Santa Cruz, Northwave, and Drake were the first three companies to deliver to Ski Rack in Burlington, Vermont, according to Co-owner Spike Clayton. Rossignol also shipped on time.
The shop's biggest issue is with Ride. “We've gotten most of our Ride boards, but there's a big hole with boots,” says Clayton. “I hear they're on their way. I'm sure K2 will get it cooking, but Ride's problems this summer affected its ability to ship.”
So far this fall, Ski Rack-which has only been selling snowboards at its Burlington location for two years-has sold mostly last year's leftovers. Poor snow conditions in the Northeast last year meant there were a lot of good name-brand boards leftover, says Clayton. “We've sold more snowboards this fall than any month last winter,” he says.
Rossignol also earned high marks at Ullers Ski and Board Shop in Dallastown, Pennsylvania, along with Palmer and Mervin Manufacturing (Lib Tech/Gnu), says Owner Craig Miller.
“There have been no surprises, but it's still a little early for the region we're in,” he says. Miller's earliest shipping is scheduled for mid September.
Ullers has also sold primarily leftovers so far. “We sold boards all summer,” Miller said. “Ride, Rossignol, Mervin, and Morrow all sold well. There seems to be more interest in snowboards than in skis.”
At Blades Board and Skate in New York City, shipments are coming in well, says Head Buyer Evan Josloff: “We're satisfied-things have come in earlier. This year is so much better with delivery.”
Josloff says Salomon, Burton, Four Star, and K2 were among the first to arrive, but he's still not completely shipped yet. “The biggest disappointment is the step-in issue at Burton,” he says. Shops won't get their Burton step-ins until the end of October-and that's not good for us.”
He says some boards have been selling, primarily Burton's Customs and the Forum line-along with “a lot of last season's stuff.” These leftovers include the K2 Luna, Zeppelin, and mini-Zeppelins, as well as boards from Forum and Burton Customs.
Some softgoods are selling, much of it logoed product. “We sold a lot of pieces for back-to-school.” says Josloff, noting that his shop traditionally really starts to move snowboard product around Columbus Day.
The story is somewhat different at Ski Chalet in Arlington, Virginia. “This year's shipping is the worst I can remember,” says Brad Hill, snowboard, in-line and accessory buyer.
Burton, K2, Vans, and Airwalk were the earliest to ship, but nothing is complete, he says.
Most of Ski Chalet's Burton boards came in earlier than ever, but the shop has only gotten about ten-percent of its total Burton order, he said. K2 also shipped very early. “Too early,” says Hill, “for bookkeeping purposes.”
At the shop's preseason sale in August, “Snowboard sales were up and everything else was pretty flat,” says Hill. Airwalk boards did well, as well as those from Ride and Salomon. Step-in sales are up. Ski Chalet's unit sales were up slightly, but per-unit sales dollars were up more, indicating the higher-end product was selling, he said.
At Inverness Ski Shop in Waitsfield, Vermont, partial orders from Obermeyer and North Face snowboard clothing have come in so far, says co-owner Bill Curley. “There were no surprises,” he says. “We anticipate they will all ship late.” Like the other shops in the region, Inverness sold mostly leftovers from last year this fall.
“Shipping is adequate, maybe two weeks behind,” says Steve Heicklen, owner of Extreme Ski Shop in Medford, New Jersey. The shop's Original Sin boardss came in on time, and that was the only hardgoods company they dealt with this year. “After several bad winters, we didn't order that much; we're taking a cautious approach,” says Heicklen.
Softgoods from Rip Curl came in about two weeks late, he said, and there have been no surprises.
“Not much is selling at this point,” he says. “In the past couple of years, there has been at least some excitement by this time of year, but this year, nothing.” Meanwhile, Heicklen said he would pray for snow.