This is Part 2 of our profile of one the most talked about brands of this year: IDT or IDT Sports, a Norwegian producer of hi-end rollerskis
In Part 1 we shared some trivia about the company and added a few thoughts on our own.
Today we give the stage to the man responsible for establishing the Norwegian brand on already highly competitive rollerski market:
Meet & greet Morten Iversbakken Marketing Manager of IDT Solutions AS
– IDT skis are seen being used more and more often, so far primarily by elite skiers – first Norwegians, now Russians and so on, they get high marks in comparos
What makes them so special? What is that that sets IDT wares apart from the competition in design, materials, production, testing?
This is what sets us apart from competition: we develop rollerskis working very closely with leading skiers. Yes, we pay them for their work – it’s not a charity. To be honest, the first prototypes we produced 6 years ago were weak products – now we look back at them and almost laugh. But we did not give up once we realized we had a dud – we approached Ingvild Flugstad Østberg to help us with righting the wrongs. So, the Ingvild model that we sell now is not just bearing her name – it’s her work, her expertise that went into designing and fine-tuning them.
Now we are using a whole range of different testers to be sure that we have all the feedback from different athletes. We need to be sure that we test it with the different weight and height, also the experience level of the user.
The next product we will be putting out on the market are rollerskis co-developped with Johannes Høsflot Klæbo. We want to believe that with his work, his input we are taking the whole rollerski business one step farther.
IDT Sports is a part of a larger IDT Solutions. How does that help – if at all?
– IDT from start have been utilizing its vast experience of manufacturing aluminium and building big automated production lines in making rollerskis. Key issue is that our designers and engineers are used to margins so tight as to unheard of in manufacturing of sports equipment, especially rollerskis
In the world of cross country skiing things are often traditional when it comes to promotion. Then you come and start putting out products like “Østberg Edition”, “Klaebo Edition”. How does it work for you?
– When we started to develop rollerskis, we realized that other manufacturers didn’t put that much effort into design of their rollerskis. We saw a market opportunity there, challenged this and ended up with a lot of color options for fenders and frames for women and men. Same with special edition models – nobody seem to have thought of it before and our customers are loving it, it seems.
Your bestselling model is…?
– Our bestselling product is the IDT Classic.
Wheels you use – your own and sourced from a third-party producer?
– We are using 100% rubber for both classic and skate. This is something we buy from a third-party producer since we don’t have neither the expertise not the tools to produce the quantity and quality of the wheels at our own factory.
Your DynaGrip rollerskis – they made quite a lot of splash when they appeared a few years back , both when it comes to concept of usage – and their price. What’s your experience and lessons learned by producing it, is there DynaGrip 2 in the works?
– DynaGrip is a kind of our baby-darling in the company. It is also a technical beast with 114 parts in one ski.
The development for those skis has been going on for 2 years now, and the challenge is to take the weight down, and also the price. We are hoping to release the DynaGrip v2 next year.
Any intention of producing carbon frame / carbon monocoque roller skis a-la Globulonero B1 or Quionne?
– We are currently using all our resources on aluminium skis. The feedback from the users are that they want a specific feedback from the tarmac.
Our new flex skis – still in aluminum – will provide an even more “ski-like” feeling and a better comfort at the pebbled tarmac.
Special doublepoling rollerskis – should they be produced or are regular classic ones are perfectly fine?
This was a challenge from the doublepoling specialists. We added a few centimeters on the length for better stability and removed the grip.
The IDT Classic is perfectly fine to doublepole with, but with the Classic 0x0 you can’t “cheat” your way home from a doublepolling training.