Ski Z inventor Kyle Allen and his business partner Nick Palmero want to roll into the Tank and get an investment from a Shark for Christmas. They'll pitch their product – a wheeled ski tote – in the Shark Tank Holiday Special Sunday night. Apparently a skiing related product helps folks envision the winter wonderland so many associate with the holiday season.
Allen was the creator of Ski Z. An avid skier with a wife and three daughters, he was often left lugging the family's skis from the car to the slopes and back. Carrying your own skis on your shoulder is one thing, carrying skis for five can wear you out fast. He wanted to create a way everyone could deal with their own skis, so he wouldn't have to!
The Ski Z is basically a plastic clip that fastens on to the curved end of your skis with a velcro strap. There's an oversized skateboard-like wheel attached to the clip. This lets you hold one end of your skis and roll them across the parking lot or hardpack snow around the ski lifts. While skis don't weigh that much, carrying them is a clumsy affair what with all the other gear you have to deal with.
For twenty two bucks, skiers can get a Ski Z of their own. They come in four colors and fit into a jacket pocket for storage. The business is fairly new and there isn't a lot of press or information on the company out there. It looks like a true start-up, which is becoming increasingly rare in the Tank. Perhaps a Shark will help give this ski accessory business a lift.
My Take on Ski Z
In my childhood through my mid thirties, I was an avid skier. I did down hill and cross-country skiing. I've skied Vail, Deer Valley, Park City and all over Canada and New England. I was pretty good and conquered some wild terrain in my day. I used to have a ski tote that snapped skis and pole into a carrier with a handle like a suitcase handle. It also doubled as a lock. That worked for me for years. Alas, a bad back and aging injured knees made me hang up the skis many years ago.
Back in the day, I probably would have received something like this as a gift. People were always giving me ski stuff for Christmas. Skiers are big on accessories and this looks like a handy little gadget. Since I don't ski any more, I'm not a customer, but it looks like a solid idea.
Do Sharks Ski?
Just because this is the holiday special, it doesn't mean the Sharks will doole out investments like holiday gifts. This looks like a start-up, so Ski Z will need to give up a lot of equity for an investment. They may not want to do that, particularly when a pre-Christmas Shark Tank appearance can boost sales significantly.
This is a classic “it's a product, not a business” pitch, so I don't think Mark invests. Barbara skis a bit, so she might recognize the utility of the invention and take a flyer, but it will come at a heavy price. Kevin skis a bit too, so you may see him float one of his royalty type pitches. I don't think Daymond bids. I'm not sure how Lori will react at all. My gut tells me they don't get a deal because there is so little pre-show buzz on the business and their website doesn't look like a Shark is involved.