I subscribe to all 3 of the big ski magazines. It's great to read that first issue and the buyer's guides on each. But each year, it seems subsequent issues just disappoint because they don't have enough information that pertains to me.
Powder-great pictures of places I can't afford to go ski
Ski-great articles if I was reading Home & Garden & Ski
Skiing-much like Ski
I'll put in a vote for two not on your list:
Coulior and Backcountry Magazine.
Both offer great articles on people and places without a lot of resortishness. I don't read the mainline ski mags much, if at all. They seem to have a heavier focus on the 'image' of skiing. Couloir and BC Mag have a nicer feel and a tighter focus on skiing for skiing's sake, bit more soul perhaps, less corporate. imho.
Telemark Skier is pretty damn good also, but only two or three issues a year.
And Off Piste is a nice rag, similar in feel to Dirt Rag for mtn biking, but it's rare that I see a copy.
Frankly, websites like DCSki have made these magazines largely obsolete or relegated them to a post verification role on topics already vetted elsewhere. I get SKI because I got a free subscription. Recently they have run stories on MRG - the soul of skiing, and the popularity of ski "safaris" - visiting more than one ski area on a single ski trip. These and many other topics have been very thoroughly covered in various ski related websites. The web allows you to tailor your reading and research time to ski topics of highest interest, rather than reading what is force fed to you. Also, the web allows you to interact with others to get specific and current info on evolving topics such as weather and discounts.
This is about Snowboarding mags but I seriously doubt skiing mags are much better. I used to check out "Transworld Snowboarding" and now get "Snowboarding" to help my little cousin win a free Spongebob shirt and potentially a bike (ok, I'm a sucker for kids).
Transworld has one good issue each year which is the resorts wrappup which actually covers every region pretty in depth, except of course, the mid atlantic/southeast. They covered Seven Springs in this years in the "East" section but it was really short and I think they got all their info from 7springs.com. Every other issue is just a bunch of people in the Twin Cities or something doing rails in a city and TONS of advertisements with absolutely no articles of any significance about equipment, traveling, or good deals to great places.
Snowboarding has some decent articles actually and mostly has pics of backcountry boarding which is cool. The problem with them is that they are WAY ahead of the weather with their issues. For instance, right smack in the middle of the season last month they came out with their last issue for the season. This issue had mostly articles about summer snowboarding camps at Whistler and Timberline (Oregon guys, not WV, calm down) and a big trip report from a tour of European Snow Domes they did. Why the heck do I wanna read about ways to get a snowboarding fix in the summer when its prime season. Tell me how to get some great backcountry powder boarding in prime season on a budget or something. Oh well, at least she got her T-Shirt
I have to give a shout-out to Skiing Magazine. I have free subscriptions to both Skiing and Ski magazines and out of the two, I prefer Skiing. IMO, Skiing attracts the younger (albeit, not necessarily crazy) crowd, to which I belong. I'm in my mid-20's and can relate to the articles that are posted in there. They also go off the beaten path. I just read about skiing on the Kamchatskaya Penisula in far eastern Russia. Who would've known?! I think their articles are well written and get lost in my ski fantasies when I read the in-depth articles.
Although, I have seen either Ski or Skiing magazine recycle the others' stories. Ski just had the road trip article in their magazine, Skiing had it last month. Every once in a while, I do enjoy reading the section in Ski about the people who just drop everything and live their dream in the mountains and custom build the overly huge house. I think my cousin works for the guy who was featured a couple of months back in Stowe.
I haven't read Powder, is it any good?
As a club owner at smugglers notch they signed me up for SKI. It one of the bennies.
Personally I like Forum
I used to read Whitelines and Onboard in Europe. They had a lot more content than Transworld or anyof the magazines here. They spent time talking to riders and not just the jib kids either. They did tours with Victoria Jealouse in Alaska and on first descents around the world. They definitely had more soul. Anything I've picked up here is a ton of ads, it's almost like snowporn. Reams of pictures of powder and sequence shots of riders hitting kicks in the backcountry all followed up by an ad for whatever boot, jacket, board etc. So to sum up, I don't read any of them.
I read them all, but I don't take any of them seriously.
JohnL- are you referring to BoarderBabe's Forum?
I have a major complaint about Skiing magazine, don't know much about the other two. My parents- and most people I know as well as about 85% of the people that ski and board- are solid intermediates. In Skiing magazine, about 85% of the articles are about expert skiing and the other 15% are about getting laid and/or drunk. Who the hell is their market audience??? If circulations are declining on the ski magazine it's no wonder- they're becoming Maxim with snow.
Ski magazine used to be good for covering all the bases, don't know how it is anymore. Anyway, I agree with someone else's quote that forums like this are probably the best place to get info on skiing, at least from what I've seen.
Well, I got Ski and Skiing this year. They're basically the same magazine with a different cover
Once and a while they'll have a good article about various areas (the eastern ski area section), favorite runs, etc. Otherwise, it seems like the same 'ol same 'ol
lol- they're owned by the same company come to think of it.
I get the impression that "Skiing" is an attempt to capture some of the audience that "Powder" targets. "Ski" seems to be an attempt to capture the more upscale market, hence the articles on expensive ski homes.
FWIW I guess a prefer "Skiing", since the articles are marginally better written than those in "Powder"
Did I just say that I read the magazine, "but only for the articles"?
Wow I didn't expect so much feedback. It's interesting that Powder is not discussed that much or as popular. I guess men (and boarderbabe) do not buy magazines for the pictures.