fatbob

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So what does it mean? The 3 brands that put the most money into athletes get the highest rankings?

Be nice to see the tables adjusted on a points/$ basis.
 

Muleski

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It means that Head spends more money than everybody else on their athletes, Rossi second, Atomic third. Though the highest single paid guy is on Atomic, and the highest paid woman, at the start of the season, was on Head. Now the top earners of each gender are on Atomic {See MS's recent signing}.

This has nothing to do, whatsoever, with the quality of the skis that anybody on this site can get their hands on, unless somehow they can get lightly used WC skis, which is getting harder and harder as the techs hold them. {However, large bundles of US cash can produce results, under the table, behind some closed doors}.

Closest skis obtainable by "us", and used by their athletes on the WC is probably Stockli. And most of those results, outside of speed are Vicki Rebensburg.

Of course a lot of companies built a WC stock ski that actually does make it's way to non WC athletes. But they are close. Nobody is buying them.

I don't know why they even keep track of this. Manufacturers pay into every national pool, produce the skis, contract the skiers......and they want it, so it's done.

When Johan Eliasch came on the seen, the CEO and majority owner of Head, he just started to stockpile athletes.

Another interesting fact.....WC athletes very, very rarely sign a contract where they favor product over compensation. Money leads, and seals the deals.
 

hbear

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Hard to turn away guaranteed money of course....
 

Muleski

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The guys and ladies who produce those big point results are the ones who also earn "real money" in terms of ski/boot contracts. High concentration of points among few skiers. Same way with compensation. Those winning globes, winning races, constant podiums and threats.....have the best contracts. Once you get down the WCSL, it almost disappears and it becomes about product and support as you're not getting paid much, if anything. Exceptions would be those who were at or near the top when their last contract was inked, and who's performance is not what it once was. They're still getting paid......for now.

The income disparity, from all sources, is just huge in the sport.
 

Primoz

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@Muleski I wouldn't say "skis that anybody on this site can get their hands on" as I'm sure there are few that have this sort of skis and boots in their garage ;) But thing is, majority will really never see these sort of equipment anywhere except on tv. And you are 100% spot on with what these rankings mean. It's just who pays most, not who have best product, even if we are talking about top WC stock skis/boots only. And it means even less when it comes to skis people can buy in stores.
Why then keep having these sort of rankings? Simple... so people who spend most (mainly Eliasch) can brag how great their company is ;)
 

cantunamunch

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Right, fine, we- get the Head and Atomic scores. We can squint and sort of see Solly/Rossi/Stockli and Fischer placements as somewhat natural.

Would someone like to explain Nordica's and Dynastar's strategy here?
 

fatbob

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They aren't really the "race" brand for their owners any more? Same coudl be said for Solly.

Though as Blizzard doesn't appear on the charts at all maybe they are only a punter race brand for Tecnica group and Nordica is their serious brand.
 

ScottL

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There's nothing difficult about buying race skis, except that most shops don't stock them because there is a very limited market for them. Just go to your local shop, and order them now for this coming fall. You too can have the exact same ski that Marcel and Mikaela use.
 
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They aren't really the "race" brand for their owners any more? Same coudl be said for Solly.

Though as Blizzard doesn't appear on the charts at all maybe they are only a punter race brand for Tecnica group and Nordica is their serious brand.
It is interesting seeing the division under the roofs of some companies. Atomic/Salomon, Blizzard/Nordica and Rossignol/Dynastar when much is just the graphics on the skis. The last is the most interesting when there are numerous athletes on Rossignol skis and blue Lange boots and not the white/orange Rossignol boots.
 

cantunamunch

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The last is the most interesting
It's amazingly interesting - especially when one looks at the contrast between splits in women's SL and women's GS.

Some of the rankings look like power curves - like womens' super G. That would be ~expected if there are extremely dominant athletes.

Some of the rankings look like Snow White and 7 dwarfs (which would entirely fit @Muleski 's spending and signing explanation above) - like Men's downhill and Super G.

Now the women's GS gets really interesting because the splits are relatively even - almost like each company has signed a large pool of comparable athletes any of whom might have off days for a multitude of reasons.

So...how would a Nordica or Dynastar race program manager look at the above numbers and decide what to do?

They aren't really the "race" brand for their owners any more? Same coudl be said for Solly.
I'm sure there IS a corporate visibility strategy in both - I am just not sure what in the blazes it would be.
 
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fatbob

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There's nothing difficult about buying race skis, except that most shops don't stock them because there is a very limited market for them. Just go to your local shop, and order them now for this coming fall. You too can have the exact same ski that Marcel and Mikaela use.
I don't think even the No 2 male and female athletes on Atomic can get the exact same skis MH and MS use so punters...ha
 

HeluvaSkier

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This has nothing to do, whatsoever, with the quality of the skis that anybody on this site can get their hands on, unless somehow they can get lightly used WC skis, which is getting harder and harder as the techs hold them.
Honestly, I don't know why anyone would want a pair of true WC skis (talking real WC stuff... not the foo-foo race stock shop product). I've skied several examples from Rossi/Dynastar and some Fischer and Elan examples. While, they are all a PITA to ski on, the Rossi/Dynastar examples I skied were especially awful... set up for skiing injected ice... almost no base bevel to speak of, 4 or 5 degree side bevels, a totally different shape and mounting point from the 'race stock' ski you can find in shops and stiff enough to jack up a full-sized SUV with. They were basically un-skiable on 'normal' snow outside of a course and meant to be skied by a 200lb 20-something guy with sub-15% body fat at 35-40 mph in sub-10m turns. No thanks.
 

Muleski

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Honestly, I don't know why anyone would want a pair of true WC skis. No thanks.
I agree 100%+. But people are obsessed with this. And as I think you know, there are about five grades of race skis built by most ski companies who are producing a TON of race product. The difference between the skis that even a 40 point skier buys {BUYS} through a US race department and race rep is absolutely nothing like what the top of the WCSL uses. Not close.

I rarely say "I know this game.....inside and out", but in this case I do.

I didn't want to jump all over the comment about ordering ideal skis to Mikaela and Hirscher form your friendly Atomic metal shop. Ahhh.....no. Nobody on the planet has "the same skis as Hirscher", and clearly no Atomic eraser in the US......simce NONE of his skis are built by Atomic! Well, not true.....his SG skis are.

We have a number of real WC skis, used by guys who have won Olympic Gold, and WC globes. They are no fun to free ski. My daughter was fully comped and had "select stock" skis form her company. Basically the skis that a US WC woman didn't want in her stable. At one point she had a couple of pairs of skis that were discarded by their top female athlete, and they were "too much".

The things are purpose built, in the case of the best for them, very specifically, and that purpose is pretty much unlike most of us need. Can some of us ski them? Sure. Best tool? I'd debate that. When they are free.....changes the equation.

The GS skis used by the top men can vary tremendously, as they do NOT all ski the same way. Ligety, Pinturault, Math Faivre and Jansrud all ski on Head, all ski GS, and all ski very differently. Their skis are different. Move down the start list and the skis are a lot more similar.

And.....al of those guys ski on Head because it's the biggest paycheck for them. That is what Primoz and I were saying. The athletes who are in a position to get paid, and well paid, make their decisions based on the deal....the money. Money trumps product, as all of these companies can built good product, for the top guys.

The topic of "race stock" comes up every now and then on here, as it did on Epic. Most are not on top of it.

Now......for some top masters racers {TOP}, a handed down, or top end new "close to WC" SL ski can be a great ski. Depending on how it's constructed, for what purpose, and for who.......

Rossi versus Lange boots is a whole other issue. The Head of US race assures us that they top boot will be IDENTICAL as of now. The new boots that will be skied now, and in the summer will be the same. They have not been. Other than some boots built for about 10 guys, with a lot of experimentation on "the plastic." Again, what "they" need and what "we" need are different.

A lot of folklore about how "identical" the race product is, at the WC level.......which is how this started.....between these sister companies. Some are very close. Some not so much.

The reason what you see fewer Nordica and Blizzard on the WC is that they put less money into the programs, have fewer athletes, and just are not that visible. As you move down the line, on the WCSL, you see more. Many more on the EC, and below. There it's not about the contract money, as there is very little. It's about the support, the tech service, and a lot of other factors.

Johan Eliasch, the Head CEO just spends wildly. And Rossi spends as well....a lot for some athletes. Stockli has some athletes indoor nice contracts, and many more under lean ones. I'm a bit confused with Dynastar. They keep the brand alive, race wise, on the WC and it's pretty popular outside of North America at pretty high race levels. Not a big stable of WC athletes.

It's a different "game" for sure.
 

Corgski

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I agree 100%+. But people are obsessed with this. And as I think you know, there are about five grades of race skis built by most ski companies who are producing a TON of race product. The difference between the skis that even a 40 point skier buys {BUYS} through a US race department and race rep is absolutely nothing like what the top of the WCSL uses. Not close.
So what is the scale of the advantage that the top skiers get? Fractions of a second or much more? I have never heard of lower ranked racers being unhappy with their equipment disadvantage, I have always assumed their big disadvantage was start order.
 

Corgski

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I'm surprised to hear that... I've heard horror stories about B-C-D Team level athletes and their equipment/support debacles.
Don't be surprised, me saying "I've never heard" does not amount to much more than saying "never read on Pugski" ogsmile. I never claimed to be an insider here. Quite a bit has been said about the customized equipment the top guys get but not so much about what it means to be one of the guys not getting that. Watching races on TV, they might mention the impact of start order but never, "he is struggling with off the shelf skis". I am referring to the impact of the actual ski layup, not tuning support.
 

Johnny V.

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Is the "win on Sunday sell on Monday" influence on consumer ski sales a bigger factor in markets other than the USA? Just a guess, but if you asked 99% of general public skiers in the US which WC athletes were on the brand of ski they were skiing on, you'd get a blank look. I'm sure there's some sales influence on consumer/FIS compliant race skis, but that has to be such a small part of the pie as to be almost irrelevant in the total sales figures.
 

Primoz

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@Muleski Rossi and Lange is nowadays exactly same boot. There was discussion a while ago here about this, and when we went out for a beer on one of races and guy who is responsible for boots for Rossi athletes joined so I remembered to ask this. Some time ago, Rossi and Lange were different. They were made on same template but different plastic. Nowadays it's exactly same boot, except different color. Same plastic, same molds same everything except for color.
PS: Real race skis are still fun :D
PS #2: True, there's noone else on world that has same skis as Hirscher has. As every other Atomic racer must ski Atomic ski... Hirscher doesn't :) And there's no way you can get top (or probably any) WC stock race ski in your local race room or even at your brand's regional/country representative. So once companies started to demand every single ski back, it's pretty damn hard to get real race stuff other then for "loan". ;)
 
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