Glossary of Ski Industry Insider Deals

Post by blogger | November 22, 2010      

Pro deal: When you fill out the pro form, your qualification is you volunteered at a running race feeding station last summer.

Bro deal: You used the word “Dude” within the last three hours, and have more than 2,000 songs and 3 TGR films on your iPod. You know another person who has these same attributes. He works at Armada. The rest is history.

Under the table deal: You wake up to the sound of a vacuum cleaner. You look around. Wow, I’m under a table at a pub in Whistler! Never mind how you got here, snoring next to you is a guy who works for Volkl, your favorite ski company. You wake up your tent mate before the cleaning person can sweep table scraps into his beard. In return, he agrees to sell you some skis at wholesale.

Anyone have more definitions and ways to get those skis on the cheap? Comments on!


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


14 Responses to “Glossary of Ski Industry Insider Deals”

  1. Marcin November 22nd, 2010 8:08 am

    Dumping practice deal: You go dumpster diving at the Hagan factory in Austria. You pick up two boards that have the same graphics. You look at the serial numbers, of course they’re unpaired. How different can the two skis be, right?

  2. Lou November 22nd, 2010 8:20 am


  3. Brian Hessling November 22nd, 2010 10:49 am

    “The hook up”: You work at a gear shop, but your shop doesn’t carry the skis you want. You incessantly annoy the shop veteran, with years of industry experience, to call his buddy who “used to work for so and so and might know”…the problem is this was in 1988. Your skis show up in March. They have been tapped and the top sheet has somebodys’ initials on them…

  4. jondrums November 22nd, 2010 11:56 am

    blog “reviewer”: you run a blog, and convince big companies that simply by giving you you free equipment, they can get valuable exposure on the most relevant site on the internet. No offense intended of course 🙂

  5. Lou November 22nd, 2010 12:05 pm

    Jondrums, thanks for helping me with the business plan I’m writing (grin).

  6. Tom G. November 22nd, 2010 12:29 pm

    Fake Creds Deal:

    You print up business cards and letterhead on your inkjet that say “High Country Ski & Sports” and mail a few letters to 3rd tier ski & board reps looking for an invite to a winter rep show. Tell ’em you’re opening mid-season and looking fr fill-in stock so you sound like a vet. Open a freebie website with your fake logo saying “Coming soon”. Wait for invites and then get three of your best friends to become shop employees for the day.

  7. Jonathan Shefftz November 22nd, 2010 1:42 pm

    “convince big companies that simply by giving you free equipment, they can get valuable exposure on the most relevant site on the internet”
    — Clearly I need to improve my powers of persuasion: after writing up a glowing review of a certain highly specialized product last year, this year I can’t even convince the company to *sell* me the broader-appeal successor product…

  8. Kim November 22nd, 2010 4:23 pm

    Lou, I’m guessing that someone has done this before, but I also think there needs to be light-hearted translations for the spin used in the snow reports provided by the resorts.

    For example;
    Packed powder = Ice that only the tiller of a groomer can penetrate
    Firm = Blue ice
    Wind blown stashes to be found = chopped up crud off-piste
    Flat light = Fog so dense that you would be best to rope up if you want to find your buddy again and then use techniques for traversing crevasse terrain to find your way downhill
    A few showers = dress for white water rafting

  9. David November 22nd, 2010 6:28 pm

    “Mates rates”…transcends ski equipment to include lift tickets, on snow accommodation and meals etc.
    Be a good fun guy to hang with, always be honest and chip in when the work needs doing and beers need buying. Live in a cool place that mountain folk want to visit, like on the beach (if through circumstance and the desire to earn a decent living dictates mountain living untenable). Ensure the hard yards have been skied through the early years as a ski bum with many seasons under the belt for cred.
    Then make strategic friends and stay in contact with them. Trust me it works. Look for friends who own or manage a ski shop, own or manage ski resorts, heli ski operations and sponsored skiers.
    Drawbacks can be the requirement to spending some time resort skiing.

  10. Jon November 22nd, 2010 11:03 pm

    Step 1: Write some software for a ski company (I won’t mention names)

    Step 2: When they start saying that it’s too late in the season to justify paying you (for what you’ve already done), offer to accept payment in equipment.

    Step 3: Soak up all you can–I got tele bindings, skis, poles, skins, and axe for myself and AT bindings for my wife!

    Anyone who works at one of these companies can relate–half of their pay to make up a normal wage is in equipment!

  11. RHS November 23rd, 2010 2:45 am

    The ‘Friend of a friend of a Pro deal’
    Pro gets given some boards/ski’s as part of deal. Boards have incorrect top sheets for size, friend of pro sells boards to ski bums at tres bon prix.
    Movement through the community.

    I am sure I will be chastised for mentioning such terrible behavior 😉

  12. Tim November 23rd, 2010 8:59 pm

    The “friends taking care of friends” deal.

    The “friend” who works in a ski shop buys gear when it goes on closeout in the spring, and passes it along at cost to his mates. Or he gets gear at wholesale, and passes it along at his cost. The favors are returned in various ways, drinks, gas money on road trips, herbaceous substances.

    Nobody has much money, but everyone gets what they need.

  13. Jimbo November 25th, 2010 10:13 pm

    AT = already tele’d

  14. DaMainah November 26th, 2010 1:45 pm

    All these mountain dwellers and no one touched on perhaps one of the most common deals around?
    I’m talking about (sorry gods of sexism) the ‘Ho Deal.’

    It’s one of the simplest to gain access to, if you have the right equipment to begin with. Be attractive. Be available (but never too available). Express an interest in whatever sport you’re actually interested in. Watch offers to go backcountry skiing come pouring, along with the eventual offers to help you ‘upgrade your equipment.’ You’ve successfully sealed the deal at that point.

    Though this deal has been know to work for the male of the species, it’s usually the female that benefits most. Guys who wouldn’t even let you, another dude, look at their brand new sled aren’t overly hesitant to let a lady press down the throttle. Or hook them up with a deal they might happen to have access to…

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version