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some questions about a demo day

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

In all my years skiing I've never actually done one so forgive my ignorance here.

As some of you may know (as per another thread) I been in the market for new skis. Some have suggested doing a demo day. I may get a chance to get to one next week if it I can swing it.

Some questions....

Do you have to pre register or register at the mountain that morning?

Do they limit the amount of people who can register?

Do you have to register for each manufacturer?

Do you have to book specific time to try each ski?

I will try to do this on a Friday vs a Saturday because I assume it wil be less crowded and hope to demo more skis. Is that logic correct?

Basically - How does this all work??

 

honestly even if I could swing getting there I am having doubts because there is just no way currently the conditions will offer anything real worthwhile yet in the poconos and could be pretty much a waste of time. On whatever few manmade snow trails are open I would expect either ice sheets if its really cold or slush if its warm. I'm thinking may be just wait till some time in January instead after some better base is established.  I'm not looking to drive 3hrs upstate and that's why the poconos makes the whole thing a bit more practical right now. Actually (for decent news) looking at a 3inch coating in the forecast for wed n thurs and then mid 30's Friday so conditions (if that holds) may just work pretty well on those limited trails :)    But we'll see what happens.

 

anyway, what should I expect and what should I look for in relation to my above questions and whatever else you can tell me. If I can even get it done, its not something I'll get much opportunity to do so I don't want to do this and be very limited to what I can ski. Just want to make it all as worthwhile as I can so please fill me in on the hows and whats about a Demo day that will allow me to get the most out of it. Thanks

post #2 of 22

You should pick up the phone and ask those questions to the specific organizer of the demo day.

 

The term is sometimes generically used also when you just paying the "demo" rental rate for the day with the on-mountain demo shop; and is not an organized demoday event.  if you're having to drive 3hours for marginal conditions, perhaps you're spending $100 trying to save $50.

post #3 of 22

If it's specified as a "Demo Day", then it's usually not the same as paying to demo at the on-mountain demo shop, at least here in the East.

 

As Ray said, you may want to call the mountain, but here is how it usually works.

 

There is no preregistration. They do not limit the number of people. It's usually free.

 

Reps from each mfg'er will setup a table, with a open sided tent, maybe their van full of skis backed up to it. All the reps will be in the same area. Think farmer's market, or craft show type setup.

 

The reps will bring the skis they have and or want to push. They may or may not have the model skis you're looking for, or a particular model in your size.

 

It's usually first come first serve. You leave your drivers license, and CC and take the skis out for a spin. You're usually asked to take only a run or two and bring them back, so to give others a chance, but sometimes people keep them out for a longer time, with no real penalty or recourse- which is a bummer for those waiting.

 

It's kinda a crap shoot, but you should go anyway of it's close enough. Get there early. Don't get hung up waiting for that one ski to come back in, move on and ski another mfg'er's ski. It's good to try them all, you never know what might turn you on.

 

Don't worry too much about the snow conditions. You'll know during the first run whether you're in love or not. 

post #4 of 22

You will need to bring a credit card and your ID.

You will fill out a form with your info, boot sole length, height, weight age They will get your DIN unless you know it. They will run a CC slip.

 

They should give you a card with your boot and DIN for the different reps to set ski up for you. The Rep will keep the card till you come back.

 

You can demo as many as you can.

 

You should take one or two runs and return them so someone else can demo them.

 

You want believe the number of selfish people out there that keep them during lunch, you always see demos outside the lodge during lunch.

 

If you have a pen you can make notes on the card they gave you.

 

At the end of the day you can pick up the credit card slip they ran. They do CC slip in case you don't come back with the skis.

 

I've been told by some of the Rep's that I'm one of the one's who demos the most skis. Having a yellow helmet and yellow jacket, I'm easy to remember.

post #5 of 22

Much the same down here.  You can pre-register, but it's not essential.  Hereabouts the punters' demo weekend (as against the industry demo weekend) is $20 a day, or $30 for the weekend.  That's no great outlay, especially in comparison with a standard demo day fee.

 

You provide some ID, fill out a form and are given a laminated card with a number.  On the same card they write your boot sole length and your nominated DIN.  If you can't nominate a BSL or DIN (some people are blissfully unaware) they'll check your boots for your BSL and work out an appropriate DIN for you.

 

Our local demo days tend to have about a dozen manufacturers, each with anywhere from ten to twenty models of ski to try.

 

I try to work my way along the spectrum; comparing hard snow carvers in the refrozen morning conditions, and perhaps moving to wider skis as conditions change.  I'm trying to compare similar skis across manufacturers, rather than jumping around in terms of width, flex and shape.  You'll have an idea of what you want to try, but allow yourself to be talked into trying other skis.  Sometimes your preferred skis are out on the hill and there's no other option, but you can also discover something that surprises you in a good way.

 

Demo days are huge fun.  I always schedule an extra long weekend to get down there and try the newest product lines.

post #6 of 22

At a small mountain, sometimes a "demo day" is set by up a local ski shop so there is just one tent with a selection of skis from the brands that they carry.  No registration needed.  Just a credit card and DL.  A shop in Charlottesville does that at Massanutten and Wintergreen.  They tend to bring more all-mountain models than carvers.  That's because the people who are interested in checking out skis usually also take ski trips out west.

 

Helps to be flexible about what to try, including what lengths.  Sometimes learn as much or more by what you do not like as what is obviously lots of fun.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you all, helpful.

Looking further into it it seems to be a specific ski shop running the demo. I'm thinking this may be a bit different vs multiple vendors actually being there.  Unless they (Buckmans) is just sponsoring the event this may lead to just the local Buckmans shop trying to push some skis vs the actual manufacturers being there to allow a ton more choices, demos,  and browsing etc. what do you think?

 

I cant seem to find info on the manufacturers web pages. The only one that does offer a demo page info is K2. And I happen to want try a ski or two from them. But its just strange the other brands don't offer the demo info on their pages (at least that I can find). 

 

but then I do find it that the K2 page that offers the info gives the same day and mountain as the one I may try to get to which just might answer my above question in this post but still a bit confused about that.

 

Its actually Jackfrost/bigboulder ski mountains iin PA.   There is also another on that K2 page listed for Hunter mt in NY.

The Hunter one is sat and sun which I would rather avoid due to crowds and is also further away. Jackfrost closer and a Friday is probably more practical unless it just doesn't offer what will be offered up at Hunter for that weekend.

post #8 of 22

How many runs do you think you can do in a day when you are switching out skis every run or two?  Of course, a ski shop is only going to bring what they sell.  But that's usually more than enough to learn something useful when getting started with serious ski shopping.

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

At a small mountain, sometimes a "demo day" is set by up a local ski shop so there is just one tent with a selection of skis from the brands that they carry.  No registration needed.  Just a credit card and DL.  A shop in Charlottesville does that at Massanutten and Wintergreen.  They tend to bring more all-mountain models than carvers.  That's because the people who are interested in checking out skis usually also take ski trips out west.

 

Helps to be flexible about what to try, including what lengths.  Sometimes learn as much or more by what you do not like as what is obviously lots of fun.

Yea I was thinking that as indicated in my last post above. You wrote yours while I was writing mine and left the computer for a few minutes. I am thinking this may be the case with a local Buckmans ski shop but the fact that its indeed listed at K2 I am just not sure. could be they are just sponsoring the event? I don't know.

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

How many runs do you think you can do in a day when you are switching out skis every run or two?  Of course, a ski shop is only going to bring what they sell.  But that's usually more than enough to learn something useful when getting started with serious ski shopping.

That depends how crowded it is.  doesn't it.

And I would assume the more independent vendors, the more opportunities for ski offerings and also better suited to handle crowds vs a single entity such as a local shop and its more limited supply for all the people there.  In the end I don't how many skis I will try. If I even get to one of these demos its not something I can just do whenever or where ever they pop up. Its just not in my cards to go to 2 or 3 of these things or make it a major project. With that being said it just needs to be as worthwhile as possible for whatever amount that may be.  I probably stand a better chance of trying more of them and trying them at least close to my desired size via the presence of multiple vendors vs a local ski shop.

post #11 of 22
Here you can either go to "demo day", which is free, has three to four stores participating, and tons of different brands to try, OR go to one store and pay to take out demo skis all day long, one price. That payment would be applied (up to three days) to any ski you buy from them later, but rarely justifies not buying them elsewhere. I like either type. The problem with the first type here is that it's so early in the season and usually I'm in no shape yet to form an opinion about the ski as I'm still making sure I remember how to do it. Wasn't a problem in the old days when we opened sooner, but now it's just too soon. The other problem is you're stuck with the conditions you have that day and they may or may not be the type of conditions you want to buy them for. But, more choices to test. Second type you pick the day that has the conditions, but you have to pay and the selection is more limited. I'm more likely to do that one, though, as it's when I feel like doing it.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollin View Post
 

That depends how crowded it is.  doesn't it.

And I would assume the more independent vendors, the more opportunities for ski offerings and also better suited to handle crowds vs a single entity such as a local shop and its more limited supply for all the people there.  In the end I don't how many skis I will try. If I even get to one of these demos its not something I can just do whenever or where ever they pop up. Its just not in my cards to go to 2 or 3 of these things or make it a major project. With that being said it just needs to be as worthwhile as possible for whatever amount that may be.  I probably stand a better chance of trying more of them and trying them at least close to my desired size via the presence of multiple vendors vs a local ski shop.


Just because a "shop" is sponsoring the demo day, doesn't necessarily mean that there won't be multiple reps and tents - you should not presume that means that they are just bringing their own demo fleet.

 

Typically (around here at least) one of the shops "sponsors" a demo day, provides techs, does the logistics with the mountain to coordinate and promote the event and the reps show up.  Usually those are reps that are supported by that shop in some fashion, but don't assume that the skis for demo are a 1:1 correlation between the shop's buy (in fact, during the spring demo days my guess is that the shops pay some attention to what is getting the most action, pre-booked orders, etc. . .).  It will be what the rep has and wants to send out - and that is typically a broader range of product in that brand than any one shop's buy.

 

The other option is just to plunk down $50 for a performance demo and build your own "demo day" out of the on-mountain shops demo fleet - in that case, the options are fixed by the shop's demo fleet (and this is best to do mid-week).  Most shops with a demo fleet post that information on their web sites, but you are better off to call because the accuracy of shops' web presence is highly variable.

 

Either approach, it is fun and you can probably get through 5 or 6 legit demos in a day - unless the mountain is super small.  And never stand around waiting for something to come back - waste of time, it is always about timing and it usually works out.

 

Just call and ask questions, no reason to make assumptions when the facts of the particular situation are knowable.

post #13 of 22

Rollin,

My most recent demo day at Keystone was mostly as described above. We paid $25 each, but got an on-mountain $20 food voucher.

 

One thing I didn't see mentioned above is that when we registered, they "inspected" our boots. Not sure what they were looking at, but guessing it was the amount of wear on the toe and heel, impacting (?) the hold in the binding. They rejected my son's boots and almost rejected mine. Result was we had to get out of line and trumble back to a shop to rent boots for my son. Took a chunk of time out of the morning, added cost for the day and which meant by the time we got back, the ski's I wanted to rent were out and it only allowed for testing 3 different skis before they closed it down at 2:30.

 

No complaint on getting to try 3 sets of ski's for $5, but for you, be sure that if they mention "boot Inspection" anywhere and you have older boots, you get that done early.

post #14 of 22
rollin, check the mountains web site calendar for events. That's where you'll find some info. Some may have a link to sign up, print the paper and bring it with you.
I think its The Mary Davis Realty March Demo at Okemo, remembers you from last year, makes it much quicker. I wasn't there last year...had a family thing to go to...;(
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

And so I contacted "Buckmans" who is either running or sponsoring the event.

I asked - will there be many vendors there? Or is this something for your shop specific?

answered- we always invite all our vendors to come but we never know who will show up and bring their own rental fleet.

I implied - so you have no way of knowing who will be there?

answered - no we don't, but they are all invited. We invite Rossi, K2, Volki, Sol ,  etc, etc....  but its up to them if they chose to come and bring a demo fleet..

I asked - and what about your skis from your shop

answered - well, we bring skis from us for the different brands for them, But we of course are not them.

I asked - being its rather early and conditions are not optimal how does that way in on who will come? I assume you did this similar last year?

answered - Its just up to the local reps and its all their decision. If you come and conditions aren't too  practical  or things don't work out so well for you there will be some other chances during the season to come again.

 

So that was my conversation.

My first thing is deciding whether or not I think we'll have some decent conditions. Secondly to decide to take off from work for this and if I can. Thirdly - taking a chance whether or not I would ski at least even 2 or 3 of the several current skis that interest me.

 

Anyway there it is.

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollin View Post

My first thing is deciding whether or not I think we'll have some decent conditions. Secondly to decide to take off from work for this and if I can. Thirdly - taking a chance whether or not I would ski at least even 2 or 3 of the several current skis that interest me.

 

Anyway there it is.

At worst, it's a chance to ride some new skis for free*, regardless of whether you're actually interested in buying them. And who doesn't like trying out new toys?

 

*Free, as in not having to pay any money upfront. Up to you to decide whether missing work is worth it.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollin View Post

 

 

My first thing is deciding whether or not I think we'll have some decent conditions. Secondly to decide to take off from work for this and if I can. Thirdly - taking a chance whether or not I would ski at least even 2 or 3 of the several current skis that interest me.

 

 

It's also your chance to find out which skis do well in cr@p conditions.    I know I have been pleasantly surprised more than once.    

 

Demo day is a great way to make a junk snow day with very few runs open enjoyable. 

 

I assume you're talking about the Jack Frost/Big Boulder event on Dec. 19?   

post #18 of 22

Since you are referring to Buckmann's you must be in the S/E Pa area. Buckmann's is the 500 lb gorilla of ski shops, and, when they invite their suppliers it's more than a casual invitation. The biggest buyer pulls a lot of weight, rep selling to them and to the local mountain will be there. There is a demo day at Elk on Friday, Jan. 9, run by Buckmann's Tickets are available in most local ski shops for about $25 (get them early as they sell out). About 8 to 10 ski manufacturers will be on site. Get there early and you can demo all you want until about mid afternoon when the reps begin to leave. The reps are usually great to work with and bring their best equipment. Since this day is in early January, most of Elk will be open. Conditions vary, but, in the past 5 years there was only one marginal day. If I were going to take off work and go to a demo day, this would be it. I'll be there as will a  few other Bears.

 

My home mountain Blue sponsors a demo day each year where several reps will be present, not as many as Elk. I'll try to find the specific date. Most local mountains also have a demo day, check out their calendars.

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bro12 View Post
 

At worst, it's a chance to ride some new skis for free*, regardless of whether you're actually interested in buying them. And who doesn't like trying out new toys?

 

*Free, as in not having to pay any money upfront. Up to you to decide whether missing work is worth it.

well, its still gas,tolls, and lift ticket, and eats. But I guess nowadays about a 80 to a 100 bucks could be considered free lol

I think pretty soon its gonna cost us 5 bucks just to wake up in the morning lol

 

but anyway I just realized its actually next Friday, not this one coming up. Had my dates confused.

post #20 of 22

Demo days at Killington next week Dec 16-17.  With the snow were getting right now, conditions should be good.

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollin View Post
 

well, its still gas,tolls, and lift ticket, and eats. But I guess nowadays about a 80 to a 100 bucks could be considered free lol

I think pretty soon its gonna cost us 5 bucks just to wake up in the morning lol

 

but anyway I just realized its actually next Friday, not this one coming up. Had my dates confused.

True enough. I always forget about those things. But you can move closer to the mountain, buy a season pass and use it a lot, and quit your job. That way you don't have to spend much money, even if you're not making any money at the same time.

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bro12 View Post
 

True enough. I always forget about those things. But you can move closer to the mountain, buy a season pass and use it a lot, and quit your job. That way you don't have to spend much money, even if you're not making any money at the same time.

yes bro, skiing is one expensive hobby for sure. It requires a great amount of disposable time and income especially for a family. :(

But even though very limited I love it when we can get to do it :)

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