Before new ski models are launched on the market, they are closely reviewed by independent testers at the WorldSkitest every year. After the WorldSkitest 2020 unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's ski test also needed a few attempts and postponements. In the end, however, all three ski tests - Alpine, Freeride and Touring - could take place. From May 26 to 29, 2021, the new ski models for the 2021/2022 season were tested on the Mölltal Glacier in Carinthia. We were there!
What is being tested?
Every year, the WorldSkitest tests the new models of the best-known ski manufacturers for the next season, i.e. this time for the winter of 2021/2022. Among others, the new models from Fischer, Völkl, Nordica, Kästle, Elan, Dynastar, Salomon, Rossignol, Atomic, Blizzard, Stöckli, Scott and Hagan were tested.
For each of the three ski tests in the areas of alpine, freeride and touring, several categories are tested. The manufacturers send one model into the race for each category. In addition, there was a WorldSkitest Youth with models in the Youth GS category. The 2021 WorldSkitest took place on the Mölltal Glacier in Carinthia. With more than 4 meters of snow, the participants found ideal conditions for the test runs at the end of May.
|Alpine Skitest||Freeride Skitest||Touring Skitest|
How is it tested?
The participants test all ski models of one category on one day. That's usually 10 models. For us, that meant one day of Ladies Allround and one day of Ladies High Performance. The testers have exactly one run for each ski to put it under the microscope. Only the test run with the first ski is repeated at the end. This is because the first run serves as a calibration run in order to get a benchmark for the following models.
At the end of each run, the test sheet for the ski is filled out. The characteristics long turn, short turn, edge grip, running stability and overall strength requirement are evaluated. For freeride models, instead of edge grip, turning ability is evaluated, and for touring skis, handling and function of the skins. The points range from 1 to 10, with 10 being the optimum rating. Once the sheet is filled out, it is handed in at the test station and the tester is assigned the next ski. During the changeover, the technicians adjust the ski individually to the skier with sole length and DIN-setting and check before the descent whether everything really fits correctly.
How do the skis look?
To keep the evaluation of the skis as objective as possible, the models for the test runs are neutralized in black and assigned only by numbers. The testers therefore do not know which ski from which manufacturer they are currently riding.
However, since looks also play a role when buying a ski, there is a separate test category called "SnowStyle". Here, all models that are tested in black are displayed without neutralization. The testers are then allowed to vote quite subjectively for their design favorites in the individual categories and award gold, silver and bronze rankings.
The group of testers at the WorldSkitest is a colorful mix, ranging from hobby skiers to former and active ski pros. This year, Olympic Champion Fritz Strobl, Slalom World Champion Manfred Pranger and Austrian ski racers Katharina Truppe and Conny Hütter were among the participants
We were also allowed to participate once again. What we experienced at the WorldSkitest 2021 at the Mölltaler Glacier, you can find out in our video. In addition, organizer Gerhard Brüggler reveals in an interview what makes the WorldSkitest so special (the interview is in German).
Video: What the WorldSkitest 2021 was like
Note: The WorldSkitest 2021 was conducted under the current Covid-19 restrictions and hygiene rules. Covid-testing was mandatory for all participants.
Results of the WorldSkitest
It will take some time until all ratings and votes are evaluated. As always, the results of the 2021 WorldSkitest will be published in autumn, just in time for the World Cup kick-off in Sölden.
Then you will find out which models made it onto the podium in their categories and with which features the tested skis scored particularly well. You will find the winners again in our magazine. Until then you can have a look at the results of the last years.