The American ski market has never seen so many new and returning skiers in need of good information, yet this critical commodity is currently in short supply. The dearth of authentic print titles leaves skiers to the tender mercies of the Internet, a no-holds-barred war zone where truth is the first casualty.
For the last decade, I’ve been doing what I can to correct this woeful imbalance between what skiers need to know and what they’re able to find out. This is essentially the mission of Realskiers.com, and has been since its inception.
My tireless quest for a broader readership has spurred me to start my own podcast, Realskiers with Jackson Hogen, which has carved out a small space in the immense podcast universe. I’m reaching more skiers than ever, but the boom in skier participation means there are more needy skiers than ever who I’m not reaching. To help close this gap, I’ve shifted my sights to creating a space for my commentaries on satellite radio.
I needed some endorsement ammunition to lubricate access to the mavens of SiriusXM, so I asked a few of the movers and shakers in both the ski and podcast spheres to spin a bit of promotional fluff in my behalf. What you see here are the first fruits of this endeavor.
I’m pleased to report that we’ve already attracted the attention of a SiriusXM host and plans are in the works for my appearance on an established show. I’ll tell all my Dear Readers and Listeners the details as soon as they’re available.
Meanwhile, here is a sampling of the endorsements I’ve culled thus far, lightly edited for flow and clarity. If you want to hear more of the backstory behind my relationship with these luminaries, check out my upcoming podcast of Realskiers with Jackson Hogen.
Jackson Hogen is the legend for this current era of skiing and snow culture. However, he is not just a great skier who merely performs the duties of a journalist. What distinguishes Jackson is that he has immersed himself in all the disciplines, sub-cultures, and jobs within the ski world.
I first encountered Jackson shortly after I won the Olympics in 1998. He was charged with reviving a classic ski brand (Head) that had been beaten up and neglected. Jackson convinced me to come over and help out. We worked together and got the ship turned around and headed in the right direction with Jackson’s creative marketing and understanding of the need to sell one customer and shop kid at a time.
Jackson continues to be a go to guy in the industry who has his finger on the pulse. We all love to hear what he has to say about new developments and we look to his unvarnished opinion to check ourselves.
Olympic Gold Medalist
Dear clueless and living under a rock: Jackson Hogen is an amazing mind when it comes to ALL and ANYTHING winter-sport related…especially Alpine skiing. He has a depth of knowledge and experience that is unparalleled. Jackson has not only been a part of every aspect of this industry…he quite possibly was involved in most major innovations the Alpine ski industry has ever produced. From a writer, interviewer, educator, equipment fitter, insider ……you name it, Jackson Hogen has done it. There is no one more uniquely qualified to host a podcast about winter sport than Jackson. His background alone gets the job done better than anyone else. His wit, charisma, storytelling far surpasses anything or anyone else worthy of consideration.
PSIA National Alpine Team Coach
7-time member of the PSIA Demo Team
Operations Manager, Hotel Portillo, Chile
Former Director of Instruction, SKI Magazine
Former coach, USST
I first met Jackson Hogen in the fall of 1986 in Orange County at the five-star Meridian Hotel. On tour showing my third ski film, Maltese Flamingo, the stop at the Meridian was to show the Salomon reps the movie. JH was a mucky-muck at Salomon and unbeknownst to me the senior executive who found the money in his training budget that enabled the marketing guy, Steve Meineke, to back my films.
I would not be informed of this for a decade. I just thought he was evil and very cool. My kind of cat.
There was a fabulous tennis facility at the hotel so JH and another Salomon guy challenged me and my traveling buddy from Maine, David Farrar, to a match. I am 5’4” and a tennis amateur.
As my first serve at the Meridian courts found the bottom of the net, JH (who is 5’11”) derogatorily asked, “Who taught you to serve? Your mother?” I scrawled this stinging rebuke on Jackson’s copy of the commemorative poster for The Legend Of Aahhh’s roughly a decade later, as a reminder that callous remarks can leave a lasting impression.
As time went on, JH and I became close friends. I consider him my older brother that went to Yale that I never had. He nominated me for induction into the US Ski Hall of Fame and helped nurse my candidacy over the finish line, for which I am eternally grateful.
I speak to JH at least four times a week in a constant battle of out-humoring the other. He’s my best friend. I especially treasure our phone calls where he constantly turns me onto new words and recipes.
I love his podcasts. The audio reads are wildly entertaining.
He should be on a platform like Sirius/XM because he has a unique voice, abundant talent and a fabulous sense of humor.
US Ski Hall of Fame
Maine State Ski Hall of Fame
1978 USSA Jr. National Freestyle Skiing Champion
1979 North American Freestyle Skiing Champion
The state of ski media is pathetic: a once-proud niche run by professional journalists with ethics and fidelity to the art of language has been displaced by a mob of brain-dead bros who care more about being cool than tending to the masses of skiers who don’t spend their days skiing out of helicopters in Alaska. Even worse, the majority of this drivel is pay-to-play branded content disguised as journalism – say nice things about our skis/kit/mountain and we’ll give you free stuff. It’s unreadable, unwatchable, and, worst of all, boring.
And that’s the best of it. Step into the sewer and swim to the bottom, and there you’ll find the current bathroom waste that passes as ski-gear reviews. Most of it is uninformed and unhelpful at best, deceitful at worst: guiding skiers to skis that in no way match their ability or interests; reviews that betray the fact that the reviewer likely has never been in the same zip code as said skis; prompts to order ski boots on Amazon – which may be the single best way to ensure that a skier stays mediocre forever.
But every garbage dump holds some treasures. In the Mordor that is ski-review journalism, that pile of gold is Real Skiers, run by Jackson Hogen. He is one of the last great ski-gear writers, a holdout from the halcyon days of ski journalism, when the reader, not the writer, was the focus of reviews. Here’s what that means: honesty in gear assessment so the reader has the proper context before they invest $1,000-plus in a new ski kit, not a “this-is-so-rad” compliments blitz from a writer worried about losing access to free gear.
The difference between Mr. Hogen and the TikTok influencer picking skis based upon the color of the topsheets is obvious the moment you crack open his website. But his command of his subject is even more pronounced when you listen to him discuss it, because then you hear his passion, his personal investment, his deep and irreplaceable knowledge in his every utterance. His podcast on Real Skiers is excellent, and I had the privilege of hosting Mr. Hogen on The Storm Skiing Podcast last spring. My listeners raved over the episode, thanking me repeatedly for what amounted to a masterclass in how to approach your gear setup. I could go on, but please, just listen to the episode.
Skiing is too important to be left to amateurs and clueless influencers. We’ve gone as far from actual ski journalism as we possibly can. A correction is coming. Skiers aren’t stupid, and they want high-quality information. Mr. Hogen can deliver that, and the larger platform we can provide him to do so, the better.
Editor & Host: The Storm Skiing Journal & Podcast
Cell: (646) 319-1553
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Jackson Hogen is the number one expert in ski equipment today. With a long history on both sides of the snow, as a manufacturer’s representative for Salomon to competition on the freestyle circuit, Jackson is intimately involved with every aspect of the sport. In addition, Jackson’s Ivy League education puts him head and shoulders above the rest of the writers and orators in the ski world. Jackson not only knows the truth, he can articulate it. Jackson’s site Realskiers.com is the go-to site for ski reviews, and Jackson also keeps his finger on the consumer/equipment pulse by continuing to fit ski boots.
Everybody in the ski business knows Jackson, as they should after forty plus years in the industry! He knows all the professional skiers, from yesterday and today, and knows everyone on the manufacturer’s side too. If you’re looking for someone to weigh in on the ever-changing ski business, which technology has revolutionized over the past couple of decades, there is no better person to do so than Jackson Hogen.
I rest my case.
P.S. I forgot to mention he’s a gourmet cook!
P.P.S. And that he’s got a quick wit and a great sense of humor!
World’s most widely read commentator/blogger on the music industry & a passionate skier
Jackson Hogen is the most colorfully articulate voice in North American skiing today. He trains a ready wit on the glories and absurdities of our sport, from a unique perspective: He’s the only Yale philosophy graduate you’ll ever encounter who has been a competitive freestyle skier, French product manager, widely published journalist and schismatic Pope.
President, International Skiing History Association
As I mentioned in the introduction to this Revelation, if you want to hear more of the backstory behind each of these endorsements, check out the podcast version of this Revelation, which will go live on Thursday, March 16.
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