The Dropout’s Guide to Skiing

By: Jackson Hogen

Published: December 24, 2019

During ski season I work a few days almost every week fitting boots at Bobo’s, which affords me the opportunity to interact with a broad swath of the skiing public. Bobo’s is a specialty shop but not a specialized shop: we supply every stratum of skier with an overabundance of options. I would be surprised if Bobo’s weren’t among the top ten independent, single-location ski retailers in America.

Point being, I see a healthy cross-section of today’s ski buyers and I would estimate that one in five has barely skied, if at all, in the last 8 seasons or so. For many, the hiatus has been considerably longer. Their reasons are all over the map, literally and figuratively. Something severed their connection to skiing: military service, relocation, re-marriage, kids, college, cost, inconvenience, you name it.

Regardless of their reasons or how long they’ve been away, the same holds true for the lot of them: what they know about skiing and ski equipment is what they can remember from a decade ago. Even if their powers of recall are exceptional, the world they remember ceased to exist years ago.

Since they’ve been away, the model they once loved has molted several times over; even if the name is unchanged, the ski it’s printed on won’t be. The boot market is a whole new ballgame; every brand has narrow, medium and wide options and modifying both liners and shells has never been more efficient or more effective. As the brilliant satiric troupe The Firesign Theater titled one of their still fresh takes on the human condition, Everything You Know is Wrong!

The premier online resource for skiers who have been out of touch with current gear trends from the most experienced editorial staff in ski equipment journalism. 

If only there were a handy compendium packed with all one needs to know to ease the prodigal skier’s reentry to the sport! My friends at America’s Best Bootfitters and have teamed up to fill the need for just such an all-inclusive Buyers Guide. In the 2020 edition of America’s Best Powered by Masterfit Buyer Guide in Partnership with, we explain:

  • Current trends in the ski and boot markets
  • How to be a better ski shopper
  • How to carry your gear
  • How to pick the right ski for you
  • How to know if your bootfitter’s a pro
  • How to pick the perfect pole
  • Binding do’s and don’ts
  • Care and maintenance tips
  • When to rent or buy
  • Getting in shape for the season

Plus over 125 new reviews of 2020 skis and boots written by skiing’s leading authorities, Mark Elling for boots and yours truly for skis. You’ll find it on digital newsstands across the web or visit its mobile-friendly format here.

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