The Rides of March
or America’s Best Ski Value
If you’ve ever wondered when the stars align to create the perfect ski bargain, late spring is the time the French refer to as “le bon moment.” The best demo skis, maintained in the best condition, are nearing the end of their useful lives. Even if a given model returns for the following season, it may undergo a makeover that renders the current edition expendable.
It’s never a bad idea to try before you buy, which is why we have demo skis in the first place. If you’re in the mood to assay a new ski in March, the best ski to buy may well be the demo on your feet.
True, it will be sporting a demo binding that may add a little weight or create a slightly longer flat spot, but most demo set-ups also allow you to fiddle with placement in ways that fixed-toe retail bindings cannot, an advantage that more than offsets these all-but-undetectable compromises. And consider this: virtually every ski we review was tested with a demo binding.
The biggest potential drawback of demo bindings are that they can be adjusted to anyone’s boot so quickly that one’s skis too readily can be borrowed, an arrangement that is likely to unfold less than satisfactorily for both lender and borrower.
There are several advantages to buying a demo, chief among them price; once a ski is drilled, it devalues faster than a new car rolling off the showroom floor.
Secondly, demo skis are—mostly—kept in excellent condition. Although subjected to more use than the average skier’s own rides, they’re also lavished with more recuperative treatment.
Finally, you know exactly what you’re getting; you just skied it.
If you’re the clever soul your mother raised you to be, by now you’re thinking, “This sounds like a really terrific idea, if only I knew where I could find independent reviews that would guide me to the right model(s) to demo, and where I might find them.”
We offer a solution. You’ll discover comprehensive reviews of all of 2014’s top models in the Member Section. We therein also provide more details about every significant ski of this season, with links to many of specialty retail locations that carry them.
Remember the first rule of demoing skis: once you’ve found a great match, don’t keep demoing in a quest for unattainable perfection. When you find your perfect demo ski, make the dealer an offer for that very pair.
After the Ides of March, it most likely will be an offer he can’t refuse.