Shark Tank is one of the most popular shows in America and allows contestants to explain their businesses and potentially leave with an investment. The show has been running for nearly 15 years, and over $100 Million in investments have been paid out by the investing sharks, a few of which are skiers themselves. Whether the product is an application, clothing, food, or for sports and outdoors, all of the show’s participants are given an equal chance to pitch, describe, and ask for a negotiable investment in their idea. Over the past few seasons, several entrepreneurs have presented their ski and snowboard businesses to the sharks. Here are some of the best.
MountainFLOW Eco-Wax: Plant-Based Ski Wax
In Season 12, Episode 12 of Shark Tank, Peter Arlein, from Carbondale, Colorado, presented his sustainable ski wax business. After working on both sides of the ski industry, with ski patrol and marketing, Peter decided to start his own business to combat the “millions of pounds of petroleum-based ski wax [that] are dumped into the environment annually.” MountainFLOW offers a wide variety of waxes, including Hot Wax, Skin Wax, Race Wax, and Quick Wax, that are produced with a proprietary mixture of five plant oils. Throughout his pitch, Peter had multiple sharks interested, even having an offer to work with world-renowned skier Lindsey Vonn. However, when it came time to make the decision best for expanding his business, he made a joint deal with Barbara Corcoran and Kevin O’Leary worth $300,000 in exchange for a 20% equity stake, valuing his company at $1.5 Million.
Since airing on Shark Tank, MountainFLOW has won awards at retail shows and has become a large success. It is now sold in nearly half of the United States as well as in other countries. MountainFLOW wax can be purchased at over 100 retail locations, on Amazon, or directly from their website. Additionally, the company has started to produce other products, including bike lubricants, ski accessories, and wearable merchandise. By remaining calm in the Shark Tank, Peter was able to close a massive deal and significantly increase the output of his company.
**WATCH: MountainFLOW Eco-Wax Close a Massive Deal With the Sharks
One of the biggest challenges that skiers and snowboarders of all levels seem to have is how much gear they bring to the mountain. By the end of some days, holding all of this gear is an unwanted burden. In Season 12, Episode 7 of Shark Tank, Kevin Greco presented his business, whose goal is to solve this problem and allow more people to access snow sports.
“ODR Skis are a cross between ski boots and ice skates, designed for everyone from beginners to experts… Along the length of the boot is a base that resembles the bottom of a ski with integrated steel edges that grip the snow while turning and stopping. These skis provide the freedom of movement that comes with ice skating and inline skating and the thrill of slalom skiing and snowboarding.”
The crossover, ridable ski boots are an affordable, safe, portable, and family-friendly alternative to conventional skis and snowboards. They are best used on corduroy groomers rather than powder days, in the park, or in trees. During the episode, Greco emphasized that the boots are comfortable and remove the pain points of skiing, including the long learning period. Even though he had the undivided attention of all of the sharks at several points, he, unfortunately, left without making the $200,000 deal that he was asking for. Still, ODR Skis is in business and is working on expanding into and revolutionizing other areas of the ski industry. Their best-selling models, the Eclipse and R-43s, range in price from $389-$489 and can be purchased direct-to-consumer from their website.
Kit Lender Ski & Snowboard Clothing
In Season 11, Episode 9 of Shark Tank, Forrest Shinners presented his gear rental business to the sharks. Similarly, as ODR explained, one of the main problems with skiing is maintaining countless pieces of gear properly. Many individuals who take trips up to the mountains to ski only do so once per season or even less. For the other people who ski regularly, buying all of the expensive gear is probably worth it; the skis and boards last and ride well, coats and pants provide warmth for years, and gloves and mittens tend to stay in one piece for at least a few seasons.
Kit Lender offers a plethora of combinations of coats, pants, goggles, and base layers that they ship directly to their consumer or the ski area at which they are staying. They rent out high-end brands such as North Face, Patagonia, and Marmot that are typically very expensive to purchase. For example, the all-inclusive Men’s Burton package that they offer has a retail value of almost $1000, but Kit Lender rents it for $47/day. Kit Lender’s goal is for their customers to save money and travel minimally. Rather than storing away their ski gear for most months of the year, Kit Lender provides their customers with an affordable and convenient alternative. Additionally, Kit Lender rents out other packages for camping, hiking, swimming, snow-shoeing, and other outdoor activities. While in the Tank, Shinners could not close a deal with the sharks, but it is estimated that he has grown his business into a multi-million dollar venture.
Ski-Z Rolling Ski Carrier
The Ski-Z Rolling Ski Carrier is a simple but genius idea. Essentially, this product is a wheel that attaches directly to the bottom of skis, allowing for much easier transportation. This product is useful because, frequently, parents are stuck holding multiple pairs of their children’s skis, or in other situations, skiers have to hold their skis unsteadily on their shoulders, posing a danger to nearby individuals. Ski-Z eliminates this problem with a durable wheel that can help skiers transport their gear from their car to the lodge, their lodge to the lift, or wherever else they need to be.
In December 2018, on Season 10, Episode 7 of Shark Tank, Nick Palermo, and Kyle Allen pitched their proprietary idea to the sharks. Barbara Corcoran, the self-proclaimed best skier out of the sharks, was highly interested from the beginning. In fact, she ended up giving the two entrepreneurs the exact deal they were asking for: $50,000 for a 15% equity stake in the business, at a valuation of $333,333. She also offered them a line of credit if necessary. Since making a deal in the tank, Ski-Z has exponentially grown as a company and can be purchased at different retailers, on Amazon, or directly from their website.