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The Carving thang

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi folks,

Here's one to chew on.

This past weekend, I ran into a few ski folks in Aspen.

One topic that came up and that we were all in violant agreement on was this.

Shaped skis.

Basically, that the biggest problem on the hill today is that there are too many skiers on shaped skis who really need to take a lesson or two.

We're not talking about gang this or PMTS that. Just some basic lessons describing to skiers the differences in these new skis and how to get the most out of them. Kind of a shaped ski primer course.

We all felt that if skiers would take just one lesson, not only would they enjoy their new purchase more, but the hill would be a safer place - for all of us.

We all felt that far too many have bought shaped skis thinking that's their key to skiing heaven - "They're easier to turn".

No one is telling skiers that the technique for their new skis is different. So, they start pushing the skis around and what happens? They crash and burn, or they're one mistake away from crashing and burning -putting themselves in harms way and everyone else around them.

We were all complaining that we now have no other choice but to be responsible for those behind us - too! We blamed the shaped skis and lack of instruction.

A national campaign, sponsored by, guess who, the PSIA, in conjunction with ski area operators. A no-nonsense approach that would go something like this:

"So you've got these new shaped skis, huh? Stop in for a lesson today and we'll show you how to ski on them - the right way.

"Mention this ad and your first lesson is free.

"This ad was sponsored by the Professional Ski Instructors of America".

Isn't it about time that this so called organization did something that was remarkable? And isn't something like this a just-in-time answer for the industry?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 11, 2002 10:36 PM: Message edited 2 times, by SCSA ]</font>
post #2 of 10
Actually that was done for a long time. I'm still wondering why it stopped. The demo tents at Heavenly used to have free demos with a free 1 hour guided tour. The tour was given by an instructor that was teaching new technique for the new skis. A kind of "here's how to the the most out of your purchase" service.

Where the heck did that go? and yes SCSA it's a great idea, just not new. Thanks for bringing it up again.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
The entire industry should be focused around one very simple message. The message should be on lift tickets and plastered on signage all over ski areas.

A national advertising campaign built around one simple message.
"Got shaped skis? Get a free lesson".

Look at the trickle down affect. More equipment sales, more lift ticket sales, more lesson sales, more return business, ya da ya da. All in the interest of promoting skier safety and how much fun the sport really is.

It's a no-brainer. The biggest opportunity this sport has ever seen is sitting right in front of them and they're not doing a damn thing about it.

It's ideal, because you have a product (ski instruction) that has a natural, simple message. It's truly marketing nirvana and it ranks right up there with some of the simplest product messages of all time:

"Cheap long distance"
"Tastes great, less filling"
"Free music"

I'm telling you. Rarely is there such an opportunity like this. Look at any product or service that's been wildly successful. One common element is the simple message. Without a simple message, you can't have mass adoption. A simple message is not a guarantee of success, but it sure helps.

Somebody needs to steal my idea here.
post #4 of 10
If it's a simple message, how come you take so many words to deliver it?
post #5 of 10
My strapline would be:

"On Shaped Skis? Join our professionals free for a performance mountain tour."

Why these words?
1. Don't say Instructor or Lesson, because a lot of egos feel they don't need to learn.
2. Use words such as performance to let the ego believe it is only for better skiers.

That way, some might come along who are too proud or stubborn to take a lesson. Then once you get them on the hill, start dishing out "tips"

post #6 of 10
I bet you skiied Highland Bowl!
I know it.
I wish I was there.
Lets just say that you guys skiied in a week almost as mush as i skiied all year.
post #7 of 10
Excellent point, but one more thing. No mattter how good your skis or your lesson, if someone is in the wrong boots, they will never be able to carve properly.
post #8 of 10
It drives me nuts to watch people from the lifts skiing their nice new modern skis the "old fashion way". I see it all over, from the midwest to the west. It's a universal thing. When I try to show my friends how to engage an edge and actually carve a turn, the standard answer I get is "I'm having fun, I like the way I ski".
Oh well, I tried anyway.
post #9 of 10
Like Dchan said, this has been tried before. Lack of interest and/or a failure to produce additional sales are probably the reasons we don't see this anymore. The sad thing is that it really worked. The phantom foot thingie they were teaching at Bear Mtn. was making a big difference in the student's skiing.
post #10 of 10
Would you sign up for a regular "shaped ski" lesson SCSA?
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