So I was browsing reddit's skiing section, and found a discussion about the Newell Brands sell off of K2 et al and someone said this:
The ski market seems to be increasingly crowded with smaller manufacturers (think Icelantic, ON3P) that are largely aimed at people like us on this subreddit. No doubt some people buy these skis because they are made in the USA or by some "mom and pop" shop elsewhere in the world.
Mainstream stuff just isn't cool anymore in ANY market, and there is unquestionably a marketing push to label things as boutique, small batch, artisanal, etc. Big companies know this and K2's Shredditor is never going to be an "artisanal" ski so their ability to grow in this space is greatly limited.
You might say that you don't care who manufactures your skis as long as it performs well and I believe you, but there are a lot more people very similar to you who would prefer to hit the slopes in "small batch, handcrafted" skis.
Although, I suspect we make up a small part of the market and many more people are the kind who rent skis for a long weekend or are perfectly content with buying the Rossi skis that the local shop recommends that they sell for 40% over internet price.
Interesting food for thought, although I disagree that people are deliberately going out of their way to find boutique brands. But I thought I'd put the question to the Epic community. Namely, does the "uniqueness" or "trendy" factor play in at all in your ski buying decisions? Or is it strictly how well the ski performs?
I myself ski on Ogasaka's most of the time, but it's not because they're cool or handcrafted, mostly because a friend of mine is the rep, and the skis happen to work for someone of my size. I also have a pair of evil horrible mass-produced Bonafides which are fantastic.