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How Atomic TOTALLY Dominates Ski Racing

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I never saw this a few months ago when we were discussing the subject. It really blows mind, just the full extent of Atomic's control of alpine racing. Wow. Just wow. What accounts for this?

http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/discipline...ndranking.html

Old news for some of you, but it kind of shocked me. How can Atomic's position be explained? Are they just the best, or the best nurturers of their skiers, or what?
post #2 of 19
Things will be different this season. More people will be using their HEADs

If you think of Atomic as the Yankees of skis I think it will all make sense.
post #3 of 19
Product development and sponsorship that present results =sales that fuel the cycle.
post #4 of 19
Atomic spends more money on race ski development than ALL other brands do together.
post #5 of 19
Race ski domination is important in Europe, but doesn't make much difference, if any, when it comes to sales in the US market. K2 is a good example. No race ski presence, but outstanding product and sales results. If Atomic wants to sell skis in the US in at any reasonable volume level, they should spend more time learning about the US market and building skis that US skiers want. Their sister brand, Salomon, struggles with this as well.
post #6 of 19
Here's my theory...
Most of the top racers in the world are from Austria. Atomic skis are made in Austria. Atomic puts more of their budget toward racing than any other austrian ski company, therefore Atomic can afford to put a majority of the top guys on their equipment. If we assume that Austrians want to be on an Austrian ski (which may or may not be true, but it makes sense...) then Atomic is the obvious choice.

It isn't the skis making these skiers fast. The fast skiers are recruited to Atomic. ie. football players don't become good because they go to USC. USC recruits the best football players.

Bode has won races on K2, Fischer, Rossignol, Atomic and now Head. It doesn't seem to make much difference.

(actually, he may have never won a world cup race on K2... I can't remember... but you get my point)
post #7 of 19
They simply sponsor a bunch, and spend like 4x more in the racing department then in their freeskiing line. Simple fact of focus.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
Here's my theory...
Most of the top racers in the world are from Austria. Atomic skis are made in Austria. Atomic puts more of their budget toward racing than any other austrian ski company, therefore Atomic can afford to put a majority of the top guys on their equipment. If we assume that Austrians want to be on an Austrian ski (which may or may not be true, but it makes sense...) then Atomic is the obvious choice.

It isn't the skis making these skiers fast. The fast skiers are recruited to Atomic. ie. football players don't become good because they go to USC. USC recruits the best football players.

Bode has won races on K2, Fischer, Rossignol, Atomic and now Head. It doesn't seem to make much difference.

(actually, he may have never won a world cup race on K2... I can't remember... but you get my point)
This makes a lot of sense. But are you saying that Atomics aren't any better as race skis? (I think I hear Atomicman coming toward this forum )
post #9 of 19
Everyone has their favorite...but the choice of a brand of race ski doesn't amount to a heck of a lot for most of the J-3's, beer leaguers and NASTAR skiers of the world.
post #10 of 19
Over the years, I believe Atomic has had some Downhill skis that in most conditions, have had faster bases than any other skis on the circuit. The racers who were riding these magic boards had a distinct advantage, no matter who it was. Of course, the better racers usually got those skis.
Just my observation, but a couple of examples off the top of my head would be Bill Johnson in the 80's, Stephan Eberharter in the 90's, followed by Bode Miller.
Thanks,
JF
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
Over the years, I believe Atomic has had some Downhill skis that in most conditions, have had faster bases than any other skis on the circuit.
A good portion of that may well be preparation. Structure, wax, etc.
Atomic doesn't have access to any magic plastic that no other ski companies use. How many P-tex vendors do you think there are in the world???
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotski View Post
This makes a lot of sense. But are you saying that Atomics aren't any better as race skis? (I think I hear Atomicman coming toward this forum )
Basically, yes. That's pretty much what I'm saying.

Some individuals may have preferences for certain characteristics that a certain brand may have, and they therefore are faster on that brand, but the same will be true for a different individual on a different brand.

For example, some racers may prefer a very dead feeling, lifeless race ski with very little energy or edge grip. They may like to skid their turns rather than carve. Those people, for example, would choose Salomon race skis.
post #13 of 19
It's worth noting that their grip is actually slipping a bit in the last season or two, particularly in the speed events. While they're clearly very dominant in terms of WC points, if you look at the top performers, Head skiers went 1-2 in both speed event standings last year (Cuche & Buchel in DH, Miller & Cuche in SG) with Atomic getting the #3 spots. They manage to keep their huge point margin by picking up a large % of the non-podium slots. A few years ago it used to be that all-Atomic podiums were the norm, at least in speed events, now it's a little more mixed.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
Basically, yes. That's pretty much what I'm saying.

Some individuals may have preferences for certain characteristics that a certain brand may have, and they therefore are faster on that brand, but the same will be true for a different individual on a different brand.

For example, some racers may prefer a very dead feeling, lifeless race ski with very little energy or edge grip. They may like to skid their turns rather than carve. Those people, for example, would choose Salomon race skis.
LOL

Yeah what he said, and they also eat their first born and beat up old ladies too.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by choucas View Post
Race ski domination is important in Europe, but doesn't make much difference, if any, when it comes to sales in the US market. K2 is a good example. No race ski presence, but outstanding product and sales results. If Atomic wants to sell skis in the US in at any reasonable volume level, they should spend more time learning about the US market and building skis that US skiers want. Their sister brand, Salomon, struggles with this as well.
But, if there are still a large number of racers out there, why did K2 bail out of the race ski market completely?
post #16 of 19
For them, the cost of being involved with racing at the highest level (and the grass roots programs to support and feed it) could not be justified since it did not produce enough in the way of incremental sales to offset the expense. Plus, rather than spending a lot of time and $ developing highly specialized skis for racers and then giving them away or selling them at little or no profit, the same effort can be put into developing really great skiing skis for people who actually buy stuff.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
Things will be different this season. More people will be using their HEADs

If you think of Atomic as the Yankees of skis I think it will all make sense.
::
post #18 of 19
Umm, why did Atomic dominate? Well they were the only ones to buy snowboard technique for their race skis in form of a knowledge transfer with Hans-Jürg Kessler (who is also leading the development for Palmer snowboards and has easily more than half of the snowboard worldcup racers and boardercrossers using his boards, even though there might be a different brand printed on the topsheet and except for a very small group of swiss racers everyone pays rather heavy prices to be allowed to ride his boards), the details on what exactly was bought up I don't know (well a snowboard/ski press and software) but the fact that there was a deal and it would only be used for raceroom skis at Atomic even made it into the skipress.

This is just one example of things Atomic has spent money on and explaining how they could be so successful. If they were however anywhrere as succesfull as Kessler over the last 4-5 years (only since last season again there is with SGS a real alternative) top 10 skiers however would reject other manufacturers skis and the money attached to it and shell out around 800€ for Kessler skis per pair (non worldcup riders would pay even more), or pay even more and get a ski from Kessler with the topsheet design from their sponsor. For mortals to get Kessler skis however would be near to impossible, meaning only available at the manufacturer upon prenotice and no shipping or whatsoever and then not during the same time when the big guys need their new season stock as every ski is handbuilt to the preferences of the rider (meaning you select what edge, wood, rubber, glas-fibre, etc and lenght and shape you need) and the number of customers buying from them is a lower 3 digit number.

Or Atomic heavily sponsoring junior racing in Austria (I attended a ski test for around 40-50 10-14years old where Atomic would bring around 300-400 ski sets sorted not only by type and lenght but also by different edge angles and stiffness). This pays off.

If it were only for racing on Austrian skis there are many better possibilities than Atomic which is not even Austrian owned, differently to Head, Fischer, Blizzard (owner?) or others which are truly Austrian.
post #19 of 19
ec, dude, i want some of the koolaid you've been drinking
atomic has always been a presence in race, they also run their fleets differently at the world cup level ie:the techs share the info as to what worked on what day and who skied a particular ski better as well, they have been known to move skis across to opposing federations knowing that a certain athlete was on his home mountain and or a "glider" or a "turner"
at one point every monday after a world cup the techs were responsible for reporting back to race headquarters with any data that was relevant
iirc the atomic race skis at WC remain the property of atomic (under the responsibilty of the individual techs) as opposed to belonging to the national federations....
they also were one of the first companies to retop fast speed skis (DH&SG) with current graphics because a ski will generally get faster with age...
of course FIS has screwed that up recently with their endless criteria changes

they win because they have the fastest athletes, best techs and spend the most money, of course that could this year....

it's all irreleavant anyways, if you want to see total domination go back and see which factory has made the winningest boots in WC history...for something like 23 of the 25 years...
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