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Things you wanted to ask product managers but were afraid to ask.

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 

SIA is just a few short weeks away and we will be meeting with product managers from many manufactures. If there is anything you would like us to ask for you we will. Please post here the manufacturer and question you have. We will do our best to track down that person and ask the question on your behalf. 

 

Manufacturer:

 

Related Product:

 

Question:

post #2 of 54

Manufacturer: any who makes men's ski pants (Spyder for one)

 

Related Product:

 

Question: Why are front zippers so short?  Extend them several inches farther down, as they are on men's dress pants so we don't have to remove our pants to perform a basic function. 

post #3 of 54

Manufacturer: Any that make jackets with wrist gaiters (ie-Mountain Hardwear)

 

Related Project: Jackets

 

Question: Regarding wrist gaiters.......instead of sewing 2 pieces of fabric together with a seam below the thumb (which digs into the thumb area when worn), can they not design a wraparound piece of fabric below the thumb, with a seam above the thumb instead, so the gaiters aren't rendered useless by painful seams that dig into the thumb socket?

 

 

Sounds stupid, I know, but almost EVERY gaiter out there is designed like this.  And unless you have positively tiny hands and thumbs, the gaiters become painful and useless, defeating the whole point of them.  A simple design/sewing tweak would fix this whole problem!!! SIGH.

post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by crudmeister View Post

Question: Why are front zippers so short?  Extend them several inches farther down, as they are on men's dress pants so we don't have to remove our pants to perform a basic function. 

 

I never realized this was an issue until now.

 

 

Manufacturer:  Smith

 

Related Product:  Poles

 

Question:  Any chance you'll bring back aluminum Z-bend poles?  Full Tilt has the Flexon, Look has the Pivot, and Salomon the s916...


Edited by Caucasian Asian - 1/15/13 at 12:10pm
post #5 of 54

Manufacturer:   Fischer, Atomic,

 

Related product:   Fischer S-bound 112, Atomic Rainier

 

Question1:  Can we please have  waxless base skis with 90mm+ waists?

 

 

Question2:  Can we please have +-weight sizing on waxless skis so that 220lb+ skiers aren't excluded from nordic skiing?

post #6 of 54

I still want to see boot lug, sole,  and binding claw footprints evolve a bit wider (75MM-80MM) to better match the width of the average ski sold these days.

post #7 of 54

Manufacturer: Any boot manufacturers, particularly atomic

 

Related Product: Boot website information

 

Question: Could you please include more technical specifications in easily accessable locations? Important info, particularly boot sole lengths (I know they fluctuate with size, but a table wouldn't be so hard) is often missing completely from your websites and browsing for shells often means looking on other external sites for technical information (usually relating to binding compatability/settings).

post #8 of 54

Manufacturer:  Look, Salomon, Marker, Vist, etc.

 

Related Product:  Bindings

 

Question: 

 

1) Would you please post a pdf of the tech manual each year?  There is great info in there and people end up posting questions on epic and trusting whoever tells them if their forward pressure is correct, etc. 

2) Would you please make parts readily available.  TGR is full of WTB: binding parts, breaks, etc.

3) Along with #2, it would be nice to have shims and screw kits to make tweaking delta easier.

4) New designs where changing stance like Atomic, schizo, etc. have would be great.

post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by arturocarlos View Post

Manufacturer: Any boot manufacturers, particularly atomic

 

Related Product: Boot website information

 

Question: Could you please include more technical specifications in easily accessable locations? Important info, particularly boot sole lengths (I know they fluctuate with size, but a table wouldn't be so hard) is often missing completely from your websites and browsing for shells often means looking on other external sites for technical information (usually relating to binding compatability/settings).

Volume and general characteristics would be great too (last width, high vol / low vol, high instep / low instep etc)

 This would help with:  if your foot  has x, y, z characteristics you might start with brand a, b, c   and good luck with d,e,f

post #10 of 54

1) Who do you think will give you the most competition this year?  (Now we will know who is expected to have hot products by the product manager concensus.)

2) When you were setting up your booth, did you notice anyone with unique products here? (Now you know what booth to visit next, and perhaps you will find another Ski Logik or someone doing something differently than the rest.)

3) Who will be you biggest competitor over the next few years? (Now you know what booth you must visit).

4) What is the one trend your firm sees that is missed by your competitors? (Now you know if the company has me-too products or something really worth looking at.)

5) If we were to meet again at the SIA in a few years, what would have to happen in order for you to think your firm has made real progress? (This should be asked of company officers and not product managers to see what their real goals are, since their marketing is always a bunch of bull____.)

6) How will your company use new and exciting technology to customize the experience of the consumer? (I have a reason for asking this.)

post #11 of 54

Rossignol

 

I want a ski like a squad 7 shape thats about 95-100mm underoot with a sheet of metal in a 185cm. Why is there not one?

 

all boot manufacturers:

Why aren't all boot soles changeable to tech soles, or even better yet, why don't all boots have tech soles (or at least the same dimensions/shape), and all bindings accommodate them as an industry standard? 

 

Transceiver manufacturers:

Why is there not an app to change dumb phone into a beacon?

 

All BC pant manufacturers:

 

What is the point of side vents if they only zip down 5 inches, and why wouldnt a side vent zip down to just past the knee be ideal for all BC pants? Whats the downfall?

post #12 of 54

Manufacturer: All boot manufacturers (especially Fischer...)

 

Why can't they build the liners in the expert level boots the same way they build the race liners with additional levels of warmth and weatherproofing.  Charge the customer extra $150-$200 dollars for it, but deliver a superior product.    

 

Specific question to Fischer: Why do they keep mucking the best fitting boot on the market by insisting on selling it with a packable consumer-grade liner?  Why not sell it with a Zip-Fit, charge extra $200 for it and reap the benefits of having truly the best boot on the market (instead of having the best with a big asterisk).  

post #13 of 54

Ski Poles: Larger powder baskets work well in powder and on hard pack, while the small baskets only work on hard pack/groomers. So why do the vast majority of poles come with small baskets. Even Eastern skiers and Europeans sometimes ski powder.

post #14 of 54

Goggle manufacturers--why is the buckle always in the middle of the strap where it interferes with the goggle retention clasp on the back of helmets (especially Smith and other companies that make both.)

post #15 of 54

'Goggle manufacturers--why is the buckle always in the middle of the strap where it interferes with the goggle retention clasp on the back of helmets (especially Smith and other companies that make both.)'

 

x2

post #16 of 54

Manufacturer:

All Major Ski Brands

 

Related Product:

All Models

 

Question:

Can we get better model specs for ALL sizes including Sidecut, Tip-Waist-Tail, Effective Edge, Running Length, Camber, Tip Length, Tail Length, etc.?   Dealer and consumer catalogs and websites.  Line, DPS, and most small brands do a good job but the major brands fail at it.  Baffles me that most snowboard companies have done this since the beginning of time.

 

Why do you change graphics every year when the actual product has not changed physically?  I know the answer but I would love it if you would ask everyone.  Maybe you could ask the same guys every year till you retire.  THAT would be awesome!

post #17 of 54

Manufacturer:

All Major Ski Brands

 

Related Product:

All Models

 

Question:

Do you discuss with your reps the possibility that showing up at a demo day with poorly tuned skis might actually be worse for the brand than not showing up at all? When a brand is not represented, I just keep their stuff on the "meaning to try" list in my head. When it is represented by a pair of skis that may look and feel like they've been stored in my kitchen junk drawer for the last fifteen years, and in any case ski like couple of butter knives, not only am I not likely to choose one of that brand's skis over a comparable model from a different manufacturer, I walk away with negative feelings about the brand as a whole. And vice-versa. For example, one factor in my being a Dynastar fan is that their local rep has a great attitude and always has well-tuned skis in his tent.

 

The reason I care about this topic is that free demos are pretty few and far between, and I sometimes go out of my way to attend one even when I wouldn't normally drive a long way or even ski at all. (Typically demo days are early in the season on a weekend, when conditions are marginal and slopes are crowded.) It's frustrating and disappointing to get there after a long trip and possibly and expensive lift ticket, only to find that skis you were really looking forward to testing are essentially unusable. It's a strangely common phenomenon in my experience. Note that when I brought this up in another thread last year, I got some bristly comments from industry insiders, saying, "you just don't know how the system works." That may be true, but IMHO it's completely irrelevant. I'm a customer. I shouldn't need to know what happens in the back room. If my soup is cold, my soup is cold; I don't care if the sous chef is dealing with a messy divorce. It seems reasonable to expect that a "demo" pair of this year's skis will be well tuned. How else could the demo be meaningful and potentially make a sale?

post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

Manufacturer:

All Major Ski Brands

 

Related Product:

All Models

 

Question:

Do you discuss with your reps the possibility that showing up at a demo day with poorly tuned skis might actually be worse for the brand than not showing up at all? When a brand is not represented, I just keep their stuff on the "meaning to try" list in my head. When it is represented by a pair of skis that may look and feel like they've been stored in my kitchen junk drawer for the last fifteen years, and in any case ski like couple of butter knives, not only am I not likely to choose one of that brand's skis over a comparable model from a different manufacturer, I walk away with negative feelings about the brand as a whole. And vice-versa. For example, one factor in my being a Dynastar fan is that their local rep has a great attitude and always has well-tuned skis in his tent.

 

The reason I care about this topic is that free demos are pretty few and far between, and I sometimes go out of my way to attend one even when I wouldn't normally drive a long way or even ski at all. (Typically demo days are early in the season on a weekend, when conditions are marginal and slopes are crowded.) It's frustrating and disappointing to get there after a long trip and possibly and expensive lift ticket, only to find that skis you were really looking forward to testing are essentially unusable. It's a strangely common phenomenon in my experience. Note that when I brought this up in another thread last year, I got some bristly comments from industry insiders, saying, "you just don't know how the system works." That may be true, but IMHO it's completely irrelevant. I'm a customer. I shouldn't need to know what happens in the back room. If my soup is cold, my soup is cold; I don't care if the sous chef is dealing with a messy divorce. It seems reasonable to expect that a "demo" pair of this year's skis will be well tuned. How else could the demo be meaningful and potentially make a sale?

According to the ski techs at the demo shop where i work, some  brands of skis come from the factory with excellent consistent tunes while other brands not so much. So some need pre usage massaging and some skis are ready to go out of the box.

post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

Ski Poles: Larger powder baskets work well in powder and on hard pack, while the small baskets only work on hard pack/groomers. So why do the vast majority of poles come with small baskets. Even Eastern skiers and Europeans sometimes ski powder.

Actually, not quite true, or at least not true for all poles...  I screwed up the most high-tech pole I've ever owned, Swix (beautiful product by all accounts) by putting a powder basket on it.  The tip is too short and on steep terrain the pole plants with a basket instead of the tip and the pole slips.  Believe me, this is a pretty scary feeling.  FWIIW, Scott Series 4 has a much longer tip and I never had that problem with it. 

post #20 of 54

Manufacturer: Salomon

Question: When is the Ghost Max Boot going to hit the shelves nationwide?

 

Manufacturer: Full Tilt

Statement: Good job with the FTSoul Shell, but Redesign the performance aspect of the First Chair Boot. Bring the connecting part of the lower shell, up into the cuff more. Use higher density (150 flex)plastic on the shell. Create a #12 Durometer tongue. Stiffen it up, while keeping most of the flex attributes that 3pc boots are known for...

post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by rug wheelie View Post

Why do you change graphics every year when the actual product has not changed physically?  I know the answer but I would love it if you would ask everyone.  Maybe you could ask the same guys every year till you retire.  THAT would be awesome!

 

I know you're probably thinking that the main reason is for marketing purposes, which is of course true, but it's also a very convenient way of identifying how old a ski is.  If they kept the same top sheets for 3 or 4 years if the ski design remained the same, the aftermarket sales and swaps would be pretty confusing.

post #22 of 54

Manufacturer:

All Major Ski Brands

 

Related Product:

All Models

 

Question: Why are free demo days treated like some kind of trade secret?  You know the schedule in advance, why not put it on your website where interested skiers can find out where you're going to be?  I'd be likely to show up and try your product if I knew where to go. Yeah, sometimes it's listed on the website of the resort, but who has time to look at 50 ski area websites?

post #23 of 54

Not that I care much about FT boots, but WHY on god's green earth do they bother putting those cheese ball leather wire bail holders on? And why in the PNW did they not include any type of basic footbed, then try to tell people they didn't need one? After that, tell them to get out their bank book and redesign they're crummy buckles and join the 21st century . smile.gif

 

Message to Head.... Fire your graphic team. Seriously. You'd get better ideas from a college communication design school.  While your at it, fire your NA marketing team. You make great boots, but nobody knows unless they follow WC racing. 

 

Message to Dynastar... what where you thinking on the Cham 107? What a piece of crap of a ski. Hire a Kastle engineer to sort your flex show out. In the meantime, lay off the meth. You've made great products in the past. We hope to see you get it together and make some more soon before your teeth fall out.

 

To boot manufactures... charge or offer a $50 upgrade for performance boots or do a deal with a footbed manufacturer,  and include a heat moldable footbed... OEM sidas or the like and call it good. Everyone already has the gear at the store.

 

To K2... Please move manufacturing back to the US, or at least to a part of China where skiing is/can happen. Build the sport, not just your shareholder return. They're not mutually exclusive.

And please move your tip rocker back toward the tip and away from the binding toe piece. ( I've heard this is coming though which is good ) Stop the crummy pole graphics and people not sporting your skis will actually buy them. And congrats on figuring out that no one is going to pay $50 bucks more for a 50th anniversary graphic. You could have brought back your classic posters and sold them for $50 if you were that hard up for cash.

 

Thank you Rossi for the coming redesign of your fat ski tails. Please keep the Experience series around and offer the E88/98 in both metal and non-metal versions. Brush up on quality control.

 

Thank you Salomon for sorting out your graphic confusion and ski labeling mess for next season. Add a fourth top buckle to your Quest boots... they did it to tele boots several years ago for a reason. But thanks for the coming replacement tech soles! Well done!

 

Dear Tecnica, Add a fourth top buckle to your side country boots... every tele boot manufacturer did it several years ago for a reason, and a good performance one at that.

 

Fischer... one of these days people will figure out the silliness of SOMA. In a couple more years, everyone will be making heat moldable shells without the contraption of vacuum bagging, etc...

You do make nice skis that no one knows about though.

 

Lange. Please, more 'tips up' and 'soft inside'. smile.gif

 

Now ask me what I really think. snowfight.gif

post #24 of 54

I don't have anything to ask (right now), but:

 

Quote:

Transceiver manufacturers:

Why is there not an app to change dumb phone into a beacon?

 

Cellphones and rescue beacons operate on different frequency bands.  (Now, maybe they could come up with a spec for a transceiver using cellphone or Wi-Fi frequencies, and then you could potentially use a phone or nearby network of phones as a transceiver.  Interference might be an issue, though.)

 

 

Quote:
Message to Dynastar... what where you thinking on the Cham 107? What a piece of crap of a ski.

 

I really liked that ski when I demoed it in the spring, so I disagree there!

post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

 

 

I really liked that ski when I demoed it in the spring, so I disagree there!

 

I should have been a bit more kind. I thought they'd be much more versatile. I skied them in a 184 on the same evening as a 188 Kastle mx88. The 88 was MUCH better in chopped up crud with some ice crust underneath. The faster I skied, the goofier the Cham behaved. The mx88 was more versatile in the 6" of heavy on top of ice crusted groomed and in bumps even though being longer. The cham needed a detune at the front transition, but the one place the Cham did the job was in about 14" of very heavy mank I found off the beaten path. This was expected because of the shovel, but it still felt limited to the short turn radius. Anyhow, back to your regularly scheduled thread. smile.gif

post #26 of 54

Am I misreading or are you comparing a ski that's 88mm underfoot to a ski that's 107mm underfoot?

post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Am I misreading or are you comparing a ski that's 88mm underfoot to a ski that's 107mm underfoot?

 

Why yes I am. I expected that the Cham would have been much better in cut up chop, and it wasn't. I was comparing for contrast of expectations.

post #28 of 54

Manufacturer:   Volkl

 

Models:     Most ski Models

 

Questions:    

 

  1. Why continue with the "very tired" binding system/all-mountain skis (i.e. 724 Series; Unlimited Series; and current RTM series and similarly the Women's Attiva and Essenza Series)?  This concept becomes less and less relevant each season. 
  2. Seriously, more seasons with the Mantra and Gotama?   Those things have been ridden into the ground.  Time for new designs and new models/names in those slots.  Kind of reminding me of Bret Favre's retirement tour...  Just put them into the "Hall of Fame" and move forward.  
post #29 of 54

I think the Gotama's gone, so you might have gotten your wish. 

post #30 of 54

Just a few more "pearls" to pass along.

 

1.Do ski designers really test their ski pants and jackets in real powder snow. If yes why then do the collars still not allow a polar fleece neck warmer. Why do the ski pants not have an elastic "expansion" section at waists. Why do ski pants not have a rear slot at lower section for powder straps ? Why ?

 

2.Speaking of serious powder pants. Why not have a integrated powder leash at rear of both pants legs which can be pulled out and clips to bindings!

 

3. Speaking of serious pro ski pants, why not have integrated elastic calf pressure "socks" like marathon runners.

 

4. Why pay so much for "high tech" jackets and have short narro velcros on sleeves, zippers, waits?

 

5. Why do I have to sew in my own polar fleece inner collar liner for that soft warm feeling ?

 

6. Why do I have to sew in my own elastic band near zipper at collar to allow for more room ?

 

Please ski clothing designers,,get out of your high tech offices and go out and ski with your products. For example Spyder ski pants,,why is zipper area so short for north american males?

 

Get some real skiers to test your prototypes!!!

 

Respectfully,

Pa

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