I’ve come to really agree with a slogan used by Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream saying “If it’s not fun, why do it?”
That’s the way I feel about Dodge Ski Boots. Pretty much each day is fun. And this week has been even more so.
Sunday we were at Burke for the NorAm Super G and Super Combined. Like I said in an earlier post, we saw many people and had great response to the Dodge Ski Boot. Warner Nickerson was making some awesome turns in both the Super G and Slalom that, I think, were helped by the boot.
Monday we went back over to Burke to do a few mods to Warner’s boots. It was unplanned but proved to be a really good trip. One racer not skiing in the Super G did some pretty comprehensive testing of the boot on the practice hill and liked the boot well enough he wanted to use them in events later this week. It was interesting to see the number of racers wanting to learn more about the boot, try it on and wish they could test it if they weren’t under contract to other companies! Even more interesting was to see the bystanders (other racers and especially coaching staff) who were alternately asking questions or pretending not to notice.
Warner wanted a stiffer boot and gave us some good feedback, which got us pumped up enough to race back to the shop to start work on a new shell for him that would be King Kong flex/stiffness. By 6 PM I had all the new parts molded, Dave had them cut on the laser robot, and we were ready for gluing and assembly of the lower shells to the soles the next day.
Did I say it was fun? Yeah, it’s really cool to be able to get input, figure out the details in the car ride back to the shop and then have a solution in action within hours instead of the months it used to take when we worked for other outfits.
Tuesday’s Stowe “Whirled Cup” aka Ski Bum Race is my and Dave’s weekly diversion for boot tests, marketing and enjoyment. This week’s foray was exceptional (at least for me) as the weather was fabulous. I think I’m finally learning how to ski again and figuring out how to turn the big boy GS skis that J.P. set up for me from spare parts (Rossi skis, Head bindings, Fischer plates) that I call “FrankenSkis”.
In the midst of this I got a phone call from Steve Kelley saying Warner slayed the field in the first run at the Waterville NorAm GS! Then, Peter Dodge called and gave me his observations of the run and in the middle of that phone call, Warner called and told me his first-hand report. Check out the newspaper article from the Laconia Citizen. Warner also did a great write-up on his blog at http://warnernickerson.com/news/. He was laughing at all the attention he and the Dodge boot were suddenly getting and said he could barely inspect the 2nd run because so many people were asking him about the boot! I was pissing my pants laughing about it.
Pumped up, I ran early, had a decent run and was so excited about finishing up Warner’s boots that I left midway through the race to get back to the shop. I continued worked on the boots `til Dave arrived later. Terry Sheahan came by at 4 PM so we could go through some business planning. It is so refreshing to work with Dave & Terry. I like them. I trust them. And we have a good time together. When Terry left, we got everything together and started the gluing assembly part. Finally finished up for the evening about 8 PM, but with a huge smile on my face.
Yesterday was just a little final nut and bolt work on Warner’s boots and assembling the lowers and uppers, so it was almost lethargic compared to earlier in the week. But I was able to work on boots we will be testing with other racers. So it was a good catch-up day. That is until about 5 PM when a severely over-loaded Honda station wagon pulled up the drive with Warner and the “Dreamin’ The Life Plus One” crew.
Dave & I were working on boot shells, liners, fitting so the shop looked like a hurricane hit. It was great! The guys are really truly nice and enjoyed the shop atmosphere. When Bonnie made fresh cookies and served dinner I wasn’t sure they were too psyched to head back down the road to the GMVS dorms for the night.
Ski fast and have FUN at Sugarbush today and tomorrow guys.
Dave & I are back at it today.