VinnieFDoes Newschoolers charge when they do ski reviews? (Roofbox reviews, editors picks, etc).
The reason I ask is there is the reviews are always so positive. I can't possibly believe every ski is a great ski that's worth the money which makes me think NS is getting paid for reviews, hence why they're always positive.
Simple answer...no. We don't take any money for reviews and which skis get reviewed is unrelated to who advertises with us. I actually hand pick the skis think are of interest to the audience, and I don't even have an up to date list of who advertises and who doesn't. Occasionally a brand will put forward a ski to be reviewed and I'll ok it, or alternatively just wont send us something I would like to have a review on (which is annoying but it is what it is) but there is no money involved.
In terms of the actual content, the reviews are largely positive because at least of the brands we've been sent skis from so far, nobody is making skis that are just plain terrible for everyone. Blister Reviews are extremely dedicated, possibly to the point of fault, to taking no advertising at all, but none of their reviews just say 'this ski sucks' either.
For me, the point of reviewing isn't 'do I like this ski?' because that's a 100% personal judgement, it's about helping the reader figure out whether a ski will work for them. For example, my most recent Roofbox review was of the Line Blend. I think they are fun but they are way too soft to be ideal for most skiers. I believe my review conclusion says that (copy pasted from the Roofbox):
"I'd be lying if I said that the Blend was a ski I'd personally want to ski every day, I like something a bit more solid and precise-feeling. Even in my soft ski phase, I found the Blend too soft and that is even more true now that I find myself preferring mid-flex skis. Yet despite not working for me as a day to day option, I learned some new stuff on them that I don't think I'd even have considered on a stiffer ski. If you are looking for the softest ski to try new weird butter combos then #bendyourblends are the one. The price you pay for the ultimate ease of flex comes in the form of compromised performance, power and stability elsewhere. If that is a tradeoff you're willing to make, then the Blend is a good answer."
To me the one place where the concept that all skis are at least decent skis for the right skier can go out the window is build/durability. Some brands do make their skis less well (on average) than others, I have no doubt about that. But even when skiing a ski for 10-15 days, only the most immediate durability issues will come up so that is difficult to accurately report on. Occasionally something does happen, and we do note it when it does (Faction Prodigy Roofbox Review for example, also on the Volkl Revolt Editors' Pick) but short of having a reviewer only riding 1 or 2 skis for an entire season, I can't think of a fix to that (and even that would still only be one specific pair). You do get an impression of likely durability when riding a ski but it's usually a feeling at best, so I don't tend to put too much emphasis on it unless something actually does go wrong or they seem particularly tough.
This is getting to be a pretty long response, but the summary is we are doing our best to provide honest reviews. 'Too positive' is good feedback to have because it's far from a perfected process and something I definitely want to do a better job of for this coming fall is making it more clear who I think the skis will really work for/highlighting where they fall short. Anyway TL:DR is reviews aren't paid for and there is no pay-to-play element to what gets reviewed (except I suppose that you need to have the stock/budget to send us some skis).
**This post was edited on Mar 18th 2018 at 1:00:37pm