Where are we going to mount your skis?

Posted: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 at 8:00 am

Where are we going to mount your skis? Image

In a quick look this morning I found over 300 brands of skis for sale world wide this year.  While the big 10-12 make up a large part of the overall volume in ski sales the other 288 brands are all fighting a battle much like the craft brewers.  A few will make the leap and grow to unseat one of the big 12 but the vast majority will keep grinding out skis, some will come and some will go but I expect the overall number of brands and models to continue to inch up.


At the shop we are at a cross roads.  In the end we sell only what customers want to buy and with north of 200 choices of ski models just in skis designed for use in soft snow and backcountry it is tricky to have products consumers want on the shelf.


Last year over 75% of the skis we mounted in the shop were purchased somewhere else.  Mostly online but a few seemed to be hot off the press in someone’s garage.  I admire the entrepreneurial spirit of guys willing to start from scratch and crank out a few skis.   It creates a sense of pride of ownership knowing you might have the only pair in Missoula or even the whole state.


But it gets tricky for us.


Where exactly do you want to have those rad one of a kind skis mounted with bindings.  Are you mounting a Telemark binding or AT binding on them? Do the skis have a retention plate for bindings?  Did the manufacture print a mark on the skis for mounting?  Is there a range of possible positions on the ski to mount the binding, if so what is the explanation of it?


We can discuss and debate the location of bindings on skis that we sell, all day long.  The manufactures and Reps all have opinions and we have skied every ski on our wall and have a solid sense for what the best position is for a pair of bindings.


Show up with a pair of ON3p, Fat-ypus, or Rocky Mountain Underground or anyone else and guess what, we don’t know anything about them.    Our shop techs spend time learning about the bindings and the brands of skis we sell, but for that 123 underfoot ski with a pin tail and rocker in front, camber in the middle and a wide spot near the heel it is not our deal.


So when you get your “stoke on” and buy those sweet skis that no one in Missoula owns, be prepared to take a marker and draw a line on the ski to show us where you want the binding mounted.  Its your ski so its your deal.  We cannot make choices about location for bindings on products we don’t sell.


The other piece is we cannot guarantee the ski is built to withstand the rigors of Telemark bindings or AT bindings so it is buyer beware on the mount.  We are good at what we do but not that good.