Decathlon launch 2019 snow catalogue and it includes skis

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Atomic Mercury and Rossignol Hero Elite MT

We recently wrote about Decathlon’s launch of their famed European Wed’ze ski and snowboard brand into the Australian market. The sports discount warehouse, today, launched their snow catalogue for 2019 at an industry function in Tempe, Sydney.

They are not ashamed to say they are taking on supermarket brand Aldi’s stronghold on budget ski and snow gear in Australia. Aldi annually hold a ski and snowboard sale that has many Aussies lining up around the block to get their hands on a cheap pair of merino base layers and outerwear for growing kids. 

The big news for Decathlon is they, unlike Aldi, are offering hardware including skis and boots making them a genuine disruptor and contender in the market against name brands.

For this season they will also be offering a women’s Atomic Cloud 11 ski and Atomic Mercury 11 binding package for AU$399 and Rossignol Hero Elite MT skis and Rossignol NX5 Konect Dual binding package for AU$449. Though I am told by a company representative that these skis are imported from Decathlon Europe, rather than through the Australian distributors of these brands.

“This year we are testing the waters, but in the future, we could extend our ski range to provide more hardware to Aussie skiers and snowboarders,” said Decathlon Australia CEO Mr Robinet today. We do think using Aussie distributors for the name brand products going forward may keep the industry on side. 

Why? Because Aldi gets under the skin of brand distributors and premium retailers in Australia each May, and for good reason. The Australian snow season is a short one, the lead in time for pre season purchase of outerwear and base layers is also short and the competition since online retailers came onboard is stiff. Discounted gear means less sales of the bigger names and the fear is that quantity will trump quality.

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We’ve written before our belief that entry level remains entry level and that lower priced kids gear allows more Aussies to enjoy the snow. Quality will always shine through whether at a discounted cheaper or more expensive price. The better the skier the better the gear required and as skiers and boarders progress so does their technical gear needs. That doesn’t change.

However Decathlon claim their Wed’ze brand with design headquarters in Chamonix in the French Alps is the goods. It’s created and designed by skiers and boarders for skiers and boarders and there is no doubt it is certainly popular in Europe. 

Decathlon is hoping that their dedication to sports wear, not supermarket groceries, will put them ahead. As their press release says “you don’t buy your pasta at a sports store – so why are you buying your ski and snowboard gear at a supermarket?”

In total, Decathlon will have more than 150 different ski products available at four sports warehouses in Sydney and Melbourne and online. Adult jackets start at AU$49 and kids ski pants at $29.

They even have Wed’ze ski boots for $150 for adults and $129 for kids, if you’re game. Without a qualified and experienced boot fitter, ski boots can end up being the bane of a skier’s purchase life. So tread with serious caution unless (unlike me and my bunions) you have a uniform foot (which no one has, literally, no one).

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As we wrote last week, we certainly can’t vouch for the quality of any of the products as we are yet to see them or test them. But there are tech specs on the site for outerwear including breathability, warmth and more so you can see what you’re getting for your dollars.

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.