All top skis are the same? Yes and No.
Yes – because all top manufacturers tend to use similar “construction elements” – most, for instance, source material for ski bases from just two producers.
No, because “big variable” are the people who make them skis. With all the mental, cultural differences you’d expect – plus business strategies vary greatly.
We did our best to tell you how
Fischer , Madshus , Peltonen are made – and who are the people making them.
This week The Dailyskier traveled to Saint Jean de Moirans near Grenoble, France, to visit Rossignol
When it comes to location, Rossignol beats all competitors flat out. That view of French Alps from the office window…don’t we all wish to have something like that?
Architecturally, it’s quite a marvel too. It was designed and built in 2007-09 by Hérault Arnod Architectes to host Rossignol HQs & what they call “racing ski workshop” ( of which more below, of course) The building is described as ” a fusion of the company’s functional and fantasy aspects, inspired by fluidity of motion, and also by relief, snow and glaciers sculpted by the elements” Quite so.
Inside it’s a one-of-a-kind combination of offices for administrative departments, R&D, design showrooms -and aforementioned race workshop. All in all some 12000 m² of floorspace – fittingly enough for the company with sales of some 350 million euros per year
No, it’s not about the Afghan city that gave birth to Taliban & was in news headlines the last 20+ years – it’s about a downhill skiing route in more peaceful Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Huge open space is occupied by a showroom with the latest in Rossignol fashion apparel. Recognize the model?
According to Bruno Cercley, CEO of the Rossignol group, the company makes most its money in winter sports equipment, but aims to expand its apparel division significantly. What a better way to advertize than via sponsored athletes? Like Anna Zherebyateva here, a new Rossignol signee. All in all, the company has around 45 sponsored sportsmen/women competing in cross country skiing races on Rossi skis/boots ( plus some 40 in biathlon)
This is Simon Caprini who really needs no introductions but still: long time Rossignol racing manager, who’s role is hard to put in one phrase – but we try: not only he supervises Rossi athletes at the World Cup – he tests their skis and helps designing them. Yeah, like that pair of C2s that he’s holding in his hand
..and now we are ready to enter the heart of Rossignol, the famed racing skis workshop – which really is a small factory tucked inside the fancy Rossignol HQs. As ski factories go, this one is not terribly different from the other, similar ones – but there are some peculiarities which we effort to show you…
…for one thing, Rossignol seems to be the only one that produces Alpine and cross-country skis in one relatively small place. Two types of planks “freely intermingle” inside the factory
Less than 1200 pairs of xcskis are made here per year – only top skiers are entitled to have X-ium Premiums Made-in-France, at least in theory – the bulk of ski production is in Spain
..we had to crop this photo as Alex Bolshunov, Anna Zherebyateva, Simon Caprini & Rossignol designers are looking on the newest, not-yet-released pair of Premiums which we are not allowed to show ( sadly – but patience, patience!), but Alex And Anna will run on in the next season.
We’ll have to interrupt our story here – hopefully, you had enough visuals & info for today. Stand by for Part 2 where we’ll show how the Premiums are made – and in some ways it’s very different from competitors!