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Sugar House Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / Ski shops demo next year's skis & boards -- and testers rate the gear

Feb 11, 2023 11h06 ● By Harriet Wallis

Framed by Mt. Millie, the trade show heated up / photo: Harriet Wallis

Two days of intense on-snow testing at Brighton helped ski shops decide what skis and boards they want to stock next year. And independent testers from demoed the new gear, evaluated it, and post their opinions on their web site, saying: Our job is to “test skis so you don't have to.”

The parking lot was a maze of booths with brand names fluttering on colorful flags to attract attention. The usual brands of gear were there – and there were also new brands with names we never heard of – new comers wanting to break into the market and compete.

Weston boards ready for demo / photo Harriet Wallis

"Now let me try those skis" / photo Harriet Wallis

The trade show was one of several held each winter in the western states by the Western Winter Sports Representatives Association – a non-profit association that's been producing regional trade show and demo days in the industry for over 70 years. Over the years it has worked with more than 6,000 reps and thousands of retailers.

Want unbiased opinions on gear? Meet the testers.

SkiTalk testers Phil & Tricia Pugliese (owners), Andy Mink, & Stephen Davis / photo Harriet Wallis

 As I geared up in Brighton's locker room for a day on the slopes, I met four remarkable people from They go full bore to try all brands, and they put their unbiased comments in short videos. You get their opinions straight from the horse's mouth. And unlike other testers, they don't confine their testing to their advertisers.

"While many other review publications will not review a ski unless the brand advertises with them -- or worse, require payment for a review – is not what we call “pay to play.” We feel that it is best for our readers that we review everything we can get our hands on."