Here Are Some Tips For Taking Part. Don’t Be Shy.

Demo staff are knowledgable, helpful and welcoming to first-timers.
Credit: Val E.

Every season ski shops, ski manufacturers, and ski resorts organize events when anybody could try new ski equipment. Demos range from a local mom-and-pop ski shop get-together to major on-snow events run by SIA (Snowsports Industry America).

Why do you need to take part in it? Technical progress never stops, try new things; you may like them. At least you will have your own opinion. Picking a pair of skis or boots is as personal and as tricky as picking a life partner. Well, kind of.

Never think you are not qualified for a ski demo. The idea is to let “volks” try the “wagen” and to give them a clear reason to buy it later.

Setting bindings based on your experience and size has to be done accurately. Don’t exaggerate your skill level!
Credit: Val E.
  • Check the list of demos at your local resort, or before you go to a ski trip. State ski associations are good resources for finding resort events. (SkiNH, SkiUtah, etc.)
  • Come early, bring your boots, poles, ID, and a credit card. Bring your own skis to “calibrate a zero level” by taking a run or two before the demo.
  • Before starting the demo, you must fill in a form with your weight, height, skier type, age, and gender. Be honest with this info; it is used for adjusting your bindings.  A higher setting than needed may lead to non-release of a binding which is dangerous.
  • Prepare a list of announced brands and potential models to try on. Know before you go so your search can be focused. Have an objective for your try-outs.
  • Read some magazines or blogs about different ski types before you go. Think about types of skis you like and dislike, what you want to demo considering the snow conditions. For example, if you ski mostly in hard pack or ice, don’t spend much time on skis for powder/soft snow.
  • If time permits, talk to the staff working at the demo booths; they are knowledgeable about ski features and benefits.
  • It’s pretty obvious but don’t ruin the edges and bases of the demo skis. These aren’t your rock skis.
  • Unwritten rule is that a skier makes a couple of runs on one pair of demos and returns it. Someone else will be waiting for your demos.
  • Use your smart phone to take photos of ski reviews and demo skis. Record your audio and video comments about them while staying in line or riding a ski lift. A partner can record a video of you going down the hill on different skis to compare. You can share your recorded impressions with your less fortunate friends on Facebook or in real life.

Even if you are not really interested in purchasing a new pair of skis, you learn a lot about gear and the sport, and it’s fun!


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