Originally Posted by mmckimson
A blatant plug, but I have to throw Kneissl in the ring. You guys need to try them when we go on our demo tour this year. Other skis I've tried and like a lot:
Mike, you're on. I will try them when you're demoing at my hill. I hope you make it. And I'm not facetious. I think this is a big problem for the ski manufacturers, that it's so hard to demo a pair of skis. Even here, on Epic, there are very few skiers who've tried more than a handful of brands. When it costs $40 a day to demo a decent pair of skis, it's simply prohibitive. But I can't blame a local shop for charging this much - they have to. However, I do blame the manufacturers for not having their reps offering demos for free, or at very low cost, and roaming the resorts. Look, if I can get a pair of skis for a whole day, that's a rental and I'm willing to pay for it, but if I can only get a pair of skis for an hour (1 or 2 runs), I'm doing you a favor by trying on your skis, and potentially becoming a buyer.
It's mind boggling to me how little the ski companies are doing to sell to an average Joe on the slope.
The current sales model in the ski industry is akin to the car dealerships asking about $1,000 for a test drive. I can spend a weekend test-driving 5 or 6 brands of cars, and not spend a penny. Granted, I didn't get anywhere, but I had a chance to test-drive a few cars. In the ski industry, it would cost me ~$200 to do that. I think it's a huge loss in market opportunity. How does anyone expect me to part with $500 to $1,000 of my hard-earned-cash for a pair of skis, based on a magazine review? In the end, I might, out of sheer desperation, but I wouldn't even know if this is the best ski for me.
I wouldn't even mind paying $50 for a "demo day" if I could try any ski in the stable throughout the day, provided it offered multiple brands, and I wouldn't have to drive 5 miles from the mountain to try a new pair.
Bottom line, manufacturers do very little to help sell their skis.
Again, I'd love to try me some Kneissl's. And I do remember them as one of the top brands while I was learning to ski as a kid.
Mike, I hope you don't find this post as a personal attack, it's just a pet peeve of mine that demoing skis is too prohibitive. Hopefully, you can take advantage of the marketing gap.