Kunz

An all mountain powder design.  This pair of skis was designed for Ben’s wife, Lindsey.  The graphics were inspired by Ben’s wife and a map of the North Casacades.

The Goat

Eric writes:

“The ski, called The Goat, was inspired by Daane DeBoer – a Marine, and a passionate skier, who was killed last year while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was also my step brother.

I had already started making a pair of skis with Kam at The Ski Lab, but had not yet decided on a graphic. At Daane’s funeral, a bunch of family and friends were telling stories, remembering Daane and his love for the outdoors – skiing in particular. The idea of designing a graphic to remember Daane – his legacy and what he lived, fought and died for – was sort a collective idea.

Two of Daane’s good friends, Ryan and Steve Innis, started collaborating with me on design ideas. We were pretty far down the road with one version, when Ryan sent me the image of the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross which is made up of the soldier’s rifle with bayonet attached stuck into the ground, helmet on top, dog tags sometimes hanging from the rifle and the boots of the fallen soldier next to it. Its purpose is to show honor and respect for the fallen at the battle site. We all knew right then that this was it.

To make the ski that much more meaningful, we embed one of Daane’s actual dog tags into that area of the ski graphic. Truly one of a kind.

The name The Goat refers to the nickname Daane earned while hiking all 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail to raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure – he was relentless in his pursuit of accomplishing that goal, and no degree of difficult terrain, challenging weather or conditions would prevent him from achieving the destination.” 

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Rondonnier

Power all mountain  design

Dimensions: Length 177 cm | 140-110-127 mm | R~21 m

Core material: Maple/pine mix

Ron J is a man you will remember if you ever meet him: his infectious laugh, smile that welcomes all, and rowdy sense of humor always bring a little color to the frequent gray days of the Pacific Northwest.

Ron is an avid backcountry skier and experienced mountaineer.

Ron skis randonnée and one of his favorite places to ski is Mt. Rainier.

Enter the Rondonnier.  These skis were created for Ron J.

Ron, along with his most reliable ski partner, Mad Dog, committed to skiing at least once a month, twelve months out of the year (turns-all-year). He and Mad Dog have kept their turns-all-year streak alive since 1995. Ron’s dedication to skiing and the backcountry community is evident through his participation as an instructor in the local mountaineering club, involvement on www.turns-all-year.com, and most importantly, through his extensive knowledge of Mt. Rainier and her secret stashes of snow. If you want to know where to find the best lines to ski on Mt. Rainier, just ask Ron!

The Rondonnier is built on a 177-cm all-mountain powder platform, where an early tip rise is added to enhance flotation and maneuverability in soft and powder snow. The shovel is 140-mm wide; the waist is 110-mm wide; and the tail is 127-mm wide. Camber at cord center is about 10-mm, just enough preload for an even edge pressure distribution and snappy feel. The sidecut radius is approximately 21 meters and the narrowest part of the ski is biased towards the tail to compensate for the early tip rise. With a maple and pine core, the ski offers a nice balance between weight and power. Harden steel edges, triaxial fiberglass, carbon fiber, sintered black graphite bases, and a viscoelastic damping system for vibration suppression come standard.

The skis’ graphics display a collage of photographs from Mt. Rainier and Little Tahoma, and a topo map of Rainier’s southeast side, an area where Ron J and Mad Dog frequent.  Just don’t ask them where the secret stash is.

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Jeb and Karin

These skis were designed for local skiers Jeb and Karin.  The Photon Torpedos consist of a maple core with carbon-fiber runners, and the skis are designed to charge.  Karin’s pair, Shadi’s Revenge, sports a forgiving shape and smooth flex, making for a fun all mountain ski.

 

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Woody

The Woody was designed for Todd, an avid skier who stomps around in the Wasatch Range.  To compliment the pristine Wasatch powder, his skis sport a beautiful cedar veneer topsheet.  They look (and smell) great!  If his dresser drawer was wide enough, he’d also use these skis to freshen up  his socks.

The shape of the Woody is modeled after the Khmers.  Early tip/tail rise was added to help the ski maneuver more easily through softer snow conditions.  To help reduce weight, the cores are made of white pine, with metal inserts embedded into the wood to support the binding screws.  For a clean look, the sidewalls are made of Jatoba, an extremely hard wood with beautiful grain.  The cedar topsheet is soaked in epoxy during layup to add a barrier against the elements.  The K logo was cut using a computer controlled router and carefully assembled during the layup process.

“These are by far my favorite skis!  They handle great in the powder, and feel like a very versatile ski.” — Todd.

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His and hers

These two pairs were designed for Eric and Jen.  Both are designed for mostly powder skiing, with early tip and tail rise.  The graphics were created using photos provided by Eric and Jen.

Basque Country

Powder all mountain design

Dimensions: Length 176 cm | 139-108-124 mm | R~24.5 m

Core material: Maple/pine mix with metal inserts

These skis were made for Gabe, and he writes:

“These skis are made by hand. They are made of two sheets of fiberglass and epoxy, layered over a rubber and aluminum dampener near the tips, combined with some wood. These skis are five or six nights worth of work.  Work with a table saw, metal snips, protective eyewear, and some sort of crazy computer-controlled router, which by the way was made by hand.

These skis are, I should throw in, the best all-mountain sticks I’ve ever strapped to a pair of boots—light, snappy turners that float like sailboats in the chunky powder of the Northern Sierra, where they’ve most often made their home. They are made with poplar and pine cores, but they’re also made with frozen climbing skins put on in the glow of headlights on the side of the Mt. Rose highway at 3am. Because these skis are made by hand—by my hands and the hands of a couple friends. And because these skis are made by hand, just as most of my turns are also made by hands these days, I know that these skis still love to run after a ten-mile tour off Carson Pass, especially once the car comes back into view.

If you look at the skis, you’ll notice the dark metallic green on the top sheet, just the right color I was looking for, taken from a picture of an old Aston Martin. When you place the tips together, you’ll see the silhouette of the Basque Country, the mountainous region between Spain and France where my father was born, and where both sides of my family migrated from at some point. On the tails is the shape of the state of Nevada, where I grew up in my own mountains, the Sierras. And so, because these skis are made by hand, these skis are also made with my own history, and with my family’s history.

These skis are made with experience—with my history, with my family’s, with long days on skis next to good friends. They are not made in a factory in Thailand. They’re not made with foam-injected cores. They are made with hands—our hands.”

© The Ski Lab, LLC