Breaking News

Rossignol Buys Emery

In the January issue of SNOWboarding Business we reported a recall of all 1998/1999 SIS step-in adult snowboard bindings, which are sold under the Rossignol, Original Sin, and Emery trademarks, may hasten Rossignol's acquisition of Emery. That has indeed happened.

Look, a subsidiary of Rossignol, took control of Emery on January 27. “I have no idea of the price, but I don't think it was very expensive,” says Pascal Joubert des Ouches, snowboard marketing manager for Rossignol. “They Emery were in some kind of difficulty because of the recall and that was the time to take control.”

According to Joubert, Rossignol plans to keep the Emery brand intact. “Emery has some brand equity, so the name will not be dropped,” he says. “In fact, we can position Rossignol, Emery, and Original Sin as three brands with different pricepoints and distribution strategies.”

As part of the deal, commitments made by former Owner Robert Emery will be maintained. So through the '01/02 season, Emery product will still be distributed in North America through MLY Snowboarding. “If we want to keep Emery growing, we're not going to kill the existing distribution networks of Emery,” says Joubert.

According to MLY Vice President Mark Miller, “We're making substantial investments in the Emery brand and our having three years of distribution behind it gives us some momentum. We plan to meet with Pascal Joubert at ISPO and work something out. I've always had a lot of thoughts for Emery and how it could be improved.”

Miller indicated that MLY hopes to continue using the SIS technology beyond the '01/02 season, either as a distributor or as a licensee.

–Sean O'Brien

Ride Shows A Profit

For its second quarter ended December 31, 1998 Ride Sports showed a net income of 900,000 dollars versus a loss of 12.9-million dollars for the same period last year.

“We are pleased with our performance in the second quarter,” says Robert Marcovitch, president and CEO of Ride. “This is the first time since 1995 that Ride has generated a profit in the period ending December 31. The results are thus not only significant from a financial standpoint, they also represent a symbolic achievement for the company and its employees as tangible evidence that our hard work is paying off.”

Sales for the quarter were 16.1-million dollars, compared to 10.7-million dollars for the same period last year.

On a year-to-date basis, net income is 2.4-million dollars on sales of 34.5-million dollars, versus a loss of 12.3-million dollars on sales of 28.9-million dollars for the same period in 1997.

“As delighted as we are with the excellent sell-in of our products this year, we are even more excited by the news from our retailers that the sell-through of our current product lines has been tremendous and we believe bodes well for the company's future,” says Marcovitch.

–Sean O'Brien

CPSC Advocates Helmet Use

A recent study by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends the use of helmets while snowboarding and skiing.

According to the CPSC study, helmet use could prevent or reduce the severity of 44 percent of adult head injuries and 53 percent of head injuries occuring tochildren under the age of fifteen.

The study's findings also show a significant increasse in the number of head injuries in snowboarding over the last four years (1,000 in 1993 to 5,200 in 1997), while the number of skiing-related head injuries have remained relatively unchanged (13,600 in 1993 to 12,700 in 1997).

However, according to renowned Alpine injury researcher Dr. Jasper Shealy, the study should not be taken at face value: “There's been no dramatic increase in the number of snowboard injuries if you take into account the increase in participants that occurred at approximately the same time.”

Regardless of head injuries growth rate, recent sales figures from SnowSports Industries America show a 25-percent increase in helmet sales annually for the past five years. During the '95/96 season approximately 66,000 helmets were sold. In '96/97, nearly 81,000 were purchased.

Safety is an important part of snowboarding and skiing, and along with this increase in preventative equipment sales, the National Ski Areas Association continues promoting education and safe mountain use. In a recent report published by the National Ski Areas Association entitled Skier Fatalities Dip in 1997—1998 Season, NSAA President Michael Berry says, “Ski areas nationwide have always and will continue to expend tremendous energy and expense in educating their guests about skier and snowboarder safety.”

The report also states the percentage of fatalities per million skier/snowboarder visits during the '97/98 season decreased by 28 percent when compared to the previous season. With 54.1-million skier/snowboarder visits during that season, the fatality rate converts to .48 per million skier/snowboarder visits compared to .69 per million skier/snowboarder visits the year prior.

“Snowboarding is particularly less dangerous if you're referring to dangerous as risk of death,” Shealy says. “Once you gain control and become more proficient in snowboarding, the risk of injury between skiing and snowboarding is comparable–approximately 2.5 per 1,000 skiers or riders.”

Snowboarders are mostly at risk of ankle, knee, and wrist injuries. “There is a higher rate for these injuries for snowboarders rather than skiers,” Shealy says.

–Robyn Hakes