The Paper Test
Just like a set of skis, every skier is unique. Paper testing is the best and only way to competently pair a skier's body proportions & technique to a ski's construction. It is our method of choosing skis for you.
Why we test using paper
Ski design is a lot like a leaf spring, with a bowed shape that props up the mid section (camber area) and is supported by two zones of contact on the ground - one in front of the binding and the other behind the binding. The distance between these contact zones is referred to as the wheelbase and will scale with ski length. Contact zones change as weight is applied to the ski, affecting the wheelbase and impacting the handling and gliding characteristics. By controlling the test zone with a hard, level surface, every millimeter of a ski's profile is put on display, using trained hands, by sliding paper under the ski from tip to tail.
Fancy machines have been marketed by ski shops who sell online as a way to get around the logistics of putting the skier on the skis, but the efficiency gained comes at the cost of taking the skier's unique body proportions and technique out of the equation. The machine lacks the intracacies of the many skiers it attempts to "stand in-place of" for fit assessment.
Ski production consistency is only getting better
Over the last two decades, ski manufacturers have made massive improvements to their quality control of ski production; a process that still relies predominantly on human hands. As a result, more than 90% of all skis produced today would be considered really good (World Cup level). In the past, the amount of really good skis coming out of the factories each season would be closer to 10% of all skis produced, which made the scramble to get the 'pick' of the skis from the factory more pertinant. These days, about 1 in 10 skis produced wouldn't cut it in the eyes of a World Cup technician, but wouldn't be discernible to recreational skiers. As a race center, every race level ski is picked for us by factory trained specialists to eliminate the chance of receiving those less desirable skis. By having a greater pool of really good skis to choose from, we can focus on the subtle differences of multiple really good skis to pick out the absolute best ski for you.