Chinese skis
10 posts
8 users
2k+ views
snowcone
September 18, 2007
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
The other day, I was reading the labels on my dogs' food [doesn't everyone?] and I vaguely remember that, several years ago, K2 and/or some other ski company had decided to outsource its production to China. Now, with the recent scandals of leaded toys, tainted dog food, fish, and vitamins and who knows what else, I kinda wonder about the quality of Chinese manufactured skis. I recall discussing the issue with a knowledgeable friend at the time of the K2 announcement and his comment was 'if you have no idea of skiing, how can you manufacture a decent ski?'

So the questions is ... does anybody have Chinese manufactured skis? Or skis assembled from Chinese manufactured parts? Opinion of quality? Which companies currently outsource to China for skis and/or boards? And ... what do the companies that manufacture all or part of their skis in Asia indicate as country of origin?


crunchy
September 18, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
Well, just like there are good and crappy chinese restaurants, I'm sure not _all_ chinese manufacturing companies are irresponsible and sketchy. Its up the ski company to do its due diligence about the company they choose to out-source manufacturing too.

I know the new indie ski company Bluehouse, outsources manufacturing to China, and addressed a similar question in an interview on some sports site:

---below text quoted from another site ---
5ones: Recently there has been a lot of news unveiling shoddy workmanship from Chinese manufacturers. How can Bluehouse sure that the same will not be said of its products?

Bluehouse: Although there are so many factors that will determine the overall outcome of a product, we are convinced that our manufacturing partner is competent, socially responsible, and is mature enough to prevent foreseeable defects. For starters, our Chinese manufacturer has been around for quite a while producing products in the snow sports industry most significantly snowboards. Furthermore, together with our manufacturing partner we provide quality controls at several levels beginning with the selection of materials, then after production, before finishing, and finally before shipping. Products we find unacceptable will not be delivered to our customers, even if that means us losing a sale. Furthermore, a Bluehouse representative personally visited the manufacturing facility to oversee some production, as well as to insure that the plant complied with labor and environmental laws and acceptable practices.

That said, we are very interested to see how our products hold up after 100 days of use. Although Adam and I skied on the Bluehouse prototypes last year, we know that there are lots of skiers out there with different styles and who put more time on their skis and can really put the skis to the test."
tromano
September 18, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
The knowledge of the use of a thing does not entail the knowledge of the making of a thing. Making skis requires skilled labor. The better question to ask is... Do they know how to make skis?

I have also heard that skiing is becoming more popular in china.

Other than that... raw materials are not easy to source or to know where they were processed. So if you were making skis with Sino fiberglass you probably wouldn't know it, unless you did some deep digging into your supply chain to make sure where it was coming from.
comprex
September 18, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
 Originally Posted By: snowcone
The other day, I was reading the labels on my dogs' food [doesn't everyone?] and I vaguely remember that, several years ago, K2 and/or some other ski company had decided to outsource its production to China. Now, with the recent scandals of leaded toys, tainted dog food, fish, and vitamins and who knows what else, I kinda wonder about the quality of Chinese manufactured skis. I recall discussing the issue with a knowledgeable friend at the time of the K2 announcement and his comment was 'if you have no idea of skiing, how can you manufacture a decent ski?'


This is somewhat analogous to Rolls Royce/Bentley mechanics being required to drive their own, don't you think?

Seriously, I do not expect the Chinese to do original design and testing work, that is the job of the parent company. So is setting up appropriate quality controls.

Kind of a straw issue, really. I'd worry more about generic mouthwash or minty flavoured flossing picks.

Now, and this is NOT specifically related to Chinese manufacture, cutting the production cost of any ski product also means the tendency to avoid finishing costs after the ski looks like what is printed in the sales literature.
Thus value-added details like precise base flattening, sidewall trimming, structuring, accurate flex-matching, accurate beveling and edge finish, and that first saturating wax coat are essentially loss items for the ski co, except perhaps for halo skis that get a lot of magazine ink.

Therefore, unless one is prepared to do that work oneself, outsourcing to wherever means that much more need for careful picking of the shop or venue one buys from. If you can't check for (or don't wish to risk the cost of) uncured epoxy and wavy bases and indifferently moulded sidewalls, pick a shop that will.


 Quote:

So the questions is ... does anybody have Chinese manufactured skis?


I have skied on recent Volkls and K2s (and recent Karhus, don't know where they were built) and should have a pair of Bluehouses delivered shortly. I liked some, didn't others, but have had no reason to form an opinion of their quality based on where they were made.

 Quote:
And ... what do the companies that manufacture all or part of their skis in Asia indicate as country of origin?


My Ogasakas say 'Made in Japan'. The ones that are made of Canadian maple wood do not bother to say so on the top sheets.

<shrug>
jimmy
September 18, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
 Quote:
That said, we are very interested to see how our products hold up after 100 days of use.


So how many days can someone skiing advanced \:\/ mid-atlantic terrain on appropriate equipment expect to get? I put 125 on the last pair european volkls, mounted them w/tele binding and did another 10, are they making volkl in china now?? and 75 on the current atomics.....anyways i think what i'm trying to say is that's a lot of turns, probably 100 days takes five years for the average skier.









 Quote:
Thus value-added details like precise base flattening, sidewall trimming, structuring, accurate flex-matching, accurate beveling and edge finish, and that first saturating wax coat are essentially loss items for the ski co, except perhaps for halo skis that get a lot of magazine ink.

Therefore, unless one is prepared to do that work oneself, outsourcing to wherever means that much more need for careful picking of the shop or venue one buys from. If you can't check for (or don't wish to risk the cost of) uncured epoxy and wavy bases and indifferently moulded sidewalls, pick a shop that will.



The finishing costs are just getting passed on whether you fix it yourself or pay a shop to do it. A good tune is not the same as fixing wavy bases. I wouldn't not buy a ski that i liked bcause of where it was made.
fishnski
September 19, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Chinese skis are probably too heavy...you know..with all that lead in them \:D
SCWVA
September 19, 2007
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
 Originally Posted By: fishnski
Chinese skis are probably too heavy...you know..with all that lead in them \:D


Probably shouldn't lick your skis anymore either! \:o \:D
comprex
September 19, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
So how many days can someone skiing advanced \:\/ mid-atlantic terrain on appropriate equipment expect to get?


<snicker> the reason that's funny is because so many skiers do not have appropriate equipment. Imagine 180-210lbers on skis designed for fast 130lbers and don't be surprised if they only last 35-55 days.

 Quote:

I put 125 on the last pair european volkls, mounted them w/tele binding and did another 10, are they making volkl in china now?? and 75 on the current atomics.....anyways i think what i'm trying to say is that's a lot of turns, probably 100 days takes five years for the average skier.


Around here I'd agree, but I'd have to observe it also depends on how dependent that skier is on getting really aggressive grinds to restore bases and edge sharpness.



 Quote:
The finishing costs are just getting passed on whether you fix it yourself or pay a shop to do it. A good tune is not the same as fixing wavy bases.


No, but a good shop would provide one and at the very least spot the other. I don't think individual consumers are going to be good at spotting improperly cured epoxy for instance, but IMHO just about any shop should notice a general pattern, and I'm certain there are a few that would probably catch every instance.
kwillg6
September 19, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,030 posts
Daz on skis? Depends on the agressiveness of the skier. I learned this through experience. I'd put my son on hand made race stock skis (a pain to get, too) because they would last longer than race skies you buy in a shop or pro form. However, one season and they became rock skis. He's 6'3" and 230# and really cranks turns hard. Buy em in November, and they would be flat in april....usually 70 days on sno. And it didn't matter who made them or where. Anybody interestes in some hand made rock skis????? \:\(
comprex
September 19, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Fair point, though 70 days is pretty close to 100days expectations.

A bigger discrepancy might occur with a big-fella rec skier who likes to jump (whether in or out of the park) or smash into the frontsides of moguls.
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.14 seconds