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10-11 Predictions Winners & Losers - Page 5

post #121 of 180

I'm not sure it's possible to give a precise economic definition of "indie".  The term originated in the music world and referred to rock bands that refused to sign with major record labels.  It was adopted by the movie business to refer to film-makers that did not work with the big production companies.  IMO, "indie" has as much a cultural connotation as it does economic content, e.g.:  small-scale start-ups, craftsmen working on "handmade" skis in converted garages, sawdust on the floor, etc.  Like Stonyfield yogurt compared to Dannon; Turner bikes vs. Trek. 

 

So, some suggested indicators for determining whether ski manufacturer is an "indie": 

 

(a) the company promotes its skis as "handmade" or "handcrafted"  (see: http://www.momentskis.com/ http://www.priorskis.com/ );

 

(b) its website includes pictures of its factory and/or workers (see: http://on3pskis.com/ , http://www.icelanticboards.com/#/skis/factory-tour);

 

(c)  the company does not also make tennis rackets, defense articles, etc.   

       
post #122 of 180

Jim, that's kinda' the definition I had in my mind and thanks for the Icelantic plug

post #123 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 


 

 

Heads; they've retreated from their identity as a skier's ski toward something less threatening and blander, may now exist primarily as overproducer of boots for Tramdock.
 

Thats one of the better lines i have read on this forum in a year or two.

 

Wonder if it says something about me, but as i get older i seem to crave skis by the "indies" .....

 

I already own On3p and Movement and Moment are high on my list next. 

 

One other comment. Rossi may be in a slow death trance to some on this board but the S5 is for real. I  mean using generic subjective terms that is a great ski. Dont know if one ski is enough to save the company  but i heard good things about the S3 as well

 


 


Edited by kbuzz - 5/13/10 at 1:10pm
post #124 of 180



is that last years ON3P?   and why isn't Icelantic on list?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbuzz View Post



Thats one of the better lines i have read on this forum in a year or two.

 

Wonder if it says something about me, but as i get older i seem to crave skis by the "indies" .....

 

I already own On2p and Movement and Moment are high on my list next. 

 

One other comment. Rossi may be in a slow death trance to some on this board but the S5 is for real. I  mean using generic subjective terms that is a great ski. Dont know if one ski is enough to save the company  but i heard good things about the S3 as well

 


 

post #125 of 180

typo lol

post #126 of 180
Thread Starter 

This is starting to remind me of a comic I saw....

 

A 17ish year old kid is talking to he his little brother...the 15 year old is wearing his baseball cap backwards and the little brother is wearing it forward...the 17 year old is berating him by saying that he needs to be different than the older generation by doing the opposite of what is expected..the younger brother simply said "I am". 

post #127 of 180

OK. My "breakout" skis were Ninthwards back when Powder Mag called them the " Quiver of One" back in '05 or '06. Yeah, 180 Firstbloods. Thank my stars I put RFs on them or I would have been on something else in no time, but a solid ski they are.

 

Next were Head Mojo 94, heavy, damp do-it-all boards, but friggin' ugly. Head = Ugly!

 

K2 obSETHeds rock my world, and i have Hellbents that haven't seen snow yet. However, my best bro had Recons until I hid them from him. Yeah, he is 50 something, but now loves his Mojos.

 

Volkl. I use to race for them in the '80s and early '90s, great racers. Still have a pair of Snow Rangers that get on the snow every couple of years. Point being, marketing types lose site of skier tastes, and get anal when the comp has something they deem a slamdunk.

 

Ice coast opinions will always differ with lefties. In '95 the wierd shapes freaked me when I was mounting my Snow Rangers. So X-Screams were the board to have by 2000. Today Salomon isn't even on the radar, and mine are in some landfill.

 

Hell, I skied Hart GS boards back in the day, now no one sells them. Everyone makes ski boots now, so what! My size 11s only need an attachment to the ski that doesn't send me to the podiatrist. 

 

I'm a marketing guy, we say "give what they think they want", and next year " do it again!" If you get my drift.

 

Lange rules the boot world due to the perception that they are fast,sexy and always are.

 

Head only wins races. Rossi has the S7 which will open your wallet, but then what ever happened to the 4S? They would sure like to know! lol And Salomon hasn't caught the market after the X-Scream.

 

Remember the cap ski !!!


Edited by snokat - 5/14/10 at 2:02am
post #128 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

thanks for the Icelantic plug


Welcome.  Hey, when you got your Pilgrims, did you also demo Line Prophet 90s?  On paper, these seem like similar skis.
 

post #129 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

This is starting to remind me of a comic I saw....

 

A 17ish year old kid is talking to he his little brother...the 15 year old is wearing his baseball cap backwards and the little brother is wearing it forward...the 17 year old is berating him by saying that he needs to be different than the older generation by doing the opposite of what is expected..the younger brother simply said "I am". 

   Incidentally, have a new proposed definition of "indie': Not owned by a holding company. As in, "independent decision making." After a little surfing, realized that the following "majors" are all held by companies that have no direct connection to skiing (or in most cases to the parent country of the major): Atomic and Salomon (Amer); Rossignol, Look, and Dynastar (MacQuarie Banking Group, Australia); K2, Volkl, Marker, Line (Jarden, American, but primary business is scooping up bankrupt home appliance or camping companies). 

 

Head, ironically, is the only "major" I can find that literally became its own holding company (under the banner of Head NV, Netherlands) and apparently still derives a majority of its profits from the original named firm. Put together by an Austrian state-owned tobacco group, Tabak, then purchased by a Swedish investment tycoon, has hodgepodge of sporting companies, makes more off tennis than skis. But at least its name is at the top of the masthead. 

 

Fischer may honesty qualify as an indie. Fischer is, far as I can tell, family held since 1924, still in Austria, and I find makes more money from its nordic than its alpine. (Ah those Europeans with their pointy skinny little skis!). But mostly it makes graphite and other high tech composites for other folks such as F1 racing, the military, high end sports car makers like Porsche (who is now owned by VW, of course). Recently sold its tennis company lock stock and barrel to Pacific. Unfortunately, Fischer technically is a "group," and owns various materials tech subsidiaries, so unclear if it's also really its own holding company. Anybody expert on Austrian business law? I suspect it's not a holding company. Welcome to the table with PM Gear, Fischer!

 

Elan makes more sense now that I did a little research. Unclear if it's an indie, since it's owned by either a holding company or just a much bigger fish (the rule has to do more with stock and legal firewalls than real control), but at least it's in the right region. There are 20 companies all controlled by Skimar Group, Slovenia, ranging from sports apparel and yachts to skis. Elan has its name on several. Choice tidbit: Head made a serious attempt to buy Elan in 2007. Apparently, Elan is the most decentralized ski company around, with actual manufacturing plants all over central Europe. Volkl could take lessons on how to maintain parallel quality control at different plants, except that it's too busy getting ready to launch the Racetiger Home Blender, with little V's for buttons...

post #130 of 180

So does that mean that Elan outboard motors and Elan skis come from the same company? Always wondered about that.

 

Just to clarify something I said above. I find the big companies more interesting from a business point of view, not necessarily in terms of product. Indies come and go, and there's not much of an industrial story when it's just a few guys making skis in garages. The bigger companies, with their listings, M&A's, and job cuts make for more interesting reading. But that's just me.

post #131 of 180
Quote:

Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Elan, I have no clue how they keep going. Must be a Euro thing. Obviously it helps that they make everybody else's lower end skis, including most children's skis (along with Fischer). But does that keep a company going? Guess so, can't be their marketing or graphics departments.

 

IIRC, Elan is the largest ski producer in the world - and they're not just manufacturing "everybody else's lower end skis".  Maybe you should do some homework before you spout off stuff as if it were fact.
 

post #132 of 180


yup, this is why I still think Kastle is really an indie, I don't know their total sales and such but I would bet a powder day that their marketing team has created an image that dwarfs the actual "size" of the company. Deep pockets have primed the pump, that will take you only so far, but as the burn rate of venture cap starts to slow and initial growth begins to stagger, it's go time. I think they will do just fine if they don't change the formula and have the infra-struture in place for growth. Many get to this point but can't take it to the next level.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post



   Incidentally, have a new proposed definition of "indie': Not owned by a holding company. As in, "independent decision making." After a little surfing, realized that the following "majors" are all held by companies that have no direct connection to skiing (or in most cases to the parent country of the major): Atomic and Salomon (Amer); Rossignol, Look, and Dynastar (MacQuarie Banking Group, Australia); K2, Volkl, Marker, Line (Jarden, American, but primary business is scooping up bankrupt home appliance or camping companies). 

 

Head, ironically, is the only "major" I can find that literally became its own holding company (under the banner of Head NV, Netherlands) and apparently still derives a majority of its profits from the original named firm. Put together by an Austrian state-owned tobacco group, Tabak, then purchased by a Swedish investment tycoon, has hodgepodge of sporting companies, makes more off tennis than skis. But at least its name is at the top of the masthead. 

 

Fischer may honesty qualify as an indie. Fischer is, far as I can tell, family held since 1924, still in Austria, and I find makes more money from its nordic than its alpine. (Ah those Europeans with their pointy skinny little skis!). But mostly it makes graphite and other high tech composites for other folks such as F1 racing, the military, high end sports car makers like Porsche (who is now owned by VW, of course). Recently sold its tennis company lock stock and barrel to Pacific. Unfortunately, Fischer technically is a "group," and owns various materials tech subsidiaries, so unclear if it's also really its own holding company. Anybody expert on Austrian business law? I suspect it's not a holding company. Welcome to the table with PM Gear, Fischer!

 

Elan makes more sense now that I did a little research. Unclear if it's an indie, since it's owned by either a holding company or just a much bigger fish (the rule has to do more with stock and legal firewalls than real control), but at least it's in the right region. There are 20 companies all controlled by Skimar Group, Slovenia, ranging from sports apparel and yachts to skis. Elan has its name on several. Choice tidbit: Head made a serious attempt to buy Elan in 2007. Apparently, Elan is the most decentralized ski company around, with actual manufacturing plants all over central Europe. Volkl could take lessons on how to maintain parallel quality control at different plants, except that it's too busy getting ready to launch the Racetiger Home Blender, with little V's for buttons...

post #133 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

 

IIRC, Elan is the largest ski producer in the world - and they're not just manufacturing "everybody else's lower end skis".  Maybe you should do some homework before you spout off stuff as if it were fact.
 

You sound hurt.
 

post #134 of 180


Ok, so what does Icelant lack?  Office?  Check

network?  Check   real factory?  (never summer?)  check   high quality?  Check  sane management?  Check, plan?  Wouldnt know

reps?  Check.  Real r&d?  Dont know

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Kastle has..................

 

An office with real customer service and everything.

A worldwide distribution network.

A production contract with a real factory.

A product of the highest quality.

Sane management.

A marketing plan.

Real R&D.

Reps.

 

Indie companies have little of this, real ski companies have it all (welll......mostly anyway)

 

SJ

post #135 of 180


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveys View Post


Ok, so what does Icelant lack?  Office?  Check

network?  Check   real factory?  (never summer?)  check   high quality?  Check  sane management?  Check, plan?  Wouldnt know

reps?  Check.  Real r&d?  Dont know


 


Icelantic is not very high on my radar so I can't comment from a current perspective. However, from my limited contacts and experiences with them in the past, I'd personally downcheck some of your points. Nevertheless, perhaps they are indeed a major and someone like Fischer is now an Indie.

 

Black is white, up is down, and the tiny "ski makers" may in fact be the ski biz and nobody knows it.

 

 

SJ

post #136 of 180


Plan? Check- definitely, R&D- check- not only internal development but uses customers for focus groups to develop ideas and get feedback on what they like and want as well as what they don't want or like a lot of testing of various models went into the new Keeper for instance
 

Quote:  fixed it.
Originally Posted by steveys View Post


Ok, so what does IcelantIC lack?  Office?  Check

network?  Check   real factory?  (never summer?)  check   high quality?  Check  sane management?  Check, plan?  Wouldnt know

reps?  Check.  Real r&d?  Dont know


 
post #137 of 180


JIm, I truly respect you and your opinions, just curious what indies does your shop carry? Why do you carry those brands?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post


 


Icelantic is not very high on my radar so I can't comment from a current perspective. However, from my limited contacts and experiences with them in the past, I'd personally downcheck some of your points. Nevertheless, perhaps they are indeed a major and someone like Fischer is now an Indie.

 

Black is white, up is down, and the tiny "ski makers" may in fact be the ski biz and nobody knows it.

 

 

SJ

post #138 of 180

Well, sometimes a company can keep its "indie" vibe even when it gets bought by a bigger company or conglomerate:

  • Ben & Jerry's -- owned by Unilever since 2000
  • Celestial Seasonings -- owned by Kraft Foods 1984-1988
  • Honest Tea -- 40% owned by Coca-Cola since 2008

 

OTOH, sometimes an indie co. can't keep the indie vibe after it becomes non-independent:

  • Saab -- owned by GM 1990-2010
  • Gary Fisher Bikes -- sold to Trek 1993

 

That's why I think my "cultural" definition is better (he says modestly ).  Under that definition, Fischer is not an indie, regardless of what its corporate org chart shows.

 

post #139 of 180


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

This is starting to remind me of a comic I saw....

 

A 17ish year old kid is talking to he his little brother...the 15 year old is wearing his baseball cap backwards and the little brother is wearing it forward...the 17 year old is berating him by saying that he needs to be different than the older generation by doing the opposite of what is expected..the younger brother simply said "I am". 


Phil that is pretty freaken funny 

 

OTHO could it be possible that part of the reason that the  "indies" (what ever definition you want to use) are gaining momentum with some older consumers, is  that some of the traditional ski manufacturers are getting a bit "lazy" and uninspired ala, GM, 

post #140 of 180

I have seen Praxis skis in StartHaus, perhaps for obvious reason: Praxis is a Truckee company.

 

post #141 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

 

IIRC, Elan is the largest ski producer in the world - and they're not just manufacturing "everybody else's lower end skis".  Maybe you should do some homework before you spout off stuff as if it were fact.
 

Wow, you do sound like you're taking this stuff pretty seriously. Look: 1) I've been riffing. Even playing Devil's Advocate. Stirring the pot.  It's the end of the season, and the new threads are pretty much about what-ski-should-I-get-on-closeout. So we're all having a linguistic roundtable on how to classify ski makers. For a guideline to style, check SJ's or Phil's responses; they both are going along with this when they have the time to waste, scoring some points with irony, and maintaining a sense of humor. Obviously they've forgotten more about the ski business than I'll ever know. And they know I know that. In fact, SJ may have invented the ski business. 

 

2) I'm an academic, and if I wanted to, I could "do my homework" so precisely you'd go blind reading the footnotes. As it was, I wasted far too much time doing Googling each company's directorates and business histories, and then turning each into a few quasi-stream-of-consciousness sentences. But Epic is supposed to be a break from whatever we do to keep the banks messing up the world's money supply. You may dimly recall this; it's called recreation. 

 

3) I never supplied any data on numbers of skis produced because they have little direct relevance to my argument. In fact, breaking ski producers into discrete entities like "Elan" or "K2" shows you missed the point; try grouping them into holding company assets and see who makes the most. Nor did I state that Elan didn't make their own skis (fine ones, too IMO; I've owned several). 

 

4) Your phrase, "as if it were fact" is interesting. Want to go a few rounds on epistemology? 
 

post #142 of 180

Good to see you got my point.  Have a good weekend.

post #143 of 180


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post


 In fact, SJ may have invented the ski business. 


 


Thanks.....but in fact that was Al Gore.

 

SJ

post #144 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post


JIm, I truly respect you and your opinions, just curious what indies does your shop carry? Why do you carry those brands?
 


 


Thank you.

 

We carry.............

 

Atomic

Blizzard

Dynastar

Fischer

Head

K2

Nordica

Praxis

Rossignol

Salomon

Volkl

Adding some Hart and Kastle for 2011.

 

I'll leave it to you to decide which ones are indies.

 

SJ

post #145 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

Good to see you got my point.  Have a good weekend.

Uh, sure. You too. Remain mystified if you got mine, through...
 

post #146 of 180

As one that did his time(20+) in the ski industry(sporting goods) many years ago, I found that many start-up companies, primarily mountaineering and ski companyies, that offered good products, were often purchased by the "big guys"(translated: lost their altruism) or went out of business due to riding an immediate, successful product line but lacked the ability to sustain a long term business plan(and the costs of doing so) and create ongoing, innovative product lines. Numerous lifetime warranted products outlived their company.

Another factor that tends to be ignored by Americans, looking at the ski industry, is the difference in the US market vs. the "Gorilla" size of the European market. The so-called "garage-band" indies may thrive in the US but the majority will have a very difficult time making any kind of an appreciable dent in the European market. That does not diminish the fact that they can be successful in the US.

It will be interesting to see if  Kastle can appreciably grow their market share and maintain their price point given(what appears to be) their current business model. I remember when Volkl was at the top of the price point but are now "competitively" priced.

 

 

SJ,

In the lines that you carry, which are skis, boots, and/or both? How many models in each?

post #147 of 180


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickySr. View Post

 

 

SJ,

In the lines that you carry, which are skis, boots, and/or both? How many models in each?


Atomic: Race Skis and Boots, retail skis (4)

Blizzard: Race skis. retail skis (8)

Dynastar: RetaiI skis (7)

Fischer: Race ski and boots, retail skis (2)

Head: Race skis and boots

K2: Retail skis (7)

Nordica: Race skis and boots, retail boots, retail skis (6)

Praxis: Retail skis (4)

Rossignol: Race skis and boots, retail skis (5)

Salomon: Race boots, retail boots, retail skis (4)

Volkl: Race skis, retail skis (8)

Hart: Mogul skis (2)

Kastle: Retail skis (not sure but 2-4)

Tecnica: Race and retail boots

Lange: Race and retail boots

post #148 of 180

Kastle at Starhaus...

post #149 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Kastle at Starhaus...


Yes indeed.......Bogner is next.

 

SJ

post #150 of 180
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post




Yes indeed.......Bogner is next.

 

SJ


Nah, Kastle has a clothing line that makes Bogner look like it came from Filene's Basement... Or how about Kjus? 

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