Tired of the same old big-name brands of skis at every ski shop? While industry leaders like Atomic, Nordic, Rossignol, Salomon, Technica and Volkl claim the lion’s share of equipment currently roaming the mountain, custom skis companies are on the rise. A growing list of smaller, independently owned ski brands are building a reputation for crafting handmade equipment that’s reliable, durable and damn sexy.
Looking to mix it up with some fresh custom skis? Check out these 14 custom ski manufacturers on the rise that are making a mark on a whole new generation of awesome ski gear.
Salt Lake City-based 7even Skis has been crafting custom ski gear since 2009. The company uses innovative Pulse Inhibiting technology along with traditional camber and sandwich construction to produce a high-performance ski that’s unmatched on the mountain. The technology makes the skis lightweight and grip better on hardpack and varied terrain.
Community Skis in Mammoth, California creates custom gear based on “who you are, how you ski and where you ski.” Customers are involved in the entire planning and production process as much as they want to be, from completing a simple form survey or designing a custom deck or skis completely from scratch.
Another Salt Lake City staple, DPS Skis has been constructing quality skis at the base of the Wasatch Mountains since 2005. The company has a full line of skis from big mountain to all-mountain that fuse space-age carbon technology and groundbreaking shaping to create one of the world’s most advanced quiver of skis.
Just like you’d expect, Fat-ypus makes skis that are extra fat for men, women and kids. The Breckenridge ski maker has models for powder, moguls and all-mountain and park terrain. It’s remarkable powder skis – models like A-Lotta, Mack 5 and I-Rock – will have you handling the fluffy white like a pro. Fat-ypus powder skis are highly lauded for deep snow, drop cliffs and big air!
One of the first custom ski companies out there, Jackson Hole-based Igneous Skis has been outfitting skiers since the early 1990s. The company was founded by a former robotic engineer who refocused his attention on creating world-class custom skis that can handle the rigors of the aggressive runs at Jackson Hole.
An East Coast favorite for handmade gear, HG Skis focuses on crafting the best skis for everyday use on the rugged runs of the New England ski resorts. The company is based in Burlington, Vermont and has been building custom skis since 2010.
Maiden Skis are the masterminds behind the SkiBuilders.com forum. So, if you’ve ever investigated building your own setup, they may be familiar to you. After a few years of running the forum, the ski maker began making custom equipment in 2012. Today, the Jackson Hole shop is a hub of creativity. Guests can participate in the process every step of the way, from creating their own graphic to giving their new ski a test run.
Denver-based Meier Skis uses 100 percent natural wood products (aspen, Douglas fir and lodgepole pine) harvested from Colorado. By using local materials, the company not only provides jobs and helps the local ski economy. It also makes the forest a better place and more sustainable for the future. Not to mention, their skis are awesome.
Located on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, Praxis Skis are inspired by Tahoe skiers in search of the perfect ride. The company started in 2005. It has gained a reputation for crafting a cutting-edge ski that’s performs better than the big-name brands.
Founded in 2014, northern Vermont ski maker Renoun Skis utilizes its signature Hyper Damping Technology (HDT). It creates a fundamentally different ski that’s stable and high performing. HDT is a non-Newtonian polymer that adapts instantly to snow conditions and ski style. The polymer hardens when exposed to vibrations, actively dampening the ski.
Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Underground Skis has been around since 2009. The company started when a group of friends decided to pool their money and build an unforgettable set of skis. Today, RMU continues to gain steam as an industry insider’s favorite. Popular RMU skis on the market include the Apostle and Professor models.
Shaggy’s Skis is a family-owned operation in Michigan that has been crafting quality custom skis since 2005. The company uses locally sourced materials from around the state. Skis are made from select northern Michigan hardwood from a local mill just down the road from the ski shop.
Another gem from the North Lake Tahoe area, Slant Skis in Truckee has been cranking out sweet custom skis since 2007 that are both environmentally friendly and exciting to rip. From humble beginnings in a garage to its new Tahoe Snow Lab factory, the ski maker continues to grow with well-performing models like the popular Slant Cornelius.
Based in Telluride, Wagner Custom has been constructing some of the best skis in North America since 2006. Their product lines such as the Artist Series with Traffic serves up models that visually stunning and improves balance, control and efficiency so you have a more comfortable and complete ride.