It’s not a test. A test sounds like school, and school is what we used to ditch to go skiing.
That’s the mantra behind Powder Magazine’s Powder Week. Every year the magazine and the world’s top ski manufacturers descend upon Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a week-long ski demo. The week is the back bone for Powder Magazine’s annual ski review and their stand-alone Gear Guide.
Powder Week was started 13 years ago as an alternative of the standard magazine ski test. The thinking was that ski tests, where a line up of mostly brand-affiliated pro skiers attempt to gauge a skis performance over a run or two, weren’t providing readers with quality information. Powder Week is run more as a demo. Powder assembles a crew of editors, correspondents, and ski shop employees—people who are able to ski on new product all winter long. Fifteen of them are included in the Fantasy Draft, where they choose their favorite skis in four categories. The others provide their insight as “shop rats.” The skiers demo with two brands a day, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. But the information gathering starts before Powder Week, and continues all winter long.
For 12 of the 13 years, Powder Week has taken place at Jackson Hole. The resort gets ample snowfall, has varied terrain, great hotels and restaurants, and open access to backcountry areas, making it the perfect place to sample many different skis. Powder Week hits Jackson Hole the last week of February every year. The camaraderie in a spectacular setting have regulars calling it The Greatest Week Of The Year.
Check out Powder’s 2012-13 ski reviews HERE.
For the best in Snowboard equipment, go to Snowboarder Magazine’s Buyer’s Guide.