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What's wrong with TxPro

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  • What's wrong with TxPro

    So I’m both pleading and provoking Scarpa to stop waiting for the tele market to grow and provide a reason for it to grow — a tele boot with walk mobility like Maestrale, Dynafit inserts for touring efficiency, their trademark smooth flexing sole, and if you could shave half a pound per boot while you’re at it without compromising anything else, what telemark skier in their right mind wouldn’t upgrade their boots?
    The front page had an interesting article suggesting market for telemark is hundreds of thousands not millions. Part of problem is tele gear hasn't kept pace with AT gear. I got TxPro last season and I'm trying to think how it could be better. Haven't tried Maestrale so perhaps I don't know what great walk mode is like. But TxPro isn't bad. Sole seems flexy enough. Lighter weight is always good but TxPro is 18% lighter than same size T1s they replaced.

    Spoke with a Scarpa guy at their booth at Denver ski show. He said tele market had dropped sharply but is showing a little bit of growth recently. He said they may update NTN boots if market continues to strengthen. TxPro is best boot I've ever skied so wonder what I'm missing?

  • #2
    Originally posted by paul View Post
    The front page had an interesting article suggesting market for telemark is hundreds of thousands not millions. Part of problem is tele gear hasn't kept pace with AT gear. I got TxPro last season and I'm trying to think how it could be better. Haven't tried Maestrale so perhaps I don't know what great walk mode is like. But TxPro isn't bad. Sole seems flexy enough. Lighter weight is always good but TxPro is 18% lighter than same size T1s they replaced.

    Spoke with a Scarpa guy at their booth at Denver ski show. He said tele market had dropped sharply but is showing a little bit of growth recently. He said they may update NTN boots if market continues to strengthen. TxPro is best boot I've ever skied so wonder what I'm missing?
    I'm afraid I tend to agree with Paul, Craig- I am very satisfied with the TxPro, I am never in any hurry to take them off at the end of the day and they perform great. People I know that converted to AT did so because they never mastered or fell in love with the tele turn, not because of the equipment (the advancement of AT stuff facilitated this, but they would never go back no matter how good tele stuff got).

    I find this quote surprising: Scarpa’s Kim Miller, President of Scarpa USA confirmed it, “No question, NTN is outselling 75mm now. It looks like the future of tele, especially now that there are other [binding] choices.” I still see at least 20 to 1 75mm/NTN ratio at both the resort and in the BC. Where are all these bindings being used? CA? East? Yurp?

    But we don't need to grow- as stated by ol Cactus Ed- "growth for growth's sake is the philosophy of a cancer cell"
    Last edited by Tele 'til You're Smelly; 11 February 2014, 04:25 PM.
    Reluctant enthusiast, part-time crusader, half-hearted fanatic

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    • #3
      I see a a lot of folks on NTN now. Most folks I know who ski a lot, not weekend warriors, are moving to NTN with a couple TTS guys. I love the Tx Pro/Comp boots.

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      • #4
        FWIW the TX Comp weighs exactly the same as the TX Pro. I used to tell my self the TX Pro toured better to justify owning both but the other day I put on one of each and I could not tell the difference in skinning in them but I did not go all that far. The boot that really impresses me is the TX. I would not ski my biggest skis or to many bump runs in them but what you get for weight versus performance is better then any boot I have ever owned. I also have to qualify this with the fact that I have not been on AT gear since I used Silvrettas with mountaineering boots as an approach set up.

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        • #5
          I don't think it's a problem with those boots, it's just a problem that they weigh 3.75 lb, like most other tele boots. Meanwhile, AT boots are being offered in lighter and lighter versions (less than 3 lb, some even less than 2 lb). I think Craig's point is that Scarpa's line of AT boots indicate that it could offer a light telemark boot that still has a fair degree of stability. The T1 / Tx Pro is an excellent boot, but it could, technologically speaking, skinny up.

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          • #6
            I think it would be great if someone made a super light tele boot similar to the super light AT boots. Not going to happen. One of the reasons I took up tele it because is was not very popular and different so it would be silly for me to complain about the side effects because the sport that is not very popular and different.
            Last edited by James; 11 February 2014, 05:18 PM.

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            • #7
              I think if it's not going to happen it's b/c there's no money in it. That may be right. I read markets worse than Lehman Brothers.

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              • #8
                The Scarpa guy at ski show booth made it sound like an upgrade of NTN boot line is under active discussion. They may not even need much growth. Just a stable tele market with normal switching by alpiners/borders wanting to try something new.

                The big dollars right now is in converting people from 75mm to NTN. Cost is a major impediment. I got TxPro 2 years ago to use w/ dynafit then got the Freedom when it came out. Even w/ some discounts NTN boot/binding was $1k with tax. Then I got some wider skis and now need another pair of Freedoms (in spite of my pile of old HH/G3 bindings). Waiting to find a sale. My wife saw me not having to bend over after lunch so she went NTN. Another grand. Then there's her 105mm skis that still have switchbacks. Over a few year time our conversion will be pushing $3k total. And Scarpa has been getting most of it. So there's no way I'm buying an "improved" NTN boot in the next 5 years.

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                • #9
                  If you spent a grand getting into NTN then I feel sorry for you.

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                  • #10
                    There was a weird economy of scale thing that happened in the last decade with telemark. Some how every manufacturer was making a boot for about $175 wholesale that they were trying to sell for $399 in the year 2000. By the time I moved back to the states and bought new gear in 2009 a lot of boots were nearly $400 wholesale and $700 retail. Granted there are currencies involved and general inflation, but that seems like a pretty extreme change.

                    My experience has been totally different than "Tele 'Til Your Smelly's." I skied with a bunch of ripping tele skiers from the late-nineties until the mid to late 00', but one after another they pretty much all switched. We are all getting older and the weight was probably the biggest factor. Everyone learned to tele to get into the BC because that was the reliable gear. We didn't have the money or trust in the tech binding. Once tele gear was equal or more expensive and equal or less reliable it didn't take long. I still tele and am excited about getting out on TTS, but I doubt that something w/out a fixed heel will ever be my "go to" set up again. Luckily I do feel like it's like riding a bike and I don't feel like I've lost a lot.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by airinwrite View Post
                      If you spent a grand getting into NTN then I feel sorry for you.
                      What does that mean? Isn't that what retail price is for a binding and boot?

                      You feel sorry for anyone who doesn't get it on a deal or on sale?

                      You must be the coolest mother on this forum, man. It's so gauche to pay retail, huh? Just duct tape those bellows and keep riding, or maybe blow a pro and get some hand me downs...

                      I feel sorry for people who are born with birth defects or have a terrible accident, not someone who pays retail. Ever heard of buying local? Guess that doesn't apply when you live in stickville.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Matt J View Post
                        What does that mean? Isn't that what retail price is for a binding and boot?

                        You feel sorry for anyone who doesn't get it on a deal or on sale?

                        You must be the coolest mother on this forum, man. It's so gauche to pay retail, huh? Just duct tape those bellows and keep riding, or maybe blow a pro and get some hand me downs...

                        I feel sorry for people who are born with birth defects or have a terrible accident, not someone who pays retail. Ever heard of buying local? Guess that doesn't apply when you live in stickville.
                        I bought some new NTN boots and bindings and it was around $700. No pro deal, just shopped around a bit. I did buy the Freerides at the local independent for $275. I bought my Tx Comps from BC because my local shop couldn't get them from Scarpa last spring. My first NTN boots were used for $200. So I got into NTN for $475, I thought it was a steal for trying a new system. Once I knew I liked it I bought Comps when my Pros wore out and some Freedoms last spring on sale.

                        I guess if you just have to have something now, you pay full retail. So yeah, I feel sorry for someone shelling out $1000 to try something new.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tele 'til You're Smelly View Post
                          I'm afraid I tend to agree with Paul, Craig- I am very satisfied with the TxPro, I am never in any hurry to take them off at the end of the day and they perform great. People I know that converted to AT did so because they never mastered or fell in love with the tele turn, not because of the equipment (the advancement of AT stuff facilitated this, but they would never go back no matter how good tele stuff got).

                          I find this quote surprising: Scarpa’s Kim Miller, President of Scarpa USA confirmed it, “No question, NTN is outselling 75mm now. It looks like the future of tele, especially now that there are other [binding] choices.” I still see at least 20 to 1 75mm/NTN ratio at both the resort and in the BC. Where are all these bindings being used? CA? East? Yurp?

                          But we don't need to grow- as stated by ol Cactus Ed- "growth for growth's sake is the philosophy of a cancer cell"
                          i question the "need to grow" mantra and wonder if biz models are all jacked-up. Also, all the talk about sales #'s for distributors (Scarpa NA and Crispi NA) and manufactures (Rotte) don't paint a very good picture of actual sales to consumers. Also, that discussion seemed to partially be about NA boot sales from distributors to retailers and rotte global sales of ntn bindings (not sure if that's only to distributors or also to retailers); it's all misleading information. the "costs for new molds" excuse has always felt like an excuse to me, especially after observing some boot manufactures change their molds several times over a few years. though, it's true that profits are incrementally higher per boot if they can go for several years w/o changing molds (and retailers are sometimes happier to not have new boot skus, too).

                          all that aside, i agree with the author and wonder why scarpa does not work to incorporate any of their newer ROM tech walk modes into their tele boots. In their ski line of boots, they have 4 different walk mode styles, the 'touring' mode in their tele boots is the most archaic:
                          -the "freedom" have a 27* ROM that is apparently (per TGR reviewers) very smooth, solid, and easy to use
                          -the "alpine touring" have a 40* ROM that many users seem to love
                          -the "tour lite" (aka skimo) have a 58* ROM
                          -the tele have a range of 22* (tx comp, t-race, etc.) to 30* (t2)

                          of course, ROM is only a component of making a boot easy to walk and tour in, there's also the location of ankle articulation, buckles, etc.

                          personally, i think that scarpa has put themselves into a sku problem with having many skus of both 75mm and ntn. if/when they make a drastic change with a new walk mode, their retailers will scream and the market could be flooded. the boot cost will also likely increase, too, which would be a personal bummer.

                          i'm still hoping for some stiff tele boots with a better walk mode! i would save my pennies.

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                          • #14
                            I heard that "too expensive to change the molds" excuse does not work anymore in the era of 3D printing.

                            Got NTN Freeride for $200 (new) and TX Pros for $350, also new. So much for Binding Freedom inserts and so epoxy, and I was kitted up for under $600.
                            I like all kinds of snow. The only poor snow I know of is ice. That better be climbed.

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                            • #15
                              The downside of the acceptance that tele is not growing is that fewer retailers are willing to carry gear now. This leads to the downward spiral of less folks trying telemark and buying gear, which leads to fewer sales, and so it goes.

                              I'd rather run a stable but profitable business than one that is 'growing' and still seeking to make it in the black. Dostie's point that there are more tele skiers now than during telemark's period of grown 10 years ago is the most insightful portion of the article. I just hope that manufacturers, retailers, etc. believe that it's true.

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