Coleg55Basically what I’m asking is what makes this gap in price between the two. I know ON3P is known for building tanks of skis, but nearly 200 seems pretty steep too.
only you know if the price difference makes sense to you. ON3Ps have arguably higher build quaility, better customer support and infinately more custom options than Völkl (who have none), but if the premium is worth it comes down to how you weigh these different variable (good enough vs premium).
In general, the main difference between the two's business models is that of scale - maximizing profit margins through a high number of units produced and sold and dividing costs/profits over a much wider portfolio vs having a more limited number of units sold where maximizing unit prices for each pair becomes more important. For ON3P I think it is also fairer to label the pricing strategy as pricing to ensure continued existance and growth, not maximizing profits as in the owners being able to take a lot of dividend out of the business.
Völkl sell a shitload more skis than ON3P and can thus afford to be more aggressive with their pricing in certain segments than ON3P can. Völkl can for instance choose to sell their park skis with lower margins due to it being a highly competetive segment, as they can make up the relative loss in revenue by increasing the prices of for instance their touring skis or top of the line skis - segments where people usually are willing to pay a premium. Or they can sell more affordable freestyle or all mountain skis as a way to leverage people onto their more fancy designs. As such pricing can be contingent on several factors.
For ON3P on the other hand, freestyle skis make up the majority of the skis they sell. So it makes no sense to slash the pricing in that segment as there is no other segment large enough where the loss in revenue can be regenerated. Not only do they sell very well as the pricing currently is, but the revenue from that segment is arguably also what makes it possible to offer models that are less in demand. The popularity of their Woodsman line will probably make things a bit more robust, but not through a massive increase in number of units sold - ON3P's production capacity is probably well utilized as is - but by having more models that are in demand from a more varied set of skiers. The way ON3P tries to increase their average price pr unit sold is through their custom program, where people are willing to pay more to get something special. Some or perhaps all of the extra revenue from that production line could dissapear in added production inefficiencies for all I know - custom pricing varies a lot within the industry (compare Moment's limited custom offering to for instance Praxis' increadibly underpriced custom summer sale). But at the end of the day it is pretty apparent that these indie brands are more about spreading stoke than get ricks schemes-
Besides, ON3P prices are pretty normal for most brands out there, but not when compared certain models from the largest brands that shifts way, way more skis of those models alone than ON3P does in total. Hell, brands like Black Crows often cost more due to marketing considerations - making them feel premium - not that their construction is all that different to most comparable skis (and BC sells quite well the last time I checked).
Will the price difference be worth it for you? Only you can answer that question. Some people buy a Skoda, some a VW and some an Audi, and it is not always the case that a product is better for you just because it is more expesive or objectively of a superior quality. Sometimes good enough is well, good enough, and too good would detract from the experience (feeling of overpaying or being afraid to use it as it could be destroyed).
For me it is, but then Völkl currently have no skis in their all mountain, freeride or freestyle segments that have mount points, flex patterns and geometries like I want them to (with the notable exception of their simply fantastic BMT touring range) - so easy decision to make. I would also argue that both the build quality, layup and durability is better on ON3Ps than Völkls, but the proof is all anecdotal.
hm, that answer became a bit more of an economics/pricing and marketing lecture than I inteded it to, but oh well.