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Working at a Ski Shop - What to Know

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am in my last year of high school. As I looked back on the last 2 winters, I realized that I haven't been out skiing. Then it came over me how much i really love skiing.

 

Anyway, long story short I want to kick of the season by getting a job in a local ski shop. What is some of the technical jargon that I may be asked in an interview to assess my knowledge of skis and skiing? I can learn extremely easily. I just want to seem like I'm not totally clueless (i'm not). I just looked at the anotomy including the tail, shovel, camber, edge etc. What else should I know going into the interview?

 

Thanks for the help.

post #2 of 6

Honestly, don't work in a shop if you want to ski. The best thing is the world is to figure out how to absolutely maximize time on the snow. If there's a way to do that in your area and make some money, then go for it! More time means more experience. Read everything you can about gear, and not just in the part of the industry that interests you. If you're a jibber, know your race stuff and visa versa. Know clothing. Know boots. Breadth and depth of knowledge is key, but without time ON skis, it's all theory. If you're really intent on working in a shop, become a tune and boot fit guru. Of course this will take time and a good mentor, and desire on your end counts for much.

post #3 of 6

They're gonna want you to know things, but they also train you to do it "their way."

 

Perhaps the most important thing they are looking for in entry-level salespeople is affability, ability to interact/shmooze/sell/up-sell customers. You'll probably be on some kind of commission.  Don't expect much money, b/c ski shops can get away with paying minimum wage to salespeople for various reasons, namely it is a "cool job" a lot of kids will do for low pay.

 

Agree with above poster that being in a ski shop isn't necessarily the best way to get out on the snow.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input guys. The main reason i want to work in a shop is so that I can get the experience to tune my skis and mess with equipment to get the best configuration. Also, I really want to buy some telemark gear this year. Is this a good idea? Should I buy online or find a local reputable dealer?

post #5 of 6

Great reson to work at a shop. Knowing how to tune your own equipment is so much better

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamcanada View Post

Thanks for the input guys. The main reason i want to work in a shop is so that I can get the experience to tune my skis and mess with equipment to get the best configuration. Also, I really want to buy some telemark gear this year. Is this a good idea? Should I buy online or find a local reputable dealer?



 

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamcanada View Post

Thanks for the input guys. The main reason i want to work in a shop is so that I can get the experience to tune my skis and mess with equipment to get the best configuration. Also, I really want to buy some telemark gear this year. Is this a good idea? Should I buy online or find a local reputable dealer?



Tuning skis really isn't all that hard. Sure, the shop will have some nice tools, but larger shops won't do a lot of hand tuning, and that's the skill you really want to learn. Make up a good tuning area, grab your skis, and go for it. Local shops and clubs might even have tuning workshops available to the public. Books? Some here: http://www.tognar.com/books_manuals_instruction_ski_snowboard_tuning_waxing_repair.html

There's also a thread here on epicski for 'new ski preparation' with youtube vids.

 

Telemark gear: depending where you are, it might not be hard at all to get a hold of excellent used gear. The Pacific Northwest is full of great used teley gear because so many are moving to AT. Telemarktips.com is a pretty good source of information when they aren't yelling at each other. Post over there and I'm sure you'll find someone in your locale that can help you out finding gear.  Skis for teley, just mount up and use the same thing you've been using for alpine. If you spend any money at all, just like alpine, spend it on boots. Sure, at a shop you can do the pro deal which will save you some money, but you won't be making much to begin with. The best part is you might know a customer who's unloading like new gear for peanuts. While these two goals you have are great, working in a ski shop really isn't necessary. Again, if it's your goal to be in ski retail or related services, then find the best shop/bootfitter/tuner in your area to 'apprentice' with. Skis, boots, brands, etc... come and go. Hard skills and sales ability are what it's really about. 

 

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