The Making of Our Winter Buyer’s Guide (Ep.2)

First of all, if you somehow missed our inaugural episode of GEAR:30, you should definitely give it a listen since we had a great conversation with Eric Hjorleifson about his new Hoji boot.

And this time, we wanted to talk about the process of assembling our 17/18 Winter Buyer’s Guide. If you’ve never assembled a 200-page buyer’s guide, turns out it’s an interesting process to categorize and synthesize a massive amount of gear, and we learned a lot along the way.

In this conversation, I talked to blister editors Sam Shaheen and Luke Koppa, who did a lot of the heavy lifting on the guide with me, and we discuss some of the most interesting things we learned along the way, and some of the arguments we had about what to include and what not to include.

We also talk about a few of the most head-scratching claims we saw about products in some of the other buyer’s guides out there (including claims about the Blizzard Rustler 10 and the ON3P Billy Goat), and then we talk about some of the gear that made our Blister Best Of list — and a couple of the products that narrowly missed making that list.


  • A very cool thing we did recently at (2:16)
  • The blurring of ski categories (3:15)
  • What we talk about when we talk about “Frontside” (8:56)
  • The pros and cons of the growing category of “50/50” Skis (13:57)
  • 17/18 Season — the year of the binding? (22:15)
  • “Stated Range of Motion” numbers on AT boots & the Scarpa Freedom RS (23:07)
  • Some of the most head-scratching claims we saw from some other buyers guides about the Blizzard Rustler 10, J Skis The Metal, and ON3P Billy Goat (29:03)
  • Note about our “Blister Spectrums” (35:37)
  • Note about our Ski Quiver Selections in the Buyer’s Guide (38:19)
  • We discuss the rationale behind our Blister “Best Of” Awards, and some specific winners: Patagonia MicroPuff; Scarpa Maestrale RS; K2 Ikonic 84 Ti (42:52)
  • Almost “Best Of” Award winners: G3 SENDr 112, The North Face Ventrix (51:46)


As I mentioned in our first episode, Blister was literally born at Marble while drinking Marble’s Double White Ale. And, in what was seriously one of the most fun things I’ve ever done, I recently headed to Marble with Justin Bobb to hang out with Marble’s head brewer, Josh Trujillo, and to sample some of Josh’s latest creations. And as you might imagine, this was basically the grown-up version of being a kid in a candy store. And it turns out that Josh is so good at talking about his brews, that we’re going to get him on this podcast to discuss several of them. But in the meantime, head over to to check out all of Marble’s offerings.

Subscribe to
GEAR:30 Podcast

Or subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below

3 comments on “The Making of Our Winter Buyer’s Guide (Ep.2)”

  1. Re durability, you mention, “ if people are going to be using these inbounds, as an everyday ski, are they going to break?”

    I think that won’t be as big a deal as you think, because most people don’t ski more than 15 days or so a year. The 100+ season people are a tiny percentage of buyers. So if you were hoping that would bring manufacturers to start among heavier skis, dint hold your breath.

  2. Speaking for Swiss Ski Resorts, with the exception of Verbier, I don’t see people skiing moguels as in US resorts.

    We ski powder, tracked powder or the slopes with are always prepared corduroy every morning. If it is too tracked/bumpy besides the slope, we do pist skiing, if the pist is bumpy, we go home and do something else, a tour outside the resort maybe.

    An allmountain or 50/50 to me means it’s good on a prepared slope (just less agressive than a carving/race ski) and it’s not impossible to do medium deep powder in a resort.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. From turn one I had a love affair with my Fischer Motive 86 Ti’s. Extremely versatile and smooth. Thank you for discussing an equivalent replacement.

    Retail purchasers would do well to use Blister’s Gear Guide.

Leave a Comment