So many skis, so little time. Powder, all-mountain, touring, park and more. Yes, the choices are abundant. Coming to a decision on the best ski for you can be a rather daunting task. Some gear guides are helpful, but some just seem to complicate the process of ski buying. Reading too many of them has the potential to send your head spinning in ways only a triple cork 1440 can reproduce.
It’s not a reach to say that most of the ski buying population does not know much about how skis are constructed and the effect that will have on your skiing. Most of us do a little research and maybe some testing before settling on a ski that looks dope. But is it possible to do better, to find a ski that brings back childlike joy every time you schuss down the slopes? Maybe it’s time to go custom.
With more and more custom ski brands popping up, custom skis are become much more feasible. Based in Crested Butte, Colorado, Romp Skis is one such brand. Brothers Morgan and Caleb Weinberg are committed to simplifying the custom ski buying process and producing skis made just the way you like them. In fact, those skis may be just one educational phone call away.
What do you do with your tools when the construction industry slows? That’s exactly the question the brothers Weinberg faced a decade ago. Sitting around and waiting for it to pick back up wasn’t an option, so they decided to make skis.
“During the winter of 2009, Morgan found a few articles online that showed that some new techniques had been developed allowing people to make skis in a garage with general construction tools,” recalls Caleb. Being general contractors, they had the tools they needed, and that winter they built eight pairs of skis.
Rudimentary looks didn’t discourage friends and industry professionals from giving them a try. And when they returned with rave reviews, the brothers decided to turn their winter hobby into a business. Thus, Romp Skis was born.
The brand now has a full boutique factory in downtown Crested Butte. There, the brothers are producing a full line of stock and custom skis for skiers of all abilities. Yes, all abilities. Many people think that custom skis are only for experts, but Caleb strongly disagrees.
“Custom skis really can benefit any skier,” he insists. “Our custom ski interview and purchase process is geared to help us understand the needs and aspirations of every skier regardless of ability.”
It really boils down to a simple 30-minute phone call. This interview has developed over years in the industry and is meant to coach the buyer through the process. After questions about the types of terrain you spend the most time on (powder, groomers, bumps, etc.), it then shifts to the types of turns that you make in each area. Over time, and with the realization that most customers do not know much about skis, the Weinbergs have steadily refined the types of questions they ask.
Seeking to find out more of what the skier knows about their own skiing, Caleb states: “We found that we could get a much clearer picture of what they needed. Our designers then take it from there and create a pair of skis that will work perfectly for what the skier needs.”