A professional ski test reviewing the best skis on the market with results you can truly trust
This is how PROSKILAB carry out ski tests with a tried and tested methodology and intrinsic ethical values keeping their ski tests uninfluenced by brand pressure making it a point of honour to give the most objective assessment possible
Q. So who are the reviewers for PROSKILAB?
Most of the reviewers are professional ski instructors and/or mountain guides and are paid. Many of them are former competitors at national or international level with extensive experience of testing ski equipment. Their role is to give an objective evaluation that will be useful to all skiers from beginners to experienced riders.
PROSKILAB also recruits expert, non-professional skiers, who are there to give a less technical appraisal that is closer to the end consumer.
Q Which ski categories are included in the review?
We reassess the ski categories every year. Below you’ll find the categories that will be reviewed in 2018-2019:
- Giant Slalom
- All Mountain Front
- All Mountain Back
- All Mountain Freetouring
- All Mountain Front
Q. How many brands do you review and how do you select the skis?
Like the categories, we reassess which brands to replace or include every year. However, we always review about a dozen so as to have as wide a choice as possible.
The following brands were reviewed in 2018-2019: Atomic, Elan, Kästle, Völkl, Rossignol, Dynastar, Zag, Black crows, K2, Stöckli, Head, Nordica, Roxy.
PROSKILAB preselects the best skis of the season during an initial evaluation conducted in January. The skis selected are then reviewed in action by the PROSKILAB team in March.
Q. How is the review carried out: i.e. how long do you ride the skis and under what conditions?
The PROSKILAB review methodology involves all the skis in a category being tested by the same panel of reviewers within a limited timeframe (half a day) so as to test all the skis in a same category under the same conditions.
This means there is a mathematical limitation of 5 to 8 skis maximum per category.
Q. Where did the winter 18/19 testing take place? What were the conditions like?
As in previous years, the reviews were conducted in La Clusaz. This enables us to work with experienced reviewers who understand exactly how PROSKILAB works.
Q. How are the skis rated by the reviewers?
For each ski, the reviewers individually score specific aspects (initiation, comfort, user friendliness, stability, etc.) and give their personal opinion. All the reviews are then shared with the other reviewers of this categorie to form an overall opinion about the ski and whether or not to award it a medal. PROSKILAB awards medals according to specific features:
- Best ski (the ski corresponds exactly to what we are looking for in this specific category)
- Best Performance
- Best Accessibility
Q. Are you influenced by the brands who advertise?
Many reviews in France and Europe, especially magazine reviews, are only economically viable through the advertising revenue received from the brands.
PROSKILAB decided from the outset to refuse any advertising contracts with the brands so as to retain the review’s evaluation independence and its genuine discriminatory nature.
The PROSKILAB review is financed by links to retailers in the 'Where can I buy this ski?' section and from advertising on the holiday rental websites.
Q. How do PROSKILAB reviews differ from other ski reviews published by the media?
We are totally independent and make it a point of honour to give the most objective assessment possible. If the conditions aren’t ideal for a specific category, we might, for example, test the category a few weeks later once the snow conditions have improved.
Q. Will you be expanding your categories in the future to include, for instance, women's touring and freeride big mountain skis?
As we mentioned earlier, we annually review the categories we want to review, so we could well test new categories in the future. For instance, in 2018 we included the AM freetouring category.
We don’t yet test pure freeride skis as our readers haven’t asked for them to date. The majority are mainly looking for versatile one-quiver piste/off piste skis.
Q. When can we see the results for winter 18/19?
The results will be published on PROSKILAB in October/November 2018.
Also check back for results here on Style Altitude.