Originally Posted by Randaddy
Sorry you're not a pro. You probably make enough money from deposits on orders you don't fill to afford whatever you want at retail.
I've been a river guide and outdoor professional for more than a dozen years. I survive on the poverty line and influence others with the expertise I've developed over 10,000+ miles. I'm not here to say I deserve anything special, but I'm grateful that my boat, pfd, sunglasses, etc. are discounted by manufacturers and retailers. I try to reciprocate by publicly heralding the good stuff (search Aire Force and see how much I've advertised a product that I received a small discount on).
Pro deal has been around for a while. The manufacturer still makes a sale at wholesale and gets on-river advertising.
Actually I am an OEM manufacturer so I get pretty much anything I want, I don't abuse the privellage. I have seen at the Tieton someone offering his NRS preseason deal to everyone to build his order. This basically screws all the dealers who are ordering and keeping stock. As for Mattchu statement there are very few sleazy boat shops. Stores help out people quite a bit by having the ability to let people come and get fitted properly or see the equipment before buying store staff can be a great help when they know what they are doing. I see more bad advice on the Internet forums floating around than anywhere. There are some good boaters out here who know how to set stuff up and there are a lot that only have experience with what someone told them to buy online and give poor advice to the next person to bump along and want a raft.
I row everything I can get my hands on, I have to or I can't make a better product or stay ahead of the curve. A lot of what I have made is out of necessity because no one made anything that compared in performance or quality so I built it for me. That's why most everything in my new river store is made by us.
As far as RMR I think it is a great value boat for what you get and am pretty excited to do some tricked out Storm packages coming up. One thing to keep in mind is you can shop or skimp to get a discount on the raft, then you go looking for a frame and all the little pieces and pay as much for a piece together fitting frame with poor quality oars as you could have got a one of a kind hand crafted frame package with Drybox and quality components when we do package pricing. I see it everyday someone drags in a boat and says I got a great deal on this and then they find out we could have got them a new one with better stuff for less.
Sometimes you can learn a lot more by actually talking with those who build the stuff to see what the differences are. We literally do things use methods and use materials that no one has any idea about in the whitewater industry so the out the door product is far superior. That came from years of testing building and running the shit out of stuff on the river and a lot of training in other industries including aerospace and weapon development.
I still boat with a lot of people who have galvanized frames covered in wood from the early 80's that love their boat and will never change. Get what makes ya happy and works for your style of boating,screw what everyone thinks is cool.
Frame manufacturers don't make a lot of money so they count on selling a boat or accessories once in a while with it to make it, if you go around and take all the money out of the extras,the raft , the oars and then come to me for a frame we most likely won't do it and recommend you go get guide pricing on one somewhere
I bet there are very few of you who would say ok if your boss came and said hey will you work for half your wage this week, people don't go to the grocery store and say" I will give 1.00 for that gallon of milk" no one calls NRS and says how about taking 2500 for that new raft. Blows me away ,pay the corporations full tilt without blinking an eye when they have an outrageous markup and build nothing and then beat up the mom and pops shops