The world of downhill skiing has seen massive changes in the past 10 years. With the advent of wider and stiffer skis has come a whole new market that focuses not only on technological advances but also the type and location of the snow. Enter the local ski makers.
Local producers of skis are having a huge impact on the ski industry and are changing the way that consumers view skis and the way they use them. Now, manufacturers have unprecedented access to local conditions and terrain, as well as, the pursuits that hometown skiers are after. These small companies can provide boutique products that are highly focused for the local market and give consumers a distinctive choice when it comes to equipment.
Local ski makers are taking the technology that previously was only available to large companies and applying it to small production runs that encompass the needs of the local rider. Your home hill is steep and gets annual snow fall in the hundreds of inches with little moisture density? There’s a ski maker for that. You’re a park rider who’s after that perfect pop and swing weight for park and pipe? There’s a maker for that.
Take for example Seneca skis out of Bozeman, MT. This young company has helped drive a new market in this ski town by providing skis that are made specifically for the hometown ski resort, Bridger Bowl. Bridger Bowl is located in the northern Rockies, receives massive amounts of arid snow, contains expert terrain, and provides access to the side country outside of it’s boundaries. Now when considering new equipments skiers can find equipment that has been created with them and their hometown hill in mind from a local source. This hyper-localized product was considered unobtainable even 5 years ago but in today’s market with available technology these products are no longer a pipe dream.
The local ski maker is the newest movement in an industry that continues to evolve and change. But the rise in available technology has provided an unparalleled competitive edge to small boutique producers who represent not only the local terrain and conditions but who are also an integral part of the local economy. Local producers are engrained their particular markets by taking part in community ski efforts and education, sponsoring events and creating a market for other regional producers. From bindings and poles to soft goods and boards local makers are creating a whole new movement in the ski industry that is driving a revolution.