Gear West Ski & Run has sold plenty of Salomon “S-LAB” products, however I had a limited idea of why the “LAB” title was placed on their top end products. Brian and I had the unique opportunity to visit Salomon’s design center in Annecy, France, just one hour outside Chamonix in the Alps. The Salomon ‘think tank’ is a fascinating study on how athletes, designers, researchers and engineers collaborate their efforts to invent super cool products.
After being in the ski business for twenty years I was very surprised to find there are still things that I do not know. For example, did you know there are 70+ pieces needed to construct a top race ski boot? Or that the cost of producing a larger foot mold to accommodate size 15+ feet is several hundred thousand dollars? Also, Salomon has every sponsored athlete’s unique foot mold, and can make one custom prototype at the design center for said athlete to use and provide instant design adjustments.
|Pick your athlete|
|Killian dominating the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB)|
For me, Salomon products now have more depth as I now understand the authenticity behind the development of an S-LAB shoe, ski, or boot. I am excited as a retailer to explain the hows and whys of the S-LAB classic boot, or what makes an Equipe 10 skate ski work so well, or why the Speedcross trail shoe is so much fun to own. It’s this well designed and well thought out equipment that makes it so much fun to race, train or tour.