"It's amazing how many... boots could be fixed for 10 bucks," said Chris Clark, SCARPA's Director of Marketing and Winter Product Development. With a new pair of boots costing a hefty sum, skiers may find repair and resole options increasingly appealing. To answer the demand for out-of-warranty service, SCARPA North America is launching a new repair center as an extension of their distribution operation in Boulder, CO. Opening this July, the new facility will serve as complement to their warranty department.
Previously, SCARPA's Boulder offices dealt with retailers, not customers. Now, instead of referring out-of-warranty customers to local retailers, SCARPA is equipped to deal with blown-out buckles, matted Velcro straps and chewed up tongues in-house. The new facility will offer walk-in service and dedicated shop space within their existing facility in downtown Boulder, and will accept shipments of battered boots from anyone living outside of the Front Range. For those outside of SCARPA's one-year warranty period, fees will run about $60/hour, plus the cost of parts.
"The majority of the repair work needed falls into three categories: forefoot buckle replacement, instep strap replacement and cuff rivet repair," Clark said. While these problems can be repaired quickly and effectively, he continued, many ski on busted gear, or replace perfectly salvageable boots. Clark is well aware that many of SCARPA's boots get "skied hard", and said he is excited at the prospect of keeping them on the slopes rather than in the closet.
While SCARPA's repair center will handle hardware issues, they will not be dealing with resole work. Because it requires a host of specialized tools, there are only a few repair shops doing ski boot resoles. Those seeking boot repair can contact Dave Page, a Seattle-based cobbler and SCARPA's preferred resoler, or Gabriel Herman of Rocky Mountain Resole. Speaking about the impact of SCARPA's new facility, Herman said that he is "optimistic" that it will raise skier awareness that boots can be fixed. Resoles run around $80 a pair, making them a smart way to squeeze some extra value out of equipment.
Got a pair that you want to salvage? Contact SCARPA's customer service department at 303-998-2895 to pre-arrange your repair work. You can find Dage Page and Gabriel Herman at davepagecobbler.com and rmresole.com respectively.