Hot Sheet: Head, drunk skiers, Hall of Fame, Burton and more

It's Hot Sheet time, with Head's latest financials, a disgraced--and now former--U.S. Ski Team member, the latest Ski Hall of Fame nominees and much more.

Low snow in Europe last winter resulted in a significant sales drop for Head NV, as the company reported that mid-January sales reorders were reduced considerably, driving sales down in the wintersports division by nearly 7 percent for the first quarter. But second quarter sales increased by 18.7 percent “driven mainly by earlier shipments of bindings under contract manufacturing agreements for the 2011/12 season and a favorable product mix for boots,” according to a statement from the company.

Head also reported that the diving market was severely impacted by both political turbulence in key dive destinations in North Africa and natural disasters in Australia and Japan that resulted in a decline in sales for the first quarter. Overall, sales for the group for the first six months of the year declined by nearly 1.4 percent. The net loss for the first half of the year increased by EUR 1.8 million (USD $2.5 million) due to non-cash share based compensation income in 2011 being lower by EUR 3.4 million (USD $4.8 million) and higher interest and other finance expense of EUR 2.7 millon (USD $3.8 million), offset by lower foreign exchange losses of EUR 3.8 million (USD $5.4 million) and a small improvement in the adjusted operating loss.

The adjusted operating loss for the six month period improved marginally by EUR 300,000 (USD $420,000) compared to the prior year. This was mainly due to a EUR 1.5 million (USD $2.1 million) positive movement in other operating items, primarily due to exchange rate gains, offset by lower sales and increased raw material prices which reduced the gross margin by one percentage point from 42 to 41 percent.

In other Head news, here in the U.S. the company announced the appointment of Mike Poole to the position of national sales manager for rental products. And Davy Kammer has been named national sales manager for Head snowboarding retail products. Also, Vic DeGeorge has accepted the position of independent sales representative in the Southeast territory for Head Wintersports products.

18-year-old kicked off ski team after urinating on sleeping girl

An 18-year-old skier from Vermont appears to have literally whizzed away his Olympic dreams after getting drunk and urinating on an 11-year-old girl on a Jet Blue flight on Aug. 10, 2011. The Associated Press reports that 18-year-old Robert "Sandy" Vietze, told police he consumed eight alcoholic drinks before boarding a redeye flight from Portland, Ore., to New York JFK, where he urinated on a sleeping girl, mistakenly believing he had reached the bathroom. Following the incident, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Executive Vice President of Athletics sent an e-mail to the AP confirming that Vietze “has been dismissed from the team.”

Dorworth, Abraham lead Hall of Fame nominees

The National Selection Committee has met and voted on 30 nominations that were received over the past year for election of Honored Members to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame. With the ballot now determined, the process moves on to the National Voting Panel made up of approximately 125 individuals invited because of their knowledge and passion for ski sports. This year's nominees include:

* Horst Abraham

* Nick Badami*

* Mason Beekley*

* Dick Dorworth

* Kris Feddersen

* Philip Gravink

* Craig Kelly*

* Harry Leonard

* Paul McCollister*

* Dr. Ralph Miller

* Joe Pack

* Tyler Palmer

* Kristean Porter

* Bob Smith

* Lane Spina

* Eva Twardokens


K2 parent Jarden approves $500 million stock repurchase

The Jarden Corporation, which counts K2 and Volkl among its many holdings, announced that its Board of Directors has approved a new stock repurchase program for up to $500 million of its common stock. The company also stated that during the current quarter it completed the $150 million repurchase program first authorized in November 2007 and increased in March 2010. As of June 30, 2011, the Company had approximately 92.7 million shares of common stock outstanding.

Martin E. Franklin, executive chairman of Jarden, commented, “For the past several years, our key priorities for using our cash have been to reinvest in our businesses, to pay down debt and to make acquisitions where appropriate. We have made significant progress on these efforts, and they will continue to be a focus. However, given the weakness in our share price, current market dynamics, and the strength of our liquidity, we believe accelerating our repurchase of shares is an appropriate use of cash, in line with our ongoing commitment to increase shareholder value.”

Burton storms into stores on Saturday

Burton Snowboard has issued a “Winter Storm Warning,” rushing new 2011/12 product into stores across the country on Aug. 13, 2011. Burton announced the program as a part of an integrated effort to release new product around the country on the same day, and is throwing parties celebrating the launch at 25 snowboard shops across the country. Along with the product launch, Burton is hosting a contest where the lucky winner gets to “live like a pro for the winter,” with $10,000 in prize money and Half a year's use of an AWD Mini Cooper.

--Peter Kray

Send your WinterSports news to Peter Kray at Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at to learn about posting your own news releases, getting your WinterSports headlines, or with any other questions or comments.



Hot Sheet: Ski test survey, Freeski Team, Cross in U.S., Head and more

SNEWS® was curious which magazine’s ski test really does the most to move the needle when it comes to retail sales, and you gave us your answers. When it comes down to which ski rag customers are going to trust like their own alpine dating service, our readers said Powder was more


Hot Sheet: lodging jumps, Burton shuts out shops, swimsuit models & more

Mountain resort lodging was up for the fifth consecutive month, according to the most recent data released by the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP). “The strong results experienced at mountain destinations during the past six months combined with continued signs of more


Hot Sheet: Hall of famers, new skis and a drunk Australian

World Champion ski racer Daron Rahlves, extreme ski legend Glen Plake and the late great Shane McConkey were among the newest inductees into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame on April 2, 2011, in Sun Valley. They were joined by Paralympic medalist and World Champion, Muffy more


Hot Sheet: More Vermont, Ski Team, LSSM and more industry news

New information continues to emerge from the disaster zones in Vermont. Bonnie MacPherson of Okemo Mountain Resort sent over a note on Sept. 9, 2011, updating the statues of the Vermont ski area and saying that, “Communities have rallied in support of those in need and the newly more


Hot Sheet: Ski Rex, Powderhorn plans, & more

It looks like at least one retailer managed to find overstock for their Labor day sale, despite last season’s record $3.3 billion in snowsports sales reportedly clearing inventory down to the walls. Colorado Ski & Golf stores and Boulder Ski Deals’ annual SKI REX Labor Day sale, more


Hot Sheet: Kneissl’s bankruptcy, Vail Caddies, Lindsey’s silver, lobsters & more

European news agencies are reporting that Austrian ski producer Kneissl declared bankruptcy on Feb. 8, 2011. The Austrian press agency APA reports that the Kneissl group had amassed EUR 23.3 million (USD $31.8 million) of debts, according to Austrian press agency APA. The company more


Hot Sheet: X expansion, Forzani’s tire sale, Boyne adventures & more

ESPN announced the X Games will double in size in 2013, adding three new events alongside the existing lineup of the Summer X Games in Los Angeles and the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo.; and Tignes, France. The new event locations will be decided via an Olympic Games-styled more


WinterSports Hot Sheet: tree well deaths, top sales, lawsuits & more

Whitefish Mountain Resort officials are urging those wishing to take advantage of the deep powder covering the mountain to familiarize themselves with risks and safety techniques related to Non-Avalanche Related Snow Immersion Deaths, or NARSIDs, following the deaths of one skier more


Hot Sheet: Wild world’s closer, Lange girls, NARSID death & more

Remember how empty it felt on that last Sopranos episode when the screen just went to black? A lot of people had the same sensation watching this year's women's World Cup finish. The final race was all set to serve as the stage for one of the closest finishes in history, as more