Maybe a week or so ago, one of our customers came in for a boot tweak on her Dobie 130's. She had bought them maybe a week earlier, skied them a bit and dropped in for a 5th met punch. While I was marking the punches, she mentioned that she wanted to start demoing some skis b/c she wasn't really liking what she had. I got the boots on the press and we went over to the ski wall to talk skis and set her up with a demo progression.
So.............She's maybe 5' 9" 135# late thirtyish and very fit. She has a powder ski that she likes but just doesn't use all that much and a mid 90's/170 cm. ski that she skis all the time but is falling out of love with. In talking to her, she thought that she didn't like the ski she has b/c it doesn't flex well in rough or soft snow. I know her current ski very well and feel the same way about it so I had a good idea of where to go with this. We talked about the Sultan 94, Sentinel 94, and Blizzi Atlas, but I started to focus in on the FX 94. I thought that it would be the perfect blend of characteristics for her. The fly in the ointment was that we have already sold almost all of our Kastles and weren't going to be able to mount a pair for demo b/c we were down to 3 pair total.
So what to do? Well......I did something that I seldom do which is tell the customer to just buy it, and if she didn't like it, she could bring it back and I'd trade it for something else. I did this because I know her existing ski very well and she was pretty clear about what her dislike of it is so I thought I could nail the better choice for her. I was a little concerned that she was between sizes on the 166 vs the 176 but I made a gut call there and sold her the 166.
So.......saw her last night as she dropped in for a minor boot tweak and we talked about her skis.
She was utterly blown away by what the FX 94 could do. It gripped as well or better than what she had but was so much more nimble and playful that she said she was dropping off rocks and jumps following her kids and doing stuff with confidence that she hadn't done in years. The quickness and light weight belies the skis power though and she was also impressed with how the ski chewed through crud. After the fact, she admitted that she had been a little skeptical of the shorter ski and the the not very burly reputation. In talking to her last night, she came up with some very interesting thoughts.
Perhaps the most important one was that she had maybe taken herself a little too seriously in the past and was quite surprised that an easygoing ski was "good enough" for her. She did mention that she thought a 170 or 172 might have been a little more stable (they don't make that size of course) but then she paused, thought a sec and said....."you know, this ski is so much fun and so confidence inspiring that if I occasionally hit a little too much speed for it, I'm just gonna slow the hell down a notch"
The point of this long drawn out anecdote is that as good skiers mature, they often become more cognizant of their gear and their own real world capabilities. When this happens, they tend to park their egos and choose slightly less aggro skis than what one might assume they would. It's funny that less experienced skiers will often choose the really aggro stuff when they don't really need it or can't handle it. Compromises abound in ski choices and the most important thing may sometimes be to not take one's own capabilities too gottdang seriously and choose something a little more manageable.
Better skiers or those with a lot of gear testing experience generally figure this out faster than others.
note: edited to correct her weight...........
Edited by SierraJim - 12/17/10 at 5:29pm