because the beer is more reliable than the base tunes. Let’s call B.S. on that.

I might sound like a worshiper or something, but I’ll go on with this. These crazy Italian gear freaks rate the gear with a “Ski of the Year” and more. That is bold, as the advertisers sometimes get quite agro about being left out. So good on Skialper. I give you a hint. For the top Skimo race ski they picked Movement Rise Pro X. Aha. Then we have the “Ski of the Year” for classic ski touring. Sorry, no spoiler on that, you’ll have to read the mag.

Check out a few teaser shots from the digital edition.

If this doesn't get you panting outloud, then you must be on beta blockers.

If this doesn’t get you panting out loud, then you must be on beta blockers. Click to enlarge.

Check out what they do with boot measurements. Cut through the marketing spreech for sure!

Check out what they do with boot measurements. Cut through the marketing spreech for sure!

Here are some of the ski evaluation specs.

Here are some of the ski evaluation specs. Check out the breakdown of the weights. Click to enlarge.

List of evaluated skis. Got a question? Get it answered.

List of evaluated skis. Got a question? Get it answered. Click to enlarge.

Okay, so how does one acquire this treasure chest of informational jewelry? Browse to and start shopping.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


66 Responses to “Skialper Magazine Takes Gear Reviews to the Next Level”

  1. Andrew Pavia November 17th, 2015 9:05 am

    I just clicked through to get a paper copy and it looks like they want to charge 34 euros for shipping. At that price I assume it is hand delivered by a certified Alpine Guide and includes a ski tune. I speak a bit of Italian and I could not find an option for more pedestrian delivery, but certainly could have missed it. Anyone else figure it out

  2. Lou Dawson 2 November 17th, 2015 9:21 am

    Andrew, I think the only reasonable option for North America will be the digital versions. On the other hand, someone like a shop with a lot of “pass around” and need for it as a reference book could buy the paper one.

    If they’re charging 34 euros for shipping that sounds high. We ship stuff between here and Europe quite often, and while expensive, we just shipped a heavy book to Austria for about $30 usd. Seems like the magazine shipping should be more like 15 euros or so, though it’s coming from Italy so possibly the Italian postal system sticks some kind of surcharge on it?

  3. Lou Dawson 2 November 17th, 2015 9:45 am

    I just got the inside scoop on postal costs from Italy. I’m told that the Italian postal service is huge inefficient so Skialper has to send paper copies overseas using their registered mail option, the most expensive type of postage, to be sure of delivery.

    I wonder if they should be using Fedex or something like that?

  4. Andrew Pavia November 17th, 2015 10:12 am

    My ancestors are shocked, shocked, that you would say their government agencies are inefficient (grin). We do make great boots, bikes, and wine though…. (with apologies to Little Feat and the song “Willlin”)

  5. Charlie Hagedorn November 17th, 2015 10:41 am

    Awesome! A consistent, rigorous, wide-ranging, and quantitative ski review program is precisely what the ski-touring world needs to take it to the next level.

    I hope the economics of the program work out for Skialper.

    Do they include a breaking strength measurement for lightweight skis? It’s the sort of thing you can do at this scale.

    Are skis sourced from the manufacturers (who can hand-pick review samples), or elsewhere?


  6. pietro November 17th, 2015 11:20 am

    I just got the electronic version……Oustanding. Beware american publishers, this will be the reference. Way more useful and clear than other guides. I just wish i had a paper copy for the bathroom.. 9.99$ for this, is money well spent.

  7. Charlie Hagedorn November 17th, 2015 11:54 am

    Just anted up for the online edition. It’s quite impressive. The scientist and academic in me is frustrated by the restricted electronic format, but that’s why the numeric keypad was invented. The economic realities of the internet are what they are, and people can only do work like this if they can afford to eat.

    A number of the measurements are computed with “exclusive math formulas”. Math isn’t exclusive to anyone — one page full of fine print with the test methodology, reference standards/calibration (INRM/ISO/BIPM/NIST, etc.) and the methods by which the data were converted from raw measurements to derived and published units will make the document a timeless reference. Work like this has the potential to influence ski manufacturers for decades to come.

    To answer my own questions: There’s no breaking strength measurement (skis are returned to the manufacturer, which makes sense), and the skis are sourced directly from the manufacturer. On the upside, this makes the reference guide a representation of each ski at its best; slightly different from the consumer experience, but still interesting and useful.

    The ski selection has a European bent. It’s broad, but I’d expected it to be more comprehensive (see Lou’s photo above for the list ‘o skis). In particular, I didn’t see a Voile ski, a surprising omission for a survey of lightweight backcountry skis.

    Super cool; there are a lot of data in there to chew on. I hope the project grows in 2016/2017!

  8. Lou Dawson 2 November 17th, 2015 12:12 pm

    With our support, I’m sure they’ll grow. This is a very strong beginning for a global domination of in-depth ski touring gear coverage.

    I’d imagine they don’t cover skis that are not distributed in Europe, for starters.

    They do have K2 in there, with some high marks.


  9. Jeremy C November 17th, 2015 2:27 pm

    I just checked on the SkiAlper website, and delivery to the UK is €22. So the delivery rate is much higher than expected. It actually makes the US shipping seem relatively “cheap” given the distance and air freight.

  10. Andy M. November 17th, 2015 2:31 pm

    FYI, I just purchased it for $6.52 on Google Play (Android).

  11. Arnaud November 17th, 2015 2:36 pm

    Thanks Lou &all for the tip on that awesome gear review bible. For what it’s worth, it’s 6.99$ to buy the guide through their apple App.
    I may partially complement Andrew’s comment: Italy does produce good wine, but I would still give the wine award to the french side of the alps! And give Italy’s recognition for its pasta and pizza instead 👿

  12. Skialper November 17th, 2015 3:14 pm

    Ciao a tutti…
    at first… thanks so much to Lou for this review. We are so pleased to read these words from such an iconic editor in our sector…

    We apologise for the high expeditions rates. Sending ‘raccomandata (registered mail)’ from Italy to abroad is so expensive. If we don’t use this option, lot of the magazines disapper and we have to send other copies or more. We will search immediatly if exist some cheaper (but safe) way to deliver the Buyer’s Guide 2016 in the US or all over Europe.
    it’s a new experience for us and maybe we’ll find other solutions!

    For all other technical questions, critics or more, we can answer, if you wont (and if Lou agrees, of course) to help all of you to understand our method and our way.

    Thanks a lot one more time to Lou and Wildsnow crew!!


    ps Andrew: you’re right… Italy is just a wonderful place for holydays… but something (I hope) will change with the new generations!

  13. DavidB November 17th, 2015 4:28 pm

    Hi Davide, I understand why you tune each ski exactly the same but wouldn’t it be better to tune to the manufacturer’s spec.
    Different constructions require different tunes to achieve optimum performance. I feel by tuning to one spec could be akin to putting wet weather tyres on a Ferrari for a dry track day.

    Or perhaps run with same tune to achieve a baseline then retune to manufacturer’s spec for an optimum performance run. It may well be that the baseline tune would cover 50% of the skis as their optimum, so perhaps not as much extra work as it sounds.

  14. Skialper November 18th, 2015 4:13 am

    @Charlie Hagedorn – thanks for your review. Of course, we have to return all the skis to the companies. Maybe they consider too much expensive leave to us the used stuffs… But it’s better: so anyone can suspect any favor!
    We are planning a long-term test with the awarded boots and bindings, to review how they work after a full season of intense use.
    Maybe in future we’ll arrive to a breaking strenght measurements, maybe involving some department of University in this test.
    And concerning our formula: obviusly it’s not exlcusive. It was just a way to write that we studied it!
    Last but not least: selection, as supposed by Lou in another post, is based on european distribution, more focused on tra Alpine use of gears. But it can be extended in the future if we’ll have good feedbacks from North America and Canada… Thanks again and greatings from the sunny italian Alps!

  15. Skialper November 18th, 2015 4:19 am

    @DavidB – We tune all skis just to have a solid base of comparison. At first we valutate all skis to write on the review in which conditions they apper. (as written by Charlie in his post, maybe some manifacturer select a ggod model to send us, we can not verify that). Than we have a standard of not more then 10 turns in the Wintersteiger robot. Equal bottomsheet, egual edge finish (respecting the manifacturer’s edge) and tuning 0,5°. Same waxing (use the new infrared machine). Than the snow, for several tests!

  16. SImen November 18th, 2015 5:20 am

    Also worth checking out:

    This is a translated version of the Fri Flyt ski test, with archives going a few years back. $19 for a year, $9 for a month.

  17. GeorgeT November 18th, 2015 5:22 am

    Great buyers guide for “geeking out” before purchasing expensive equipment. The cost of purchasing the wrong equipment far exceeds the small cost of this online resource. I will use this guide for choosing my bindings, skins and boots this year.

  18. JCoates November 18th, 2015 5:32 am

    Charlie Hagedorn,

    It’s a bummer, but Voile really has zero representation in Europe. It’s too bad because they are damn fine skis and I know they would have a good market here.

    I actually spoke to someone at Voile once about being a European rep for them. I like the Vectors so much I even agreed to go to a few larger shops in Europe (Snell’s/Conrad’s/Jennewein/etc) and sing their praises for free (but I guess I wouldn’t have turned down a new set of skis if they offered). However, Voile told me “(they) already have a good market in Europe” so I didn’t pursue it anymore.

    With the exception of my own, I have never seen a pair of Voile’s in Europe so its understandable they aren’t included in any of the European ski reviews.

  19. Kristian November 18th, 2015 6:10 am

    @Skialper why didn’t you test the Diamir Vipec 12 ?

    And I still don’t understand the difference in most of the pintech toe-pieces. I always have to lock the toe if I don’t want to loose my skis when it’s windblown/hardpack. I have the Dynafit Superlite 1.0 and according to most DIN charts I am between an 9-11. What binding should I choose next time? The “setting” on the toe-piece is the same if a beginner or a pro skier skis them? What binding (that is reasonably light weight) has the tightest/strongest/most secure toe-piece? Or isn’t it about just the toe-piece, but what heel piece it is combined with (the whole binding)?

    Do I just have to except the fact that even the manufacturers are saying that at least 90% of the skiers lock the binding in the front(Davide Indulti, ATK Race), so thats the way to go?

  20. Kristian November 18th, 2015 6:18 am

    I have Trab Rando and Rando XL skis with Dynafit TLT Vertical STs. They are set correctly for my weight; I ski rad stuff and I never have to lock the toe pieces.

  21. Andrew T Pavia November 18th, 2015 7:00 am

    I sprung for the mac/pc version. Davide – this is outstanding and a real service to the community. Grazie mille. I would have loved to see the Voile V6s and V8s given the same thorough exam. Lou thanks for finding this, generating a North American market, and who knows, becoming their English copy editor to tune the translation as perfectly as the skis are tuned.
    If the North American market is large enough, you might be able to use a printer here and you would probably sell a lot of copies at $15 or even $20

  22. Skialper November 18th, 2015 7:45 am

    @JCoates – We don’t have contacts in Voile, they are not distributed here in Italy or in Europe. We sent a mail to their contact pages asking info and their availability to partecipate, but any answer. We know products are excellent and we hope to have them in the next edition of the test.

  23. Skialper November 18th, 2015 7:51 am

    @Kristian – Pay attention: in the interview Indulti from ATK were talking about skimo racers, 90% of them. If you close your bindings in downhill, you are sure not to lose your skis, but in case of crash… It’s a bad situation!
    In any case… why not tlt superlite 2.0?

    At the end of all: no Vipec in the test. There is a lawsuit over in Italy between Diamir and another producer for a question of patents. So the distributor asked us not to include it in the test to avoid people go in shops asking for products not available.

  24. Skialper November 18th, 2015 7:53 am

    @ Andrew – Thanks a lot…And why not… Maybe will talk with Lou about some projects… Bye

  25. Lou Dawson 2 November 18th, 2015 8:19 am

    Hello Kristian, not understanding pintech toe is common. The classic pintech tech binding (not Trab or Fritschi) works by the toe springs having a fixed tension, and the heel unit provideing adjustable resistance to side release. After that, yes, the strength/tension of the toe springs does vary a bit depending on brand and model. Know that the tension of the toe springs can not be past a certain threshold or it would cause undue wear while touring, but toe tension does vary and having more is sometimes better, especially for larger aggressive skiers. For example, back a few years ago Dynafit began installing stronger springs in the toes of their Vertical FT wider brake model, which was a very good move and has possibly influenced all their bindings to have stronger toe springs. We still fee the Vertical FT with wider brake, with connector plate removed, is one of the best tech bindings ever made. When used properly it is nearly flawless, though it did always have a problem with the brake retractor tab on the heel unit breaking off while skiing with heel-flat-on-ski.

    We feel the strength of toe springs is important, and have attempted to measure. There is no doubt in my mind that presently the G3 ION has strongest toe spring characteristics, I use that term because the resistance their toe has to opening is caused both by geometry and by the strength of the toe springs.

    If you tend to ski bindings set above about 9 and ski aggressively, I would say the how strong the tech binding toe retention is, is indeed a factor. But with smaller skiers at lower release settings it is not a big deal. Also, things like the Dynafit Power Towers might also have an effect on reducing the chances of the toe opening while skiing downhill.

    As long as many “classic” designed tech bindings are being sold, I think the strength of the toe closure is important and we will continue to refine our ways of evaluating. What I really need is a pull strength instrument, so when I can afford buying one you’ll see much more testing.


  26. Kristian November 18th, 2015 8:42 am

    @Skialper Thank you for answering. Wasn’t aware that he was talking about skimo racers only. Any thoughts on the Vipec though? Compared to the Raider 14 or Radical FT. What would you have chosen as the ideal free-touring binding?

    @Lou Dawson 2 Great! Thank you. Understand things a bit better now, but still leaning towards buying the new Vipec. I see that as the only binding that I actually know what DIN I am skiing on, both at the front and the rear. Even though it is tempting to choose the Raider 14 (or 12) simply because it is much lighter. Or the Radical FT because its more familiar, tried and tested.

  27. Lou Dawson 2 November 18th, 2015 9:37 am

    Hi Kristian, indeed, Vipec is worth considering. Main thing is once you commit to a binding is to learn it well.

    As for “ideal” that is too much of a moving target. I know guys who free-tour like gods on skimo race bindings, while others won’t use anything but a Marker Duke.


  28. Hippie November 19th, 2015 2:18 am

    Hello SkiAlper! Great reviews @ the mag!

    I have a li’l doubt… How can a Dyna Broad Peak be better at Pow than the 7S? I’m doubting about those two boards. (1m74, 78Kg, Skiing @ Pyrennees)

    Thanks a lot, I didn’t know about that kind of reviews, it’s awesome! Congrats.

  29. Scott November 19th, 2015 11:34 am

    Definitely a very comprehensive gear testing! Having skied quite a bit in Europe though, I wonder if the ski testing is not slanted towards slalom and GS skis. I have found the European skier’s do not favor freeride or wide boards very much. I am sure this is due to the long history of ski racing over there.

    What do you think Lou?

  30. Matus November 20th, 2015 1:07 am

    Ultra useful stuff. However, the digital version on joomag is PITA to use. Since skialper does not pay for the Gold plan, it is not possible to browse the mag on your ipad, iphone, android and, no, there is no mobile version of the web. Thus, the only way is to use your notebook or a computer….

    Skialper, please do something with this:)

  31. Skialper November 20th, 2015 6:22 am

    @Hippie – We’re very happy you appreciated our Buyer’s Guide 2016 and found it useful. Dynafit Broad Peak vs 7Summits: it depends from the different technical levels, according to us. We think that BP is better at pow for advanced skiers than 7S. Always join indications of the two graphs! And our advise is: better choose the technical level you are supposed to ski, before referring to height & weight as well. Have nice pow, ciao!

  32. Skialper November 20th, 2015 7:16 am

    Uh… Matus, we didn’t know that! We just purchased a very fast subscription with Joomag just for PC readers, considering that people can buy in-app for smartphones or tablets. We’ll take a look!

  33. Lou Dawson 2 November 20th, 2015 7:44 am

    All you guys, this is an awesome set of feedback and more! Thanks Skialper for being here and responding. We are very excited about everything going on with this. Lou

  34. Matus November 20th, 2015 8:26 am

    @skialper Thank you for taking care. Joomag seems to be much better platform than your app with limited control (no bookmarks, no search, no page thumbnails).

  35. Jim Milstein November 20th, 2015 9:16 am

    First, the technical information is very welcome. Second, the English text, where it is not technical (i.e., numeric), is often confusing or incomprehensible without a working knowledge of Italian. Third, the Joomag version as seen on this iMac (Safari browser) is frustrating. When a page is magnified so there are enough pixels to read the text, any cursor motion at all drags the window over the page. That’s crazy! Fourth, why doesn’t the Table of Contents have clickable links? Fifth, the page numbers on the ToC are off by two, compared to the GoTo page numbers.

    There! My mind has spoken.

  36. Matt N November 20th, 2015 6:28 pm

    +1 on Matus’ and Jim’s comments.
    I’ll start w/ the positive: God bless Skialper for confirmed weights, effective ski edge length measurements, and shots of skis, base to base in profile!
    You’ve trumped even Blister’s new guide with the later two points. IMO, there is no quicker way to intuitively judge what a ski is meant to do than seeing it in profile.
    Now the constructive critique: I experienced identical issues w/ reading & zooming the Joomag version on a Mac (latest OS & Safari). I could make out the review text, but not the data charts, even when in “full screen” mode on my 23″ monitor.
    Like Matus, I would love to be able to access my Joomag web subscription with the browser on my iPhone. I would have even paid a bit more for that feature as an “upgrade,” but I really don’t want another app on my phone, especially if it is less functional than the web version,
    As a former professional translator, I’m afraid I must agree w/ the others: the English review text is next to worthless. If you commissioned a “professional” to translate your guide, you need to 1) demand a discounted rate for nonperformance and 2) discontinue working with them. If there are no native-English-speaking translators in your area with ski-industry expertise, then your next best bet would be to find a native-speaker working in the Italian ski touring community and hire them to work with your editors to produce a text worthy of all the effort you have invested in testing.

  37. Skialper November 23rd, 2015 3:32 am

    Ciao Matt, thanks a lot for your review.
    As written by Lou, we’ll do our best to improve the next edition.
    All your suggestions are precious for us!

  38. Alexis LD November 23rd, 2015 12:07 pm

    Skialper, I have something that might accelerate and simplify your tests. Contact me in private at alexis.lussier.desbiens at if you are interested. Sincerely. Alexis

  39. Skialper November 27th, 2015 3:29 am

    Hey guys…
    Here a ‘black friday’ coupon: IHJBVCJLC3Z9
    You can download the Buyer’s Guide 2016 in digital edition at 50% of discount.
    (Just for Wildsnow readers!)

    Here the link of the digital issue:

    Bye bye and greetings from the (too much… grrr) sunny italian Alps…

  40. VT skier November 27th, 2015 2:26 pm


    Can’t get the discount code IHJBVCJLC3Z9 to work?

    Thanks, looking forward to the digital edition

  41. Lou Dawson 2 November 27th, 2015 3:40 pm

    VT, “black Friday” probably already ended in the Euro time zone (grin). But I’ll be Skialper can ramp it up. Lou

  42. VT skier November 27th, 2015 4:05 pm

    Got the digital subscription to work,
    They measure popular crampon compatibility with each pair of boots, and evaluate any interference of the buckles, and walk lever for different crampons. Then they assess the functionality of each boot for buckles and “closure straps” . With and without gloves!

    Well worth the $5.00

  43. chukko December 9th, 2015 7:26 am

    @Skialper Hi. The guide contents is excellent but i find the delivery format rather unfortunate (after zooming in you cannot use keys nor see page turn button, gets slow after while, cannot be read offline, requires dying flash, arrow keys dont seem to work in fullscreen etc). Did you consider some more user friendly delivery format (even pdf would be much better)?

  44. Gogoi December 15th, 2015 10:13 am

    Lou, you say that you have a PDF copy of the gear guide. Is it possible to purchase it? The flip-book edition is a pain to use/read, and the postage for the paper copy is ridiculous, even for Slovenia, even though we’re Italy’s neigbour.

  45. Matus December 15th, 2015 12:14 pm

    Yes, PDF version would be the life saver. However, I doubt that it will ever be legally availabe 🙂

    BTW, I have purchased two digital versions of Skialper guide (joomag and native app for ipad) and both are pain to use.

  46. Chukko December 15th, 2015 12:30 pm

    @skialper Thanks for the great and comprehensive content. I agree with the rest – the format is a nightmare. Even on notebook with solid resolution it is very tedious to read through without constant zoom in/out. Simple PDF would be much better.

    On the content – i had one question related to Synapse Carbon Skis. You compared them in freeride touring category based on construction, but as they are 1kg lighter than the rest, the comparison is not that fair. How would they rate in classic touring category with similarly light skis?

  47. Witold December 15th, 2015 1:27 pm

    I have the same problem reading Skialper – no Wifi in my bathtub but it is the only cold place to read – we have summer here in New Zealand at present! PDF please!

  48. Skialper December 16th, 2015 7:59 am

    Hey guys, thanks a lot for your feedbacks.
    We’re glad to receive so many reviews from all over the globe! Thanks at first to Lou who gave us this great opportunity…
    It appears clear thah we’re not totally ready in the digital assets, but we have to be honest: we didn’t expect a such great interest outside our country.
    Now we’re working for the next edition (2017) and one goal it will be to improve the app and flip edition, producing a digital native version of the magazine. We have a lot of video and multimedia to attach, and we promise something exciting.

    For this issue 2016 we worked hard in the quality of the paper edition: it’s incredible how much expensive could be to send abroad our magazines. We apologize for that, but it’s not our fault. So we can imagine you don’t want to spend 30-35 $ just for the shipping.
    PDF it’s just not an option, it could be uncontrollable…
    But really (Witold, Matold) don’t you like even the IOS version?

    Last but not least: each suggestion for 2017 edition is welcome!!

    Greetings from the Italian Alps…. waiting for powder….

  49. Skialper December 16th, 2015 8:06 am

    @ Chukko – Ciao, one of the basis of this test session was the categories set-up.
    We worked hard on it and we think that ‘The Skialper Chart’ (pag 14) is a good starting point. Maybe some model is just borderline between two different categories. It’s the situation of Synapse Carbon 101: 1.382 gr (the range of freetouring category is 1.300 – 1.600 gr). Of course, it’s one of the lightest in this group, but other competitors have similar weight in the same category.

  50. Matus December 16th, 2015 11:38 pm

    @Skialper – try to spend 20 minutes with the IOS version. No bookmarks. No search. No hyperlinks. When you “minimize” the app and switch back to it, you are at the beginning. You need to zoom in and out all the time. There is no index.

    To make it useful you have to make a digital version that is completely different to the print version, not just a quick conversion. I am sure there are many examples on the market how to make it right.

    I do love the work you have done and look forward to the new issue with better format and hopefully better English 🙂

  51. Erik Erikson December 17th, 2015 5:39 am

    Sorry, off topic, just a test cause posting comments in another blogpost does not work at the moment…

  52. See March 23rd, 2016 7:56 pm

    Seems to me that pulling straight up as close as possible to the back of the boot would isolate heel vertical release resistance from other factors like bsl and toe springs (still trying to figure that one out), but thanks as always for laying down the science. (Was the Skialper test in the 2016 buyers guide? If not, how do you say “tech binding vertical release test” in Italian?)

  53. Lou 2 March 23rd, 2016 10:12 pm

    See, when I speak of difficulty in standardizing release checks on tech bindings for comparison between products etc I’m speaking more about lateral release, you are correct in that vertical release doesn’t have as many things working against making valid comparison between bindings, setups, boot soles, etc. The lateral release is really difficult, for example it has to be tested with a boot sole, but as the boot sole is released over and over again the toe fittings wear and the release characteristics change. Really tough. Lou

  54. Powbanger March 24th, 2016 1:57 am

    Get yourself one of those binding testers you saw at ispo. Vertical and lateral releases are easily measureable.
    If you are interested in geeking out with one I’m sure there is a demo floating around.

  55. See March 24th, 2016 8:39 am

    Personally, my interest in devising some sort of garage release tester isn’t pure geekiness (mostly, but not entirely). Getting a competent shop with the proper equipment to check boot/binding function and diagnose problems is the sensible approach, but isn’t always practical. A workable method for measuring release using cheap and available parts might be useful. The numbers alone wouldn’t be meaningful, but they could be useful in a relative sense– one could measure a known good boot/binding setup and compare it to an unknown setup on the workbench. On snow confirmation of binding function is not without problems.

  56. Lou Dawson 2 March 24th, 2016 9:08 am

    See, it’s pretty easy to do with a torque wrench. Have you ever seen the Vermont system? What you’d do at home is just make a steel “foot” that inserts into the ski boot, you then attach torque wrench to an extension of the foot that comes vertically out of the boot cuff. Apply torque and observe. The torque wrench has to have a method of recording max torque. My recollection is Vermont system uses a basic torque wrench with a little plastic slider that the indicator needle pushes.

    All that said, for a consumer it’s probably enough to do a bench test as I illustrate, then do a carpet test if you choose to use “normal” release settings. Carpet test is of course useless or even dangerous if you crank it to 11.


  57. See March 24th, 2016 9:40 am

    Thanks, Lou. I hadn’t seen VT system, but torque wrench is what I was thinking about. Would probably work with both alpine and tech bindings?

  58. See March 24th, 2016 9:49 am

    I just watched the video and saw the AT adapter. Looks like quality equipment.

  59. Mike March 24th, 2016 2:40 pm

    Lou, i skied today with my anti-twist tabs cut-off. The snow was pretty cool so not much snow under my heel and no heel rotation. I did however thoroughly enjoy turning the heels 75% Less all day. Just a quarter turn to lock em (which i can do with the butt of my ski pole without bending over! (i’m old!)) and a quarter turn to unlock them instead of 3 quarters both ways with the stop. I think the heels will last longer without the stops. It still remains to be seen if i can survive soft snow!! I’ll keep you posted.

  60. Lou Dawson 2 March 24th, 2016 3:06 pm

    Ok, keep us posted. I’ve tried them without anti-rotation and it didn’t work for me… Lou

  61. Bruno Schull May 4th, 2016 6:14 am

    A few days ago I got a hard copy of the Skialper magazine in the mail. It really is impressive. Here are some thoughts:

    There really does seem to be a whole Europe vs. North America vibe in the magazine, regarding equipment design, in a good way, not a bad way. There even seems to be a Northern Europe vs. Southern Europe vibe. Also not bad or good, just there. I wonder: Are the Southern Italians ahead of the curve, behind the curve, or is everybody just on different curves, so to speak?

    With all the data, one is tempted to pick up some parameter, such as ski flex, or sidecut, or whatever, and try to use it to compare skis. But I found that the measured specifications only roughly and sometimes not at all matched the reviewers impressions of the skis: more evidence–if more was needed–that you can not look at specifications in isolation, and have to actually test the ski, preferably yourself?

    Of course I focused on the skis I have G3 Synapse Carbon 101. I was surprised to find that they were described as exactly the ski I wished they were, and hoped they were, but not at all how I found them to be. Skialper thought they were super easy, smooth, predictable, stable skis for beginners. I think according to the Skialper criteria I fit somewhere between beginner and intermediate, and I really struggle with these skis, despite working the bases and edges, and trying my best to adapt. One learns expensive lessons in skiing: always try before you buy.

    Last, I checked out all the binding data. Two points: it would have been cool if they included the front and rear pin height difference, but maybe they don’t care about ramp/delta etc. as much as folks do in the US? Or maybe I missed it. I don’t want to start a whole complicated discussion of release values, but they seem to have tested front release to the left and right, and rear upward release? Is testing front lateral release practical for pin bindings? Do you have any idea what they were doing? Were they just trying to work with the machine they had?

    OK, I’ll stop. As you can see, the Skialper mag provides great food for thought.

  62. Lou Dawson 2 May 4th, 2016 6:50 am

    Hi Bruno, glad to hear you’re enjoying the magazine. Most certainly food for thought! Lou

  63. VT skier November 5th, 2016 8:45 pm

    Skialper buying guide 2017 comes out on November 7th, online edition for 8 Euros..
    It will help me chose new skis.(and forget the election) .Link here

    Looks like they will have a version for iOS and Android too.

    Lou, can you get us a discount code again?

  64. Lou Dawson 2 November 6th, 2016 5:43 am

    Thanks VT, I’ll check on those guys. Lou

  65. Lou Dawson 2 November 6th, 2016 7:15 am

    I just heard from Skialper. They say they’ve got a new digital reader that’s better, due to feedback from all of you. OUT TOMORROW!

    I’ll keep updating here, and will see if they can do the discount code.

    I’ll do another review, for sure, as they say they’ve made bunch of content changes due to all our feedback.


  66. VT skier November 7th, 2016 9:29 pm

    Looks like you can now buy the online SkiAlper Buyers Guide 2017, English version . Link here.

    Italian translations, for this page,

    Acquista = “Buy”
    Carrello = shopping cart
    Casa = check out

    7.99 Euros. They take PayPal.

    Lou, any discount code?

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