The ReddyYeti Podcast EP: 18 Revision Skis - Sustainably made skis & an industry best warranty. Co-founder Bill Wanrooy Sharing His Story

Revision Skis

Current skis not cutting it?

It might be time to make a revision to your quiver

 

To find out more behind how Revision Skis got it’s start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews Revision Skis cofounder, Bill Wanrooy

 

More about the episode...

 

Josh sits down with Revision Skis co-founder Bill Wanrooy. Revision Skis, based out of Denver, CO is a ski brand that focuses on freestyle skiing but, they are far from your average brand. Bill, along with Revision’s other cofounder David Bartels, have created one of the leading warranty programs in the industry. Unlike other brands, Revision Skis warranty covers rail damage, a feature that most freestyle skiers are hitting. Instead of dealing with dings and dents, Revision will make sure your planks are in tip top shape to get you back in the park. Revision is also involved with the carbon fund and are in constant pursuit of ways to make their operation more environmentally sustainable.

Links/resources:

 

Show Notes:

 

  • Where are you from and why did you start Revision Skis?

    • “I’m originally from Michigan and prior to starting Revision Skis I was a partner of another ski brand...We kind of got our crash course in the ski business by, not only trying to build a brand and market it but also building the skis ourselves…”

  • Did you grow up skiing?

    • “Skiing has always been a huge part of my life, it’s been at the forefront of my priorities ever since I was a little kid…”

  • What made you guys so dedicated to having one of the strongest warranty policies in the ski industry?

    • “We’ve been able to focus heavily on quality. We’ve felt really strongly about the quality of our product and want to stand behind it for our customers...”

    • “If you look at the ski industry ever since the invention of twin tips, they’ve been marketed for skiers that are hitting park and rails yet, every big company is excluding that kind of damage from their warranty…”

  • What did you do before you were involved with the ski biz?

    • “In college I studied business and went to graduate school for information systems. As far as professional career I started in pharmaceutical sales and then ended up in medical software consulting…”

  • What is Revision Skis and how do you guys stand out?

    • “Revision Skis is founded by myself and my business partner David Bartels. We’re focused on the ski and freestyle skiing market. The way we stand out amongst competition is that we are a fully carbon neutral ski company and, we also offer one of the leading warranty programs in the industry…”

  • What was your process in developing Revision skis?

    • “The winter before our company launched, in august 2014, we tested different ski designs while also testing different factories at the same time…”

    • “It took a lot of work because we were trying to look for the perfect shapes for our skis while trying to find the perfect manufacturer at the same time...”

  • How did you guys get Revisions skis on the map?

    • “It’s a lot of outreach. Luckily I’ve had a few connections from previous experiences…really just working the phones and knocking on doors, and talking to people.

    • “There’s a lot of new ski companies everyday it feels like. I think the biggest thing that makes you standout is the people behind it…”

  • What is something about you or your business that no one really knows about?

    • “In addition to our sustainability practices and our warranty program, one of the biggest things that makes us really stand out is we’re really focused on the direct to consumer model…”

  • How do you get skiers comfortable with your product especially if they’ve never seen it before or ridden it?

    • “The ways that we’ve tried to address that is we’ve gone heavily with sponsoring riders. The first couple years we were flowing a lot of skis to riders in the hot spots-- summit county, salt lake city area, etc…Mainly our growth has been through word of mouth…”

  • What mentors have you had to help your growth with Revision?

    • “When we were building our own skis, I really had to learn the hard way. There’s a few people you can reach out to and you can get a little bit of limited information but, no one would tell you what you really need to know...my biggest way of knowing that was not through a mentor but through detective work...”

  • What is Revisions commitment to sustainability?

    • “We made the commitment to be 100% carbon neutral. We’re always trying to be more efficient in our production but, for every pair of skis we’re making we’re off setting our carbon footprint through the carbon fund…”

  • What does it mean that you’re carbon neutral?

    • “We’re trying to change our manufacturing process to cut down on waste but, that’s a little bit of a challenge because we’re having a different factory make our skis for us...in order to be carbon neutral we’re basically buying carbon offsets from the carbon fund in order to offset any of the impact from our production…”

  • What is the culture around Revision Skis?

    • “We’re basing it all on creativity, having fun, taking risks, and really doing things our own way. We’re not trying to follow the crowd and follow the timelines that the rest of the industry is doing…”

  • What would you say is one of the hardest parts about starting Revision skis?

    • “I think it’s how to efficiently reach customers in a sustainable way where you’re not just spending a bunch of money on advertisement and just hoping it works...”

  • What would you say is one of your biggest fears with Revision and how do you manage it?

    • “I think the biggest fear that I have is someone placing an order and not being happy with our product. That’s something we really worked hard to prevent and the last thing we want happening is the wrong people buying our skis. We want to reach the right customers so they know what they’re buying because they’re buying it sight unseen…”

  • What would you say has been one of the biggest mistakes you guys have made with revision?

    • “It kind of ties back into repeatable processes. We just dove right into it and we haven’t really documented our process when we got started...The first year we didn’t document any repeatable processes, which resulted in a lot of lost time…”

  • How did you guys come up with the name Revision Skis?

    • “I kind of got my start in the ski industry working on this other ski brand that I had founded with three other guys. I think we all learned a ton from the experience and I walked away from that experience knowing exactly how I wanted my ski brand to be. Basically I was revising my view on how to run a ski company…”

  • What advice would you give someone who is looking to start a business in the outdoor sport world?

    • “I think the biggest piece of advice that I’d have is make sure you're working on something you’re totally passionate about. You can have the greatest idea in the world but if it isn’t waking you up in the middle of night you probably shouldn’t be doing it because it’s going to be a lot of hard work…”

  • Where do you see Revision headed into the future

    • “In the next year I think we’re really focused on our order fulfillment process and our inventory forecasting. I think that those are two areas we have a lot of area for improvement…”

  • What would you say is the best part about running revision?

    • The best part about running revision is definitely just connecting with our customers...Our following is really really specialized and definitely the core of the industry and they love what we’re doing. That’s been the best part, just getting people genuinely stoked on skiing and making a lot of friends in the process…”

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