Skialper 2017-2018 Buyer Guide is Out! Review

Post by blogger | November 14, 2017      

Online Skialper version available in English, WildSnow discount code “wildsnow2018” (without quotes) gets you 10% off — but whatever the case prices are reasonable for this massive bible of gear.

Atomic Salomon binding review as presented on Skialper website.

Atomic Salomon binding review as presented on Skialper website.

I’m supposed to review this tome, but I like it before even seeing it. Is that weird? Or biased?

In any case, okay, I’ll go look at it and get back. “It” being the digital (English language) version of Skialper magazine’s massive annual buyer’s guide — easily our favorite ski touring gear compendium…

…I’m back. Refreshing. Instead of the online Skialper version being a tiresome statement of slow loading Flash or otherwise kludgy source technology, as is common with ski industry websites, Skialper opted for a fairly basic and reasonably efficient content management system (apparently WordPress layered with Woo Commerce). Skialper of course had to succumb to design slavery at least to some extent (after all, they’re Italian). For example the site uses a “tile” type presentation reminiscent of something Microsoft tried a while ago, requiring extra scrolling and load time. But we’ll let that go. After all, we don’t want to see a shattering of Italy’s deserved leadership in the creative world. Basic text is so 1970s!

Overall, I’m happy to report that Skialper retains their top position in providing the most complete ski touring gear compendium in the industry. The awards are there, along with 140 ski reviews, 33 binding takes, and 63 boot “sheets.” Climbing skins are covered as well. Numerous stories flesh out the content, such as a take on “One Kilo” skis. Everything is fully rated after field and bench testing.

For us Anglophones, heart of the matter is the English translation. Skialper magazines of the past have clearly been challenged by the language conversion process, resulting in a sort of ItalEnglish prose that sometimes lacked clear meaning. Let’s check out this year’s binding reviews as an example.

Skialper Version — Atomic Tour
This binding is the twin of Salomon MTN + Brake (the two companies are part of the same group and work in synergy in some cases). It is particularly stable with regards to the stresses imparted by strong skiers and fat, structured skis, and it is also material-rich in the parts exposed to tear and wear. The good-sized tower especially supports the contrast to torsion of the U-spring, which controls the openings on two axed, and are firmly planted on wide base with the adjustment plate. The latter slides for a 30 mm in the dovetail parts, immediately offering stability, and then guarantees with regards to the formation of leeway over time. The toe piece contains a widened hole to better distribute forces thanks to the fixing on a wider area. The crampon slot fits in with the standard original Dynafit model. The front stop for the boot tip is adjustable, allowing a safe and fast centring as well as a step-in effect. In addition to this version with a stopper, you may also find a version weighing 70 gr less, “leash”. The binding is simple, but not trivial, it is reliable and durable.

Lou’s translation of the Italenglish — Atomic Tour This binding is the twin of Salomon MTN version (the two companies are part of the same group and work somewhat together on these sorts of projects). It is particularly stable with regards to the stresses imparted by strong skiers and fat skis, and is built with strong materials at wear points. The sturdy rear unit is firmly attached to the boot length adjustment plate, and has an interesting feature in that the heel lifters do not rotate when you position the U-spring pins for touring or downhill modes. This prevents any chance of “auto rotation” in touring mode. Toe unit has a wide screw pattern. Crampon slot is Dynafit compatible. Boot locating stops on the toe unit help locate the ski boot during entry as well as providing somewhat of a step-in effect. Available versions: with brake, without brake, and possibly a lightweight without boot length adjustment. The binding provides a gratifying combination of durability, performance and simplicity.

By way of another example, check out this text from the G3 ION review:
“…though with two additional possible preload values on the springs. ION 10 remains with a more universal use because it adopts the range between 5 and 10, and each spring works around intermediate values, in this case those 7/8 which are used by most of the skiers paying attention to safety, deriving from the release in case of a fall.”

I have no idea what the above means.

I read through quite a bit of the online English material. In my opinion Skialper has improved their translation somewhat over past years, but as with the above examples I still found it slow going — with some phrasing remaining obtuse and best simply skipped so as not to spend inordinate amounts of time with each product description. The capsule reviews vary in length and quality. Some are fairly robust, while others say little. On the plus side, the Skialper website gear sort system is for the most part intuitive and works well, and the overall inclusion of so much ski touring product in one place is as always exceptional.

In my view one of the most important Skialper takes is their awards. All but the binding kudos are easily accessed by clicking “Stories” on the main nave menu, then scrolling down and clicking the “Awards” tile. I’ll not give away the farm, other than to say “Ski of the Year” in the “Ski Touring” category is the Armada 88, with the Scott Superguide 88 and Wayback 88 as runners up (promise, I did not know this when I included both of the latter skis in our Ultimate Quiver for 2018. Wider overall winner is Black Crows Orb Freebird at 90 millimeters. While an overview of binding awards is not included, Skialper did award various bindings, for example Fritschi Tecton receives “Binding of the Year — Free Touring.”

The numerous skis mentioned in the Skalper Awards sections makes up for the otherwise brief individual reviews. Fine by me. As soon as a publication shows their hand in terms of “favorites” they by default are stating that other products are not, favorites. Brief reviews combined with the Skialper rating system and specifications allow you to read between the lines.

Technical specifications for the bindings are clear and useful.

Technical specifications for the bindings are clear and useful. Incredibly useful to have these available all in one place.

As with past years, all bindings are tested with bar graphs indicating.

As with past years, all bindings are tested to source bar graphs indicating how well a release test matches setting numbers printed on the binding, as compared to the ISO-DIN standard. Meaning if you’re serious about performance and safety, get your bindings tested. Most tech bindings do not to well in this regard, interesting to see how well G3 ION rated. Canadian engineering!

I tested the search functions a bit,  worked fine, needed when you've got this much product piled in one place.

I tested the search functions a bit, worked fine, needed when you’ve got this much product piled in one place.

Conclusion:The essential take from the Skialper’s ItalEnglish can indeed be gleaned. Thus the English version is worth what I feel is a reasonable price, but due to translation challenges this is not a quick read. Strength is in the shear number of products covered in reasonable detail, as well as awards that appear to be founded in real world testing. While the overall site design is okay, I found myself longing for simplified text based clickable product lists, perhaps annotated with important details such as awards, ski widths and so forth. For example, the 33 bindings could be easily presented as a list that fit above the fold in nearly any browser. But then, that’s how my mind works, not everyone’s. Mainly, if you need information for shopping, or you are simply curious, recommended.


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76 Responses to “Skialper 2017-2018 Buyer Guide is Out! Review”

  1. JCoates November 14th, 2017 4:47 pm

    I think it’s fair to say that some of the Italian language is lost when you can’t see the hand gestures accompanying it. Maybe they should have a youtube video of an Italian man or woman wildly gesticulating with each review. I’m certain it would all make sense then. 🙂

  2. Lou Dawson 2 November 14th, 2017 5:57 pm

    J, I think that’s a fair humor take, but have to ask an Italian guy or gal if it’s PC! Lou

  3. See November 14th, 2017 7:28 pm

    I don’t have this years edition, but I got a kick out of last years. I was looking at the zero g 108’s and Skialper’s advice was that they were “not suitable for pointlessly hanging around” and something about “sport free exaggerations.” The weird thing is I think I know what they mean.

  4. Bruno Schull November 14th, 2017 11:20 pm

    I’m going to build on See’s point that, yes, the English translation is sometimes humorous and sometimes unintelligible, but that, ultimately, the information you gain is incredibly detailed and powerful, and unique in the ski industry. I think you agree Lou–you’ve talked about how special the Skialper Buyer’s guide is numerous times–but in your latest review, you seemed to focus on the negative (the translation) instead of what makes the guide so special. I would argue that it’s not only the great number and range of products that the editors review, but the thoroughness of their technique, their depth of experience, and their commitment to truly assessing skis for backcountry mountain travel. For example, I don’t know of any other organizations that measure so many details about ski gear, often with custom devices, such as: flex patters at different points and in different directions for skis, range of motion and internal dimensions for boots, release functionality for bindings, and so on. Furthermore, this technical information is backed up by real reviews. When you read on Skialper that a ski is (or is not) appropriate for a 50 degree wind scoured slope, they really mean that–it’s not just marketing hype. In all likelihood, they took that ski out and rode on 50 degree wind scoured slopes in the mountains. In short, the way they analyse skis, and the advice they give about what skis are suitable for what purposes, are incredibly nuanced, detailed, and powerful.

    I also think it’s important to recognise that they do have a European, Southern Alps, bias, toward, for example, relatively traditional skis, with some camber underfoot, minimal rocker, good edge length, and a width around 80-90. These are the skis that they consider true all-around mountain tools for getting around in the backcountry. And maybe they are right. When I started following their advice, and bought such a pair of skis, for jaunts around the mountains surrounding Chamonix, my skis finally started to feel like parts of my feet, like crampons or tools, to help me get from place to place, versatile, not specialised for any particular conditions, just able to deal with pretty much everything you might find in the mountains throughout a season. Of course, there’s lots more to skiing than that, and one of the things that I like about Skialper is that, while they have a bias, they are not afraid to review gear well outside their normal range, from small manufacturers, strange shapes, and so on, and report about what works and what doesn’t. Readers who ski primary deep powder, however, might simply bear in mind that the Skialper team is simply coming from a different background.

    As you say Lou, the new website is an enormous improvement from last year. It’s simple, clear, intuitive, and so on. As above, I think it’s important to remember that the “cool graphics” are backed up by true, detailed, hand measurements, and hours of on snow evaluation. I feel like that gets somewhat lost compared to paper versions from past years.

    Which brings men to my last point. I understand the economics involved, but I love the paper versions. There’s nothing quite like holding and reading a paper copy. So I ordered the digital version, but I also ordered the (Italian) paper version. I can read some Italian, so this works for me.

    But I am a luddite. I might browse the web, but I will never own a Kindle, or read a book on a digital device. That would be a form of sacrilege.


  5. Matus November 15th, 2017 1:26 am

    My friend invested 10 euro to the digital edition. And it works only from one computer. Weird but true. Anyone else experienced this? Is it locked to one IP?

    A little offtopic question: the front boot stop of the Salomon/Atomic binding is adjustable? How? I have this binding and the Scarpa F1 boot does not hit this boot stop – the adjusting option sounds interesting to me.

  6. Skialper November 15th, 2017 1:38 am

    Ehi JCoates, of course. Don’t forget that in Italy we are like monkeys and we need to use the geste to express our ideas.

    @Matus: the login is for one computer, or laptop or smartphone. You can login with all the devices you want. But when you’re logged in with one of them, you cannnot do the same with another one.

  7. Matus November 15th, 2017 2:00 am

    Skialper, for 10 eur the Skialper is accessible only one year?

    The page with the registration and payment options is all Italian. Is the buyers guide in English regardless?

  8. alex November 15th, 2017 2:17 am

    Lou, forget about it!
    it’s PC to make fun of Italians, as long as you don’t f**k with spaghetti, pizza and ski-boots….

  9. Skialper November 15th, 2017 2:30 am

    @Matus – no, it’s in english… opps, no, ITAEnglish 🙂 🙂
    Are you on ?

  10. Matus November 15th, 2017 2:31 am

    Skialper – thanks that web address was known to me.

  11. Skialper November 15th, 2017 2:33 am

    @Matus 2 – yes it’s the rate for 1 year, then it will be updated with the 2019 test.
    It seems to be not so expensive for more than 250 products tested…

  12. Matus November 15th, 2017 2:34 am

    Yes, the price is OK but it would be nice to have it forever 🙂

  13. Skialper November 15th, 2017 2:47 am

    @Matus – we will do that

  14. Bruno Schull November 15th, 2017 4:31 am

    To SkiAlper–I think it’s clear from my post above that I really support the Skialper project. But there is always room for improvement.

    Maybe we can start a “Skialper errata” list, so that you can fix small mistakes? If I understand correctly, the website can and will be updated? Maybe is would be possible to fix small mistakes?

    I only found one issue so far: the Armada tracer 88 won best in category. You can see this when you search for and find the award winning skis under “stories.” But on the individual page for the Armada Ski, there is no award label, so anybody browsing the skis would not know or realize the quality of this ski. Since other skis that were a selection of a winner seem to be indicated, I thought I would let you know that the label seems to be missing from the Armada.

    OK, that’s all for now.

    If it’s at all helpful, I would be glad to post other small mistakes or omissions if/when I find them.

    In a project this big, its impossible to get everything right from the start.

    OK, all the best,


  15. Lou Dawson 2 November 15th, 2017 6:04 am

    Bruno, apologies from me, there is a minor but annoying bug in the WildSnow back end website code that occasionally holds comments in the moderation queue with no discernable reason. I’ve been working on this for literally several years now and have not found the culprit. I try to keep my eye on things but I sometimes miss for a few hours. In any case, I’ll look at your posts and delete one of the duplicates.

    As for Skialper digital, my understanding is they are ready and willing to make corrections.


  16. Lou Dawson 2 November 15th, 2017 6:11 am

    Bruno and all, re the translation and my review, in my opinion Skialper is indeed amazing, but the English translation gets in the way and after several years I was hoping to see more improvement. Nonetheless, I hope I made it clear in review that I still highly recommend! I use it myself as a reference throughout the year… Lou

  17. Matus November 15th, 2017 6:16 am

    Yes, the information in the Skialper is really great. No doubt about that. And the English? I take it as a part of the show!

  18. Alex Slok November 15th, 2017 6:16 am

    @Skialper I’m trying to buy a new subscription and want to use the ‘WildSnow’ promo code, but it says it is invalid.

    If it isn’t valid it’s no problem the price is reasonable anyways.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 November 15th, 2017 6:25 am

    Matus, regarding Skialper seeming to allude to an adjustable boot locator-stop on the Atomic-Salomon binding, that is indeed confusing as the stop is _not_ adjustable. I messed that up by blasting through my “translation of the translation” and leaving it in. I’m guessing, but I’ll bet they meant that the boot stop moves up and down when the binding toe is opened and closed. I’ll fix my translation. Thanks for pointing this out. Hopefully Skialper will see it as well.

    Update: I worked on my translation of the translation, check it out, feedback appreciated!


  20. Skialper November 15th, 2017 6:29 am

    @Alex – we are trying to understand why the promocode doesn’t work. We hope to fix it asap

  21. Skialper November 15th, 2017 6:41 am

    @Alex Slok
    Can you try one more time? The code is wildsnow2018 and it’s case sensitive

  22. Matus November 15th, 2017 6:43 am

    Lou, thank you. The boot stop feature is not that important but I was just surprised that it is adjustable as it is made of one piece of metal.

  23. Alex Slok November 15th, 2017 7:16 am

    @Skialper works like a charm, thanks. Now I have something to read 🙂

  24. Lou Dawson 2 November 15th, 2017 7:43 am

    Matus and all, I’ve been in contact with Skialper about the translations. I had no doubt it was challenging and they agree. They’re clearly doing their best, and while it obviously could be improved as I allude to in review, I repeat that the astute reader can get the gist of just about everything if they take the time to do their own “translating.” And if anything continues to confuse, please ask about it here. Example being the boot toe stops of the Atomic-Salomon binding.

    Regarding the Italian jokes, please be reasonable. Remember that it’s ok to rail on us Americans from the U.S., but disparaging other nationalities is considered to be impolite (smile).


  25. Matus November 15th, 2017 7:52 am

    Making jokes and being reasonable at the same time? You must be joking 🙂

  26. Jim Milstein November 15th, 2017 8:14 am

    So, making fun of Texans is okay, Lou?

  27. Lou Dawson 2 November 15th, 2017 8:23 am

    Well, I was one for a few years, but I’m not sure… depends on the joke (smile). Besides, is Texas in the United States? Whatever, seems like half the music I listen to these days was written there. Lou

  28. Jim Milstein November 15th, 2017 8:28 am

    Well, I was a card-carrying Texan for 365 days, as well. However, as a native Coloradan I was raised from the cradle to tease and torment Texans. I was trained in alliteration too.

    From my experience in Texas I found that it was more a state of mind than a place.

  29. Jim Milstein November 15th, 2017 8:49 am

    Just subscribed to Skialper, but I can’t access it. My profile says my subscription expires today despite payment today. That was fast!

  30. See November 15th, 2017 8:55 am

    In addition to finding last year’s Skialper guide enjoyable reading, I also thought it was the best published source of objective information about ski gear I’ve seen (present company excepted).

  31. Arnie November 15th, 2017 9:21 am

    Mine keeps doing that. I think if logs/times you out.
    It lets me log in again tho.

  32. Jim Milstein November 15th, 2017 10:28 am

    Skialper’s customer service responded and fixed the problem presto.

  33. Andy Carey November 15th, 2017 10:54 am

    I actually was able to get a subscription this year with your link (couldn’t get the service to work last year); so I subscribed to 2018 and the archive. Works well on my iPad mini too 🙂

  34. JCoates November 15th, 2017 4:29 pm

    @ Skialper et al,
    I sure hope my comment didn’t offend anyone. That certainly wasn’t my intent. I guess it’s hard to make an internet joke this day and age–even if not meant to be derogatory–that doesn’t offend someone. Common sense, and my millennial friends, would have me shut up now but I feel I better Ameri/man- explain what I meant…
    I think the Italian language is probably the most beautiful language in the world–and it’s even more beautiful when the person speaking it is passionate and animated. Some of the beauty (and passion)–in my non-native Italian speaking opinion–is lost in print. Italians, please keep the hand gestures. It’s bellissimo!!! (kissing my finger tips…)

  35. Chris November 15th, 2017 4:57 pm

    I hope we can make jokes about Texans, they certainly have given use plenty of material. As much fun as they make about California’s, I’m entitled. They’ve given us Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, and Austin City Limits. Can’t think of anything else though :-).

  36. Jim Milstein November 15th, 2017 6:11 pm

    Molly Ivins was the best Texan ever! If I were God, I’d spare Texas from destruction just because of Molly. But I’m not, and that’s why Houston got wrecked.

  37. Jim Milstein November 15th, 2017 6:36 pm

    Skialper –– back on topic: It is much improved this year. One big thing missing from the mobile version (but not the full-size version) is the search function. I searched for it but could not find it.

    Lou is right that some of the text is interpretable and some is not. After coming across several words whose meaning is not clear, the whole argument gets lost. Let’s say you are about 75% sure of a word’s meaning. And, let’s say there are five similarly doubtful words in a given paragraph. To a first approximation your confidence in the overall meaning declines by their arithmetic product. In this case, 0.75^5 = 24%. At this point you are just guessing. Maybe next year!

    I could help. If Skialper were to hire me and bring me to their alpine testing grounds, I would be happy to puzzle out with them what they are trying to say and render those thoughts in the best skier English. And, I work cheap, provided that I can ski when the snow is good.

  38. Allan November 15th, 2017 8:47 pm

    I personally think that you can get the whole gist of what Skialper is trying to say without an exact interpretation of the the Italian to English translation. I’m and Italian American and i have a descent understanding of the Italian language. I’ve crossed referenced a few phrasings and with the Italian ver and the intent is really pretty clear in most cases. Lou’s example of the Ion 10 and 12 is a good one. What I believe they were try to convey is that the narrower range on the springs 5-10 ratings are easier to achieve than the 5-12 ratings given equal ground.

  39. Skialper November 16th, 2017 1:23 am

    @JCoates, easy… It’s hard to understand the humor when you talk different languages. Our answer wanted to be on the same line. (but my english is really terrible… maybe worst than our translation (smile)).

    @Jim… we will consider your ski-bum proposal 🙂

  40. Jim Milstein November 16th, 2017 7:20 am

    Thanks, Skialper! I am packing my bags.

  41. Lou Dawson 2 November 16th, 2017 8:20 am

    Chris, here is one reference:


  42. VT skier November 16th, 2017 11:29 am

    Re Lous example of the ION 10 and 12;
    Original Skialper text,
    ““…though with two additional possible preload values on the springs. ION 10 remains with a more universal use because it adopts the range between 5 and 10, and each spring works around intermediate values, in this case those 7/8 which are used by most of the skiers paying attention to safety, deriving from the
    release in case of a falll.”
    I think what Skialper meant is, with a choice of two preload (binding release ranges) with the Ion 10 and Ion 12, the most reliable releases will occur in the middle of the release range. In the case of most skiers who set their bindings in the DIN 7 or DIN 8 range, because of a concern for a safety release, the ION 10 binding is a better (more universal ) choice.

    I also subscribed to the earlier 2015 and 2016 Skialper Buyers Guides, which trained me to better understand the quirky English translations?

  43. Lou Dawson 2 November 16th, 2017 11:54 am

    VT, I suspect this is born out in their machine release testing, they probably found they got better results within certain ranges of spring tension. Again, proving that the best way to deal with a tech bindings is figure out what release value you want it set to, then do the setting by using a testing machine not by blind faith in numbers printed on the binding housing. I’m a hypocrite, as I don’t do this (smile). Lou

  44. VT skier November 16th, 2017 12:13 pm

    Lou ,
    I just had a set of ION 12 LTs mounted on DPS skis, and the shop DID test the release settings for my weight and height, with a Montana machine, using my extra charge for this. I think every shop should do this for a new mount.
    The bindings tested ok . 🙂

  45. Lou Dawson 2 November 16th, 2017 12:21 pm

    VT, what shop? Sounds like they deserve a mention. Lou

  46. See November 16th, 2017 1:24 pm

    There may be more consistent release at lower settings with the softer toe springs, but they don’t test for prerelease (as far as I know), which may be reduced with stiffer springs.

  47. Werner November 16th, 2017 1:45 pm

    HI Lou, thanks for reminding me to log in using your promotion code! Nice to see our contour skins included, next to G3, colltex and a number of pomoca models, who co-sponsor the “bible”. Especially nice to read so many positive comments on our plush and the hybrid glue technology…. Have a great and save winter, Werner

  48. Henry November 16th, 2017 2:29 pm

    @ Lou and VT,

    I know Outdoor Gear Exchange ( in Burlington tests all ski binding release settings using a torque machine. They do a very thorough job.

  49. VT skier November 16th, 2017 7:31 pm

    Henry, Lou
    You are right, it was Gear X in Burlington, Vermont. They have all the jigs for AT and Tele bindings.
    The chief ski tech Jamie knows his stuff. (well they all do !) 🙂

  50. Matus November 20th, 2017 1:56 am

    Skialper, thank you for the great piece of reading.

    Q: why there are no photos of the ski profiles to see the rocker/camber? The numbers do not tell everything. I am sure this was included in the previous guides…

  51. Skialper November 20th, 2017 2:37 am

    @Matus – That’s a problem. We were ready with a lot of technical drawings concerning the most diffused geometries, one for each ski. But we decided at last to delete them because we were sure to create problems, not to solve them. It’s very hard to explain to a non-technical reader that his traditional ski-touring 77 mm underfoot is a twin-tip rocker. The risk were that people go into the shops thinking to buy an half-pipe ski. We decided to sostitute the lateral pitures with drawings, but it was a flop. New ideas are on the way for the next edition….

  52. Matus November 20th, 2017 7:02 am

    Skialper, I would say that the “lateral picture” without any explanation would be more than sufficient. Maybe in the next edition.

  53. Skialper December 15th, 2017 9:59 am

    Hey guys, some more comments after reading the BG18?

  54. Bruno Schull December 16th, 2017 9:26 am

    Hi Skialper. Sure, I have some comments. First,thank you so much for putting the work into this–it’s really an amazing production. I bought the digital and hard copy, and I can say that the hard copy is truly a thing of beauty, the design layout, paper quality, and so on. It’s just such a pleasure to read (and informative). The computer interface is also really great–a big improvement over previous editions.

    Here are some things I wished I found, or that could possibly be added:

    1-In the digital edition, it would be nice to have a pull down menu of the names of the skis. For example, if I want to see a particular Salomon ski, I could just look it up on a menu, and go right there. The only way I found to do this is to sort the skis (or boots, or whatever) by name, and then find the right page, which takes a little longer. But I’m not the best with digital navigation, so maybe I’m missing something.

    2-I think the ski side profile is an important part of the equation. I read your comments above, but I think you could perhaps worry less about how readers might miss-interpret a side profile (drawing or picture) and just include the information. Of course, it’s just one part of the equation, but it’s an important part, and I would really like to be able to see the side profiles of these skis. You are probably familiar with Blister Gear Review. They offer standardized top, side, and bottom pictures. Something like that would be really helpful. (By the way, it sounds like Blister is working with some technical folks to develop some kind of ski torque testing procedure…maybe they are taking their inspiration from you?)

    3-The English translation. The English translations are appreciated very much. You have to do this, but you can offer information to so many more people, and you can expand your market. So, first, thanks for taking the time to translate at all. I know it is a huge effort. That said, the translations are sometimes difficult to understand. It’s one thing to have an English translation that is from a non-native speaker but makes sense, and another thing to have sentences and words that border on being hard to interpret. I speak Spanish, and some Italian, so I can usually get a good idea of what you mean to say, especially if I compare the English and Italian versions, but it’s not always easy. I am sensitive to this. I teach high school science, in English, to German-speaking students. On my tests, I don’t ask the students to write in perfect English, I just tell them that I have to be able to understand them. And, I guess, sometimes I actually can’t understand the English in the Skialper. Also, my wife, a native French and Spanish speaker, works in international health research. She and her co-workers publish research papers in English. I have edited many, many of their research papers. The English is always strange–a combination of many people, from many different countries, none of them native speakers, writing in English. Again, my goal is to get the text to a point where it is at least clear and understandable. And that might be a good goal for you too. I understand that this is an enormous amount of work, and money, if done professionally. That might just be beyond your resources. But if you can, you might find some people, or a person, willing to do some “light” editing work for you. You might look for someone who can not translate directly from Italian to English, but can just smooth out the most confusing English passages. That’s the kind of editing I think you need.

    OK, aside from that, I have nothing else to add right now. If I think of anything else, I’ll add my comments.

    And thanks again!


  55. 65°N December 16th, 2017 10:58 am

    To Skialper, I was going to comment and most importantly, to thank you for your awesome publication but actually Bruno already said everything I had in mind.
    -Navigation in digital edition, although this is the best one yet
    -Profile pictures please
    -English. If I had to guess, this year you had multiple translators. Some sections are clearer than others. For what it’s worth, apparently I didn’t struggle with the english translation as much as others, my native tongue is Finnish.

    I actually bought the paper copy when you published it in english and I’d very much like see printed english version again next year. Make it happen, please.

    Again, thank you for your excellent work, it’s very much appreciated.

  56. Jim Milstein December 16th, 2017 1:15 pm

    Still waiting for that job offer, Skialper, and the plane ticket. My bags are packed.

    PS, I studied Latin in high school. Updating to Italian should be easy. Little has happened in the last two thousand years.

  57. Travis December 18th, 2017 2:18 pm

    Purchased this over the weekend. LOVE it! Being able to read the past two years back issues has been insightful as well. The testing of bindings is incredibly fascinating.

  58. Skialper December 19th, 2017 12:51 am

    @Travis – thanks so much
    @Jim Milstein – We’re working on it. We just need to find an apartment in Livigno for you and everything is ok :-). PS Of course, you’re right! in Italy in 200 years we just made some step back 🙂 🙂
    @65°N – We have just one translatore. Maybe in some other parts she was more inspired! Thanks for your compliments!
    @Bruno – You’re one of our most precise readers! We’ll point your proposals!

  59. atfred December 19th, 2017 8:18 am

    Hi Skialper,

    Can you tell me what the difference is between ski specified radius and actual radius in skialper report? For example, mythic 97 is specified as 15, but actual is 18 – how is that?

    Thanks much for a very helpful report – 2018, 2017, & 2016.


  60. Christian December 19th, 2017 5:34 pm

    Hi Skialper,

    A small disappointment that you did not have a review of the BMT 90, especially since the BMT 94 has now been retired.

    I did enjoy the colloquialism of “Bob’s your uncle,” in the review of the F1! Unless, “Roberto e `tuo zio” is an actual saying in Italian as well 🙂

    Thirdly, thank you! I have been enjoying it immensely. My first time subscribing, you can thank this site for that.

  61. Skialper December 20th, 2017 4:51 am

    @ atfred: radius is the date from the official catalogue of each brand, actual radius is the result of our measurements. Thank you for reading us in three issues!

    @Christian: the BMT 90 arrived in our office too late. Maybe it wasn’t ready when we began to work on the snow.
    We are extremely grateful to Lou and to Wildsnow for the help in developing this project!

  62. Rolf Westerhof December 21st, 2017 1:08 am

    @skialper: great product! Thnx for your tremendous efforts. It would be nice to have access to the digital version of the magazine to get an overview, like with the 2017 and 2016 versions. But maybe this would be a commercial stupidity?

    Feedback wise: At the binding section ‘Tüv’ is only mentioned at the review of the Kingpin, but Viper and Radical 2.0 also deserve it, I think (because you say so in the binding intro).
    At what binding setting (5, 7, or?) did you perform the test? I guess this must have been the same for all bindings?

  63. Skialper April 1st, 2018 10:41 am

    Hi guys, here in italian Alps conditions are great! We’re ready for a spring/summer backcountry better than ever. We began few days ago our tests for the Buyer’s Guide 2019. Every suggestion is accepted to improve the level!
    Have a great Easter!

  64. TimZ October 9th, 2018 12:50 pm

    @Skialper I’m looking forward to the 2019 version

  65. TSB November 6th, 2018 4:39 pm

    Gah, I’m anxiously looking forward to another year of this gem of a publication! Thanks Lou for bringing SkiAlper and its amazing gear tests to our uncultured attention here in NA. For anyone on the fence about paying their $11ish to get access to the bible of rando-tech, I would echo what Bruno wrote — when SkiAlper claims to test skis for a specific form of glisse, they actually do it! If, heavens forbid, you’re an American skier who actually spends time on planks <85mm underfoot with any consistency, there just aren't any publications on this side of the Atlantic to help you make that decision. SkiAlper truly understands the difference between a "race" ski vs. touring ski vs. mountaineering vs. all-arounder…

    On a semi-related note…does anyone have contact info/email for the folks at SkiAlper? As a part-time news copy editor and full-time rando nerd, I've been meaning to reach out to them about English translation help… After 3 years of deep Gear Guide perusal I practically feel like it's my duty to help them with their prose for a small salary, paid of course in used Ski Trab demo skis 😉

  66. rob December 16th, 2018 2:04 pm

    Does the 2018/2019 version get published in English again?
    I have asked skialper, but no reply.

  67. Allan December 16th, 2018 2:59 pm

    I inquired a few weeks ago and they’re not doing an English version. ? IMHO, The next closest buyers guide in qualitative and quantitative content is Blister Gear, then Backcountry Mag.

  68. Jim Milstein December 16th, 2018 4:14 pm

    Get in line, TSB!

    I’ve been negotiating a translator position with skialper, as you can see in the earlier comments. We are so close.

  69. Allan December 16th, 2018 5:58 pm

    Saweet! Please keep us all posted Jim. I’m in for a copy if you pull that off. Skialper is the best!

  70. Skialper December 17th, 2018 1:42 am

    Dear friends from Wildsnow… This year we didn’t publish the english version. We were not sure that the translation was enought accurate to comunicate all the particular that we point in the italian version. So we decided to stand-by for a season and to think about it… sorry 🙂

  71. Jim Milstein December 17th, 2018 7:59 am

    Hey, Skialper, I’m still available! I work cheap and have an impeccable command of skier English. Also, I’ve been reviewing my high school Latin to assure that we can understand one another.

    I hope you have snow there; it’s pretty thin here in southern Colorado.

  72. VT skier December 17th, 2018 10:36 am

    Well , I for one miss the English Skialper Buyers Guide. I subscribed in 2016, 2017 and 2018. But the 2019 digital version is only available in Italian. 🙁

    By the way, while I could return to all my previous Skialper Buyer guides in the past, (even a year or more later), now they have all “Expired”. None accessible now, including the 2018 edition which was Pay-walled exactly one year after I subscribed.

  73. Jim Milstein December 17th, 2018 11:19 am

    One more thing, Skialper, as your translator, I promise not to use “pow” ever to refer to light, dry snow. This should clinch the deal! Gratias ago.

  74. Allan December 17th, 2018 11:57 am

    VT, I found this out about the access expiring as well. I wanted to go back and look at last years guide but was not able to.

  75. Matus December 17th, 2018 1:24 pm

    In fact, the Google translate can translate the Italian version into English quite well. But, it’s rather weird to give up making the English version and losing the US and German market.

  76. rob December 18th, 2018 6:05 am

    What a pity! Indeed not so easy to understand to give up US and the rest of Europe. Seems a bigger market than Italy…..

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