Why Another Buyer’s Guide?

By: Jackson Hogen

Published: December 18, 2018

Yesterday morning the 2019 Masterfit Buyer’s Guide was posted on digital platforms across the Internet. A collaboration between Masterfit and Realskiers, the Masterfit Buyer’s Guide blends the instant availability of a digital publication with the sort of in-depth advice that once formed the backbone of print buyer’s guides. Of course the Masterfit Buyer’s Guide is also loaded with ski and boot reviews based on the on-snow evaluations of dozens of veteran testers.

This week’s Revelation is adapted from the preface to the 2019 Masterfit Buyer’s Guide. Please re-send this post to everyone you’ve ever met. – JH

Another Buyer’s Guide?

Actually, we like to think of ourselves as the other Buyer’s Guide. One that delivers candid advice from renowned authorities who also conduct America’s most respected ski and boot tests. Like it was “back in the day” when the legacy magazines reigned.

In the ever-shrinking world of ink and paper, ski magazines have either ceased to exist or contracted dramatically in size.  At the same time, surviving publications substantially cut the resources they devoted to product testing. It’s expensive, time-consuming and requires a unique expertise to execute. We believed the skiing public deserves better.

Inside the Masterfit Buyer’s Guide you’ll find practical advice not just on what to buy, but how to buy it. For example, we’ll walk you through the first five minutes of how your boot purchase should go, show how to easily get your boots on and off, and talk about how you should select a binding.

If you’re new to Alpine skiing or haven’t skied in a few seasons, you’ll find the Masterfit Buyer’s Guide to be an invaluable resource. Even the most experienced ski enthusiasts will pick up a tip from one of our 20 advice columns, and all skiers can learn about what’s new for 2019 from our 52 ski reviews and 78 boots reviews. Readers hungry for more detailed analyses of the season’s top skis and boots are invited to visit our Realskiers.com and Bootfiters.com websites for more in-depth reviews and commentaries.


What do we know about ski gear?  Well, we’re the folks who used to run gear test programs and write and edit the country’s premier ski publications in their salad days.

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Steve Cohen was executive editor of Ski Magazine for 15 years.  He started the first independent on-hill boot test program in 1988. He’s now the CEO of Masterfit, which also runs the snowsports industry’s bootfitter training centers, Masterfit University, and America’s Best Bootfitters, the organization of top ski shops that specialize in fitting. In his abundant spare time, Cohen also oversees the Masterfit boot test program.

Jackson has an excuse for why you didn’t receive last week’s Revelation on our normal schedule. In lieu of a note from his mother, please accept this crude rendering of Jackson in his happy place: above a thrashed crud field of day-old snow. 

Editorial Director Jackson Hogen has been the voice and owner of Realskiers.com since 2013. He has been conducting ski tests since 1987. He was gear editor at Snow Country Magazine at its peak and has worked for several major ski suppliers in executive positions.  He ran our ski test and wrote our ski reviews as well as many of the how-to articles in the Buyer’s Guide.

Boot Editor Mark Elling is a world-renowned bootfitter and the curriculum director at Masterfit University where he spends most of the fall teaching other bootfitters Masterfit-developed techniques.  He coordinates every aspect of the world’s only comprehensive boot test and writes our boot content.

Recognizing all who contributed to the Masterfit Buyer’s Guide would require several pages as more than 125 highly experienced and insightful skiers tested skis and boots for us. The Buyer’s Guide profiles a sample of our talented crew so our readers can get a glimpse of who they are and how they ski.

The Masterfit Buyer’s Guide is coming to you in a digital magazine format because, quite simply, we recognize that it’s the way people get intel today.  The days of waiting for the Merry Mailman to drop a ski pub in your snail mailbox are just about over.

We hope you enjoy this portable, always-available Buyer’s Guide and our one-click links to deeper dives on the gear we cover.  We’ve built it to provide you with as much knowledge as possible when you head to the ski shop to gear up this season.  The better suited your gear is for your individual needs, the better you will ski.  The better you ski, the more you enjoy skiing. And that’s what all of in the ski world wants.

Please share your thoughts about this Buyer’s Guide with us at info@masterfitnc.com.  We plan to make this an annual affair and want to know what you’d like to see as we move forward.

Best wishes to all for a glorious ski season,


Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Steve Cohen         Editorial Director Jackson Hogen

Get our Revelations newsletter in your inbox all season long. Subscribe Today!

© 2019-20 Realskiers.com | Contact Us | Reset Password