The ‘Christian Xavier’ Experience

Reporter: Elaine Donnelly

My lovely antique ‘step in’ ski boots fell apart on the March holiday last year! I put off buying another pair and then found out that Christian was giving a talk at the A.G.M. After the meeting I decided it was worth going to Harrogate to buy a pair. Janet warned me to allow about 2hrs in the shop and telephone first to make sure he was going to be there. This is most important—you phone, get the answer machine and cannot leave a message or have a ‘ring back’. Just keep trying!

I went with Wendy and on arrival was asked about what kind of boots I thought I wanted and why, how often I skied and what type of skier I was. Only Salomon makes step in boots for indoor and outdoor slope hire. Christian said he would not sell them to anyone. Wear ski socks to have your feet measured. He produced three pairs of boots and left me to try them on, walk around the shop and practice putting them on and taking them off. Wendy went shopping! I was never asked how much I wanted to pay and only after I had decided on a pair did I ask the price. Take your skis, obviously, and he will service them whilst you go and have a meal in the famous Betty’s Cafe that is just around the corner. I bought Lange with a thinsulate inner, self-shaping tongue, walk mode and adjustable length on the clips. Very warm and comfortable but they are heavy!

There is a delivery-parking bay outside the shop and you can stay just long enough to drop off your skis then find a parking slot. Take a parking disc if you have one!!