Scott USA has been making motocross goggles since 1970, making them the first company to produce goggles specifically for moto. While the company is based in Sun Valley, Idaho, they have operations around the world, and their man on the street in southern California is Steve Kwait. We talked with Steve out at Lake Elsinore Motocross Park about his job at Scott, the Acerbis connection, and some of Scott’s new products…
Steve, why don’t you start by explaining what you do for Scott?
Actually, I started with Acerbis about three years ago, and when Scott USA acquired us for distribution in the U.S., I migrated over to Scott and I’ve been there ever since.
I didn’t realize that Scott actually distributes all the Acerbis products as well. Do you handle everything; hand guards, plastics, and all that?
We do; Scott USA distributes all of the plastics for the U.S. market. We recently moved into a 280,000 square foot facility just north of Salt Lake City, in Ogden, Utah. All of our motorsports, ski, bicycle, everything with a Scott name on it, is distributed out of that warehouse, as well as the Acerbis brand.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
My priority is working with all of our distributor reps in the southern California area and Salt Lake City. I help them with any questions, promotions, and anything we do with plastics or goggles. I make sure all the reps are up-to-speed on the products, pricing and anything new that’s coming out, plus I handle sales in southern California for Acerbis and quite a few of the Scott dealers.
I also work pretty closely with our inside motorsports marketing guy. We work on a daily basis to try and put together magazine coverage and that sort of thing. I basically work as a liaison between our Sun Valley office and southern California.
I would imagine southern California is one of the company’s biggest regions?
It is. Acerbis used to be in Poway, so we do a lot of business with that brand, and obviously with Scott, we also have dealers that sell a lot of product for us in this region.
What is your motocross background that led you to working for Scott?
I raced motocross as a younger guy, but not at a real high level, then I worked at Cannondale for about seven years in the bicycle division. When Cannondale got into motorcycles, I got involved on that side and moved to southern California. Of course, Cannondale’s motorcycle program unfortunately went belly-up. When that happened I landed the job at Acerbis, which led to Scott as I mentioned earlier. It’s been a fun ride!
Well, enough about you [BRACKET “laughs”], tell us about Scott USA.
Scott has been around for almost 50 years, when Ed Scott invented the first tapered aluminum ski pole, but we got into motocross with the first motocross-specific goggle in 1970. Since then, the evolution with the goggle has come a long way; from the basic 80 series goggle that we do, all the way to the NoSweatXi that we have out today. Scott is a brand leader in the goggle market.
Tell us more about the goggles we were looking at earlier.
The newest goggle we have out is the NoSweatXi goggle, which lunched just over a year ago. It took over the older 89 series goggle that we had with the same lens configuration, but we stepped it up with a new pin system on the lens that allows you to interchange from a film system to tear-offs without having to change the lens out. It also has an edgier look with a nose guard and ventilation visor, which are both removable if you don’t want to wear them.
The NoSweatXi also comes with a four-layer foam system: starting with a closed-cell foam against the frame and two open-cell foams that wick sweat away on top of that. Finally is a fleece liner for a comfortable seal against the face.
What abbout the other goggle?
The Ultimate HiVoltage is another one of our newer goggles. We’ve changed the color for this year, but it has the same foam system as the NoSweatXi with a really cool updated look to it. The HiVoltage comes with a chrome lens, a three or four-tone paint finish, and a really cool strap. This is the same goggle that Ryan Villopoto wears.
Speaking of Villopoto, who are some of the other top riders wearing Scott goggles?
We have Chad Reed again this year. You’ll see he’s already running the new Chad Reed signature series goggle, which is black with black and white stripes on it. He ran that goggle in the Canadian rounds.
Nick Wey is another rider we have, as well as the Pro Circuit team. We’ve cut back a little bit on our pro riders this year to allow us to focus on each of them a little bit more at the races, and to focus on some other projects we have going on.
What about your amateur program?
The Scott amateur program is amazing. We setup shop at all of the amateur nationals so that any rider who is signed with us can show up in the morning and drop their goggles off with us. We then prep them with whatever’s needed as far as tear-offs, lenses, and so forth. They can then just pick them up on the way to their motos. It’s really a cool program.
It sounds like there is a lot going on in the world of goggles. Thanks, Steve.
Get more info at www.scottusa.com