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What does a ski rep do?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've noticed from time to time several of our more illustrious members here are reps for a ski manufacture. I'm curious, what does the job entail?
post #2 of 7
Mostly hide out and try to keep a low profile if the SSD is repping another product. :

In essence, you are supposed to "fly the flag" of the product. Usually reps are instructors/coaches and get a few samples tossed at them or get things at a discount. In theory, you advance the product by "pro-forms" to fellow instructors, patrol or staff.

Other reps are "crcuit riders" .... Holmenkol wax .... make the rounds and give tuning clinics while selling files, vices, and wax.
post #3 of 7
Depends on the context.

There are ski area reps who provide the services Yuki mentions.

There are manufacturer reps who drive around in vans full of skis/boards and participate in demo programs at ski areas.

And there are the regional reps who also perform the demos and take orders from retailers.

Finally, there are the softgoods and accessories reps who also participate in shows and take orders from retailers.
post #4 of 7

What does a ski rep do?

Drink a lot. Drive a lot. Hopefully not in that order.
post #5 of 7
I had a talk with one of the "tent reps" ..... think it may have been Atomic, one day. One of the "right outa' college" types and it didn't sound like a great life.

Sounded like he had no time to ski ... it was all work! Arrive early and set the tent up, get the gear sorted and set up ... open for business by lift opening and then by the time you break down the tent and load the van ... and then off to the next area.
post #6 of 7
What does a ski rep do? Usually, they have some job on mountain that keeps them in contact with the "ski pros," i.e. patrol and snowsports. So.....they can be a tune/repair shop guy, a lift ops supervisor (seldom a liftie, if ever), an instructor who seems to have a lot of time (too good for groups, ya know), etc. They are guys who are happy for the free gear.

Most mountains have most or all major brands represented, so in reality they don't do much marketing. If you know what you want, you find the guy who reps them. Tell them what you want, wait a week, and it is yours. But, they really don't go out of their way to "convert" you to their brand or make the sale.

They also are helpful in getting you good prices if you are PSIA/AASI or NSP, but it is usually better to find a shop that hosts "pro nights" and has no problem with pro forms. They know the manufacturer lines better than most reps and can give the same prices, and offer better after-sale service.

I suspect that some manufacturers are trying to wean themselves off the rep system. In every issue of Professional Skier, there are ads inviting you to buy directly from the manufacturer/national distributor with your pro discount, not to mention what you can get from the PSIA website. I don;t think manufacturers really need mountain reps, as long as there are shops willing to honor pro forms and available online options.

As for regional or race reps...they are different. They drive A LOT, ski not much, and work their tails off and usually are good for their brand. These guys are working for a future in the company (or for the resume), not just for free gear. But, most are *good*.

IMO, the best reps you'll see are the wax reps at any XC race/festival. The Swix/Toko/Holmenkol guys would bust a lung to demonstrate their product and prove its merit. I have yet to see a mountain rep for an alpine product work a tenth as much as those guys.
post #7 of 7
Pop out to SIA shows and post show highlights to their favorite website?
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