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Who still makes their skis in their country of origin? - Page 3

post #61 of 116

^^^^Thanks quant. I started another thread using your link and some stuff I've found about costs of metal and carbon. 

post #62 of 116

I'm amazed to read "Head skis are still made in Austria or Czeck Republic". Head was an American company, in its origins, founded by Howard Head an aeronautical engineer who invented the first metal ski, the famous Head Standard, and revolutionized ski industry from then on. We skiers around the world, and Americans in particular, should build a monument to Howard Head, if it wasn't for him we would still be on wooden skis !!    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Head

 

By the way, if ATOMICS were originally an Autrian company, they are still made in Austria.

post #63 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Actually Head was acquired by AMF in a 1969 hostile takeover, and Howard Head turned his interests to starting a new tennis company called Prince. Which did OK. AMF in turn was acquired by Ministar (based in Minneapolis) in 1985, but continued to make skis in Colorado until 1988, when production was moved to Austria. Ministar was acquired by U.S. venture capitalists (HTM) in 1989, and HTM was acquired by Tabak (finally, Austrian) in 1993. However, Head lost so much money for Tabak that it sold it to a Swedish turnaround specialist in 1995, who defaulted on his loans in 1997 but was able to reorganize Head and locate it in the Netherlands, where it is today. If you're still keeping track at this point, Head was actually Austrian, in the sense of legal ownership, for a total of 2 years, was U.S. owned for 43 years, and has been Dutch for 13 years. Its skis were actually made in the U.S. for 38 years, and then (mostly) in Austria for the past 22 years. And its skis haven't made a big fraction of its profits since the 50's, when it was briefly the world's largest ski maker.
 


 


Beyond,  nice background fill-in on Head's corporate evolution.  A recent annual report notes that winter sports products account for about 47% of revenue (no detail on how much of that is specifically skis).


 

post #64 of 116

Wow, now that is a bit too much honor. My knowlegde is greatly based on local Austrian ski gossip (they just love to drink a couple of beers and show the world how smart they are...) and some common sense. Let me try to answer your questions.

 

  1.  I would never put a patent on technology I want to keep for myself. Eventually, a patent will be be open for the general public(although that might take decennia), whereas a well kept secret can be taken to the grave. These 'secrets ' are probably more marketing orientated. It's what the costumers think a ski can do so they won't have to take lessons to learn it. If it looks like advanced technical features I'll take it! A good friend of mine is a great skier but he actually believes that certain features on a ski will improve his technique.  I am no expert at racing skis, but from what I have seen and skied on, one GS comp ski is pretty much the same as the other, so you are probably right there. And what makes Atomic such a popular brand here in Austria is that its Austrian. The people over here are very keen on home made stuff. So if they would move everything to the east it would result in an outrage over here.
  2. Buying other brands is normal. Volant was a struggling company, who's skis are meant for the higher end of the market. Their problem was, the skis are so darn heavy! I have never met a Kitzbuhl society guy or girl who actually liked their volant skis. They just look cool and shiny and expensive. But Atomic needed a brand like that. A multicolor print light weight ski won't do for a fur hat wearing It-girl. Dynamic: same story, but for the low end of the market. Actually, they are great skis now. I tried a pair once and it was a typical atomic ski. Not bad at all.
  3. I don't know. But if the economic crunch over here keeps at it, this concept might have a chance against the big players. I guess they would have to keep their products exclusive. There is a small company in Vorarlberg that produces skis with 'blingbling' Swarovsky Crystals on them. This will be the fastest ski to get stolen on the slopes. Another record broken...

 

Another very cool brand to add to the list: VIST from Italy Typical Italian design, good quality skis, extremely expensive fashion line. They actually produced an overall with diamonds sewn in it. Costs about €14.000 . But hey, the € is down, come and have shopping spree in Italee.

 

Cheers,

Andi76

post #65 of 116

Boone Skis!!!  Made in California.  Check out next year's lookbook:  http://issuu.com/boone_skis/docs/boone-skis-lookbook

post #66 of 116


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

The top notch models technical features are such well kept secrets that I guess is one of the reasons that the top brands keep their production in the land of origin.

 

andi76:

 

Thanks for the great post!  I have three questions:

 

1) Are there really technical features that are "secrets" any more?  Every few years someone comes out with a "revolutionary" method to dampen skis (currently the Fischer "hole" or the Atomic D2 "decks", etc.) but nothing with a patent every seems to do anything better than what was done before. For example, in the WC and Olympics racers would ski with their old Atomics and then grab a pair of D2s for the photo ops!   To me, it seems the best made skis are still manufactured with the tried and true method of layering quality materials (wood core or glass wrapped foam, titinal, racing base, etc.) with a straight sidewall.  The only "secret", therefore, comes from where the ski flexes, the camber, and the shape.  Anyone can buy a ski in the marketplace and quickly determine how it was designed by using measurements, high school physics, and a saw.  So, are there really secrets?

 

2)  Does a company like Atomic, which is buying out other brands (e.g., Dynamic and Volant) doing so to get other competitors out of the market so they get more shelf space, or because they still make money off those brands?

 

3) How are the custom ski manufacturers in Europe doing?  I saw that there are many of these small shops cranking out great looking skis after viewing www.exoticskis.com.  I'm attempting to determine if producing custom skis by small local manufacturers is a growing trend.

 

Thanks in advance.


I've just spent two years in Europe visiting a handful of small ski builders and talking with several more here and the small ski designer/builder ecosystem is alive and thriving fairly well.  There are many passionate builders cropping up all over the place.  Most produce only a handful of skis, and for them, that's OK.  I would say the custom market in Europe is less vibrant than in the USA.  Instead of custom ski builders, Europe has many small, innovative producers selling their own designs.  While nearly all of them can produce skis to specifications, most are happy building their own designs and constructions and attracting a cult following.  Some consider Chinese manufacturing locations, but for a small builder, the logistics are daunting and the effort to monitor (and sometimes correct) the operations in a far-flung location outweigh the hands-on, locally-built scenario.  The cost of operating in China is definitely not as compelling as it once was (similar to software production costs in India going up and up from their once-irresistable level), and now the attractive locations with skilled labor for ski production tends to be the Eastern European countries, and even Tunisia (used by many large companies).  Dave Mazzarella of SkiLogik followed the path like DP and built their own facilities in China, choosing to create equipment and specially train production staff to assemble their designs, not purchase production capacity from large factories.  It means you need to be on-site for production, which can be troublesome and difficult if you live half-way around the globe, but it can pay off.  Shipping costs are also a huge factor for small builders using far-flung factories.  It can really add a hefty amount to the final cost of an otherwise less-expensive product. Europe has great ski builders, but no really dominant, dedicated custom builders like Wagner Custom or Folsom Custom in the USA...but plenty of small builders willing to do custom work.

 

Very interesting times...for sure.

post #67 of 116

Ooo, "Beyond", I love your reasoning, love your sentence structure and love your vocabulary. (Sigh)

So rare nowadays.

post #68 of 116

Master Goa, it's "Czech" Republic, not "Czeck".

post #69 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotamagal View Post

I believe the majority of Volkls are still made in Germany. I knowt they took production to China on some models, but have since brought it back to Germany on the higher end.

Hmm. Wonder why they brought it back to Germany from China? Could it be it was schlock merchandise brought to you by the same people whose mining industry accidents caused 2,600 deaths last year? The same Chinese who manufactured and sold us toxic drywall? Yet the same Chinese who damaged 10,000 babies with the contaminant, melamine, in the milk? And the same Chinese who killed countless American pets by toxic ingredients in pet food?

 

In case anyone deems the aforementioned to be non sequiturs, they're not. They just demonstrate that the Chinese are--putting it euphemistically--unconcerned about quality or life or health.
 

Cordially:  Sunny RainbowHeart

post #70 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyRainbwHart View Post

Master Goa, it's "Czech" Republic, not "Czeck".


Hi Sunny Rainbow!

 

Actually, Czech in Czech is Czeck...

 

And if only I was kidding...

post #71 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyRainbwHart View Post

Master Goa, it's "Czech" Republic, not "Czeck".


Hi Sunny Rainbow!

 

Actually, Czech in Czech is Czeck...

 

And if only I was kidding...

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Tsk, tsk, mischievous one. Česká republika or Česko is what it's called in their native language.

 

Cordially: Sunny RainbowHeart

post #72 of 116
Thread Starter 

My Czeck friend must be crazy then...

post #73 of 116

Hi Phil,

you are moving to Tahoe? I could write a lot here about the Skiindustry, but the main Problem are the Retailers! If a Ski costs 1000$, they wanna earn 500. From the other 500$, you have to pay Materials, Labour, Marketing, Machines, Power...The Distributors and perhaps Reps also wanna earn Money. One Mold for a Pair of Skis is between 3000 and 6000$ per Length, only the Topsheets are around 35$ a Pair! On Skis made in China and sold in the US, the Companies could earn perhaps up to 100$ more a Pair, Skis made in China and sold in Europe is making nearly no sense, because most of the 100$ they would have to pay for Shipping and Customs. There is no Customs within the Europian Union, to the US, you have to pay shipping and Customs anyway. There is no Skicompany, which is filling the Pockets, it is a Mixcalculation, also what Andi76 wrote about the Accessories is correct, there is the big Money. It seems Salomon is only selling Skis in Europe anymore, to make the Clothing more popular. If you go to the Sportsfair in Munich, you can see, their Booth is 90% Clothing and 10% Skis. It is still the same, if you wanna make small wealth in the Skibusiness, you have to spend a big one!

post #74 of 116

Fixed it for you.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horst View Post

Hi Phil,

 I could write a lot here about the Skiindustry... in one giant run-on sentence.

post #75 of 116

Sorry, I am from Germany. Thanks for your Help! Are you from Skiershop?

post #76 of 116

Yes... I'm joking around with the 'correction', I figured that English wasn't your first language.

post #77 of 116

much easier to talk than to write! I am able to talk with my US friends for Hours, but I am not able to write one Englishsentence without Mistakes, horrible!

post #78 of 116

Well, I do remember reading that Elan is amogst the biggedt outsourcers.

In fact my Nordica HR carry "made in Slovenia" mark, my kids Heads Monters jr of old, had the same...

As for the question if skis sold in the country of origin are less expensive...Hell, the same HR (made for Nordica in Slovenia) had an MRSP of 1000€ (with bindings included- I didn't pay that price, btw, because that particular pair had been sitting at the shop for about 2-2,5 seasons before I bough 'em, the last pair after mine, was sold last december for about 350€,  still binfings included, some three seasons after it was commercialized) here.

post #79 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horst View Post

much easier to talk than to write! I am able to talk with my US friends for Hours, but I am not able to write one Englishsentence without Mistakes, horrible!


Let's just say your English is much better than my German... or french... or Spanish...

post #80 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horst View Post

much easier to talk than to write! I am able to talk with my US friends for Hours, but I am not able to write one Englishsentence without Mistakes, horrible!


I have had conversations with you... all I can say is thats your opinion. 

post #81 of 116

Hi Phil,

no no, that is not true, you have no evidence!That is it, if I talk for Hours, you have no Evidence, if I write, you have evidence forever ;-)!

Do you move to Tahoe? Did you have a look of our Website www.hartskis-europe.com? We are now starting to make a more professional Website and none of our Skis are made in China!

post #82 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horst View Post

Hi Phil,

no no, that is not true, you have no evidence!That is it, if I talk for Hours, you have no Evidence, if I write, you have evidence forever ;-)!

Do you move to Tahoe? Did you have a look of our Website www.hartskis-europe.com? We are now starting to make a more professional Website and none of our Skis are made in China!


I heard the Chinese ski was dropped, I never liked it. Good to see you are still involved. I saw Chris at SIA in January. It was good to see the success they had at the Olympics. 

post #83 of 116

Moment makes skis in Reno/Sparks, here is their take. http://www.momentskis.com/company.php

I can't comment on ski performace, I have never tried a pair.

post #84 of 116

I am not working with Chris, I do my own thing.  I think, he was expecting much more than one Broncemedall.

Our Skis are totally different to the US Skis, those are old fashioned, for example, they have not one Rocker, no really Fat Ski, the Skis from Luciano are three Years old, also the Designs. I am working with Specialists in every Field, I work with professional Freeriders, Skicrosser, Racer and the german Mogulheadcoach. If you ever come to Europe, Argentine or Chile, let me know, you could test as much as you want.

post #85 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horst View Post

I am not working with Chris, I do my own thing.  I think, he was expecting much more than one Broncemedall.

Our Skis are totally different to the US Skis, those are old fashioned, for example, they have not one Rocker, no really Fat Ski, the Skis from Luciano are three Years old, also the Designs. I am working with Specialists in every Field, I work with professional Freeriders, Skicrosser, Racer and the german Mogulheadcoach. If you ever come to Europe, Argentine or Chile, let me know, you could test as much as you want.


Let me get this straight...Now there are three Harts?

 

Hart-Japana

hart-USA

Hart-Europe? is your HART all caps to differentiate? 

 

Do you have a link to your site? 

post #86 of 116

Yes, there are three Hart. I did this since 1999, much longer than Chris. The owner of the Trademark at that Time was United Sports Group. After I meet Chris for the first Time, I registered for the Trademark in Europe. Since 2008, the TM is mine in Europe and because of an Agreement, I am able to sell Skis in South America, New Zealand and Australia. Chris only knows the Skifactories because of me, I drove him around Europe and showed him the Factories. I would never do that again! Now I have two own Presses and my own Molds, I do not have to copy what other Companies have, I do my own Shapes and own Construction. For example, we are now testing a new Carbon/Aluminium Material. It is called ASS Glare, Airbus is using it for the Wings of the new big A380 Aircraft. We do not only copy existing Constructions, because we do our own Skis. It is a difference between this and buying ready Skis, which you can buy with 5 differnt Trademarks on.

post #87 of 116

I forgott the Link www.hartskis-europe.com. The Website is not professional at that time and some of the Skis will are changed next Season!

post #88 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horst View Post

Yes, there are three Hart. I did this since 1999, much longer than Chris. The owner of the Trademark at that Time was United Sports Group. After I meet Chris for the first Time, I registered for the Trademark in Europe. Since 2008, the TM is mine in Europe and because of an Agreement, I am able to sell Skis in South America, New Zealand and Australia. Chris only knows the Skifactories because of me, I drove him around Europe and showed him the Factories. I would never do that again! Now I have two own Presses and my own Molds, I do not have to copy what other Companies have, I do my own Shapes and own Construction. For example, we are now testing a new Carbon/Aluminium Material. It is called ASS Glare, Airbus is using it for the Wings of the new big A380 Aircraft. We do not only copy existing Constructions, because we do our own Skis. It is a difference between this and buying ready Skis, which you can buy with 5 differnt Trademarks on.



post #89 of 116

Hi everyone.  I'm new here at EpicSki, and I'd just like to ask something.  Do I sense a little bit of animosity between Hart Europe and hart USA???  This is interesting.

post #90 of 116

Not only between Hart Europe and Hart USA! Ask Phil about some former Hart USA Guys. If he remembers, when we meet us the first time at the SIA Show three Year ago, how many of these Guys are still working with Hart? I think 0!

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