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10-11 Predictions Winners & Losers - Page 3

post #61 of 180
Re Blizzard:

The ski in question is called the "M-Power" It is basically a Mag 8.7 shape with two Carbon fiber stringers running from center to tip and center to tail. In the center those stringers seat into a pretty fat Marker derived piston. The effect is nothing short of shocking. The Mag 8.7 grips well, is pretty damp, reasonably versatile, and does all this with a manageable flex. The M-Power is only marginally stiffer than the mag 8.7 but it feels like it is "stuck to the snow with magnets" or something. On hard, rattley snow, it feels like no ski I've been on short of a mens length FIS GS ski. With all that, it's no worse in softer and mixed conditions than any of the other "giant carver" type skis in this width range and it's better than some. Last Saturday, I put a customer out on the MP demo in 174. He came back and bought one that evening. He said initially that he was looking for a ski on sale but that the MP was so good he just decided that looking further was fruitless. So far, all our crew from me, TOJ, the youngers, and the retired freeride competitor are all agog over this thing. There is also a "G-Power" which is an absolutely stellar 72mm carver.

Re Dynastar:

All those that bitch and whine about the LP 115 not being a fatter XXL apparently didn't notice that the Big Dump IS the fatter XXL..........and rockered too........and it's still around......and they didn't buy it. The LP has been there....they didn't buy it. The XXL has been there.....they didn't buy it. The BD has been there....they didn't buy it. The BD is coming back for 2011 and they don't notice. The LP 115 comes along and they bitch b/c it's not like the all the skis already there that they didn't buy. It's unclear to me exactly these pinheads want. Whatever it is, Dynastar has apparently decded it's not worth trying to figure out and they've just decided to  build skis that good skiers can ski on. That may homogenize their "rad" image to some extent and for some folks but it appears that the "rad" image wasn't getting them very far anyway.


SJ
post #62 of 180
Thread Starter 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post

Philpug, Dawg, SierraJim:  

When you demo'd the new K2 Rictor replacements for the Recon, what were your impressions?  Besides being marginally wider tip to tail, was the "feel" of the ski noticeably altered?  I've always considered the Recon a very user-friendly, solid performer in a wide variety of conditions--no extreme vices, no striking strengths or weaknesses, but very dependable.   It was a great teaching ski.  Impressions of the new line in comparison?  Anything out there it reminds you of?  Strengths and weaknesses you could discern based on what must have been a small time on them in limited conditions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

OK....a few things here from my personal viewpoint.

I'd agree pretty much with the user friendly part of the description of the Recon, notsomuch with the solid part. Easy ski to teach on for sure.....would feel somewhat boring to me as an everyday ski. The Rictor feels basically the same as the Recon did but is maybe a little more solid. I skied the Rictor three times; first @ Winter Park on hard snow, second @ Mammoth in softer snow, third about a month ago in springy conditions. No great strengths, no great weaknesses. It was as completely benign as the Recon has been. If you like the Recon, you'll like the Rictor. Most of the effect of the various degrees of Rocker on the mainstream K2s is in the minds of the marketing folks.


SJ
 

The new Rictor is the replacement for the Recon based upon the (new) Crossfire  sandwich construction. The Rictor (and AfterShock) are two of the better skis that K2 has built in a long time. K2 was able to keep the friendliness of the Recon and Explorer and make the skis more powerful. I think they will be able to attract a younger customer than the current skis were without loosing that more mature one that they have the secured. K2 turned a Toyota into a Lexus. 






Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Re Blizzard:

The ski in question is called the "M-Power" It is basically a Mag 8.7 shape with two Carbon fiber stringers running from center to tip and center to tail. In the center those stringers seat into a pretty fat Marker derived piston. The effect is nothing short of shocking. While the Mag 8.7 grips well and does so with a manageable flex. The M-Power is only marginally stiffer than the mag 8.7 but the M-power feels like it is "stuck to the snow with magnets" or something. On hard, rattley snow, it feels like no ski I've been on short of a mens length FIS GS ski. With all that, it's no worse in softer and mixed conditions than any of the other "giant carver" type skis in this width range and it's better than some. Last Saturday, I put a customer out on the MP demo in 174. He came back and bought it that evening. He said initially that he was looking for a ski on sale but that the MP was so good he just decided that looking further was fruitless. There is also a "G-Power" which is an absolutely stellar 72mm carver.


SJ

Jim liked these better than I did. I personally found that they took a great ski in the 8.7 and made it less versatile. I like the premise more for the G-Force than the M-Force. One of the things that I really like about the Blizzard IQ system, it is one of the lightest system skis out there. If I am spending this much for a ski, it is gonna start with a K. 
 
post #63 of 180
About the M Power: Sounds very interesting if they can marry the grippiness of the old Volkl/Marker piston carvers but keep some life in the ski. I have also seen a photo of an 8.7-ish ski for 2011 that has a reddish orange front half, looked like black rear. Is this something else or will there be a "normal" 8.7 also?

About Dynastar; Wow, you feel strongly about this. Didn't realize that the HT was seen as XXL replacement; they have a lot of skis out there these days, and it wasn't presented as that. (Graphics and name suggested a larger BT.) Anyway, agree that Dynastar's semi-conservatism can be seen as a strength, they will cater to better skiers, and sell them skis better than a confused French rad attempt. Sort of like Fischer for larger folks, or what Elan might be if they fired their entire graphic design and marketing departments. All good.

But I think you're still missing my point about image and sales. Yes, the pinheads who bitch and moan about the XXL being gone never bought one. But the folks who did, however few, had a disproportionate impact on Dynastar image, I believe. Marketing 101: It mattered that pros and patrollers at the Bird skied on LP's, whatever they thought about them. It mattered that pics of guides leading clients to chutes had their orange and white 8800's. Because I think people who saw this were subtly led to buy 8000's and MR's and now Sultans. You're looking at sales of the skis in question, I'm looking at marketing that leads to sales of tamer (and usually narrower) skis.

post #64 of 180
Its not, I believe its the BD not the HT which is a fatter XXL replacement...
That name still cracks me up. I can't believe someone actually called a ski the 'Big Dump'  

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Didn't realize that the HT was seen as XXL replacement; they have a lot of skis out there these days, and it wasn't presented as that. (Graphics and name suggested a larger BT.)
 
post #65 of 180
The reddish-blackish-silverish graphic is the standard model 8.7 as we currently know it.

As mentioned above, the Big Dump is the mo-daddy XXL and will remain in the line as the mo-daddy LP 115. The Huge is marketed entirely differently and I do get the potential marketing impact of the LP etc. Those folks @ the Bird and JH and Squawwywood will certainly still have the opportunity to ski the BD if they choose to, Erik Rohner will still have those under him and the image will remain intact. Besides, within 18 months there will be enough added to that collection that all these gripes will be even more irrelevant than they are now.

SJ
post #66 of 180
I swear that the only time I saw the Big Dump at Squaw was when Aurelien Ducros used it during the Nissan TramFace last year, so I don't know who'd even ski them every day.  I'd imagine that those skis don't bother to turn before 40mph.   On the other hand, I see plenty of LPRs and XXLs in the KT line.   Whatever the motivation is, with those two skis gone the Dynastar freeride line is changing very drastically,  so we will see where it ends up.  

P.S.  In my test the LP115 was absolutely superb, I felt that they totally nailed the resort powder ski niche.  I don't get why people are bitching about it. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Re Dynastar:

All those that bitch and whine about the LP 115 not being a fatter XXL apparently didn't notice that the Big Dump IS the fatter XXL..........and rockered too........and it's still around......and they didn't buy it. The LP has been there....they didn't buy it. The XXL has been there.....they didn't buy it. The BD has been there....they didn't buy it. The BD is coming back for 2011 and they don't notice. The LP 115 comes along and they bitch b/c it's not like the all the skis already there that they didn't buy. It's unclear to me exactly these pinheads want. Whatever it is, Dynastar has apparently decded it's not worth trying to figure out and they've just decided to  build skis that good skiers can ski on. That may homogenize their "rad" image to some extent and for some folks but it appears that the "rad" image wasn't getting them very far anyway.


SJ




Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

The reddish-blackish-silverish graphic is the standard model 8.7 as we currently know it.

As mentioned above, the Big Dump is the mo-daddy XXL and will remain in the line as the mo-daddy LP 115. The Huge is marketed entirely differently and I do get the potential marketing impact of the LP etc. Those folks @ the Bird and JH and Squawwywood will certainly still have the opportunity to ski the BD if they choose to, Erik Rohner will still have those under him and the image will remain intact. Besides, within 18 months there will be enough added to that collection that all these gripes will be even more irrelevant than they are now.

SJ
post #67 of 180
I can understand why Dynastar would have trouble selling a ski called a "big dump",  If you ski mostly over 40 mph anyway it might be a good ski for you, but they should have called it something else if they wanted to sell it.
post #68 of 180
I think that these predictions about 2011 winners and losers is awfully premature.  As fickle as ski sales can be, it's always somewhat of a crapshoot.  I must be living in a different universe than many of you, because strong brands and models, and trends in my neck of the woods don't track with what is being said in this forum.  But everyone else is making predictions and offering their two cents, so what the heck, here are my thoughts.
  • Volkl is far from dead.  We sold out again this year, just like every other year previous.  Lumping Volkl in with K2 is ridiculus, they are owned by the same parent company, and they build a few Volkl models in the Chinese K2 factory, but the vast majority of Volkls are still built in Germany.   These skis are still very popular with consumers, and still offer great performance and quality.  IMO, the new Kendo/Kenja models for next year are going to be very hot sellers and they ski great.  My experience with and impression of the ELP skis (Gotama, and next years Bridge) is very different than SJ's - my customers love them, and they are some of the few "rockered" type skis that ski worth a damn.  Most of the other rockers or early rise skis from other manufacturers are nearly unskiable for me. 
  • Fischer is displaying a lot of strength in my market.  I sold through all of them, and reordered a couple of times.  It kind of amazes me, because their marketing is pretty much nil.  But the skis speak for themselves.  Great value and quality for the money.  The new Motive series has more range than the Heat series of skis, and should bump up sales in that category.  Watea isn't new, but remains strong.  The company is very well run, and has a good management team in place.  I look for them to get stronger. 
  • Rossi is fading.  There is a lot of buzz on this forum about the S7 and S3, but I'm not seeing it.  Their Phantom series of skis are great, maybe the best that they have built in that category, but they don't sell well.  Rossi seems to think that the rockered thing is going to save them, but really, that is a very small segment of the market, and may not be enough to save them..
  • Dynastar gets a lot of buzz in this forum.  I just don't get it, Their skis are just ok to me, very middle of the road performers.  Also, not a lot of consumer demand.  Much ado about nothing.
  • Head is a classic case of the Austrians not understanding the US market.  Race stuff and hard snow stuff is awesome, but that is a very small segment of the overall market.  They can't decide what to do with the all-mountain, big mountain category.  The new design with the Peak series isn't going to help much.  I just see them treading water for now.
  • Kastle and Stockli - Outstanding skis, outstanding materials, premium prices.  Quality never goes out of style.  These companies will have strength with good skiers, but are too expensive and limited in distribution to have much impact on the market. We will sell some next year, but the numbers won't be huge. 
  • Blizzard  - Can't ignore them anymore, great quality, value and product mix.  Just see them getting stronger.
  • Nordica - Really good skis, but have lost momemtum when they put their own binding on their skis.  More flat skis and more conservative paint would help a lot.  They kind of don't seem to know what to do with the ski side of their business, best to lay out a while and let them get their stuff together.  Boots are still very strong and company is run very well.
  • K2 - Has been fading because its models were getting stale, the price/value ratio was off.  The made in China issue has hurt them my market.  I really did not like the new rockered stuff and AMP series, but then again, I didn't like the Apache stuff either.  They are still the big gorilla in the corner and sell a lot of stuff, but they are fading fast.
  • Garage brands - A few kids are buying some of this stuff on the internet, but, with inconsistent quality and company customer service.  It will be tough for these companies to survive.  No customers ask for this stuff, and the kids that do buy it are pretty fickle and unpredictable.  It's cool right now start a ski company to make your own skis.  But, the chance of any of these guys surviving long term, is very slim.
post #69 of 180
coolhand, where are you located?
post #70 of 180
Said the frog in the water as kept getting warmer and warmer......
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolhand View Post

I think that these predictions about 2011 winners and losers is awfully premature.  As fickle as ski sales can be, it's always somewhat of a crapshoot.  I must be living in a different universe than many of you, because strong brands and models, and trends in my neck of the woods don't track with what is being said in this forum.  But everyone else is making predictions and offering their two cents, so what the heck, here are my thoughts.
  • Garage brands - A few kids are buying some of this stuff on the internet, but, with inconsistent quality and company customer service.  It will be tough for these companies to survive.  No customers ask for this stuff, and the kids that do buy it are pretty fickle and unpredictable.  It's cool right now start a ski company to make your own skis.  But, the chance of any of these guys surviving long term, is very slim.
post #71 of 180
Mid-west is my guess
Quote:
Originally Posted by John J View Post

coolhand, where are you located?
post #72 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post


Said the frog in the water as kept getting warmer and warmer......

 

I dunno...  I'd imagine that there is an awful lot of know-how that goes into building a good ski, and that involves mostly materials/glues/plastics, etc.  it is not rocket science, but not an obvious thing for sure.  I'd think that the companies that put a lot of R&D dollars into their racing skis would have an advantage in making consumer skis that balance stiffness, damping and liveliness.  I don't think there is a reason why the indie brands focus on the soft snow skis where you just have to make a wide wood-core ski with decent flex and not much torsional stiffness... I am not an expert, but my impression is that none of them makes a good hard snow ski. 
post #73 of 180
Hey now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post


Mid-west is my guess

 
post #74 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post


Mid-west is my guess

 


Funny thing about most guesses like this....They're wrong.

Paying attention to how his experiences and market with skis differ from SJ, I'd say its more likely he is in a colder dryer snow area, well out of the influence of California  and Colorado where  the small builders have created a niche market.   There is no doubt that the ski equipment market differs appreciably in Tahoe from Jackson Hole or Big Sky.  I have heard that there is even a pocket of Montana where Volants reign supreme.   I think it would be interesting if Coolhand would discuss where his observations apply.
post #75 of 180

Compare SJ, Phil, Dawg, and Coolhand to see how alternative realities can get; they're each right, y'know. Here's my business/demographic question: Which version of reality ends up getting through to the manufacturers? Assume that there are more skiers in California than any other state, just because of total population size. But are there more skiers in California than all of the central and northern midwest? Hmmm. I doubt it. No data I can find on total # of skiers out there per state, but here are 2008 # for resorts and then visits (copied and pasted from OnSnow, not responsible for obvious arithmetic errors in visits data): 

Resorts: New York was tops in the U.S. with 50. Michigan was No. 2, with 38, and Wisconsin No. 3 with 34. Then: Pennsylvania 32; California 29; Colorado 28; New Hampshire 26; Vermont 24; Maine 19; Minnesota 18; Idaho 16; Montana 17; Washington 16; Utah 14; Massachusetts 13; Oregon 13; Alaska 10; New Mexico 10; Wyoming 8; Illinois 7; North Carolina 7; Ohio 6; Connecticut 5; Nevada 5; West Virginia 5; Arizona 4; Iowa 4; North Dakota 4; Virginia 4; Indiana 3; New Jersey 3; Missouri 2; Alabama 1; Maryland 1; Rhode Island 1, and Tennessee 1.

Rocky Mountain resorts combined to host the most number of skier/rider visits: 11.6 million; the Northeast was second, with 14.26 million; then the Pacific West, 11.6 million; the Midwest, 8 million, and the Southeast, 5.2 million, for a total of more than 60 million skier/rider visits last winter, a record.

OK, then my take here is that while California and Colorado/Utah are the 800 lb gorillas, in terms of native or destination skiers, if you add up all the little resorts in the midwest and central atlantic that get day and weekend visits from locals, it may be a wash. And I'd guess there are as many tickets being bought east of the Mississippi as in the Rockies.


Very tentative conclusions: 1) From a business perspective, the reality of flatland skiers and their ski choices may be closer to the mark than folks who live 10 miles from the lifts. Specially since a lot of visits to Vail, Snowbird, Tahoe etc. are from folks who live in other states. I'd guess ski purchases in big cities like New York, L.A., Chicago, and Dallas drive the industry more than purchases near the slopes. May be wrong about where folks actually buy their skis (could be at slopeside on vacation, or over the web), but have a hunch that they choose skis they will like at their local mountains, then worry about trips and powder. Obviously, for Texans the local mountain will be Vail, and for folks from San Francisco, it'll be Tahoe. But for all those humans who live in New York or Virginia or Michigan or Pennsylvania, local means just that. If I ski 20 days a year in Michigan's UP, and 7 days a year at Vail, I'm not gonna want a Goat as my only ski. 

2) Thus, the decline of carvers and rise of rockers may be overemphasized here, largely because we are a ridiculously biased sample. Truth: What proportion of U.S. skiers have even tried a rockered ski? What proportion thinks 100 mm is midfat? What proportion regularly skis powder?

3) The number of skis people own, and how often they buy new equipment, may be even more biased here. Not just because we are gear freaks by definition, but because I'd guess Epic is disproportionately populated by skiers from the west, who face more diverse conditions and bigger mountains. Back east at smaller mountains, not uncommon to see 30-somethings happily cruising along on the same carvers they owned in college, with the same boots, parkas and never washed caps. As long as your edges are sharp, it's all good. Hell, I got along with one ski and one pair of boots until almost this century. Only bought new when I broke or wore out what I had. Now I have, ah, more than one.   OTOH, the ski industry cares more about me now, since I singlehandedly keep them afloat. 

4) Unclear what to project about indies. Most of the industry people here seem to think they're over-romanticized, and unlikely to compete with the majors in a financially meaningful way. In the near term, probably true; the majors just borrow the ideas (like rocker) and edgy graphics. But returning to the cable analogy, I think we're in a shakeout period. Some will in fact make it. Everyone seems to take Line seriously, and it was an indie not so long ago. Ditto for Movement, which is a big deal in Eurp. Moment is getting Olympic exposure, so unclear it qualifies as a garage brand. PM is now being reviewed regularly by the antichrist ski mags. And if you want actual garage makes good, go over to TGR and look up ON3P; nice thread showing how premedie decided to make his own skis instead, lots of pics of handmade presses and all the production issues. ON3P has received exposure in national ski mags, its Billy Goat probably has more positive buzz than any indie ski I know of. Obviously, have to see if he can gear up to meet demand and still retain QC, buzz. Most fail at this point. 

But WHAT IF this is a paradigm change? What if like the networks, majors won't see abrupt failure as much as an ever greater dilution of market share? So that 4-5% of the market, perhaps even largely through web based sales, is perfectly acceptable? Not everyone in America watches the Food Channel, but it's doing just fine, thanks. What if small niches are the new business model? (I realize this is nightmarish for bricks and mortar stores, just like CBS.) So keep in mind that those unreliable teens Coolhand talks about are your core buyers in a decade. Just sayin....


 

post #76 of 180
I am located in the Northern Rockies, although a fair ways from the Jackson Hole and Big Sky scene, although a lot of my customers ski those places often.  It might be fair to say that our snow situation can be similar to the Midwest as well. 

Beyond's take on things is very astute.  Alternate realities may be mostly based upon environment. 

As far as the Garage brand thing goes.  There very well, could be a brand or two that could make it.  But, there are a lot of obstacles to negotiate along the way.  Line has "made it", however, this was after K2 bought them and has started to run their business.  At this point, as a retailer, it is very hard to guess which one will gain traction and which one (if any) to hang your hat with.  Will they go away? I doubt it.  But, I think that it will be mostly a revolving door of different characters and brands.
post #77 of 180
Followup question about demographics and skis: Are women accepting "women's skis" in numbers that justify stocking them? I ask because while my wife skis on both unisex and women's skis, I notice that there are inevitably better/more deals on women's versions at end of season. (Also tougher to sell used women's skis on fleabay etc.) Seems as if either manufacturers are overproducing, or women are not grabbing them in the numbers you'd expect from total women skiing. Which could mean women are less gear driven (Trekchick excepted ), or that women are still buying a lot of unisex, or that women are buying different kinds of skis than the remnants (which tend to be carvers or midfats).
post #78 of 180
 I think that women's skis have gotten a bad rap because some of the earlier versions were "shrink it and pink it" but the more recent versions have been developed with women's geometry in mind but from a new design so that they're not a "dumbed down' version of the unisex ski.
Maybe women are becoming more educated and discerning about what they want, or maybe they(we) are assuming that women's skis aren't "all that" ......
I have had some womens' specific skis that I really liked and some that I didn't like so much but what I'd like to see is a full line of skis that are targeted to the skier not the gender.

If you need/want a softer, lighter ski (man or woman) then you should be able to find it and not look for something gender specific, eh?
post #79 of 180

What about Atomic skis?  I am surprised that in the discussion on the merits and strengths of Dynastar skis that Atomic has not come up as either a winner or a looser for 2010/11.

 

post #80 of 180
Some observations from a layman-skier view:

From looking around the areas I ski, mainly Tahoe, I see very few of the "Indie" type skis, and I've tried a few like PM Gear Bro...indeed good skis, but I agree with coolhand that these mfrs will have a hard time being successful..

Volkls of all descriptions still are the favored "performance" ski of Tahoe, even the older P50s and such, so like BMW, whose cars are sold to soccer moms by the bushel in California, the name is the thing..

Dynastar has a habit of perpetually being up and down, from the trend-setting Coupe skis to the Vertical etc, then to mediocrity until the LPR series, and now seem to be hiding again under the rocks...conservatively creative? I agree with Sierra Jim that the LPR, MR, XXL models loved by good skiers didn't sell well, especially as the rocker craze took off.

Blizzard is on the rise-  still far from being a household name to the masses, but it looks like their ship is heading in the right direction. I believe in a few years they may be challenging Volkl for top spot.

K2 is the General Motors of the ski industry, and is into making money, so they are making what the accountants tell them to make to maximize profits. The new every-model-rockered is the latest spin, so I'm willing to give it a chance.  It couldn't be more milketoast, eh?
Great marketing, and K2 sells a passel of skis.

Fischer has been making great skis from the beginning of time (AD 00), and continue to do so, damn the torpedoes, with the same low US marketing effort..They seem to be holding their own however, and still make some of the best value-for-money skis IMO.

Rossignol is the granddaddy who refuses to do anything risky altho their new wood core skis S1-S7 are major improvements..they have a big hole to dig themselves out of, so good luck to them. They have the best creative graphics.

Nordica makes great boots, and their skis are also top-notch, but nobody knows this about their skis...

Head IMO is the mfr who doesn't seem to understand the fickle US market...Great hard snow skis, but too much overlap and need to come up with good powder offerings....Rocker some stuff...c'mon man!  Too many designs for Hermann Maier, and not enough for Avg Joe.

Kastle, the new kid in town, and the highest rated...I hope their demand goes up so that their prodn increases and prices fall..I can get a quiver of 2-3 good skis for the price of 1 Kastle...I can't afford them at this time, and I suspect many Avg Joes can't either. Good Luck!

Line is doing very well for themselves, outside of K2's design influence, and is probably the closest to a successful "Indie" mfr

Elan follows Dynastar in fluctuations, what with the breakup of Yugoslavia, and the absence of Ingemar Stenmark, and many other challenges like lack of marketing (Glen Plake notwithstanding), and on and on.

Stockli, the old kid in town, needs a transplant of new, young blood, and some modern designs to their perfectly built skis.

Atomic is the brand I know the least about. Their name is legendary in racing, but not very popular in my neck of the woods.

Salomon is the brand that I gravitated towards when I started skiing in AD100, because their skis seemed to work better for light weight folks.I must say that I enjoyed their XScream series some before I learned to carve, and everything since has been shitty, so I will leave it at that.. I don't like their boots or bindings either, so there. BOO!

Cheers, but WDIK
post #81 of 180
On the regional influence thing, I met with three product managers this year as they toured the US. All three were seeing dealers all over the country from coast to coast to coast to coast. All three said that the US market now has a major influence on their thinking and business plans. All three said that the California market and its trends are highly considered. However, they also said that the California market is waaaayyyyy off track from most of the rest of the US and doubly so when compared to the world market. What that means is that the opinions emanating from the PRK get a generous dose of NaCl before production decisions are made.

About women's skis......they sell fine and that is what the majority of the women are looking for in most cases. Our market is a bit different in that we sell a fair number of unisex skis to women (and 100-130 flex boots too) but we are not typical in that regard.

Atomic.......mea culpa. They have some pretty good stuff and some is really good. They are however whiffing on their version of the "rocker for everybody" story. Atomic has shot themselves in the foot so many times in the last 6-8 years that I'm sure they had to change magazines more than once. Nevertheless, I'm carrying some Atomics this year for the first time in a while. We'll see.............

SJ
post #82 of 180

Notes from here: I get around less than I used to, but always keep my eyes open, and focused on what people have strapped to their feet.

 

Rossignol has disappeared in Italy. Just vanished. So has Salomon, though their boots appear to sell well here.

Given how much racing drives ski sales in Europe, it's surprising that Head's not doing better, though I ski in a town that lacks a Head dealer for some reason. You do see a lot of them in Austria. Here in Italy, anyway, their boots outsell their skis from what I can tell, perhaps due to the San Marco lineage.

Atomic sells tons of skis here, so does Volkl. Dynastars are well thought of, as are Fischers.

Nordica doesn't have nearly the following you'd expect in Italy from what is, essentially, the only real Italian ski brand. Their boots have come back from the (Benetton) dead, and are now clearly outselling Lange in the home market. I'd guess Tecnica is the top boot seller here, but same company as Nordica, so all good for them. Zero buzz yet for Blizzard.
Stoekli does well in this market.

Movement and Black Diamond establishing share here.

post #83 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

If you need/want a softer, lighter ski (man or woman) then you should be able to find it and not look for something gender specific, eh?


 

Yea !!!!  I ended up with a women's ski this year because it fit my needs, height - weight - skiing level. The Koa 84 was voted ski of the year 2010 by Peter Keelty at expertskier.com.
                                   
Quote: http://www.expertskier.com

This female-specific companion to the Watea 84 is one of the highest scoring Fischers we've tested. Our skiers absolutely loved it. "This is a really great all mountain ski—good in all conditions." and "one of my favorite skis of the test. Forgiving yet stable, For many skier types." and "Great Ski! No problems. Best woman's all mountain as of yet!"

It doesn't get much better than that . . .


This ski is a good fit for smaller and lighter weight people, not just for women.
post #84 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post



About women's skis......they sell fine and that is what the majority of the women are looking for in most cases. Our market is a bit different in that we sell a fair number of unisex skis to women (and 100-130 flex boots too) but we are not typical in that regard.


 I'm carrying some Atomics this year for the first time in a while. We'll see.............

SJ

I tend to demo and enjoy a lot of women's specific skis but I also think outside the box and try to get a good sense of all of what's out there. I just think that there are many women's skis that suit men as well and its a shame that they're labeled WS.

As for the Atomics.....I'm anxious to get on some, its been a few years, and I have no idea why. 


Quote:
Originally Posted by jonrpen View Post




Yea !!!!  I ended up with a women's ski this year because it fit my needs, height - weight - skiing level. The Koa 84 was voted ski of the year 2010 by Peter Keelty at expertskier.com.
                                   

This ski is a good fit for smaller and lighter weight people, not just for women.

Bingo!
post #85 of 180
I think Atomic is going to have a great year on the freeski side of the house. Lots of big names, and they have some great ski's.
post #86 of 180
excellent point!  i think there was and is much more of a need for the ski's they are making than the race sector. That's pretty much has the dollars invested in research and prodcution to make the products needed but in looking at BC, powder, jib and other specialty segments, there was and still is enough market and demand for thier products.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post




I dunno...  I'd imagine that there is an awful lot of know-how that goes into building a good ski, and that involves mostly materials/glues/plastics, etc.  it is not rocket science, but not an obvious thing for sure.  I'd think that the companies that put a lot of R&D dollars into their racing skis would have an advantage in making consumer skis that balance stiffness, damping and liveliness.  I don't think there is a reason why the indie brands focus on the soft snow skis where you just have to make a wide wood-core ski with decent flex and not much torsional stiffness... I am not an expert, but my impression is that none of them makes a good hard snow ski. 

 


My predictionof mid-west was based upon the ski's Coolhand sees or percieves as his market; and I was correct- Cirque, you owe me a beer!   But to follow up on my intent; the niche players shouldn't be perceived as individuals but rather a group representing lost sales from the big guns total pool. Yes, ON3P may sell a few hundred pairs (maybe less) as does PM, as does MOMENT (btw- did you note how Moments were in the Olympics?) Fatypus, Icelantic, etc, etc, as a collective force, they represent a viable and significant presence and should not be ignored. If they didn't matter, you wouldn't be seeing the skis like the Atomic Bentchetler, blog, the line mothership and so many others out there now chasing the indies. That's why my guess was of mid-west and not EC. No knock, just the facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolhand View Post

I am located in the Northern Rockies, although a fair ways from the Jackson Hole and Big Sky scene, although a lot of my customers ski those places often.  It might be fair to say that our snow situation can be similar to the Midwest as well. 

Beyond's take on things is very astute.  Alternate realities may be mostly based upon environment. 

As far as the Garage brand thing goes.  There very well, could be a brand or two that could make it.  But, there are a lot of obstacles to negotiate along the way.  Line has "made it", however, this was after K2 bought them and has started to run their business.  At this point, as a retailer, it is very hard to guess which one will gain traction and which one (if any) to hang your hat with.  Will they go away? I doubt it.  But, I think that it will be mostly a revolving door of different characters and brands.
post #87 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Re Dynastar:

All those that bitch and whine about the LP 115 not being a fatter XXL apparently didn't notice that the Big Dump IS the fatter XXL..........and rockered too........and it's still around......and they didn't buy it. The LP has been there....they didn't buy it. The XXL has been there.....they didn't buy it. The BD has been there....they didn't buy it. The BD is coming back for 2011 and they don't notice. The LP 115 comes along and they bitch b/c it's not like the all the skis already there that they didn't buy. It's unclear to me exactly these pinheads want. Whatever it is, Dynastar has apparently decded it's not worth trying to figure out and they've just decided to  build skis that good skiers can ski on. That may homogenize their "rad" image to some extent and for some folks but it appears that the "rad" image wasn't getting them very far anyway.


SJ


I'm surprised to hear that the LP and XXL were not good sellers for their market segment. They appeal to highly skilled skiers who are in primarily soft snow, so obviously that segment of the market is not huge to begin with, but a XXL is a staple ski for many skiers I see at Whistler on a daily basis, though less and less. But I'd imagine people DID buy LPs and XXLs - 5 years ago when they were fresh.

Dynastar is now losing out on that market segment because their products are old news. That market is shifting toward more progressive shapes and cambers, which make skiing easier and more fun. Dynastar has not embraced these changes, instead releasing extremely traditional skis. Even the Big Dump, which they are calling rockered, is by all means NOT rockered. And the Huge Trouble, released as the playful pow ski competing with a field of S7s and Czars, is left in the dust. They have finally added what they call rocker for 2011, though if it's anything like the Big Dump, this ski will continue to go unnoticed.

Now Dynastar sees their old-news freeride products as unable to sell. Instead of innovating and continuing to cater to their high-performance client base, they water down their product and release a still-traditional Legend Pro with a noodle tip, alienating that previously strong market segment. Not only are they not innovating, they are taking their old skis, considered to be the best in the market for blasting through crap, and making them less good at that.

Dynastar may sell more skis to the average joe, but they screwed up with the high-end market on this one. Although maybe they have decided that they no longer wish to sell to that market. Because they won't.
Edited by D(C) - 5/7/10 at 9:06am
post #88 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
If they didn't matter, you wouldn't be seeing the skis like the Atomic Bentchetler, blog, the line mothership and so many others out there now chasing the indies.
 

Except that the Line Mothership has been around since 2001ish (not sure exact year, but definitely prior to the 02/03 season... and yes current generation is different than the original, but the point is, it's been around longer than most indie brands have even existed).

I wouldn't be so quick to discredit the major manufacturers and claim they are "chasing the indies".  A few of the majors were really the first ones to introduce the newer concepts and technologies we are seeing in fatter skis today.  What was the first +100 waisted ski manufactured (which yes were considered fat back in the introduction)... the Rossi Axiom maybe at 110?  Followed by lots of 90+ skis  (Nordica w105, Pocket Rockets, Rossi XXX, Mothership... all skis introduced 2002 or prior).  With the exception of Line (indie at the time) and Igneous, I can't think of an independent brand that even existed before 2003... it wasn't until the majors started making fat-waisted skis popular that indies even started forming.  Although indies jumped on the idea of rocker more ferverently than the majors, I would also credit the majors with introducing the concept of rocker.  To my knowledge, Volant was the first to develop a rockered ski (2000 maybe?), K2 eventually followed with the Pontoon, as did DPS and Praxis... but I would also say Praxis pretty much just mimicked the Spatula with its first designs, there wasn't really radical new concept or technology there, and I'm pretty sure DPS introduced rocker after the Pontoon was already introduced.  I'm not trying to discredit independent companies because I do think they are very important in reminding the major manufacturers that there is a market for niche skis.  But I think it is fairly inaccurate to say the major manufacturers are chasing the indies from a design and technology standpoint. 
post #89 of 180
D(C)

Apparently you don't know what you want Dynastar to build either and also don't really know what they have. The BD is meant to be the XXL replacement. It IS rockered in the tip just like the Czar but is stouter and more powerful. The HT is a fat crud buster and not a playful powder ski although it's not terrible at that either. It is also more powerful than the Czar and way more so than the S7. Most complaints about the HT were that is was not a great powder ski. Neither were the XXL and LP.

You say they are being left in the dust by the innovative S7 and the Czar. The Czar has fairly mild tip rocker only. The S7, while having the full treatment is pretty soft overall and having owned one for a year and a half I can say it is at it's best for the first two-three hours. After that it is not as much fun as other stuff.

The new skis are better in most regards than the skis you say are more innovative. The LP115 has a notable tip rocker and yes the tip is quite soft. However, it is a better all day powder ski than the S7 or the Czar. The new HT has modest tip and tail rise, and is firmer in the tip and more powerful than the LP 115. The BD is still there for the Gnar eaters. The only thing that is missing are the stiff conventional skis that busted crud didn't sell. That is a hole in the lineup for sure but the new skis are better in every other regard than the two that are going away.

SJ
post #90 of 180
Absolutely agree with these points Beyond.  Furthermore, I'm curious the percentage of skiers that even own skis versus rent or demo?  Any retailers on here that rent and sell out of their shop that can comment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post


Very tentative conclusions: 1) From a business perspective, the reality of flatland skiers and their ski choices may be closer to the mark than folks who live 10 miles from the lifts. Specially since a lot of visits to Vail, Snowbird, Tahoe etc. are from folks who live in other states. I'd guess ski purchases in big cities like New York, L.A., Chicago, and Dallas drive the industry more than purchases near the slopes. May be wrong about where folks actually buy their skis (could be at slopeside on vacation, or over the web), but have a hunch that they choose skis they will like at their local mountains, then worry about trips and powder. Obviously, for Texans the local mountain will be Vail, and for folks from San Francisco, it'll be Tahoe. But for all those humans who live in New York or Virginia or Michigan or Pennsylvania, local means just that. If I ski 20 days a year in Michigan's UP, and 7 days a year at Vail, I'm not gonna want a Goat as my only ski. 

2) Thus, the decline of carvers and rise of rockers may be overemphasized here, largely because we are a ridiculously biased sample. Truth: What proportion of U.S. skiers have even tried a rockered ski? What proportion thinks 100 mm is midfat? What proportion regularly skis powder?

3) The number of skis people own, and how often they buy new equipment, may be even more biased here. Not just because we are gear freaks by definition, but because I'd guess Epic is disproportionately populated by skiers from the west, who face more diverse conditions and bigger mountains. Back east at smaller mountains, not uncommon to see 30-somethings happily cruising along on the same carvers they owned in college, with the same boots, parkas and never washed caps. As long as your edges are sharp, it's all good.
 

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