Here's what I believe to be the case with the race skis. They do have a race product, and it has a very nice "build quality", and most people who hop on the GS or SL for a few runs are generally impressed. The way it's been described to me is that the Bomber would feel like more ski, and a "better ski" to most people with a race background than 66% of the "race stock" skis that are sold at retail. Some of those are "race stock" skis are better, and closer to their WC cousins than others.
The issue is that nobody skiing at close to a national team level, let alone a World Cup level, is skiing on a basic "race stock" ski. That's comparing apples to watermelons. And when you discuss Bode, he's had some of the most intense work go into his specific ski needs, at the Head, and before that Atomic, and Rossi, and Fischer race rooms. He gets it. Skis matter. He's been particularly obsessive about his skis.
So, I would agree that the chances of Bode returning to the WC are slim, at best. If he does come back, it will be on an entirely different ski and layup that what they have been building. I'm certain of that. I'm equally confident that Bode does see a future for them building some serious race skis…..he wouldn't be talking about contracting US skiers, and wouldn't have them in the USST alpine pool otherwise. At that level of the sport, having the right product is paramount.
My hunch is that 99% of those of us on here would be pretty impressed with the current skis. The 1% who have skied on the real WC stock would not have the same opinion. The real guys, say with even top 500 world rankings just would not race on them. A few years ago my son spent some time on them, and they just were not close to what he was on. The difference on the clock was huge. But then again, he had very, very special skis….built for a big name on the WC, and passed down to him.
I think it may well all change. I'm hearing that Bode is not "taking" an equity position in terms of it being his compensation, I'm hearing that he's put some of his money into this deal. But I haven't had that confirmed by anybody who I think truly knows. He seems "all in" on this, and that's why it intrigues me. I sense it's more than a "luxury brand" play for Bode, wit his being a spokesmodel, though the beginner and intermediate marketing speak sounds like that is all about luxury and exclusivity.
Might go somewhere….might not. We'll see.