mtn rep for the gear on my feet
- Nov 12, 2015
- PNW aka SEA
What's the theory behing the fact that many Beer League and other high-end piste skis are mainly targeted (and sold) in Europe and less in the US/Canada? Is it our love for groomer skiing (everything off-pist is considered back-country, even within the boundary)? Or is it that in North Amareica, 88 mm underfoot is - by some - considered a 'narrow ski'?
Any theories? Actual strategies perhaps? I never really went in to the business side of things... this seems like a good question to start off with.
Not hard. Euro areas are huge, so if only 15% of the total area sees grooming, that's still a ton of territory. Add glaciation, tree line, etc... off piste hazards, and you have a home built 'piste' culture that happens to align nicely with the needs of the 10 day a year holiday crowds.
Western US areas, while large, are nothing compared to Europe. There aren't glacier issues, so off piste 'inbounds' skiing is by and large comparatively safe, so we spend more time there making use of all the available acreage to play. 88 isn't a narrow ski, but IMHO, is the most versatile width to cover a huge range of conditions and geographies, more so than a dedicated piste ski. It really isn't a difficult or contentious issue. And yes, I love wide skis as well just in case fat ski love folks get hurt by the notion that their 'non-standard' preference is under attack. I don't have a twitter account, either.
Racing/high performance carving is very much a niche experience in N.American skiing. We just don't like to work on refinement. It's a cultural thing that encompasses much of how we view the world.