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Tales from the ski shop.....

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I thought I would start a thread about the crazy stuff we see and hear at the ski shop. Now all of you who work at a ski shop and get frustrated or amazed at the stuff people bring in to work on or the crazy stuff they say, you now have a place to vent.

I will go first.

Last week I had a guy come in with some older gear that he bought at a ski swap to have the bindings adjusted to his boots. I take a look at the skis which are at least 2 generations old and point out the serious rust and gouges on the edges and base. But as the guy was a re-entry skier off the snow for about 10 years, the skis would be fine if they were fixed up and tell him what a major tune would cost. He tells me that is more than he paid for the skis and will pass on the tune,. OK, I say, then I look at the boots, They are older than the skis and beat pretty bad with rounded toes and heals. I then notice the size on the boots, 28.5. Now the guy is about 5'6" and I ask him what size street shoe he wears, he tells me a 9-9.5. I tell him that I can gurantee that the boots are at least 2 sizes to big for him. He insists that he tried them on and they fit great. I explain to him that I wear a 10.5-11 street shoe and wear a 27.5 ski boot and that there is no way he takes a 28.5. I then take him back to our boot fitting area and have him take off a shoe so I could measure his foot. Of course he measures out to a 26-26.5 boot and then I measure my foot for him to see.

I can see the guy get a bit deflated so I ask him how much he paid for his boots. 50 bucks he tells me. I tell him that we take trade ins and offer him $35 on a trade, knowing that the boot will probably never sell do to the poor condition. He declines. I ask again about the tune and again he declines and tells me to just adjust the bindings. I tell him to come back to see me after he skis on those boots and he realizes that he is all over the place on his skiis and can't control them and that I would still honor the trade in.

My guess he will try once or twice and throw the skiis in the corner of the garage never to see the light of day again.

Why do people cheap out on themselves?

Rick G
post #2 of 10

Guys like this are the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by houstonski View Post

I bought new skis about 6 months ago and have not skied on them yet. I figured since they had sat for a long time without use and my trip is a little more than a week away I would go get a coat of wax on them.

 

Well when I get them back and hold them up to light, there are visible scratch/scuff/hairline marks on various parts of the bases. The scratches don't run parallel to the skis' bases, and they don't just occur in one or two areas. When I run my fingernail over them, I cannot feel the scratches, but they are definitely there. Overall, they appear to be shallow.

 

Other than that, there was one or two small streaks of wax on the bases, which I assume is excess that was not scraped off properly. Also, there was still some wax left on the edges, which I assume should have been scraped off as well. The majority of the base material seems to have absorbed wax well, as they are glossy.

 

 

This seems like a poor wax job to me. Should I take the skis back? Should I not worry about it and just ski on them? I know it may seem like I'm too worried about nothing, but these are brand new skis and I want to make sure that they are in the best condition when I first take them out.

post #3 of 10

Don't forget about the peeps that are so used to skiing on putty knives that they can't ski at all on properly tuned skis and come storming back accusing you of ruining them after a great tune.  Do the tune over (AKA Detune  them) and give them back hahaha...

post #4 of 10

wow, I have never heard of a shop being so professional. Kudos to you OP. Sad that the customer could not see the light of day.

 

post #5 of 10

always trying to get the tourists to spend some money up here at our shops, I point out that they will be spending a couple grand on the ski trip, why not spend a little more and maximize the enjoyment factor with appropriate gear.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I recently had another gem come into the shop. 30ish with a pair of 20 year old skis with out of date bindings. He wants a tune and we tell him about the bindings and gently suggest he thinks of updating his gear. Nah, he says, just give me a tune. Since we are not touching his bindings we have him sign a release and I write up a tune. Then I take him over to the ski rack and show him some appropriate skis that wouldn't break the bank and on sale. He tells me that he would think about it.

So just before he leaves the store, he turns to me and asks, "So, where can I go online and buy some skis cheaper?"

I actually start to explain to him why he should buy from a local shop and then I think, Nah and just tell him to have a nice day. Thankfully I wasn't around when he came back for his skis.

Rick G
post #7 of 10

there was a column years ago called: the bike shop. in a bicycle racing magazine. it's an area with a lot of entertainment value. bring on the tales.

 

I was in a shop once when a very particular looking customer just discovered that the bases on his brand new mantras had 4 dimples on each ski.  I smiled to myself and quietly slipped out the door. I didn't want to be the fly on the wall when the s hit the fan.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

always trying to get the tourists to spend some money up here at our shops, I point out that they will be spending a couple grand on the ski trip, why not spend a little more and maximize the enjoyment factor with appropriate gear.



As a tourist, I have to agree. It's my feeling that I'll get the best equipment (and a better deal) from shops local to where I ski (not live). I made a point of buying my skis from a shop close to Tahoe, and will have all my future bootfitting/etc. done there. I found the level of professionalism at the area shop much higher overall when compared to shops where I lived in the Bay Area (CA). I had Bay Area shops recommending gear that would have been OK (dude, you need Mantras! Everyone in Tahoe skis them! Dude!) but seemed more based on the salesperson's preferences, and not mine.

 

I know there are some exceptions, but the shops in my area are not that great--or else are just not a good match-up. California Ski in Berkeley is perhaps the exception.

 

Oh, and I used to work at a bike shop before I packed off to college, the stories are similar.

post #9 of 10

I've forgotten more stories than I remember, but one stands out from the first year I worked at a resort in the rental department.

 

We had plenty of broken skis come in.  One day though, we had a fella walk in who had brought his own boots, but rented our skis.  He was complaining how our skis had broken his boots.  He held up his ski, and lo' and behold, the entire sole of his boot was still clicked into the binding - sans boot.  Looking down at his foot, the upper portion of the boot was still buckled on but he was standing on the floor in his socks.  The boots were about 15 - 20 years old and the plastic had simply deteriorated to the point where it broke.  All in all, a pretty amusing sight.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn View Post

I've forgotten more stories than I remember, but one stands out from the first year I worked at a resort in the rental department.

 

We had plenty of broken skis come in.  One day though, we had a fella walk in who had brought his own boots, but rented our skis.  He was complaining how our skis had broken his boots.  He held up his ski, and lo' and behold, the entire sole of his boot was still clicked into the binding - sans boot.  Looking down at his foot, the upper portion of the boot was still buckled on but he was standing on the floor in his socks.  The boots were about 15 - 20 years old and the plastic had simply deteriorated to the point where it broke.  All in all, a pretty amusing sight.


I remember a class of never evers I had where one girl came stomping from the rental shop in two left boots.  I took her back in to the front of the line and pointed at her feet asking the rental shop assistant (, a friend of mine from high school)  "what's wrong with this picture?"   Neither of us could keep from laughing, but we got her set up and I went back out to teach the lesson.  I never did figure out who ended up with two right boots though haha..

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