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Posted on December 12th, 2010 by Kyle

So I just saw the title to this blog entry on Newschoolers and normally I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to it, but I literally just had a conversation about this subject the other day. The subject you ask? Powder Magazine vs. Freeskier Magazine. If you’ve picked up an issue of each, it’s pretty clear that each one is filling a specific niche in the skiing market. Powder’s been around forever and has a very pure feel to it. You know when the photo annual comes out there is going to be an epicness to it. You can expect stories of trips from around the world where unbelievable snow is ridden, followed by pictures of that snow that is going to make you stop and say…”I wish I knew what it was like to be in that powder.” It’s a magazine full of tradition. Freeskier on the other hand, is new school. It’s social media. It’s night missions in the city. It’s comps, contests, parties and highlights of who’s throwing down the hardest. Wanna know how crazy a premier was or maybe who took 1st-3rd at Joss? Well you get yourself a Freeskier and you’ll soon be in the know. I see Freeskier as the facebook/twitter of skiing, its a social network. I see Powder as…well, Powder. It’s official. It’s the bible. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy both. I think both have their place and as I said, fill an important niche. But personally if i’m going to take the time to sit back, relax, pour a big frothy mug of 10 Barrel’s Sinistor Ale off my kegerator (two taps. recognize.) then I’d just rather be browsing the latest issue of Powder. Online, it’s a different story. I think Freeskier has it on lockdown when it comes to the interwebs. If you want up to the minute updates on what’s going on in the ski industry, then go to Freeskier.com, no question. Both are good sites, but Freeskier, like I said is a social network. People love to post what’s going on as soon as it happens. And it happens on Freeskier. Powder’s site on the other hand will have happenings of the bigger news in skiing. Maybe even some racer news. They’ll have some highlighted industry stories, but the overall feel of the site is still Powder magazine. Nothing wrong with that. So, when it’s webinerd time, I geek out on Freeskier. Plus, Freeskier hosts the annual Lange Girl contest, nuff said.

So anyway, back to this Blog title that caught my eye on Newschoolers. The entry was titled “Freeskier vs. Powder”. And since I’d recently been discussing the same issue (no big pun (pun) intended) I read it. Now I want to throw out a disclaimer…I don’t agree with the authors’ vulgar language. Criticism is ok, just be constructive. Leave the junk talk out of it. You’ll make a better point in the end anyway I think. But check out the post below, originally by “Skiierman” on Newschoolers. You can link too it from here, or if you’re on Newschoolers.com you can find it in the Featured Blogs section. Weigh in your own thoughts if you want. Whatever your opinion, its still an read/interesting comparison in the end.

Posted Dec 11th 2010 6:07PM by skiierman

The other day I checked my mailbox to find a ski magazine. Becoming excited, I picked up the magazine only to feel like I had been tricked into bed by a pre-op tranny. It was a Freeskier magazine- the Cosmo of ski magazines.

Even though Freeskier wreaks of the fresh anal poundage provided by Colorado’s dick, I had to look through it. About halfway through, I couldn’t take it anymore. The trick of inserting broken glass under my toe nails wasn’t enough to take my mind off the pain of reading Freeskier’s “articles” and “interviews”. Instead of continuing to treat myself as a Guantanamo prisoner, I grabbed the 2011 Powder Buyer’s Guide and decided to compare the two on how much original skiing content they contain, both ski porn and articles/interviews.

Before I began I thought there’s no way Freeskier could lose based on the fact that it was the Photo Annual Edition, arguably the best issue for ski porn, an easy battle against Powder’s Buyer’s Guide… until I compared the numbers.

2011 Freeskier Photo Annual VS. 2011 Powder Buyer’s Guide

Total Pages:
Powder- 155
Freeskier – 123

Pages not including Advertisements:
Powder- 107
Freeskier- 59

Percentage of Magazine that’s Advertisements:
Powder- 31%
Freeskier- 52%

Pages until table of contents (first page of original content):
Powder- 7
Freeskier- 11

Pages of written material- articles/interviews (approx.):
Powder- 15.0
Freeskier- 6.75

Pages of interesting written material about the ski culture:
Powder- 8.0
Freeskier- 0.5

Pages of written material relating to how well the contributing writers can blow Jossi and Byron Wells:
Freeskier- 2.25
Powder- 0.0

Pages that show the act of skiing, including ads:
Powder- 37
Freeskier- 65

Pages that show the act of skiing, excluding ads:
Powder- 23
Freeskier- 34

Percentage of Ski Porn that’s Original Content:
Powder- 62%
Freeskier- 52%

Not bad for Powder’s buyer’s guide with 50 pages of just gear that have no pictures of skiing and no articles or interviews. Unless Freeskier plans to survive on the ignorance of weekend warriors and kids that don’t know how to read, they should start producing a real ski magazine and not one sculpted out of herpes shavings.

6 Responses to “Freeskier vs. Powder”

  1. Spencer says:

    I gotta say I am missing Freeze Magazine. With that said I bought my first freeze magazine when I was in Jr. High so maybe I wouldn’t be so stoked on it now. My vote goes to Powder. I receive both mags every month but Powder seems to capture more of the aspects of skiing that I am interested in.

  2. Julian says:

    I think your analysis is fairly accurate, however, I would argue that the print product of Freeskier does contain some interesting articles. But like you said, they are aimed primarily at a younger audience.

    the qualm I have with “Skiierman” (aside from his spelling) is his breakdown of advertising pages versus edit pages. The buyer’s guide edition of Powder, in addition to it’s consequent issues, contains a large portion of “advertorial” or what I can only guess is paid editorial. The section with the ski company’s on each page is clearly paid for. It’s been rumored that it is part of paying to be involved in Powder Week.

    I just caution Skiierman to do his research before throwing out such dramatic attacks without knowing the facts. Also, his clear subjectiveness alone dissuades anyone from taking him seriously.

  3. Kyle says:

    I hear ya. What you say about paying to be in Powder is interesting. We have a local publication called “The Source Weekly”, not related to skiing, but they’re always doing “best of” lists and issues and its painfully obvious that who is at the tope is most likely paying cash. Not only that but they’re completely bias. In the end it just takes away from the publication and you lose readership. I know that if they weren’t so up to date on local events I would never touch anything from The Source here in Bend.

  4. Spencer says:

    Julian, You brought up a very good point. In my opinion FreeSkier’s website kicks ass. I browse the print version of FreeSkier every month but I am on their site getting the scoop about everyday. With that said after further review I have come to the conclusion that they are both good mags and I couldn’t really live without either.

  5. Andrew says:

    if anyone here is canadian i hope you’ll agree that sbc Skier mag is the best one out there. If you’re american you might not enjoy it as much (not being rude but it’s just the humor about being hosers and pilsner etc.) but it has awesome stuff about ski culture, it disses 13 year old park rats :) and it isn’t packed full of ads and i just find it awesome for a ski mag, and i have lot of powder mag and they are alright but i still prefer skier mag so google if you don’t know what it is and maybe check one out next time you head north of the border!!! :D

  6. Kyle says:

    I snagged a copy of SBC Skier while at the SIA show this year. I like it, not sure i’d say there are any less ads in it than the others but it’s got a bit different feel to it for sure. I gotta get to BC…

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