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Things you wanted to ask product managers but were afraid to ask. - Page 2

post #31 of 54

Manufacturer: Nordica

 

Related Product: Skis

 

Question: What's with your graphics? Uck!

 

Fact is, I suspect that most skiers will not buy a ski for its graphics, but will avoid a ski if they hate the graphics. Your skis are fine, but I am sure you would sell more skis if your graphics were more tasteful

post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post

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

1.  I ski in real powder snow, and my jacket has room for a fleece neck warmer if I chose to wear one.  My pants have some adjustment to cinch in the waist.  And don't you DARE put powder leash pockets on them.

 

2.  See that last point ^^^.  If you need to use leashes, tuck them inside your gaitors.

 

3.  Don't put crap in my boots.  If I want to wear compression socks, I'll wear compression socks.

 

4.  Ok.  You've got a point.  Narrow velcro at the wrists is a little annoying.

 

5.  Please don't.

 

6.  Please don't.

 

 

I think you need to expand your shopping experience when buying outerwear.  There are lots of great companies out there that make amazing and very functional clothing. 

post #33 of 54

ski manufacturers

paper jigs for bindings

center line printed on ski for alignment

(support the ski owner in do-it-yourself mounts and ski maintenance)

post #34 of 54
Thread Starter 

Great questions (for the most part ;)) so far...Noted. Keep em coming. If and when I get a chance to ask them, I will. I will say some of the questions so far have been addressed for next year. icon14.gif

post #35 of 54
Favorite thread yet! Thanks.

All ski manufactures:
Flat tails on more models. I see no benefit to twin tips unless your a jibber landing switch. Better yet, give consumers a choice in the same model. S3 with a sheet of metal and a flat tail would rip. atomic access same thing. Kung fuja same. Old people would ski'm if the tails were flat. Armada tst....etc. all fun skis but have the twin.

Clothing manufacturers.
How about some standardized sizing where xl= consistency in other styles within same brand, at a minimum, and xl= same size in other brands.
S M L XL are not the same from one sweat shop to another!
post #36 of 54

There are actually US product managers?  I thought the skis were designed and made in Europe (for the most part) and the US people were just importers and marketing promoters, with little say on the final product.  Obviously, this isn't the case with US based companies, but how much say does an importer have on a product?  I was always told that "they sell what they are given, instead of selling what they want to be given".  

post #37 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

There are actually US product managers?  I thought the skis were designed and made in Europe (for the most part) and the US people were just importers and marketing promoters, with little say on the final product.  Obviously, this isn't the case with US based companies, but how much say does an importer have on a product?  I was always told that "they sell what they are given, instead of selling what they want to be given".  

You are right on some cases, example, do you think that Blizzard's flipcore skis were designed and conceived in Mittersill? Also, many of these product managers DO attend SIA because for most, the U.S. IS their biggest market. 

post #38 of 54

To:  All Ski/Boot Manufacturers:

 

Subject:  E-Commerce

 

Questions:

 

When are the ski companies going to wake-up and quit supporting on-line ski and boot sales?  It is killing the ski industry!  Skis and boots are not simple commodities.  They both need a fair amount of professional service to maximize performance.  

 

No question that nearly every ski boot needs fitting/modification for a proper fit - even long-time, experienced skiers need help with this - the natural trend is to go too big with the boot.  Poorly fit boots lead to cold or hurting feet, and could be a safety issue to the skier ( boot too big, too stiff, etc.) The ski boot fit it tough...  You sure as hell can't do this over the internet.

 

There is also the myth of new skis being ready to ski right out of the wrapper.  The factory tune doesn't cut it - most of the skis "cure" and change after manufacture, and need a full tune before skiing them.  To be sure, some ski companies offer a better factory finish than others, but they all need to be tuned to be decently skiable.  Some  frankly, are just awful out of the wrapper (e.g. Rossignol, Dynastar, Salomon, Head) no wonder their products get picked apart here and in other reviews - the stuff probably just isn't tuned.  So, when a customer buys these on line and has a sub-par experience with the product - it hurts the reputation of the manufacturer and the industry as a whole.  

 

What about binding adjustment?  How many ski/binding systems that are sold on-line and do-it-yourself adjusted?  The retailer needs to be indemnified, and tested in order to sell and work on bindings.  Most consumers don't appreciate or understand this.  So it becomes a safety issue, if someone gets hurt because of an improperly adjusted binding, it is unfortunate (maybe avoidable) and hurts the industry as well. 

 

I see post after post noting the number of specialty ski shops that are out or going out of business.  I also see posts detailing sub-par buying experiences in traditional retail stores. But, by and large most specialty ski retailers and stores with specialty ski departments are manned with passionate, knowledgeable staff that want to help the consumer maximize their skiing experience.  There are definitely "doubting Thomas" consumers that don't trust their local ski shop staff, but they can certainly "educate" themselves on forums like this or (gasp!) TGR, then go buy the model that they want at retail.  If the manufacturers and consumers don't work harder to support "brick and mortar" specialty retail, it will go away except for a few well placed shops (at the bottom of major ski resorts).  Then who will fit the boots, tune the skis, and adjust the bindings?  I know that the manufacturers might currently sell incrementally more product supporting the on-line only retailers, but the long-term damage that it is doing to the industry is more than off-setting it.

 

Flame me if you wish, but this is a very real series of issues facing the ski industry and it needs to be addressed.

post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

You are right on some cases, example, do you think that Blizzard's flipcore skis were designed and conceived in Mittersill? Also, many of these product managers DO attend SIA because for most, the U.S. IS their biggest market. 


I would assume their sponsored guys are leading the charge for new/better gear.  After all, isn't what pro development people, whether in cycling or skiing, are there for?  Aside from that, I would think that the ideas come from the product developement guys based in Austria, whether they are Austrian, Italian, or Americans living over there. Probably a mix of nationalities, but likely based in the same area, hopefully with a wide range of backgrounds.  Products then sent out to pro riders, refined, and put into production.  At least that is how it is done in the bike industry: top riders get prototypes 2-3 years in advance, they get those prototypes UCI-certified so they can be raced, and you see a finished product underneath a racer about 6-12 months before it comes onto the retail stream.  Ideas often come from racers, and engineers figure out how to make it work in a production and safety context.  I am not quite fast enough to be on the production team at my sponsor (Cannondale); I just get finished production product,  but a couple of my friends do development for Rocky Mountain, and they said that is how it works for them. 

 

The reason I asked is that I have spoken with a couple of product managers here in the US for distrubutors of European made skis, and they were more or less cheerleaders for the brand, with little to no real input.  Most of what they were saying was typical marketing BS, and had little to do with the on-snow performance of the product.   Other times, you can talk to a US guy and they have some real pull over there, as the US guys are the eyes and ears for stateside wants and needs.  As you implied, you will be hopefully interviewing the decision makers, not the cheerleaders. 

 

See you in Denver!  If not at Tahoe next week.  I will be skiing Tuesday/Wed/Thursday at Squaw if you want to meet up.

post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by butryon View Post

Favorite thread yet! Thanks.

All ski manufactures:
Flat tails on more models. I see no benefit to twin tips unless your a jibber landing switch. Better yet, give consumers a choice in the same model. S3 with a sheet of metal and a flat tail would rip. atomic access same thing. Kung fuja same. Old people would ski'm if the tails were flat. Armada tst....etc. all fun skis but have the twin.

Clothing manufacturers.
How about some standardized sizing where xl= consistency in other styles within same brand, at a minimum, and xl= same size in other brands.
S M L XL are not the same from one sweat shop to another!

I see a benefit to twin tips or at least turned up tails when skiing tight trees. Often I will come to a stop, look around and realize that there is more of an opening in the other direction so I need to back up and with turned up tails there is little or no chance of the tails digging in.

 

Also twin tips throw up a huge rooster tail on powder days, handy for spraying random snowboarders sitting in the middle of a run.wink.gif

post #41 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

I see a benefit to twin tips or at least turned up tails when skiing tight trees. Often I will come to a stop, look around and realize that there is more of an opening in the other direction so I need to back up and with turned up tails there is little or no chance of the tails digging in.

 

Exactly. I'm 68 so I might qualify as "old" and have one pair of twin tips, Icelantic Shamans and one pair with turned up tails, Nordica Steadfast.  And I can and do rip on either pair.  I know several older people who are on either full or partial twin tips.

post #42 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

I see a benefit to twin tips or at least turned up tails when skiing tight trees. Often I will come to a stop, look around and realize that there is more of an opening in the other direction so I need to back up and with turned up tails there is little or no chance of the tails digging in.

 

Not arguing your point, but you can still accomplish this with just a little tail rocker vs. a full twin-tip.

 

Besides, I think the industry is already doing what butryon is asking for anyway.  Want a more directional Bent Chetler?  Atomic Automatic.  How about a Solly Rocker2?  The Rocker2 115.  Bibby Pro?  Here's The Governor.  And so on...

post #43 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

You are right on some cases, example, do you think that Blizzard's flipcore skis were designed and conceived in Mittersill? Also, many of these product managers DO attend SIA because for most, the U.S. IS their biggest market. 

Regarding Flipcore looks like it was a collaboration with the original idea coming from the US.

http://www.skiessentials.com/page.cfm/Chairlift-Chat/Jed-Duke-Part-1.html
post #44 of 54
Thread Starter 

Last call. We are leaving in a few days. get those questions in!

post #45 of 54

Atomic Boots:

 

Redsters come with a feature that permits the upper cuff to be rotated , both outward and inward, and, this is different from the traditional boot adjustment permitting the upper cuff to match the shape of the lower leg. Atomic provides no info on how this feature can be used. Is it so great they don't want the world to know, or, marketing bs?

post #46 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolhand View Post

To:  All Ski/Boot Manufacturers:

 

Subject:  E-Commerce

 

Questions:

 

When are the ski companies going to wake-up and quit supporting on-line ski and boot sales?  It is killing the ski industry!  Skis and boots are not simple commodities.  They both need a fair amount of professional service to maximize performance.  

 

No question that nearly every ski boot needs fitting/modification for a proper fit - even long-time, experienced skiers need help with this - the natural trend is to go too big with the boot.  Poorly fit boots lead to cold or hurting feet, and could be a safety issue to the skier ( boot too big, too stiff, etc.) The ski boot fit it tough...  You sure as hell can't do this over the internet.

 

There is also the myth of new skis being ready to ski right out of the wrapper.  The factory tune doesn't cut it - most of the skis "cure" and change after manufacture, and need a full tune before skiing them.  To be sure, some ski companies offer a better factory finish than others, but they all need to be tuned to be decently skiable.  Some  frankly, are just awful out of the wrapper (e.g. Rossignol, Dynastar, Salomon, Head) no wonder their products get picked apart here and in other reviews - the stuff probably just isn't tuned.  So, when a customer buys these on line and has a sub-par experience with the product - it hurts the reputation of the manufacturer and the industry as a whole.  

 

What about binding adjustment?  How many ski/binding systems that are sold on-line and do-it-yourself adjusted?  The retailer needs to be indemnified, and tested in order to sell and work on bindings.  Most consumers don't appreciate or understand this.  So it becomes a safety issue, if someone gets hurt because of an improperly adjusted binding, it is unfortunate (maybe avoidable) and hurts the industry as well. 

 

I see post after post noting the number of specialty ski shops that are out or going out of business.  I also see posts detailing sub-par buying experiences in traditional retail stores. But, by and large most specialty ski retailers and stores with specialty ski departments are manned with passionate, knowledgeable staff that want to help the consumer maximize their skiing experience.  There are definitely "doubting Thomas" consumers that don't trust their local ski shop staff, but they can certainly "educate" themselves on forums like this or (gasp!) TGR, then go buy the model that they want at retail.  If the manufacturers and consumers don't work harder to support "brick and mortar" specialty retail, it will go away except for a few well placed shops (at the bottom of major ski resorts).  Then who will fit the boots, tune the skis, and adjust the bindings?  I know that the manufacturers might currently sell incrementally more product supporting the on-line only retailers, but the long-term damage that it is doing to the industry is more than off-setting it.

 

Flame me if you wish, but this is a very real series of issues facing the ski industry and it needs to be addressed.

I understand where you're going with this, and the intention is honorable, but the question is a bit rhetorical. You may as well ask those same ski and ski boot manufacturers to stop the tide from coming in. Unfortunately, e-commerce is massive, and it's no exception in the ski world. It's not going anywhere soon. At this point, every ski company will have factored in online wholesale distribution revenue and sales volume to their bottom lines - for them to pull back and only distribute to mom-and-pop and even large sport shops would be business-model suicide.

 

All that said, you're right. :) Buying ski gear isn't like buying a t-shirt or a pair of shoes online - there's more to it after UPS drops off the box.  

post #47 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepermg View Post

I understand where you're going with this, and the intention is honorable, but the question is a bit rhetorical. You may as well ask those same ski and ski boot manufacturers to stop the tide from coming in. Unfortunately, e-commerce is massive, and it's no exception in the ski world. It's not going anywhere soon. At this point, every ski company will have factored in online wholesale distribution revenue and sales volume to their bottom lines - for them to pull back and only distribute to mom-and-pop and even large sport shops would be business-model suicide.

 

All that said, you're right. :) Buying ski gear isn't like buying a t-shirt or a pair of shoes online - there's more to it after UPS drops off the box.  

 

You are probably right.  The die has been cast and the train has left the station...  But, this trend is going to be detrimental overall to the ski industry.  In five years, when the majority of brick and mortar guys have either gone out of business or quit carrying and servicing ski equipment, the consumer and sport is going to suffer.  Sadly, it is just another nail in the coffin for skiing in general.

post #48 of 54

The overall issue is that, for the most part, we here on this board are "enthusiasts", fully-involved, die-hards.  The people who keep the ski industry in business are really week-enders, occasional, "sport" skiers.  In the end, they are mostly driven by cost and by easy-answers.  Tell someone that a ski is "the best one" and most won't even flinch.  And if they can get it cheap, so much the better.  Most folks don't want to take the time to be educated the way that good shops try to do it; they just want to buy the "best" ski quickly, then go ski 8-10 runs and go in and drink at the bar and flirt.  E-commerce, with the one-answer-fits-all approach is a great model for them.

 

Good ski shops -- like really good bike shops or really good xc shops -- will never go out of business completely.  But they may get winnowed down to one specialty shop per geographic area. 

My $0,02.

post #49 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

The overall issue is that, for the most part, we here on this board are "enthusiasts", fully-involved, die-hards.  The people who keep the ski industry in business are really week-enders, occasional, "sport" skiers.  In the end, they are mostly driven by cost and by easy-answers.  Tell someone that a ski is "the best one" and most won't even flinch.  And if they can get it cheap, so much the better.  Most folks don't want to take the time to be educated the way that good shops try to do it; they just want to buy the "best" ski quickly, then go ski 8-10 runs and go in and drink at the bar and flirt.  E-commerce, with the one-answer-fits-all approach is a great model for them.

 

Good ski shops -- like really good bike shops or really good xc shops -- will never go out of business completely.  But they may get winnowed down to one specialty shop per geographic area. 

My $0,02.

I agree with this sentiment completely.

 

Not to thread-jack, but I think the gaps between stores in terms of knowledge/service is growing rapidly as well.

 

I really feel like the B&M selection is already starting to get whittled away to where the "good" shops are already standing out.

 

Case in point, my local ski shop (about 15 minutes from me) technically carries pretty much anything you'd need to go enjoy yourself on the mountain. Skis, boots, bindings, poles, clothes, helmets, etc. Everything. But they cater mostly to the folks that ski (or snowboard) a couple times a year max, and many of them seem to be doing it just so they can tell their friends they did it. I'm sure the shop makes a great deal of money because their prices are pretty hard to stomach, but I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling whenever I go in there.

 

Conversely, a shop that is about 5.5 hours from me,  but right by my "home" ski slope, goes out of their way for me every time I go in there and in return, when it's time to buy skis, I'll fully support them whenever it's time to buy something. You can tell they are their for the real enthusiasts. Sure they have whatever the casual skiers are after, but it goes alot further than that. I've had many in depth conversations with the manager and various techs there on various topics, and you can tell everyone in that shop lives and breathes skiing, and wants to sell you the best product for your application, not just whatever they're trying to push that season. This is the place that will survive no matter what, the people there are just that good and they care about their customers. 

 

K, back on topic, sorry!

post #50 of 54

Phil - there's a thread on TGR right now where someone's Atomic Tracker 16 literally snapped in half, I guess while in touring mode.  Might be interesting if you asked Salomon/Atomic if they've heard of any other instances.  Mine has been very solid but that's a little disconcerting.

post #51 of 54

^^^^^ icon14.gif

post #52 of 54

Can you make gear with taller (over 6'3") in mind?  It's almost impossible to find ski jackets that are long enough for a tall person. 

 

If gear is made for a bigger person (e.g. helmet's) they only come in one color:  black. 

 

If boots are made in bigger sizes they are only entry level boots.

 

Many company's in the menswear space have figured out that there is big money in the big and tall consumer. 

 

When will the ski industry and other outdoor gear manufacturers catch on?

post #53 of 54

Is there a thread with the answers?

post #54 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwjg View Post

Is there a thread with the answers?


no, because it's just a Starthaus promo to begin with. they use this site.

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