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SnoWest Steve Janes Blog - Dec 15

Failing The Test

Published online: Dec 15, 2011 White Out & Wide Open—The Blog Steve Janes
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Failing The Test


          Part of our job at SnoWest (read excuses to go snowmobiling) is to test new products. And that is something we take very seriously. Almost every time we're out on the snow we have some product that we're evaluating.

            Now, although it's part of a job, you have to remember that first and foremost, we're journalists. And as a collective group, journalists are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Sometimes we struggle finding the best methods for testing products.


           
Years ago we were sent a clear, paint-on liquid that was designed to reduce drag. The intent of the product was to apply it to your snowmobile skis to make them glide through the snow. Well, we decided to take two skis (one with the liquid applied and the other without) up to a steep hill and let them slide down the slope.


           
The first couple of tries where unsuccessful since the hill wasn't steep enough to allow the skis to glide through the snow. We finally found a really steep section of slope that dropped down into trees and a deep canyon. The perfect place.


           
I dropped down the slope about 50 feet (that should be far enough to see the distance between the skis) and my assistant pushed the skis over the cornice to give them momentum to glide down to me.


           
Sure enough, the ski with the product applied to its surface was faster, actually catching me by surprise and smacking me in the shin. But it wasn't that much faster . so as I grabbed the ski, the other zipped past me and down the canyon into the trees.


           
That didn't seem to matter much with me at the moment. The pain in my leg was tremendous and I could feel the blood being absorbed by my pant leg.


           
To summarize the test: The product did make the ski slightly faster, I walked with a limp for the next two weeks, and we never did find the other ski.

SJ