UK Sales Agent & Brand manager for Dynastar Skis & Lange Ski Boots
Scott Dobson is the UK Sales Agent & Brand manager for Dynastar Skis & Lange Ski Boots. Scott has been in the UK Ski industry for a while & is a respected member of the Ski Industry. Scott also brings other winter brands to the UK & I caught up with him to discuss.
Tell us about yourself……
My name is Scott and I have been working on the wholesale side of the ski industry for over 34 years. I have skied since the age of 10 learning at Hillend Ski Centre in Edinburgh, started racing and working up through all the teams to make the British Ski Team in 1989. After I Injured my knee, I started down the coaching route and Instructor route. At the age of 22 I joined the Army, The Royal Gren Jackets to be precise, and raced for them, The Army and Combined Services until I left. I then went back to Instructing worked my way up to be a BASI Trainer.
I started as a rep for a great company called Mast-Co, run by Tom and Sally Spurway. I looked after Fischer skis, Dynafit Skiboots, Tyrolia bindings, Scott products, then we got Volkl, Market, Tecnica and Toko. I stayed with Mast-Co for 16 years before getting the opportunity to look after Dynastar and Lange 14 years ago.
How did you become the Head Agent/Brand Manager for Dynastar & Lange? What advice would you give to those who want to follow a similar career path?
A friend of mine was looking after Dynastar and Lange and wanted to move onto new areas in his business, so he set up the call and after a few trips to Sallanches, the home of Dynastar, I was taken on as their commercial agent for the UK.
As an agent it can be quite daunting to start with, lots of work and long periods with little money as commissions are normally paid on invoices paid, so when you start in January, do a sell in season, go through the summer and early winter waiting for stock to be delivered, and dealers to pay their invoices it can be a lean period.
Advice is go for it but be prepared for some hard times!!
- What is so special about the Dynastar & Lange Brands?
They are a very passionate about what they do & make great products. Lange is probably the most copied boot on the market place, the bench mark, the boot that many racers use and has great heritage
- What’s working in the Ski Industry really like, do you Ski a lot?
Not enough skiing when you work as an agent or rep sadly. The ski tests are a lot of standing around adjusting bindings, product launches are indoor meetings with some testing being done and really the most skiing I get is when I go on holiday for myself
- Which other Brands do you bring into the UK?
I also look after Shred, Toko, Zipfit and Lenz
- Which segment of Dynastar is biggest for the brand, race, freeride etc & which areas are they working on?
It depends, Freeride is a strong empahasise for Dynastar. Dynastar was born in the Chamonix Valley, racing was where they initially made there name back in the late 60’s and of course in the intervening years has always been a strong brand.
As a brand they are working on freeride, race and women ranges
- What are your favourite Skis from each category? (i.e. Race, Freeride, touring etc)
My favourite skis are the new Speed Course Master GS skis in piste performance, M-Pro 99 in Freeride
- Your favourite Lange boot & other favourite products?
Favourite boot just now is the Lange RX Heritage boot, though I am waiting to get out on the new XT3 140 pro model
Other products, Zipfit goes into all my shells, it gives that extra fit that I love from a brilliant Lange shell. Shred goggles, I can finally see where I am skiing as before I never had a good fitting Over the glass goggle, so always used sunglasses, and of course my Shred Helmet. If I get cold toes I switch my Lenz heated socks on.
- How do you think the current Covid-19 situation with affect Ski Holidays this winter?
At the moment it’s a mess, no skiing till early to mid January. So holidays and therefore retail sales are not running at top speed. When things change and we can travel again more easily then things will improve, and providing we do not get another lock down as last year we could, snow permitting have a long season.
- You are a member of the SIGB (Ski Industries of Great Britain), how important do you think the SIGB is for the ski industry & could it work more with Brands to promote skiing to the public?
I am a member but not heavily involved. I think there could be ways for them to work and promote winter sports, but in which way I don’t have a firm commitment right now. We have to show the benefits, the fun and the different areas we can all articipate in
- Which high profile Athlete’s do you have using your brands?
Dynastar and Lange we have Clement Noel, 2nd in the world in Slalom, a number of lower ranking racers, and of course Alex Tilley.
Freeride we have;
Richard Permin – https://www.instagram.com/richardpermin/?hl=en
Reine Barkered – https://www.instagram.com/reinebarkered/?hl=en
Sophie Lechasseur – https://www.instagram.com/sophielechasseur/?hl=en
Conor Pelton – https://www.instagram.com/peltski/?hl=en
Ski Cross Jean Fred Chapuis – https://www.instagram.com/jfchapuis/?hl=en
Vivian Bruchez – Extreme skier – https://www.instagram.com/vivianbruchez/?hl=en
What’s most important to you, first lift or first at happy hour?
First lift, I am not the biggest party goer!!
What do Winter Sports mean to you?
Its been my life since I left school, through racing, coaching, instructing and the last 34 years as a rep, so its very important to me.
Are there any Winter Sports charities that your Brands or you personally support in the UK?
Not 1 specifically, I try and spread what I can around lots of different avenues.
Lastly, Winter Insight is a new platform to link Industry, Consumer, Trade & Media across Winter Sports. Do you agree that linking consumers & industry can only be positive for the industry?
Any route to consumers is very important and the more we can engage and keep them the better. We are in a position where we have lost a fair part of last seasons winter and looks like we may miss a chunk of this winter so we have to keep them interested, involved and have a desire to get out there and slide