Henrik Kristofferson Leaving Rossignol ... Joining Van Deer?

dj61

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@dj61 I don't know what did I write to "smear to Marcel's reputation and business instincts". But I do have at least some approximate numbers how much proper racing service itself costs (ski production, design costs, marketing costs, ski federation pools contracts etc. are not included in this at all), and the way they were grabbing every available serviceman, plus specific racer, which is most likely not doing it for free, it's not really hard to calculate who can afford this and who can't. Even if it's 100% factless in your mind, and even if I have no real numbers from this specific case, I'm pretty sure numbers are not all that much different then numbers in rest of industry. With at least very approximate range of what Hirscher earned, it's pretty much safe to say, it's not his money behind this. If you consider this as "smearing Hirscher's reputation" then I can't help it, but it certainly wasn't meant to smear anyone's reputation.
In short: you are not Marcel's accountant, have no idea who else is involved, have no clue about the intentions, goals, plans and strategies but still you claim with confidence that "Hirscher doesn't really do much with this, except for being poster boy for this brand". There is no such thing as "I do not have specific numbers in this case". You do not have the numbers, period. So these are just your fantasies presented as "facts".
 

Primoz

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In short: you are not Marcel's accountant, have no idea who else is involved, have no clue about the intentions, goals, plans and strategies but still you claim with confidence that "Hirscher doesn't really do much with this, except for being poster boy for this brand". There is no such thing as "I do not have specific numbers in this case". You do not have the numbers, period. So these are just your fantasies presented as "facts".
I wouldn't say it's fantasy, as I actually have some facts, but anyway, let's call it fantasy, if it makes you feel better. But just for info as I'm a bit curious... do you have some inside info proving that this is really Hirscher's and Hirscher's only thing, or it's also as you called just fantasies presented as "facts"?
 

DocGKR

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"How did you obtain these skis? Did you walk into a store & buy or did you have a "deal’? Lets see the merchant receipt if it’s the former."

Hate to burst your bubble, but I am just an anonymous person who does not get "deals". I purchased the AM88C and AM98 new from the Augment USA website (and yeah, there were some issues with the rep); the recreational GS ski was lightly used and acquired from a ski shop in Colorado. I can probably search around for the receipts if you truly need them.
 

dj61

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I wouldn't say it's fantasy, as I actually have some facts, but anyway, let's call it fantasy, if it makes you feel better. But just for info as I'm a bit curious... do you have some inside info proving that this is really Hirscher's and Hirscher's only thing, or it's also as you called just fantasies presented as "facts"?
I am not the one making claims here. I am merely questioning yours. Look up the argumentum ad ignorantiam.
 

dj61

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I suspect that unless you are posting from within the Hirscher/Van Deer/Red Bull tent that @Primoz has a fairly decent handle on industry gossip as to what the facts are.
Hard to see the logic in this. Just because I am in education, I know math?
 

Brian Finch

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"How did you obtain these skis? Did you walk into a store & buy or did you have a "deal’? Lets see the merchant receipt if it’s the former."

Hate to burst your bubble, but I am just an anonymous person who does not get "deals". I purchased the AM88C and AM98 new from the Augment USA website (and yeah, there were some issues with the rep); the recreational GS ski was lightly used and acquired from a ski shop in Colorado. I can probably search around for the receipts if you truly need them.

First off, in any dialog of significance, we have to be willing to offend if we're really going to have a legitimate discussion. @DocGKR has actually just validated my concerns here. high level skiing is a matter of incremental improvement over seasons and seasons. As @Primoz eluded to, producing a winning (or even functional) ski year after year is an art & takes real R&D. The only reason I am a Blossom dealer is that many of my clients have been hooked by the "feel".

Tossing any advanced skier on a product where the supply chain is in question places the development of the skier in jeopardy. Year over year, a Head feels like a Head and a Volkl a Volkl. But to put a skier on a product that you may never replicate is foolhardy. That's my talking at a higher level.

I've agreed to put a pin in this for a year for @Philpug ; Happy too, as I've been on the other side of these soft launches & have a pretty solid idea how this one will go as well. A handful of skis and some used samples happening to turn up is all too familiar.
 

fatbob

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Hard to see the logic in this. Just because I am in education, I know math?
Well I'd hope so at some minimal level. Could be difficult totting up marks, putting together scoring schemes, dealing with pupil/student performance statistics and educational value add without.

But I truly don't understand your point - just because he's in and around ski racing doesn't mean he has all the inside info on Van Deer? Sure. Don't think he has claimed otherwise. But he's probably talked to a fair number of people who have various degrees of knowledge because it's new and interesting in the world of ski-racing hence reasonably sourced gossip. Unless he's been carefully curating and building up a catfish/walter mitty personality at the elevated heights of WC circuit photog for years and decides now is the moment to really cash those chips in.
 

HardDaysNight

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In short: you are not Marcel's accountant, have no idea who else is involved, have no clue about the intentions, goals, plans and strategies but still you claim with confidence that "Hirscher doesn't really do much with this, except for being poster boy for this brand". There is no such thing as "I do not have specific numbers in this case". You do not have the numbers, period. So these are just your fantasies presented as "facts".
Without being MH’s accountant it’s crystal clear that he’s not footing the entire funding bill for this venture and never claimed he was. Nor should he (unless he’s insane) when he has credible partners/investors aligned with him.
 

James

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It’s ok to bury Bode for just about anything, including he can’t ski off piste (!), but Hirscher is above it all? Haven’t seen any smearing though.
The whole Augment thing is a lot of red flags.
 

ScotsSkier

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The only reason I am a Blossom dealer is that many of my clients have been hooked by the "feel".

So now we have it! Sorry Brian, would have been much more honest if you had disclosed this up front! As is well known here I am an Augment ambassador (as can be seen on the website https://augmentskisna.com/collections/master-pro-giant-slalom-skis). And as is also obvious from my helmet decals.

It is also well known here that I am NOT on them or promoting them just because of a "Bro" deal. I tested them when I was having huge issues with Rossi and found Augment to be head and shoulders above every other race ski that was normally accessible to a mere mortal like myself. And that includes some genuine ex WC skis i have owned. And my honest reviews of the skis were written long before i had any relationship with Augment NA. As a result of my testing I switched to Augment and sold off multiple different brands of race skis I had been on. And yes, I have also bought a lot of my quiver. Some good deals? yes, just like most people in the industry, I get access to some specials or end of season clearances. As you and I both know you are in exactly the same position and have equally taken full advantage of this. And yes, full disclosure, I have also taken advantage of similar deals from you.

Also to be clear, I DO NOT SELL AND AM NOT A DEALER FOR AUGMENT AND DO NOT RECEIVE ANY COMMISSIONS FOR THIS. So, unlike a dealer, I do not have any $$$ incentive to promote a product. I do give athletes the opportunity to test the product, by skiing on my skis. And subsequent sales have been based on these athletes assessment of the quality of the skis. These sales may have been through one of the few retailers or through the website since Augment NA also had a Direct to Consumer option (DTC) - just like Blossom/Premier skis. And yes, I also negotiated a USSA racer discount, just like most every other race ski brand so not at MSRP. (Are any skis sales at MSRP? Aren't most at Suggested Retail Selling Price )

As to the ski "flex" being based on measurement of the skis when they come out of the mold. Yes, of course this is the case. This is pretty much standard industry practice outside a few WC level racers who can specify exactly how the skis is built and where additional epoxy/metal etc. is applied. Do you think that when Atomic/Fischer offer stiff/med/soft flexes in their retail race stock they are calculating how much epoxy goes into each flex? Why do you think Atomic has the flex hand written? . And having tested several in different flexes, yes, you can feel the difference. Can i tell a 5 from a 6? Probably not. But I can certainly tell a 4 from a 6. And most of the big names build the real race skis (not the retail race stock) in a separate facility, not in the same factory.

And yes, I am very aware of the frustration that the lack of Augment product caused. It is equally frustrating to me, knowing how good the product is. I know some of my athletes had to wait far too long and this also led to cancelled orders. This is always an issue with lower volume distribution (and which i am sure you also knew from your days importing Blossom). And i also have no direct insight as to how/if/when Augment or Van Deere will come back to the US. I do have a strong suspicion that there may be rationalization of the branding but that is simply an educated guess. For me personally it also creates an issue. Do I now think about changing brands? My current race quiver will get me through next season although I had hoped to switch flex on my slaloms. Or do I take advantage of other opportunities. Unless the alternatives work better for me, I would be reluctant to change.

As to the Hirscher/Van Deere politics and financing, i also have no insider information. It was pretty obvious where the backing was coming from but that does not make it official yet.

You say you have not seen any Augments on the hill. Fair enough. I can equally state that the only Blossom race skis I have seen on the hill have been the ones I tested (plus the Ski talk Siderals for non-race skis). Does that mean that Blossom are also virtual or "Bigfoot" skis? I dont believe so. And I have also never seen Blossom on the WC, unless you count the Rossi race room skis that Aldo was building for them.

So, long post, but lets tone down the negative commentary just to promote a different brand . This is not normally an effective marketing strategy. And i know you are better than that but for some reason you seem to have a bee in your bonnet about Augment. No idea why.

ETA: If you make out West, happy to put you on my skis so you can find out for yourself! ogsmile
 

Brian Finch

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I have no doubt those are fantastic skis that you own. What I have tried to highlight is that as a boutique dealer / tester for ExoticSkis from time to time is that being able to replicate set ups is key.
 

Tricia

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First off, in any dialog of significance, we have to be willing to offend if we're really going to have a legitimate discussion.

I'd prefer the willingness to challenge, not offend
I do appreciate healthy cynicism and I especially appreciate being challenged, both of which are key to healthy discussion.

Being willing to offend is, well... offensive.
 

DocGKR

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"Tossing any advanced skier on a product where the supply chain is in question places the development of the skier in jeopardy. Year over year, a Head feels like a Head and a Volkl a Volkl. But to put a skier on a product that you may never replicate is foolhardy. That's my talking at a higher level."

Well, I have been pretty clear about describing my progression on skis for Masters racing and what I experienced while trying out skis for different events. I have no particular ties to any specific manufacturer, so use whatever works best for me in each event: https://www.skitalk.com/threads/00-27-43-02-of-heart-thumping-action.26868/#post-736803. Fortunately with racing skis that is pretty easy to determine, as the timer does not lie, despite how a ski might "feel". Also, for racing I always get 2 pairs of any ski I will be using for each event.

It is mainly for the last reason why I am not currently racing on any Augments, as trying to get them was a bit difficult the past 2 years, as noted in ScotsSkier's excellent post above.

I am less concerned about that for recreational skis, so I'm quite delighted with having fun on my Augment AM98, AM88C, and Augment recreational GS ski, just like I enjoy my other recreational skis: https://www.skitalk.com/threads/whats-your-quiver.44/page-40#post-725430.
 
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wnyskier

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Back on topic..... Something is afoot. This translated from Skiweltcup.TV:

"Marcel Hirscher emphasized in an interview with "Red Bulletin" that you have to change the way you deal with athletes. Hirscher also makes people sit up and take notice with critical statements about the ski circus: "I'm convinced that I'll still see that you can't deal with athletes like I did in my day. The word 'yourself' will clearly come to the fore." Hirscher continues: "As a skier, you're sold. That does something to you. In a way, I was the serf of others.” Hirscher continues: “I almost felt my way to the pain limit of the system. And yet: Today it is completely unimaginable how I endured it! The team I was with was put in front of me.” The eight-time overall World Cup winner is aware that a rethink is necessary and still doesn't know how he endured it all...."

Doesn't take much to read between the lines on this.....
 

Swiss Toni

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According to recent an article in a Swiss newspaper, shortly before the start of last season Rossignol agreed to Henrik Kristoffersen’s request to use Marker bindings. According to Jörg Roten, Kristoffersen's coach, it was not clear this spring whether the concession would continue to apply. So they tested other ski brands - and decided on Van Deer. The video on Van deer’s Instagram shows him skiing on Van Deer GS skis mounted with Marker bindings.

Van Deer have recently set up a ski tuning center close to a chair lift in Annaberg-Lungötz, Marcel Hirscher’s home town, where the skis will be setup tuned and tested. Augment will continue to make the skis, last year Van Deer sold 1600 pairs, this year they are aiming to sell 4000 and want to double the volume from year to year without losing the “manufactory” character. There is no outside capital in the company at the moment, but Dominic Tritscher did not rule out the possibility of a partner like Red Bull becoming an investor.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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last year Van Deer sold 1600 pairs
I don't think Augment sold 160, a tenth of that in the US last year ... and that was a full year ... Van Deer started late.
 

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