Ski Picking at Fischer
I have been going to the Fischer warehouse in Auburn, New Hampshire for years now for various reasons and have always come away with the feeling that Fischer has a commitment to quality and excellence at every level. The first time I made the trip was to sit with Peter Ashley in his office as he welcomed me back to the brand after a few short years away with another ski company when I was an athlete. He gave me a tour of the offices and a tour of the warehouse. As an athlete, it was always fun and awe-inspiring to get a glimpse of the industry behind the scene, especially at Fischer.
This year going to Europe was not an option due to the lack of a consistent window for race room inventory. Given the production strain that everyone is still under it made more sense to pick skis from NH and also work with Fischer Race Service Director Chris Hall to help us with customer picks from Austria. Picking skis this way helps to cover all our bases and ensure we are getting a ‘look’ at everything possible. The best time for warehouse inventory was the beginning of July so I headed there for a two-day picking trip on July 8th and 9th. Our point man there was industry veteran Rick Halling and he is always a gracious and helpful host.
With the changes to the Fischer line-up this year we were eager to check out the new stuff. We knew the Helium was behind on production and our inventory numbers were going to be in the single digits this year. The Helium as a ski will be a step up from the traditional 610. I was at least able to get a few in my hands to squeeze at the warehouse, even if I wasn’t able to pick them yet due to extremely limited stock. Seeing all the new yellow skis on the feet of the Olympians in Beijing is a good indication that the new model is going to be a success straight off the rack, so we were excited to at least take a look at them. Also new to the line-up will be a consistent inventory in the soft-snow Speedmax 61k model. We will be bringing in about half our inventory in this new model and were able to pick the new stuff at the warehouse this year. The new graphics in the high-end models are shockingly yellow and after the initial reaction of seeing the change, the new graphics are growing on us here at Gear West. The 610 Speedmax mold cold and plus will also be available in the new graphic, along with the Speedmax Classic 812 and 902 molds.
Fischer Race Skis 2022 -
Helium Skate – the new Helium is lighter and has a different construction than the traditional Speedmax 610. New materials give the ski a lighter feel and the new DK construction will bring more speed and pop to the ski.
61K Speedmax Skate– this new to production soft snow mold was a hit with the customers that we introduced the ski to last year. We did not have that many for inventory, but the ones that we did were well received and the feedback was that this ski performed well all around. We are hopeful that for experienced skiers with stable techniques this can be much more than soft snow ski. As with other soft snow molds, this ski has narrow contact zones that are pushed back towards the toes and heels and have plenty of tip and tail splay. Overall the feedback we are getting is that they are just plain fast. The 61k is made with the 28 Plus base and has the same cold base bonding as the 610.
610 Speedmax Skate – The traditional Speedmax mold is made both with the 28 Plus base material and the A5 Cold base material. These skis were available at the warehouse and the inventory will be adequate.
812 Speedmax Classic – A lower camber mold that has a quick, even kicks and flex.
902 Speedmax Classic – Higher camber ski with tighter glide zones – great for transformed and wet snow, but can also can work as a hardwax ski for those looking to get the most speed out of their ski.
The trip to Fischer was successful not just for the inventory we were able to pick but also for the relationships and connections we can make. Working with Rick is always a pleasure and getting a chance to meet the people that we converse with on the phones throughout the year helps us to better serve our customers. I had the chance to sit and talk with Steve Reeder about various things going on at the company and hear more about some of the challenges that have been faced with production. Between the skis we picked at the warehouse and additional skis that will be arriving soon out of the race room inventory we are extremely excited about our Fischer inventory this year.