Bespoke Boards

Thanks to an influx of new computerized design tools, there are suddenly more custom ski makers and cheaper custom skis—about $1,300 for a pair of planks crafted to your physique and habits. Now you just need to know what to ask for.

How to ask for Custom Skis     Photo: Illustration by Chris Philpot

CAMBER
Traditional gives you more control on groomers and ice, while reverse (upturned tips and tails) floats better in powder.

TIP
The amount of "rise" refers to how the tip is curved upward: shorter or low rise for sharper turns on hardpack, long or high rise for powder skiing.

OVERALL LENGTH
Long skis increase stability in all conditions, and the added surface area keeps you on top of the soft stuff, but short skis are easier to handle and quicker to turn.

SIDECUT
The depth the ski is cut from the nose to the waist, which determines its turning radius. Deep sidecut equals quick turns on the corduroy; shallow sidecut is for wide arcs on open terrain.

WAIST
Narrow (<75mm) allows for rapid edge-to-edge transfer—great for moguls—and carving precision, but you'll sink in fresh snow. Wide (95mm) means you'll float but also work to bring 'em around.

CORE
Most shops use wood over foam to increase durability. Heavy woods, like ash and maple, make strong, stiff, and stable skis. Softer woods, like an ash-fir blend, are just as durable but make for a slightly lighter and snappier ski.

FLEX
Determined by the thickness of the core and the stiffness of the structural layers. Racers want firm, but if you like bumps or tight chutes and powder, go soft.

GET SOME!
Wagner Custom, Telluride, Colorado (wagnerskis.com) • Scotty­Bob's, Silverton, Colorado (scottybob.com) • Igneous Skis, Jackson, Wyoming (igneous­skis.com) • Folsom Skis, Boulder, Colorado (folsomskis.com)

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