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 Post subject: Why so few?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:29 pm
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Location: pretoria
Ok i have started browsing around on the net for a new/different pair of shoes and found that there are loads of different styles makes and models out there. This is a lot more than there is to offer in this country.
Why is this?
Besides the shoes why do we only see such limited brands of gear here and not not even the entire ranges are available?
Why do i get the feeling that we get all the old stuff (gear that isnt date stamped) that they cant sell abruod because it is the old models?

on the shoe thing look here
http://www.climbing.com/print/equipment/2008_rock-shoe_review/
how many of these have you seen in this country ?


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 Post subject: Re: Why so few?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:31 am
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Location: Montagu
Real Name: Justin Lawson
I'm sure the distributors could answer this better, but I'll give it a go :)

The answer is numbers.
There just aren't enough climbers in SA to bring that many styles of shoe in.

Baring in mind you need to bring over a variety of sizes per model (not to mention 1/2 sizes).
One also needs to order a sizable quantity from the manufacturers (minimum order quantity) and to make it worth the while of the local distributors shipping costs.
Importing anything to SA is expensive (Customs / taxes).
The product has to travel a long distance to get here. In Europe or the US the distance traveled is less (when produced in that country or region of the world), even it it comes from China... they're bringing over larger quantities making it cheaper.

I reckon if you want something unique, speak to your local shop and ask if they can order something for you (expect to pay upfront)

Anyone remember the locally produced Mantra shoes :thumleft:

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 Post subject: Re: Why so few?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:12 pm 
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makes sense...

And yes i remember those Mantra's. They where awesome, solid sole, high ankle, and some lumo-green. You can't go wrong with that combo. :afro:


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 Post subject: Re: Why so few?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:49 pm
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Location: Waterval Boven
High ankle?

Refer to p.122 of the 'Boven guide book - classic shoes for the time.

Can anybody remember the name of the shoes before those also by Rock Sport? The one with the elastic at the back that everybody had cut off.

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 Post subject: Re: Why so few?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:54 pm
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Real Name: CityROCK
here is a perspective from a retailer/importer:
1) # of brands:
i just got back from a business trip to the USA, and i do believe that all brands worth importing are in fact represented in SA. there isn't a type of item or gear that we don't stock or get for you.
it's like going to the supermarket. in the USA you get a choice of 20 different brands of milk. question is how many is really enough. to me Pick and Pay in SA with their 4 different brands is just fine because Parmalat and Clover come from the same happy cows anyway.
Justin is correct in that there just aren't enough climbers to sustain more importers/brands/dealers. FYI, the entire climbing market in SA is about the size of one American city.
bottom line is that you might not find a Metolius Crash pad in SA, but is that particular pad really any better than the Mad Rock or BlueWater pad?
and like Justin says if you really want something a good retailer will make a plan and get it for you.

2) pricing:
there are many variables at play here: duty, VAT, shipping, # of middlemen, margin, interest rates, exchange rates, competition. typically they combine in such a way to make items cost more in SA than in the USA. but not always. with many climbing items our friend Trevor wants his share, i.e. a duty. SA prices include 14% VAT for Trevor too. but do remember that USA prices like in the article always exclude sales tax, typically 5-10%. and yes freight isn't free either: it's a long way from California to SA, especially at $150 per barrel. having said all that: sometimes things are actually cheaper in SA. take the 'Editors Choice' Evolv Pontas Lace reviewed in the article, US retail $125. we retail them for R980. that's R860 if you exclude VAT. at today's exchange rate of 7.82 that equates to about $110. so the Pontas Lace is in fact cheaper in SA than in the USA. we hear that quite often from foreign climbers that come to SA, especially Europeans where VAT is sometimes a lot more than our 14%.

3) old stock:
to my knowledge there is nobody 'dumping' old stock in SA.
and we get new items at about the same time as the rest of the world. e.g. the new Petzl Reverso 3. we have had them for about a month in SA, along with the rest of the world. sometimes stuff gets here via sea, in which case we get it a month or two later than the USA, which is still not bad.

Robert Breyer
CityROCK Gear Shop, Obz, Cape Town


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 Post subject: Re: Why so few?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:29 pm
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Location: pretoria
Thank you for your reply Robert
It is always good to hear from someone With an informed opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Why so few?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:23 pm 
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I believe the model of shoe befor the "Mantra" was called the "Eroca" They we nicely turned up at the toe and had a thick elastic band around the back. (The Canyon in kloof Gorge has routes with the same names. I,m not sure which came first?)

I had a pair, they were about 4th hand, and the friend who sold them to me resoled them himself.

By the way, you do all know that lycra IS back in fasion, and before you ask were to bye a pair, you have to make them yourself, there just arn't enough climbers in South African to make importing them worth while, even if made in chana!!!! :afro:

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 Post subject: Re: Why so few?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:49 pm 
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Location: Waterval Boven
You meant "Eroica", Dave?

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 Post subject: Re: Why so few?
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 4:02 am 
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Importing anything to SA is expensive (Customs / taxes).
The product has to travel a long distance to get here. In Europe or the US the distance traveled is less (when produced in that country or region of the world), even it it comes from China... they're bringing over larger quantities making it cheaper.

Can anybody remember the name of the shoes before those also by Rock Sport? The one with the elastic at the back that everybody had cut off.I had a pair, they were about 4th hand, and the friend who sold them to me resoled them himself.

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 Post subject: Re: Why so few?
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 6:59 am 
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I remember both those shoes well as I designed and developed them with a local Dbn cobbler called Tony Townsend in 1991. We had a lot of fun with the various prototypes and i learnt a bunch in the process, The Eroica's were shockingly bad as I had the insane idea to use "weapons grade" sofa elastic to create the sling shot around the heel. We called them banana's as they almost turned themselves inside out while not on your foot!

We also experimented with rubber - my favourite being a compound that you poured onto the shoe. When you then tried to walk across the floor you had to pull hard to unstick your feet - and left little prints on the floor behind you - but man they were STICKY!. (I always wish i could find the one route for these shoes...and never tell anyone about my secret edge) Unfortunately you could also push you fingernail right through the sole. The initial rubber we used was crap (i am still bitter about the 1991 Rockmaster final....) until we imported Stealth then it was fantastic.

The Mantra's were quite good shoes in the end and pretty popular. Die hards out there are still lookikng for old pairs. I shaped the shoes from a Standard Issue Nursing Shoe last. I ground away until (in my opinion anyway) it looked right then sent it off to a laser/computer/thingymajig which generated all the sizes. quite a lot of responsibilty. It was quite a stroke of luck that they worked so well. They were named after two routes at The Canyon - Eroica 26/7 and Mantra 29.


Last edited by Nattrass on Sat May 09, 2009 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why so few?
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 7:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:03 am
Posts: 178
Location: Cape Town
:? :? mammut ropes, 5.10 shoes, arcteryx and petzl harnesses. Thats what id like to see a regular supply of in sa


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