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2007 skis: categories and trends.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Alrighty then...........

I've been re-testing existing/unchanging models for the last two weeks preparatory to going on snow at Mammoth to test the new stuff. The goals for me are obviously to pick out the really good stuff, but equally important is to select models that are different enough from each other to offer a variety of characteristics. Finally, I need to form an Idea of how my categories will line out on the wall for '07.

My method of defining categories is to first prioritize terrain choice, then to refine by skier agressiveness and model characteristics. I define these all as "all mountain" skis for some types of skiers. The term I actually prefer is "everyday skis"

Terrain categories for '07: (explained in terms of what I will probably sell)

90% groomed-10% off trail: These are the classic carvers with a premium on hard snow grip and edge to edge quickness. These will offer the skier fair performance in shallow crud or powder and depending upon the model will be quick and snappy in moguls. These models are trending toward wider waists up to the 72mm range. The technology trend here is toward highly integrated systems many of which are built into the ski core. Shapes range from fairly straight cruisers like the Fischer RX-9 to pretty agressive shapes like the new Dynastar Contact series. Ability ranges stretch from intermediate to Leroy Brown experts. There are some very pricey, high tech offerings here.

70% Groomed-30% off trail: This group sacrifices a bit of quickness and sometimes some grip and power in favor of a bit more forgiving ride in some deeper crud and goo. I am expanding this category a bit here from last year to include skis from 73mm up to about 79mm. There are a number of offerings that are built like and ski like wide carvers. These include the existing Nordica models, the Fischer 76, the new Atomic M11-B5, new Volkl AC-3, and many others. Also within this category are some skis that are less carve oriented like the Legend 8000, Recon, B2, AMC 79 etc. Ability levels here range from strong intermediate to expert. There are some great values in this group in the ~~ $600-$700 range for skis and bindings.

50% Groomed-50% off trail: This group could include almost anything. However, for the sake of merchandising and making it understandable for most folks, it will include skis from 82mm up to about 88mm (or so). We will define skis in the the mid-high 90's and beyond as big mountain. There are skis in here that are still best defined by their carve oriented feel like the Nordicas and The Volkl AC-4. There are others that have a more forgiving feel in softer snow like the Snoop Daddy and the 8800. The Rossi B3 is still a winner in this group and the new Salomon Fury skis very nicely as does the K2 Outlaw.

I have pretty much figured out about 90% of my product mix including higher end women's. I will now switch into more extensive testing (4-6 pr/day) as I form more detailed opinions of the models that I will write up for our website in the fall. I'll be bringing in a few '07 Demos into the store as available both for staff testing and consumer exposure.

There is great stuff 'a comin folks, but the stuff we already have is pretty dang good already.

Yeah, I know.........It's a tough job, but...................

SJ
post #2 of 23
Hi SJ,

Just one counterpoint. The best 72mm wide-at-the-waist ski (Head Monster iM 72) is better than many 65-69mm ski on hard snow, but not as good as the best in this group (Fischer RX8). Most skis above 69mm are not the best performers on ice or as quick edge-to-edge; one exception does not define a group.

There is an trend towards additional width almost for its own sake. Most normal sized users, who ski on-piste, are buying skis wider than they need.

If the user is big and often sees soft snow, width is good. If the skier is normal sized and skiing in New England, just how often will they need a 79mm wide ski?

Cheers,


Michael
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv
Hi SJ,

Just one counterpoint. The best 72mm wide-at-the-waist ski (Head Monster iM 72) is better than many 65-69mm ski on hard snow, but not as good as the best in this group (Fischer RX8). Most skis above 69mm are not the best performers on ice or as quick edge-to-edge; one exception does not define a group.

There is an trend towards additional width almost for its own sake sake. Most normal sized users skiing on-piste are buying skis wider than they need. If the user is big and often sees soft snow, width is good. If the skier is normal size and skiing in New England, just when are they going to need a 79mm wide ski?

Cheers,

Michael

Agreed. Many local on-piste skiers are searching out wider skis, just for the sake that "oh no, my skis are too narrow" whereas 2 years ago, they were fine. Hey buddy, you are on groomers all day-why do you need extra float? Stick with that RX6-it will work wonders for you!

If my tests recently revealed one thing, it is that wide skis can't replace a narrow ski on hard snow in terms of power. Sure, they are more than passable, can be quite fun, and the wide skis of today are leagues better than wide skis of a few years ago, but nothing beats the power and fun factor of a sub-70mm ski underfoot with race construction on hard snow. I think the edgehold of a 78mm and 68mm ski is pretty comparable, but that feeling of hook up and acceleration underfoot is lacking in the wider skis.
post #4 of 23

Narrow waist carvers

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching
Agreed. Many local on-piste skiers are searching out wider skis, just for the sake that "oh no, my skis are too narrow" whereas 2 years ago, they were fine. Hey buddy, you are on groomers all day-why do you need extra float? Stick with that RX6-it will work wonders for you!

If my tests recently revealed one thing, it is that wide skis can't replace a narrow ski on hard snow in terms of power. Sure, they are more than passable, can be quite fun, and the wide skis of today are leagues better than wide skis of a few years ago, but nothing beats the power and fun factor of a sub-70mm ski underfoot with race construction on hard snow. I think the edgehold of a 78mm and 68mm ski is pretty comparable, but that feeling of hook up and acceleration underfoot is lacking in the wider skis.
AMEN Brother!
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Boyz:

No disagreement from me a-tall. I ski my '04 SM 14's quite a lot and love that feel. However, for my market the expert carve ski is a dying breed. Realistically, the Kalifornia skier will be well served by some of the newer slightly wider (70-72mm) offerings. The next level down as represented by Fischer RX-6, SUV 12, Contact 9, Izor 9:7, and others will continue to serve the advanced intermediate - almost expert skier and will continue to be best selllers.

In my neck of the woods, many experts fancy themselves as perhaps more off piste oriented than they really are. As such, when I describe the 70/30 category, that story resonates very well for them. My expert level sales (~~$800+) in 70/30 are at least 6-8 times higher than the 90/10 models. In the ~~$600+ range, the sales are about equal.

SJ
post #6 of 23
SJ,

Could not agree more...read these threads constantly and have skied back east when younger..but have also lived in Mammoth for a year.

Definetly a big difference in the consumer needs of our coast vs. east coast desires and buying patterns.

Now if only I could get a day off!

ps: Thanks for the new boots last week! Will I need to heat mold those Lange Comp FR120, or does one's body heat mold the liner. ??
post #7 of 23
Since I am from the East and ski on 78mm skis (two year old k2 axis, about the same dimensions as the recon), I find them totally good for anything but boiler plate. And on vacation this year in Jackson, they were hugely appreciated. But the truth is, I didn't see a lot of people really loving and taking advantage of the powder. And unless you hike or ski tight tree lines, you're not going to ski 70% powder even on a powder day. For me this type ski is perfect. For most people, 72mm is probably a better choice.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danimal
SJ,

Could not agree more...read these threads constantly and have skied back east when younger..but have also lived in Mammoth for a year.

Definetly a big difference in the consumer needs of our coast vs. east coast desires and buying patterns.

Now if only I could get a day off!

ps: Thanks for the new boots last week! Will I need to heat mold those Lange Comp FR120, or does one's body heat mold the liner. ??
Dan:

Stop in when you are up here in March. I'll fix you up.

Lemmeknow in advance though, I have a lot goin' on in March and I'm not in the store as much as usual.

SJ
post #9 of 23

atomic snoop daddy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim
Alrighty then...........


50% Groomed-50% off trail: There are others that have a more forgiving feel in softer snow like the Snoop Daddy and the 8800. The Rossi B3 is still a winner in this group and the new Salomon Fury skis very nicely as does the K2 Outlaw.
SJ
Just tried these today in JH. Thought they were amazing for a 88mm ski on the groomers and hardpack and great at most things. Just not very damp on the lower faces of JH which were a bit frozen crud. I'm trying to replace my blizzard 8.2 as an everyday ski for out west. I'm going to try the outlaw tomorrow and the scott shmidt's as well. Any suggestions. I skied it in a 185, but 174 seems too short. Do you think any of the others in this category are more damp. I'm guessing the B3, but what do you think?


thanks.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
The conditions that I tested the Snoop in did not include the rough frozen stuff you describe. I can see that it might feel a bit rattley though. The very light weight would contribute to that. OTH, the grip is surprisingly good for a light quick ski.

Both the Outlaw and the B3 are more damp than the Snoop, but less nimble. Actually, the B3 is a pretty darned good ski and it seems less appreciated than it should be.

SJ
post #11 of 23
What a bunch of Gapers! Don't you know that any real skier isn't skiing anything less then 95mm underfoot? .................... Kidding guys ,I could not agree more with what your saying.
post #12 of 23
[quote=SierraJim]
90% groomed-10% off trail: ... Shapes range ... to pretty agressive shapes like the new Dynastar Contact series.
SJ[/quote]

I had a chance to test 06/07 Dynastar Contact 09 in 165 cm
(i'm 160 lb), R=12m, 122-68-102, couple weeks ago in NH. They are great!! and so much fun . The hold on ice (especially for 68mm) is second to racestock only (i guess) and the self-carving ability is phenomenal. Rock solid stable. If Dynastar fits you and you need the boards for a day-off -- this is it. Can not wait till they appear in sales to get a pair for next season. BTW, the rep said that those are the best in 165 cm.
post #13 of 23
Do you know if the Dynastar Big Trouble changed for 2007 other than the graphics? A buddy just picked up a pair of '07s through a rep and I was wondering if its any different other than the crazy green graphics.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
The BT is the same ski for '07 (a good thing). I also appreciate the Contact 9 and 11 from Dynastar for next year. I did not buy the Dynastar 90/10 skis for this year, but I absolutely will for '07. There are a lot of good expert level carvers in the ($950 w/bind) range and the 11 is really good and more versatile than many. The 9 is in a competitive price range ($699 w/bind) and stands well above many others in that range.

SJ
post #15 of 23
Just bumping so I don't have to look for this again for a while. Good review Jim, look forward to seeing you back in the fall.

I also moved this to reviews from discussion. Hope you don't mind.
post #16 of 23
People really spend a thousand dollars on skis? :
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
People really spend a thousand dollars on skis? :
Yeah, I am planning on buying two or three pairs of skis with bindings (Marker, so shoot me) and a new pair of boots with footbeds and alignment... so the bill will probably come to a little over $1000...

Later

GREG
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Just bumping so I don't have to look for this again for a while. Good review Jim, look forward to seeing you back in the fall.

I also moved this to reviews from discussion. Hope you don't mind.
I am glad I read that Cirque, I almost just moved it back... It should be fine here for now I guess.

Later

GREG
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Yeah, I am planning on buying two or three pairs of skis with bindings (Marker, so shoot me) and a new pair of boots with footbeds and alignment... so the bill will probably come to a little over $1000...

Later

GREG
Good man. That is not easy to do...even with your connections.
post #20 of 23
This is pretty much the most I'd pay:

http://www.proctorjones.com/pjonline...0&pf%5Fid=120&


post #21 of 23
Thats pretty reasonable actualy.
post #22 of 23
http://newschoolers.com/ns3/web/foru...ead_id=179943&

Pretty much every twin tip ski is in there.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Thats pretty reasonable actualy.
My point exactly. It is therefore extremely tempting.
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