Nothing surprising this year looking at the final brand ranking, which is actually almost a mirror of the 2015 and 2014 seasons. Head smashes the competition again and this time with a really big margin :
Ladies and Men
And they have all this discouraging for the other brands advantage in points without even having some of the best WC athletes in their team. Marcel Hirscher , Henrik Kristoffersen, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde,Eva-Maria Brem, Victoria Rebensburg ,Peter Fill, Frida Hansdotter,come to mind. All these 2016 winners who have won thousands of WC points don't even play for Head. What surprises me however is that also in 2016 Head was unable to produce a winning combination of slalom skis and boots for its athletes. Of course, the same goes for some other brands , Atomic in particular that ' owns' the best skier in the world Marcel Hirscher who was left to struggle with the inadequate Atomic boots set ups and the inadequately stiff and difficult to ski Atomic skis that were completely useless when the races happened to be on softer surfaces and that were only partially good on injected ice. Only the out of this world talent kept Hirscher on the top for the overall , despite Atomic and despite all the useless efforts from reps and coaches. (His father is the only one he needs to listen to) Back to the other brands - honorable mention to Rossignol , its softer oriented skis and boots were a perfect match to Henric Kristoffersen's anatomy and helped his slalom talent to flourish. Does the WC brand ranking has anything to do with Mr Joe and Mrs Jean the free skiers and do they need to be influenced by this ranking in their equipment choices ? Yes ! The answer is yes ! Think !
What would perhaps be more telling is another column in those tables relating to the size of the company, perhaps number of skis sold. It seems to me (without data to back up my impression) that companies like Nordica and Stoeckli (and maybe Fischer) are doing quite well relative to the amount of $$$$ they have to invest in athletes.
PS. If I got out to a bigger mountain more often, I would certainly own and enjoy a 35 m GS race ski.