Part two of the interview continues as we chat live with the Line Skis founder about life, skiing, and the status quo.
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We've recapped Jason Levinthal's Q&A Session from this past Monday, June 5, 2006. Questions are displayed in blue text with Jason's replies in blold. Thanks again to Jason for participating and the members for all of their questions.
Subject: ***Live Q&A Session With Jason Levinthal From Line Skis***
Jun 5 2006
9:33:55 Welcome to the live chat with Jason Levinthal from Line Skis. As you know, Line was recently acquired by K2 Sports and J will be answering your questions from 10:00pm until he gets sleepy. Jason posts under the name Snowninja and will get to as many posts as possible. I'll be moderating for anything repetitive and will be posting a recap of the discussion in the News.
So post your questions and let's make this happen.
Jun 5 2006
9:44:00 Quoting Tmorry326* from Jun 5 2006 9:34:04:
I have nothing but respect for you and what you've done by the way, for the industry and all of us, I just have to get these questions out there...
Honest opinions of k2 before the deal. honest. seriously be honest.
You said you this didnt personally effect your financial gains. explain that.
Don't you feel like you've lost your TRUE image of being for the younger freerider and now are just another player in K2 Sports big scheme of making shareholders smile?
Their investor site hasn't even dropped word of the Line buy-out. I'm intersted to see how much the stock moves from our little freeskiing addition. Why no mention of it from k2 sports yet?
p.s. Last trade was at $11.54
First Quarter 2006 Net Sales of $348.1 million, reflecting growth of 9.4%
Can't wait to see how great or little of effect it will have on Net Sales and Stock price...can't wait.
Short term it may help line skis as a whole, but what about 5 years from now? don't you feel LINE like it used to be will dissolve and become just another twintip maker...
Don't you feel like this, and similar moves like this are killing our separate niche of skiing. we need to be separeated and this just ties independents and larger companies together more.
Big, corporate, understands where the sport is going and supports it
The majority of Line was sold to Trak back in '99 so the money went to Trak, not me.
I didn't change my image since last thursday, I'm the same person, the brand's mission didn't change, business exists to make money to pay the people that work and have ownership, if it makes them smile great, Line is only valuable to K2 as Line not by being someone whe're not.
Its really not a big deal that effects wall street. We're a small company with small sales. We've just got lots of potential and now can make that potential a reality thanks to them.
We'll never disolve 5 yrs from now and just be another, being one of a kind has kept us unique and vaulable to skiers and the industry the past 11 the next 5 will be no different
independents or not, mission will remain the same
Quoting Steptfilmer09* from Jun 5 2006 9:36:23:
when i go to camp will k2 carry next years lines to demo?
no, we'll have our same Line reps
Quoting Jklops* from Jun 5 2006 9:36:50:
Are there going to be any changes to the pro team now that the company has more money
we won't have more money until we sell more product. Just because a big company owns the brand, doesn't mean we can spend money we don't have. We'll build the team as we grow, over time.
Quoting mattster333* from Jun 5 2006 9:37:07:
how will the move affect the quality of your skis, price of your skis, range of your skis, and being innovative with new products ?
same prices, much better quality, incrase the range over time, continue to inovate
Quoting snoopy*$ from Jun 5 2006 9:37:19:
taylor pretty much covered the GOOD questions, but i have to know.
will line skis, even though owned by k2, still be named line?
Yes, we wouldn't be Line if we weren't Line
Quoting libertie* from Jun 5 2006 9:37:25:
J. Lev with this new finacial backing will you + the k2 try to reivent the reactor binging?
time will tell
Quoting D-glenflip* from Jun 5 2006 9:37:42:
where will next years skis be manufactured??
In the most advanced ski factory in the world in China where K2 skis are made
Quoting Heath.*$$ from Jun 5 2006 9:38:06:
Jason, im gonna honestly say, fuck yes. You fucking scored. Way to take the money, way to go man, everyone needs money. Fuck people who say you "sold out". Why wouldn't you want truck loads of money? But ok, to the questions:
1. Will Line Skis still be control by yourself, and kept how it is now?
2. Will all line skis be made in K2 factories now?(im pretty sure they will but im just making sure)
3. Will any of the names/graphics/riders/anything be changed by K2 from what they used to be?
4. Was this your decison, or someone elses?
Thanks for your time.
4 it was everyone involved decision, is made incredibly good sense for the Line brand and Line's future
Quoting fukeneh* from Jun 5 2006 9:38:16:
dear jason, why are we going to have a q&a session when every question is going to be "why did you sell out, and how does this affect the future of line?"
so people could see that you'd find a new way to ask it again
Quoting estcst101*$$ from Jun 5 2006 9:44:21:
thinking back on the risks that you took when line was solo, would you have done anything differently so that line could have prolonged staying independant, or was this a more favorable future that was inevidable.
In order for Line to have the strongest future possible, we needed this level of support.
Quoting .Winterparksu...* from Jun 5 2006 9:44:32:
will line skis be made better and stronger now that a quality company like k2 has taken over your shit?
Quoting pklink04* from Jun 5 2006 9:45:45:
Jason you keep it real, do care what this kids say about you sellin out, cuz you didn't. But where do you see line going, it seems its going more big mountain, like so many more wide skis then last few years, and less an empasis on park, do you feel the same
We're expanded into big mtn because we believe that is driving the progression of the sport as hard as freestyle simply on different terrain. thanks for the support!
Quoting Bo-* from Jun 5 2006 9:47:10:
1: what's your fee?
2: what's the highest fee of the pro's and who is that?
3: as you probably know, weight of ski bindings are essential. Are Line going to put the reactor on a diet?
4: Any real-twins coming out besides the invader? and what did you improve with that ski since alot of people complained about the poor quality?
5: I live in sweden and want to buy skis but there's no agent. When can Line skis be avalible? Honestly, the market in sweden is huge, and people don't buy unless there's an import agent for warranty and such...
1 cost to live
3 reducing carbs
4 Anthem is wider version 93mm waist and slightly firmer flex. Invader will have new bombproof construction in the tips & topsheet
Quoting Tmorry326* from Jun 5 2006 9:48:02:
Answer my question on your honest to god's honest truth on your opinion of k2 sports and k2 skis before this move. Please
.Dude, they are our biggest competitor because they were one of the few large companies that got it. I thought they were super corporate and big but always knew they knew what was up anyway but obviously they weren't small like us so we were able to focus exclusively on this direction of the sport which gives us our own advantages over the big guys which is the reason they saw value in buying us because we are what they aren't and thats exactly why they are supporting us to make sure we stay that way and around for years to come to support you. DONE.
Quoting Mex_LineJib^a* from Jun 5 2006 9:49:34:
jason.. just wanted to say that the whole line story really inspired me. i thought the sport was dead until i finally cought up with the whole newschool movement through line skis.
just wanted to say much thanks for founding an awesome company, a really cool brand and for helping our sport progress. i guess it's time now that you profit from it.. enjoy!
oh and what's gonna happen to pollard??
Thanks for the support man! Pollard was one of the first people I told when the deal went down. He was with me and Line since he was 16. He was more psyched then anyone else I've told so far. He immediately realized this would mean he has more potential to see his vision for skiing's future become a reality. He knows how much work and resources it takes to develop innovative products year after hear at high speed and he truely believes that this will give Line the boost needed to take things all the way.
Quoting Ryno*$ from Jun 5 2006 9:50:20:
This is my 2cents on this:
Line has done more for this sport then anyone can imagine.
You can dissagree on there current move. But you CANNOT knock the driving force of J Lev...He has been in it from his heart since day one (no matter what the monatary cost has been to him), and has pushed this sport more then ANY other company out there.
Even if Salomon never came out with the 1080, Line was already building skiblades and they were progressivly getting longer.
Line would have been the Burton of newschool skiing has salomon not beat them to the gun.
Never knock LINE again for what they are doing. Look what they have done. You should be gratful for them.
Hating on Line because they blew up and Surface is still small and core is like hating on Burton cause they blew up but sticking with Rome boards or some other new, upstart company.
When a company does well, they grow. Face it. Thats how business here works.
What other company, EVERY YEAR comes out with the variety of products and the BALLS to try new shit on them EVERY year?
If Line failed at everything they made, they still opened that door for other companies and that should be reconized.
Lets wait it out and see how this works out in the long term, but if (as J says) that Line wont be getting any money from them for a team, it seems like nothing will chance.
Jason, I have nothing but respect for you and your company. Only YOU truely know whats best and I hope to be riding Line skis again someday.
Word up! I hear you, no worries. I'll continue to get your back. Thanks
Quoting ride1080* from Jun 5 2006 9:51:02:
since you're moving to the k2 factory, will future line skis be made using k2's traditional triaxial fiberglass wrap or will you still do your 4d fiberglass wrap?
There are definitely more options for materials and ways to make our skis now and we'll be analyzing and testing all possibilities and go with what makes the most sense for each ski for optimal performance and durabilty.
Quoting BLADESTRAP* from Jun 5 2006 9:52:25:
HOW WILL THIS BUY OUT AFFECT THE LINE SNOWBLADES?
not sure it would. I'm the B-Crew's number one fan. YO!
Quoting joclatis* from Jun 5 2006 9:52:39:
does this mean bye bye for burlington?
in the spring
Quoting iheartween* from Jun 5 2006 9:52:40:
outside of the sale, what kindof changes are gonna be made in constuction of skis and bindings?
are you gonna have sidewalls instead of caps?
are you gonna have the same design staff? etc
same design crew, what ever construction makes most sense per model
Quoting DougFunnie* from Jun 5 2006 9:56:03:
are the blades gonna be fattier for pow, or skinier for better grip on cord?
shorter for walking down stairs...backwards
Quoting fkxpro*$ from Jun 5 2006 9:56:17:
will k2 and line share shelf space and or will stores be required to carry both line and K2, ie not one or the other, and internally what kind of affect do you forsee that could have on similar price point skis, ie Fujative vs invader. thanks.
nothing different then now
Quoting ATLskier*$ from Jun 5 2006 10:00:08:
This is really random, so I hope you don't mind answering this.
How does it feel to be the person(snowblading) in the first picture of an urban rail ever published in a ski magazine?
Quoting Rich* from Jun 5 2006 10:02:38:
Am I correct in assuming that the 06-07 skis will be pressed in the K2 factory and that manufacturing has already started there?
you are correct sir
Quoting camp_champ from Jun 5 2006 10:03:00:
Before the merger, Line was located in good ole Burlington, VT, now from my understanding, their head offices will move to the west coast, Will line still be as heavily involved in the east coast scene as they were before, like the rail jam in August in Burlington last year and other small events?
yes we will, we will always be ice coast locals
Quoting schmies* from Jun 5 2006 10:03:04:
What sub did you eat for lunch today, and did the Vashon sandwhich artists craft it to a desired perfection?
I am still eating mine looking out the window, ha.
Ah, yes. I found out today that the island of Vashon is perfectly disconnected from the rest of society to the point that even the people at Subway don't realize that they are supposed to make weak subs and not care about the food they make. Luckily they have never been to other locations off the island.
Quoting estcst101*$$ from Jun 5 2006 10:03:20:
iyo, will the other independant ski companies such as armada and 4frnt need to seek support from larger companies as line did, or is it possible to be a player in this sport and remain independant
Time will tell
Quoting fetus540* from Jun 5 2006 10:04:19:
IS line leaving Burlington VERMONT?
Line is everywhere all of the time. under your bed, in your closet, at your mountain, in your shop, on your computer, but the office where we answer phones and type emails is no longer in Burlington
Quoting BLADESTRAP* from Jun 5 2006 10:04:45:
ok you arn't answer my snowblade question and quite frankly im getting vervous for the future line snowblades.
Is the sale going to affect the snowblades in any way shape or form?
Quoting Al_Smith* from Jun 5 2006 10:06:10:
What changes will the consumer see in line products in the next few years as a result of the merger with k2? Can you go beyond just saying "higher quality" because it seems like every company promises that every year. thanks.
more operational support and improvement which is difficult to explain because its all the business work you don't see on the outside clearly. more ability to innovate more product, cooler graphics, expand product, deliver on time, etc. etc.
Quoting mnscratchskier*$ from Jun 5 2006 10:14:10:
Would you consider bringing back the Line Transfer boot?
Would it be realistic to see reactors for sale again in 08 with the kinks worked out?
Can you confirm for me that 07 production models will NOT have reactor holes?
And you should answer the snowblade question. B crew is standing on edge here.
no plans right now for boots, new reactors.
07 will not have inserts
Quoting robbieA* from Jun 5 2006 10:15:53:
sorry about this being a little off topic, but will there be a burlington rail jam this summer?
to be decided, we need to speak with Ski Rack about it since they were our partners in it
Quoting .Winterparksu...* from Jun 5 2006 10:17:04:
jason, if you could pick one song to describe your emotions about this whole deal with k2 what would it be?
F%$@ The Police by Public Enemy
Quoting Snowninja from Jun 5 2006 10:32:49:
F%$@ The Police by Public Enemy
I meant by NWA
Quoting lineskier09* from Jun 5 2006 10:18:20:
hey jay when you move out west are you going to sponsor alot of evert still. What changes will happen after leave the iced coast?
you'll probably get tons of powder
Quoting hemlockjibber8* from Jun 5 2006 10:19:21:
is it a possibility that the transfer boot might come back, seeing how K2 owns the rights to the raichle flexon now?
no plans for it right now
Quoting Malczyk* from Jun 5 2006 10:19:22:
so is the world famous joint food cart, specializing in the finest cheese steaks in the world now backed by K2? if so i want my job back, to relocate to the parking lot of mt. hood, a raise, and a hot babe to help me push it.
Quoting Tmorry326* from Jun 5 2006 10:19:28:
I don't care anymore. All that matters from now until eternity is you're a true Bcrew fam member. B crew fam.
You better tell me when your next summer shoot is in Burlington so I can join you
Quoting iheartween* from Jun 5 2006 10:19:59:
more events for west coast??
more involvment with the red dawn??
Quoting mummphry from Jun 5 2006 10:20:13:
i was totally just thinking about the joint and how badly i want a cheese steak right now.
Burlington took away my spot this year thats why its not out. I need you to find another location for to keep the Chronic Cheesteak alive YO!
Quoting stowebum* from Jun 5 2006 10:21:08:
how much of an impact do you think this Q and A will make?
I know that there are an incredible number of people pissed as fuck at you as they feel you violated skiing in every way possible.
While that notion is still up for debate (time will tell how much of a positive or negative impact this whole thing will make), do you consider comparisons to Freeze Magazine and how they were essentially put out of business by the big business that owned them? is that a possibility with line- that if the profit isn't there that line will be, essentially, dropped like freeze was?
People can be pissed
In a scenario where we're not making enough money to support what we're doing we'll be out of business in either scenario.
Freeze, Line and any other company in the world need sales to support their investments into what they do. That is the reason you support the companies that support you no matter who owns them, where they are located and how large or small they are. If you want them to continue what they're doing then support their cause...they support yours.
Quoting Rich* from Jun 5 2006 10:22:38:
In the 11 years of Line's existance what has been the absolute highlight for you? What about the worst moment (if it's not too personal)?
Pressing factory and HQ in Washington aside, what else will Line and K2 be sharing? Will you keep your own staff for graphics/ski design etc and will Dan Gestwick (in charge of binding) be moving to Washington, in fact, has he even been working for you this year?
Highlight was today, participating in Line's first day with its new owner knowing that it was in good hands.
The worst was all of the times we tried something new, failed, but kept going without ever really knowing what the future held.
Quoting joshbryant* from Jun 5 2006 10:22:48:
Jay, I have one question for you that will tell me everything I need to know about you. Which was better, He-Man or Thundercats?
Oh dude... Snaaarf!
Quoting East_Coast_St...* from Jun 5 2006 10:27:14:
im a total believer in the 3 piece shell boot design ever since i had a pair of transfers back in 03. im currently riding Dalbellos, and since k2 owns that brand, is there any chance that we will see a unique, line branded jib boot? Dalbello has the Krypton Rampage, but nothing ive come across has been more jib friendly than those boots. the ability to adjust the rear lock made manuals and butters worlds more comfortable, and with the exception of the shit buckles, were the best jib boots ever. (thats the only reason im not still in um, maybe ill rebuild um)
Ok, I'll look into it.
Quoting Rich* from Jun 5 2006 10:27:32:
Have you ever french kissed Eric Pollard? If so is he better than Mike Nick? And where in the world are Gagnon and Mithoefer (sp??)
Gagnon's in china. Mithoefer is in Purto Rico
Quoting Anonlax* from Jun 5 2006 10:28:50:
couple questions J:
1) will this effect Lines warrenty at all?
2)Whats your sign?
3)Are you gonna be sponsering more Pros, and haveing them enter in more big name competitions? (i.e. masters)
4) everyone wants to know...boxers or breifs.
1 warranty the same as always bring to your shop and they'll work with us to take care of you.
3 in time
Quoting MattMcGinnis*$ from Jun 5 2006 10:29:54:
on the invader graphic, there is a chick on the tail with a belt. would i be correct if i said she is not wearing any pants? ive spent countless hours on the chair lift trying to figure this out and i need to know.
you need to email our graphics guy firstname.lastname@example.org that one. I would guess no pants have fun on the next chair ride
THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!
Part two of the interview continues as we chat live with the Line Skis founder about life, skiing, and the status quo.
In November I did a very quick little interview for Shaw Television, here it is. I recently did a longer interview for Urban Rush, which will also find its way onto this blog. I feel okay about this performance, a few too many likes for my mother but an overall decent impression.
I had to conduct an interview with an artist at school about style in art...
Here is the Talk show interview I did in March.