I took my first run down the hill in our backyard on a pair of wooden skis and leather ski boots. I was probably 8 or 9 years old. Since then I’ve always been an avid skier. Over the years my skiing expanded into racing in high school, NASTAR and corporate racing, skiing big mountains out West and Europe and making the transition from old school style to the new school. Most recently I became a certified PSIA ski instructor. But something was lacking in my ski world, although I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I wasn’t real happy with the price of skis, skiing and quality vs. price of the skis on the market. And worst of all I think I was starting to get bored with skiing!
In the winter of 2008-2009 a fellow ski instructor was skiing on wood skis with a modern shape. The ski was all wood, no metal edges, no p-tex base, no fancy graphics, and beautiful wood oak grain. It was a pure wood ski. That was my AH-HA! moment. How hard could it be to make an all wood ski? Over the years I picked up some wood working skills and made myself quite the wood working shop. I have all the equipment a DIY wood worker needs. I just needed to figure out how to shape the ski and build a steam bending box. Well that started an obsession that continues to this day.
I did make my own version of an all wood ski, but I had to put edges on them. Living in the New England we don’t get enough powder days to ski with out edges. There were other skis that made the grade and others that didn’t. But the one thing they all had were wood cores which are the life of the ski. I felt I re-discovered what my commercial skis were lacking, a good hardwood core that gave them life.
My first run on my first hand built skis was exhilarating! The thrill of skiing was renewed! I felt like I was 9 again skiing down our backyard hill. They were far from perfect but they worked. And so the refinement process began and education of ski building continues.
My goal is to put that same grin and excitement on your face you had when you took your first very first run…. run after run after run after run…