November 13, 2012

My Most-Hated Video

I don't get much feedback on my videos, positive or negative, and I certainly don't get much in the way of 'likes' or 'dislikes', but there is one huge exception: my video review of Volkl's RTM-84 ski. Something about this video has sure aroused the passions of my otherwise-disengaged YouTube audience. That crazy RTM84 video gets a ton of views, and a ton of dislikes.

I shoot the vast majority of my ski review videos at Winter Park, during the SIA Snow Show, when I get the opportunity to demo all the latest-greatest skis—or at least, as many as I can pack into two frantic days. Initially, these videos were never meant to be seen by other people. I was just using my camera as a dictaphone to take notes on skis immediately after I skied them, since carrying pen and paper on a chairlift is a bit awkward.

So I just pointed my camera at my mouth and spouted whatever stream-of-consciousness thoughts I had about whatever ski I was currently skiing. When I got home and started reviewing my notes/videos, I noticed they were kind of interesting. Seeing my first-hand reactions to the skis, in the moment, emotions and stutters and crazy metaphors included, struck me as worth sharing. So I uploaded the whole bunch, off-kilter cinematography and all, and voila, they turned out to be fairly popular. Except for that RTM-84 video.

Okay, exactly one day prior to this video, Volkl contacted me requesting a meeting at the SIA convention floor in Denver. I was very flattered—many of the big ski makers have no idea I even exist. And then, incredibly (or perhaps inevitably :)) Volkl stood me up when I showed for the meeting. So I wasn't particularly favorably inclined toward the brand when I tried the RTM-84.

That said, I really didn't like the ski. I also tried Volkl's Mantra and Nunataq that same day. And I liked those skis a lot (as is evident in those videos). So maybe my annoyance with Volkl's PR people didn't bias my reaction. Or maybe it did—you be the judge. And feel free to click the "dislike" button. Everybody else seems to be doing it...

UPDATE: in case you're curious, my most-loved video is here


Andy Lewicky

ANDY LEWICKY is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer who enjoys good books, jasmine tea, long walks in the rain, and climbing and skiing the big peaks of the California Sierra. email | follow

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