Custom skis and snowboards are both a financial and lifestyle commitment. However, in addition to improving your ride and allowing for optimal customization, they make a positive social and global impact. Even if you end up spending more money on a pair of custom skis than you intended, you should feel good about the purchase—you are, after all, supporting sustainable business practices.
As most people know, it is important to support small, local businesses. The nature of the custom ski business lends itself to the direct support of owners, artists, and the local ski community. Most custom ski companies are small operations; they support local designers, purchase materials from local sources, and ski the mountains in the surrounding area. If you choose to buy within your own community, you can rest assured that your custom skis were tested on familiar ground.
Similarly, purchasing custom skis and snowboards supports environmentally conscious production practices. The ski industry has a devastating environmental impact—between disrupting ecosystems to create new trails and hoarding hundreds of thousands of dollars of power, ski resorts have a massive ecological footprint. The ski manufacturing industry is no different; custom ski companies, however, are more conscious of their output.
Many small ski businesses have begun to support the “Farm-to-Foot” movement—Seneca, which runs out of Bozeman, Montana, practices this by using FCS-certified maple and poplar woods to support sustainable harvesting, thus using less plastic in ski cores. In using less plastic and sourcing materials locally, these small businesses support the local economy and cut down on waste. Additionally, custom skis and snowboards are designed to last years longer than most mass-produced brands, further cutting down waste.
Put simply, you should feel good about purchasing a pair of custom-made skis or a custom snowboard. In addition to significantly improving your own skiing and riding experience, you are supporting artists, the local economy, and reducing your own carbon footprint.