In days of yore, we recorded test results using paper and pencil. Here (l to r), Astrid Walti, Kristi Brown, Tina Vindum and Kim Vandeweghe fill out their test cards for Snow Country Magazine in April, 1994.  

One of the most popular features on’s member site is our Ski Review Archive, where Recommended ski reviews dating back to 2015 can be easily exhumed and examined. Longtime site subscribers know that this is only a partial collection, that in fact our review archive reaches back to the turn of the millennium.

We’ve been keeping these well-aged scrolls under wraps in part because, like actual ancient documents, the software they were written on (so to speak) has grown old and rickety. There are some serious downsides to continuing to operate obsolete platforms, but to a certain cadre of our readers their contents are as precious as holy relics.

In the interests of satisfying our Dear Readers’ infinite curiosity, we are revealing these logs from long-ago for the last time.  Please bear in mind that these old formats are no longer linked to any common foundation, so they can’t be searched. Nor have they been edited or brought up to the standards in effect since their epoch expired.

If they remain relevant, it’s not because they’re actionable but because the skis they extol still live in many skiers’ most cherished memories, and several of their number still line the back row of ski lockers across the land. The majority of today’s skis are direct descendants of models introduced during the first decade of the century, despite having more face lifts than Joan Rivers since.

If there were no consequences to maintaining the vintage, pre-2015 review archives, I’d keep them up in perpetuity. But they’re starting to show their age, and it comes a time for all actors to leave the stage.

Lest this thought leave you disconsolate, take solace knowing that these fading stars are returning for their final bow.  Like dowager rockers, their reviews play all the old favorites to a generation who knew them in their youth. Being out of synch with the modern era may dim their commercial currency, but it only burnishes the sheen on the nostalgic reveries they inspire.    

The Return of the Realskiers Test Card App

The revival of our mustiest archives exemplifies’s connection with skiing’s past; our restoration of the Realskiers Test Card app provides the vehicle for recording the future.

The app has been the primary means of data collection since its introduction during the 2016/17 season, but an updated version launched last February stumbled badly out of the gate.  By the time I had the software patched up, all lift-assisted skiing was summarily aborted, freezing an incomplete season in its tracks. 

Allow me to extend my most heart-felt apologies to all parties – shop owners, managers and testers alike – who depended on the app last winter only to have it fail. BTW, the flawed edition found several creative ways to foil most efforts to use it and defied everyone who attempted to end-run its foibles. Thank you all for your unrequited patience. 

While we don’t usually raise the subject of ski testing until we’re deeper into the season, we’re announcing that we’re officially back in the data collection business. There will be a lot of carry-over models from brands’ 20/21 collections that will reappear next year.  Any model new this year has a high probability of returning intact next year, putting it square in our crosshairs. Since we missed out on data collection for six critical weeks of our test season, we can use more data to bring us up to par. 

If you’d like to use the Realskiers Test Card App this winter, you’ll find links for both Apple and Android users at the bottom of the Realskiers home page. Shop employees should provide the requested dealer affiliation at sign-up. Consumers are requested to substitute the letter “c” in lieu of a shop name. 

Instructions for how to use the app are available on To read more about the test criteria, check out How to Use Our Reviews.  

Be sure to check out Jackson’s latest podcast, How to Buy Ski Boots, on Jackson Illuminates Everything About Skiing.


The Realskiers Test Card app records scores for 10 performance criteria, with plenty of room for detailed comments.  Instructions for using it can be found on