Author Topic: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot  (Read 1669 times)

Philpug

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2010, 11:33:42 am »
These are NOT easy on/off, one of the reason there is a hump back, room so the heel to go.

What is amazing is this boot is built in a barn in Vermont and not a $10M factory in Europe. PEr Jim Schaffner, these WILL be on a World Cup podium THIS season.

These boots are $1500.00, there are no pro deals, no freebies. Speed costs money..how fast do you want to go?

jbotti

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2010, 12:01:21 pm »
On the easy on/off issue I guess the real question is versus what. My Raptor 150's are impossible to get on and off (130's much easier). So any increased ease of entry and exit will be huge. Obviously versus a 104 lasted 110 flex boot that you can slide your foot in and out of, maybe Dodge shows no improvement, but who can ski in those anyway!! My guess is that anyone skiing in plug boots now will show some improvement in ease of entry/exit.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2010, 12:40:31 pm »
These are NOT easy on/off, one of the reason there is a hump back, room so the heel to go.

What is amazing is this boot is built in a barn in Vermont and not a $10M factory in Europe. PEr Jim Schaffner, these WILL be on a World Cup podium THIS season.

These boots are $1500.00, there are no pro deals, no freebies. Speed costs money..how fast do you want to go?

An interesting question might be, when they are on the World Cup podium this year, what will be the manufacturer's label on the outside.? Head or Lange??
It's like David Dodge said in John's article, sometimes it's better to be the second one on the scene.

It's really hard to be the innovator in an established market (ask Apple). Head/Lange (as an example) has the reputation, the distribution channel, restrictive sponsorship deals with top athletes, what are the odds of Dodge ski Boots competing at retail with the big guys.? The best they can hope for, probably, is to be acquired by someone (maybe Dalbello?).? More likely is that Head and Lange don't have their heads in the sand and already have their own carbon fibre boot development programs underway and will step into the market and capitalize on Dodge's success.

I don't remember who get's credit for triggering the shaped ski revolution, but I'm sure they didn't make as much money off of it as K2/Atomic/Salomon/Rossignol?

« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 12:42:40 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Philpug

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2010, 12:42:22 pm »
There is an old marking adage... "The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese"

jim-ratliff

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2010, 12:48:42 pm »
There is an old marking adage... "The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese"

I've heard the same analogy used relative to marketing!!  ;D ::)
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jim-ratliff

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2010, 12:53:11 pm »
If I were Dodge, I might be talking real seriously to K2 (they don't own a boot company yet, do they) about them buying the company as a springboard into the boot business -- about the only aspect of skiing that K2 isn't iin?? Leverage their name and their distribution channel and their chinese labor connections and their production engineering to "revolutionize" the ski boot world.? Especially if there are any patents Dodge has or could create that would slow the entrance of the others.

Can anyone say "rear entry" carbon fibre boots for the masses??
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jbotti

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2010, 01:24:05 pm »
Funny, I think Stephen Drake at DPS credits himself and the guy at Goode as the guys that invented reverse camber skis (with an assist from Shane McConkey). Without some sort of patent protection, you have seen what has happened. Every major ski compnay now has a complete line of rockered, early rise skis and they are not paying any royalties to Stephen Drake. And as far as innovation goes whether you like them or not, thiis is major with regard to the number of rocker skis sold.

I think you guys are right, it's unclear how much of the wave Dodge will be able to capture. They are certainly first. In two years they may not be best, and for sure the big guys will lead the charge in driving down manufacturing cost. All of this is good for us and bad for Dodge. 

Philpug

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2010, 07:01:16 pm »
If I were Dodge, I might be talking real seriously to K2 (they don't own a boot company yet, do they) about them buying the company as a springboard into the boot business -- about the only aspect of skiing that K2 isn't iin?? Leverage their name and their distribution channel and their chinese labor connections and their production engineering to "revolutionize" the ski boot world.? Especially if there are any patents Dodge has or could create that would slow the entrance of the others.

Can anyone say "rear entry" carbon fibre boots for the masses??

Please tell me you aren't serious.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2010, 07:32:04 pm »
Phil:

Depends on what I wanted to do with my life, but yes!!? Not serious about it being K2 and not knowledgeable to know where to focus the idea, but I don't believe they can build a profitable business making race boots in the garage, and I doubt they have the production expertise to compete with the established boot manufacturers.? They have a window (maybe less than 2 years) before the second mouse gets the cheese???

I agree with you that they have an industry changing idea -- but Henry Ford proved that building a better mousetrap doesn't cause them to beat a path to your door unless you have a patent or something to stop others from building a similar mousetrap more efficiently.? And as you said about Ski Logik and small ski builders in general, in addition to product you have to have marketing and channel and programs to support the channel.? You either spend a lot of time building that or team with someone that has the capabilities that you need and needs the product/ideas that you have.

As far as rear entry boots -- I never owned a pair so I don't really know what the major shortcomings of them were.? I've heard they were very easy entry/exit but a lack of control/flex stiffness.

But new materials allow you to do things that old materials prhibited or couldn't do well, so you never know. I? see how their heel channel is really good "out of the box" thinking and there could be more of that as far as the overall nature of how you put on and use a ski boot.

I was serious in thinking that if a pair winds up on the WC podium theres is a good chance that the name and colors on the outside won't be Dodge Boots.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 08:13:17 pm by jim-ratliff »
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jbotti

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2010, 08:57:51 pm »
Evidentlly they have offered their technology to the majors now for almost 2 years with no takers. That will change when someone Podiums in a WC race these.

Philpug

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2010, 09:04:51 pm »
K2 is not the company that will get involved with Dodge. One of the major boot companies will come in and add them to their race line. They will be on the podium with either the Dodge logo or the Dodge logo covered up. A buy out cannot happen that fast. There are top level racers that are under big contracts with testing the ?boot and skiing faster in it than their own boots. Should be interesting.

Rear Entry boots are dead and gone. IF and IF they come back it will be Salomon resurrecting the SX series at a price point under $500.00. Carbon Fibre cannot be had in that price point. With overlaps at the point where we can have both comfort AND performance, a high end RE boot has no market.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2010, 08:41:47 am »
Phil:

How labor intensive is boot manufacturering (and liner manufacturing) and are any of the major boot brands currently being manufactured in China?

My reference to K2 was twofold: 1. They are in almost all parts of the ski business except boots, so 2) they have a significant distribution channel set up and operating well and 3) they led the initial charge into low-cost Chinese manufacturing.

My biggest discomfort with boots is how heavy they are; I would probably pay $200 more for a boot with similar performance that weighed a pound or two less each, but wouldn't pay double the price.

Your point about Dodge getting picked up by a major boot brand is very valid, but but it's hard to believe that they wouldn't then try to leverage that investment into some level of high end production boot.
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jbotti

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2010, 10:20:48 am »
Well one thing is for sure, Race Boots for WC racers is a losing proposition. They give away the boots for free, they spend a hige amount of time and money redesigning the boots for the racers and I really don't know how profitable their race boot sales are for the big name companies. Unless someone can take the dodge design and mass produce it and sell it to non WC racers it is not an interesting proposition (of course everyone that even casually races will want them if they are substantially improving times which appears to be the case). Having said that, I think ultimatley carbon fiber is the wave of the future for some level of the boot market, but that is definitely years away.

I have to agree with Phil on K2. I think this is the last place that would look to play. They are increasingly a pure recreational ski company. They want to be affiliated with the next generation skier and boarder. They left the WC several years ago, and I doubt they are ever coming back. WC skiers have lost their appeal with the young skier today. It's all about hucking and doing flips today, not about using your edges.

I know little about rear entry boots, but I think you are right about one thing Jim, that CF may produce some form of recrational boot that is lighter and better for the masses. I guess cost is the real question here. They obviously can make cheap plastic boots that sell for $550 with great margin in it for the boot co's. It's unclear if you ever get there with CF. But no one would have bet that CF would dominate the road bike market so fast. And there are now qaulity frames in the $1000 range. This has taken around 15 years since the intro of the first CF frames. I know very few recerational cyclist that when looking at new bikes are not buying CF.
My buddy Thor emailed Jim Schaffner about the Dodge boot. Jim invited Thor to come up and demo them. As soon as there is snow we will have another opinion on these.

jbotti

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2010, 09:05:47 am »
I spoke at length yesterday with Jim Schaffner (one of 3or 4 authorized dealers ) on the Dodge Boot. Here are a few things that I had not heard before. On tests with high level juniors and with WC level racers, skiing the same course with the Dodge boot and with their current set up (plastic) almost everyone was seeing .5-1 second improvements in time!! A half second is huge in a WC race, a full second is a game changer!! Jim said that not only was there less ski displacement (skis staying on the snow more consistently than with plastic boots) but skiers were able to carve tighter arcs and take much tighter lines. The CF is just that much more damp and clearly it is giving greater leverage to carve tighter arcs. Jim repeated what he has said before and Harald Harb has echoed, you will see this boot shortly on a WC podium. As well it is likley that in 5 years the entire WC circuit will be racing in these. Again the question everyone asks is who will be the first of the major players to buy this company. As of yet, no one has come close to stepping up.

Lastly, I asked Jim about this as a boot for freeskiing. He said on groomers doing high edge angle turns it would be awesome and a joy to ski. He is not sure that this boot will ski off piste well. He says it is just totally stiff, with absolutely no give. Because of this it may just be a bear on anything other than hard grooomed conditions.

He is going to have a demo boot in each size in a month or two. I am going to head up with Thor Kallreud and try them for a day. Harald Harb may also have a pair to try while I am out in Colorado. Will give a full report after I try them.

jbotti

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Re: Dodge Carbon Fiber uber boot
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2010, 11:50:48 am »
Here is commentary from a skier that just got the dodge boots fitted by Harald Harb. This was posted on the PMTS forum. He clearly thinks these are the greatest boots ever. I am anxious to try these!!

I just got back from skiing the Dodge boot. I'll post a more detailed report later when I have more time, but let me just say that whatever hype you may have heard about these boots is real. These boots are orders of magnitude better than my Head Raptor 130 RDs to the extent that I have no problem in suggesting that the Dodge boot is simply in a league of its own. The level of responsiveness and edge-hold is unparalleled (in fact, its unheard of). I don't care who you are, if you have even the slightest understanding of how to tip your skis, you should be in these boots. They will take your skiing to a whole new level. For me it was like strapping a couple of Porsche 911's to my feet.

Quick note to Harald, Chris & Diana. The boots fit great. The only issue I had was some minor discomfort in the right shin. Tried adjusting the tongue, but that didn't solve the problem. I think there is a good chance that the pain will go away once the Booster strap gets mounted. Other than that, my intial impression was that my left boot was too soft. I had the same impression in my Heads, but the difference between left and right was fairly minor. The Dodges are aggressive enough that I notice a fairly big difference between the two sides. I think I"ll probably want to come out by 1/2 a degree. Other than those two minor things, the setup feels really, really good. Thanks!