The 2020 Gear Test Week in review

Tester Kris Thomas examines his ski’s flotation properties at 2020 Gear Test Week. [Photo] Matt Kiedaisch

Snow was in the air last week when more than 40 testers converged on Powder Mountain, Utah to test skis, splitboards, boots and bindings for the 2020 season. Over a foot of fresh blanketed slopes during the height of testing and the crew took advantage of the prime conditions to find their favorites from roughly 200 skis and 40 splitboards. And throughout it all, Matt Kiedaisch, resident Gear Test Week photographer, was there to document days spent shredding the deep, chop and corduroy and nights full of shenanigans and costumes.

Here are some highlights he captured from another memorable year at Powder Mountain.

Tester Kelsey Colbert arcs her was through the untracked goods at Powder Mountain, Utah. [Photo] Matt Kiedaisch
Splitboard tester Marca Hagenstad soaks in the skintrack rays in the Powder Mountain backcountry. [Photo] Matt Kiedaisch
The crew tries to sit still for a second before the madness of Gear Test Week ensues. [Photo] Matt Kiedaisch
Tester Whitney Gilliam throws up a sun-speckled rooster tail in a foot of fresh. [Photo] Matt Kiedaisch
Testers let loose at the annual game night with costumes and libations. [Photo] Matt Kiedaisch


  1. Jerry lucas says:

    As a devoted fan of both frontside and backside skiing, I remain amazed by the lack of genuine equipment assessment and analysis.
    Ever since skis have been shaped, traditional stiff forward leaning boots have become obsolete (except for competition) since turning on shaped skis is initated by ankle roll. Separately, backcountry boots provide the comfort, lighter weight and lateral stiffness for shaped skis. Finally Solomon’s new binding allows frontside and backside skiing without having to change the soles of a backcountry boot.
    Traditional equipment reviews reminds me of ICE (internal combustion engine) manufacturers not embracing electric vehicles since it conflicts with ‘what they know’ and traditional product lines…….but skis have shaped sides!
    Let’s hope this doesn’t happen in the ski equipment industry……..but so far manufacturers seem to be stuck in the ICE age.

    • Louise Lintilhac says:

      Hi Jerry, we work extremely hard to compile a fairly comprehensive Gear Guide that comes out every fall. That is where you will be able to find that kind of gear review. Between now and then we have to write all that fun stuff and do a whole bunch of research. Stay tuned and subscribe to get the in-depth reviews you’re looking for.

    • I disagree Jerry. Rolling the ankle is only one aspect of turn initiation. Bending the skis by loading is crucial to a good turn. This is best achieved with significant forward pressure at the ankle. Of course, this is most important in “frontside” turns.

  2. Brad Hall says:

    How does a person get onto the testing team? This would be such a rad time.


Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.