Yesterday we saw the first snow of the season on the ground here in southern Vermont. The ski season is coming quickly now. With respect to racing opportunities there is still a lot we don’t know. But what we do know is worth sharing. I’ll share the highlights in the post. I’m writing up an extensive seasonal report for our direct email list, so sign up if you’re not on the list and you want to receive that.
Skis – There will be skiing, and we have skis. We reduced our pre-season orders this year based on the expectation of a reduction in sales. We’ve seen that expected reduction – particularly in team sales, and among our most serious racing customers. We’re still doing really well with the “performance recreation” crowd – people like me, who ski a lot and want the best gear, but aren’t focused on racing. To order a pair of skis, please submit this ski request form. https://forms.gle/JGjSq9iiZxPdtLfi7
Fischer – We have received most of our Fischer skis, and have started shipping out orders. We have have good inventory availability in Speedmax models.
Madshus – We’re waiting for our main shipment of Madshus skis, which is coming by air directly from Norway. We had to adjust that order upward several weeks ago based on strong interest in the new Redline 3.0 models. I expect that this is where we’ll run out of skis first.
Salomon – We’re also waiting for Salomon material, which shipped by ocean freight back in mid-September. That should be here anytime, and we’ll have availability in most lengths and models.
Grinding – Team business has reduced a huge amount because of uncertainty surrounding the collegiate programs, and a lot of frozen budgets. We’ve done a lot of our junior team grinding already. I expect that total grind volume will be about half of a normal season, but I also expect that we’ll continue to see steady grinding work as racers discover that they do still have opportunities to race, and fast skis are still nice to have. Our current grind turn-around time is about a week, which is fast for this time of year.
Ski Wax – Our new supply of race product has been arriving. Our focus turned toward fluoro-free solutions last season, and will remain there this year and into the future. We expect that all New England racing will be conducted fluoro free this season, and much of the other racing around the country as well. We have lots of information coming about new fluoro free race products. So keep an eye out, or contact us with questions. We’ve got most of the new product uploaded to our webstore, and you should be able to browse things there. shop.caldwellsport.com
Bike Shop – A couple of weeks ago, Amy and I closed on the purchase of the West Hill Shop, here in Putney. West Hill has been my hometown bike and ski shop for my whole life, and it’s an iconic institution in the region. Our Caldwell Sport model won’t change, and we’re not moving. However, we have the opportunity to show our Caldwell Sport business and products to the public in a more standard retail environment than our living room. If you’re in the area, come visit us at 49 Brickyard Lane in Putney. We’re in the process of moving a curated selection of our Caldwell Sport material down there so that people can see what we do during regular and predictable business hours. I can’t seem to get a job down at West Hill – they keep sending me back home to work when I go to hang out. So call me if you want to meet down there to discuss Caldwell Sport stuff in a retail environment. Also… anybody need bike stuff?
I’ve got a lot more to share about the bike shop project, and our plans for the future of Caldwell Sport. Normally I save this kind of prognostication for our “Annual Report” email in the spring. But this is 2020, and anybody can prognosticate at any time. All the rules have been cancelled. So sign up for the mailing list if you want the inside scoop.