A custom ski consultation is a bit like a job interview; the maker will ask you to describe yourself, the way you ski, and what you hope to gain from the experience of getting custom gear. As with a job interview, it is essential to prepare adequately and have your talking points ready to go when asked. If you want to communicate exactly what you want out of a custom ski experience, review the following prompts and questions thoroughly.
- Know yourself and your riding style. Are you an aggressive skier? Are you strong? Do you arc turns, or simply bomb down the mountain? Do you prefer groomed trails or backcountry terrain? This is not the time to convince somebody that your skiing preferences are “edgy” or “advanced.” Be honest with yourself and the way you ski, then communicate accordingly.
- Acknowledge your fitness level. Sure, you might have skied Tuckerman’s Ravine in your 20s, but that was thirty years ago. While you might want to bring this up as a conversation point with your maker, it doesn’t really make a difference in your current skiing style. Don’t forget that some of your ski preferences may be aspirational. To help with this, ask a friend to observe your skiing, and be sure to check in with yourself after every run to see what you want to communicate to the custom maker.
- Read recent equipment reviews. You want to go into your consultation understanding every piece of the custom ski puzzle. It will help to understand where the gear industry is currently. If you read about a new technology that sounds interesting, ask your maker about the potential for adding it to the build. When in doubt, ask.
- Understand how shape and build affects performance. If you don’t know what camber is, you should spend some time reading up on ski shapes and sizes. If your dream pair of custom skis are wide but you prefer groomed trails, think through what you actually want your skis to do for you. Additionally, if it’s important to you, be sure to understand the importance of versatility in a custom ski.