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AK BROs now made in Tunisia?!?!?!?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
VolantAddict just brought up something in his EPIC quiver pic thread that I though deserved a discussion of it's own:

AK Ski-USA no longer imports AK SKI Swiss Engineering skis made by Aldo Kuonen. We have a few remaining pairs of the highest quality, hand-made Swiss skis ever made. All models are constructed of World Cup materials including Hess vertical laminate wood cores, P-tex 6000 bases, layers of hyper carbon, titanium and fiber glass (depending on the model) and at least 22 minutes in the press! These AK skis were made in Europe BEFORE Aldo moved manufacturing to Tunisia and started making OEM products for other companies like Movement and Bro.


Could this be true? Will quality/materials be the same? Did I make a mistake buying what I thought was a hand made quality product only to get something coming out of a factory in AFRICA?!?!?
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
VolantAddict just brought up something in his EPIC quiver pic thread that I though deserved a discussion of it's own:

AK Ski-USA no longer imports AK SKI Swiss Engineering skis made by Aldo Kuonen. We have a few remaining pairs of the highest quality, hand-made Swiss skis ever made. All models are constructed of World Cup materials including Hess vertical laminate wood cores, P-tex 6000 bases, layers of hyper carbon, titanium and fiber glass (depending on the model) and at least 22 minutes in the press! These AK skis were made in Europe BEFORE Aldo moved manufacturing to Tunisia and started making OEM products for other companies like Movement and Bro.


Could this be true? Will quality/materials be the same? Did I make a mistake buying what I thought was a hand made quality product only to get something coming out of a factory in AFRICA?!?!?

I take it one of those people that dont buy things from China either? regardless of quality.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Some quick google-style research produced this blurb about Aldo and AK:

AK skis are designed with passion by Aldo Kuonen who wanted to bring high quality, World Cup construction and materials, to the talented amateur skier. Aldo comes from many years in the race design department of Rossignol and managed Sales for Atomic in Switzerland. He saw mass production diminish quality and performance. He maintains a limited production and personally tests all models. He often hand tunes skis before they are shipped. AK skis are superior and the proof is in the skiing.

The last three or four sentences make it hard to believe that he has moved production (and himself?) to Tunisia... I'm confused!
post #4 of 25
Small manufacturers like AK will source skis from all over. You would be surprised who is actually building skis for who.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Small manufacturers like AK will source skis from all over.
Hmmm... really? I never would have thunk it. I thought the whole point of being a small manufacturer was that you could do all your stuff in-house.

So did Aldo move his whole operation to Tunisia, or only some of the manufacturing?
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
These AK skis were made in Europe BEFORE Aldo moved manufacturing to Tunisia and started making OEM products for other companies like Movement and Bro.


Could this be true? Will quality/materials be the same? Did I make a mistake buying what I thought was a hand made quality product only to get something coming out of a factory in AFRICA?!?!?
If the last few years product of Movement skis came from his factory in Tunisia, I wouldn't worry. My Movement skis are bomber quality.
post #7 of 25
Tunisian G3s are pretty nice too.

Maybe I'll ask if there's a handmade stash somewhere.





You know, the ones they did during the daily power blackouts.
post #8 of 25
I'd expect quality control is more important than location.
post #9 of 25
2nd year 4frnt EHP came from that factory too. mine held up just fine
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
I'd expect quality control is more important than location.
Hear Hear! I must admit the strange location threw me off, seeing as how there are no mountains or snow anywhere near it, and I thought the skis I just bought were being made by Aldo in Switzerland... but I suppose if it is the same people making the same skis with the same materials and techniques then it doesn't really matter WHERE they are, does it?
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
I take it one of those people that dont buy things from China either? regardless of quality.
Volkls made in China skied fine. I just detest the "MADE IN CHINA" sticker on the tip of each one...
post #12 of 25
Barking Bears and Tunisia '08
present
Xenophobic Classics

Side 1
Intro: Protectionist Strategies for New World Order
Tell Me What's the 3rd World Good For?
Pick Two: Cheap, Fast, Good
MaMaMa My Gotama featuring Maiden Asia
Not O'K2 Take My Job Away
Slidin' on Sand Dunes

Side 2
Snowy Day in Africa Blues
Wanting European but Can't Afford the Euro
Globalization's Got Me Down
Blame it on Immigration
Say it Ain't so AK & Bro
Base Layer, Mid Layer, Outerwear but I Draw the Line at Skis
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bklyn View Post
Barking Bears and Tunisia '08
present
Xenophobic Classics

Side 1
Intro: Protectionist Strategies for New World Order
Tell Me What's the 3rd World Good For?
Pick Two: Cheap, Fast, Good
MaMaMa My Gotama featuring Maiden Asia
Not O'K2 Take My Job Away
Slidin' on Sand Dunes

Side 2
Snowy Day in Africa Blues
Wanting European but Can't Afford the Euro
Globalization's Got Me Down
Blame it on Immigration
Say it Ain't so AK & Bro
Base Layer, Mid Layer, Outerwear but I Draw the Line at Skis
When reading so much more into this thread than what is here, you should really take the time to examine yourself and try to figure out where the surplus is coming from.
post #14 of 25
She's just been around longer and seen more stupid xenophobic stuff here than you have. Even in this thread there are people who are clearly more worried about "where" and "who" than any actual quality metrics.

I think bklyn's post is pretty funny. Definitely a good theme to carry into the future.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
She's just been around longer and seen more stupid xenophobic stuff here than you have. Even in this thread there are people who are clearly more worried about "where" and "who" than any actual quality metrics.
My response was not necessarily specific to her post in this thread.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bklyn View Post
Barking Bears and Tunisia '08
present
Xenophobic Classics

Side 1
Intro: Protectionist Strategies for New World Order
Tell Me What's the 3rd World Good For?
Pick Two: Cheap, Fast, Good
MaMaMa My Gotama featuring Maiden Asia
Not O'K2 Take My Job Away
Slidin' on Sand Dunes

Side 2
Snowy Day in Africa Blues
Wanting European but Can't Afford the Euro
Globalization's Got Me Down
Blame it on Immigration
Say it Ain't so AK & Bro
Base Layer, Mid Layer, Outerwear but I Draw the Line at Skis
This deserves its own sticky.
post #17 of 25
Hey whatever keeps my 183s within my financial reach- I'm sure Aldo's not gonna sacrifice his personal name and attention to deatail regardless of which vacation house he's at while he makes them. Tunisia, Timbuktoo, whatever.
post #18 of 25
I guess no one actually manufacutres anything anymore.
post #19 of 25
In many cases companies have two choices - 1) Send manufacturing overseas or 2) Go out of business

If your competition can undercut your prices AND make a bigger margin than you the disadvantage becomes huge.
post #20 of 25

well they ARE called Bros ...

Yeah I heard the Jamaican bobsled team is in charge of QC now .

Actually as someone said - the smaller companies may employ the services of all kinds of manufacturers to fabricate their stuff. And they might be from where ever. It's not like there's a guy in the back of the ski shop with a set of files and a sander making your skis .

The key is, how do they ensure what you get is what they intended to deliver. It's like anything else these days - I have to say, there may be a competitive advantage to controlling this stuff in-house so to speak, kind of doing a wholistic design/manufacture process. Probably expensive though.

Is anyone aware of a company who has actual in-house ski manufacturing and doesn't contract it out? Interesting to know ....
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post
Is anyone aware of a company who has actual in-house ski manufacturing and doesn't contract it out? Interesting to know ....
PMGear employs a hybrid scheme - i.e. Contracts manufacturing out overseas (AK Skis) and manufacturers some models in-house in Reno, NV and all prototypes are made in our own shop in Reno as well (i..e last year we made about 40 prototypes of the Lhasa Pow in our Reno shop and that is where the Lhasa's will be made....in Reno). So PMGear does a little bit of both.

I believe Praxis and Moment (i.e. NOT Movement) do all of their manufacturing in-house currently. But I'm not 100% certain on that.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
I guess no one actually manufacutres anything anymore.
Tunisians=no one?
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bklyn View Post
Barking Bears and Tunisia '08
present
Xenophobic Classics

Side 1
Intro: Protectionist Strategies for New World Order
Tell Me What's the 3rd World Good For?
Pick Two: Cheap, Fast, Good
MaMaMa My Gotama featuring Maiden Asia
Not O'K2 Take My Job Away
Slidin' on Sand Dunes

Side 2
Snowy Day in Africa Blues
Wanting European but Can't Afford the Euro
Globalization's Got Me Down
Blame it on Immigration
Say it Ain't so AK & Bro
Base Layer, Mid Layer, Outerwear but I Draw the Line at Skis
Funnier than a barrel of Minutemen... Actually, I was hoping to get a Swiss made Aldo pair of Bros just for the total Swiss cool mystique handmade ultra anal steeze of it all. But my blem Bros look pretty funky, what with blank, translucent topsheets and pencil writing on them below the finish. They ski better than anything in the quiver for everything but high speed groomer carving.
post #24 of 25
Its not just xenophobia that keeps people from buying skis in China, there are political/environmental concerns too. I do find the whole 'base layer from China, but skis never!!!" attitude kind of amusing. Although it is a good excuse to hate the K2 industrial giant.

The whole Tunisia thing is odd, as it is a)not a country know for its skiing (Austria, France) nor a manufacturing and/or economical powerhouse (China,USA, India). usually skis are made in one of these two types of places. Its kind of like when you find some type of consumer good made in say Greece, Argentina or well Tunisia and say hmm thats interesting, I wonder why? Maybe there is a good supply of wood for cores there or the mythical P-tex plant.

For the record, I do not know of any skis made in India (yet), it was just an example.
post #25 of 25

Hi Jay, This is Joe Lewis. Do you have any remaining AK Swiss Skis? I'm 5'10" 200 lbs. Preferably black.

 

Joe

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