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Expectations of ski gear shortages?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
In the Fischer Factory Fire thread I posted this.
TriciaPug wrote:
extremerob wrote:
They have some vintage fire trucks in Ukraine

Thankfully doesn't appear there were any fatalities - maybe a "lucky" thing it happened in a year when demand is likely to be depressed for new ski equipment Puzzled


Actually I'm not so sure about the low demand.
What I have found out while talking to Mike Hattrup recently is that Fischer is one brand that has a bit of stress on the supply at this time.
Right when COVID shut everything down, several shops cut back on orders. Now they are seeing protocols in place for the winter and they are trying to increase orders but manufacturers produced based on orders (read conservative surplus)and don't have a ton of surplus to spread around.


Part of the reason I said this is because my husband was doing some research and interviewing product managers from several brands, including the Mike Hattrup from Fischer(among others) while he was working on this article.
https://bit.ly/2TAcErF

A question I have for you all, is there a difference in buying between the US and other countries based on proximity to skiing?

I get the feeling that many people in European countries have to travel to ski while the US market has a broader net of local skiing options.
I could be wrong. (don't tell anyone I admitted that Wink )
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think this graphic goes some way to answer the question, yes there is a large number of people in Europe who do not have access to local ski options, let alone same country ski options.

Unfortunately I can't find statistics on the % of skiers by country that stay local / travel. But, I would say that a large percentage of skiers from the UK, Spain, Poland, Netherlands, Czech, even the Germans do travel cross border to ski.

In terms of buying habits in the UK as a distributor I am sure there are people that are better qualified on this forum to comment. My habits as a consumer have changed, I am less likely to invest this year in new equipment knowing I may not use at all or get very limited use out of it. I will also say that I have noticed Ski Bartlett (leading independent London based supplier) seem to have limited the stock they are carrying this year, at least this was on certain items I looked at.

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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@TriciaPug, yes we do have to travel from the UK (unless you count skiing in Scotland, which most British skiers have never done).
To give a US resident some geographical perspective. From the south east of england via the channel tunnel (which 1hr 15 mins from our house) it take us 12 hours to drive to the French alps door to door. Flying to France/Switzerland/Austria/northern Italy-1 hr 15 mins to 2 hrs -ish , plus a drive/train to a mountain is anything between under an hour to 2-3hrs. My personal record, travelling hand baggage only, and flying to Geneva was 4hrs 30 mins-but we live 15 mins from the UK's second biggest airport. The car and tunnel will be the transport of choice for many this winter ( if we get the chance to go). My guess is that the vast majority of skiers in the alps on any winter day are there on a week's holiday. In big french resorts a couple of hours away from urban areas a Saturday is a "transfer day"-with one week's guests leaving their week's rental apartment or hotel and the next lot arriving. It's a great day to ski as it's always quieter.
For the Dutch and Belgians-they are probably 9-10 hours from the mountains by car.

Where to buy ski kit? These days a lot more online-including online suppliers in mainland europe shipping stuff. Clothing-online-though we do have ski shops in the UK. I'd say members of this forum, who are by definition ski nuts, are probably less likely than the average UK 1 week a year recreational skier, to go and buy equipment in the UK (except in the post season sales).Rarely or never in in a ski resort as the prices tend to be sky high. It's an interesting question as I was looking at a particular new for this season ski on the salomon website and it had sold out in the length I wanted.
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TriciaPug wrote:
...is there a difference in buying between the US and other countries based on proximity to skiing?
I get the feeling that many people in European countries have to travel to ski while the US market has a broader net of local skiing options....
It depends what you mean. Europe's a big place too. UK peoples' perspective is mostly abotu flying somewhere to ski, unless you live in Scotland perhaps. Finnish people have plenty of local hills, but they'll probably fly to the Alps because they're better and cheaper. There are a lot of "destination" resorts in Europe, where as many in the US have less of that aspect, but the bigger places are similar. English people mostly know about "destinations", hence they have a different perspective.

I've no idea how that affects retail, but in Whistler at least the English are known for having lots of money to spend (albeit not on tips), and they have been a significant part of the tourist economy in recent years in the tourist areas. You don't see them elsewhere. It's geography, just a marketing issue. I think English people probably own skis more than locals do, and like to have recent gear. It's been a relatively rich country recently, something which is perhaps someone dependent on how successful their exit from the EU is.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@philwig, Laughing I do realize Europe is pretty big, but I was unsure how to field the question.

It's kind of funny, I grew up in Northern Michigan and when I told people I was from Michigan, they'd immediatly say "I've been to Detroit" which was no where near close to where I grew up. Laughing

The discussion we're having on Pugski/SkiTalk is that people are not planning on traveling, but most have options to ski close to home, so they're spend the money that is usually spent on travel for ski equipment.

The general tone I get here on SnowHeads is that those who aren't spending money on travel just aren't spending money on skiing at all.
How much of that is because many members here NEED to travel to ski?

*Now I live in Reno/Tahoe which is 2000 miles/ 3220 km from where I used to live.
If I still lived in Michigan, I'd probablby ski on the tiny hills and be happy, but fortunatley I live where the mountains are substantial.
One thing is for sure, Canada isn't likely to open up the border if we don't get a whole lot smarter.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@TriciaPug, I have skied in North Wales which was only about 50 miles away from home, plus a few times on dry slopes with fresh snow on top, there isn't enough snow very often though.

Haven't spoken to any French friends to know how they are reacting to all this, I know people who live in Grenoble and Annecy who can drive to a fair number of different hills.

I seem to have "long covid", I'm not making any assumptions that I will ski again so wouldn't need any new equipment. I don't need anything anyway.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
TriciaPug wrote:
The discussion we're having on Pugski/SkiTalk is that people are not planning on traveling, but most have options to ski close to home, so they're spend the money that is usually spent on travel for ski equipment.

The general tone I get here on SnowHeads is that those who aren't spending money on travel just aren't spending money on skiing at all.
How much of that is because many members here NEED to travel to ski?

I’d say that’s pretty accurate. Most members of this forum live in the UK, so the only ones who really have access to “local” skiing are those in Scotland. There is a little bit of skiing in England and Wales, but it’s generally not high enough to be reliable more than a few days out. Nobody really travels to ski in England and Wales, so those hills will largely be for the small number who live nearby.

If you live in England or Wales, travelling to ski in Scotland is just as much effort as travelling to France, so unless there is a compelling reason to go to Scotland, most people will choose the Alps. If you can’t get to the alps, then your gear is not going to see any use this year, so why buy more?

As you might expect, there is a much bigger range of ski gear available in mainland Europe than in the UK, if that’s relevant.

In Europe, quite a few countries have a lot of skiing available, but there are also a lot of people who will drive across borders to get to the mountains. The Alps a quite central, and therefore accessible to a large number of people within a few hours, but of course this is much easier for those not on an island on the edge of the continent.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
rjs wrote:
@TriciaPug, I have skied in North Wales which was only about 50 miles away from home, plus a few times on dry slopes with fresh snow on top, there isn't enough snow very often though.

Haven't spoken to any French friends to know how they are reacting to all this, I know people who live in Grenoble and Annecy who can drive to a fair number of different hills.

I seem to have "long covid", I'm not making any assumptions that I will ski again so wouldn't need any new equipment. I don't need anything anyway.


Emphasis on not making any assumptions. What we know today is not what we thought a month ago and what we know in a month may be different than what we know now.

I'm probably one of the most optimistic people you could imagine, but even I know that there in not a high probability of a "normal" anything in the near future.
That being said, I plan on taking proper precautions and enjoying the snow at whatever capacity I can.
I have two passes. One IKON which covers two resorts witin 45 minute drive, and a Mt Rose pass which is a ski area, not a resort. Mt Rose is usually quiet mid week, so quiet that it's almost lonely. I have more hope of skiing there in a cautious covid manner than a resort with a village vibe.

The key to any hope of skiing this winter is flexibility. Anyone who is rigid in their thinking is going to be very uncomfortable.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
TriciaPug wrote:
A question I have for you all, is there a difference in buying between the US and other countries based on proximity to skiing?

I get the feeling that many people in European countries have to travel to ski while the US market has a broader net of local skiing options.


It might help if instead of "Europe" vs "US" you think of European countries vs US states. Some are very large in territory, some are small and can be driven across in an hour or two. Some have 1-2 million population, others have 30m-plus. Some are wealthy (skiing is not usually a sport for the poor), some are not. Some have mountains some are flat.

Given the relations between mountains, physical size, population and perhaps GDP, it's not a surprise in the above chart to see Austria Switzerland Italy and much less France to see the ratios they have. Spain also has the Pyrenees but doesn't even feature there... and you could always chuck in Andorra to see where visitors completely overwhelm the locals!
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