Best Ski Brands – 22 Best Ski Brands You’ve Never Heard Of
When it comes time to buy a new pair of skis there are probably a handful of ski brands that come to mind. Like K2, Rossi, Volkl, etc.
Since The late 90s there have been a ton of smaller ski brands popping up all over the world. So the question is which of these are the best ski brands?
Lucky for you, we’ve done the work in vetting many of these ski brands, below you will find our list of the best ski brands you’ve never heard of.
We hope you enjoy the list 🙂
ON3P (https://shop.on3pskis.com/) These guys started around the same time we started building skis. We included ON3P on our list of the best ski brands because of their dedication to building some of the best skis on the market. Their awards back this up. “Ten minutes from downtown Portland, you’ll find the ON3P factory. It’s not operated by some OEM company, nor are we some mega-factory building our skis overseas. It’s where our small crew of ski builders come to work and build each and every pair of ON3P skis.”
Igneous Skis (http://www.igneousskis.com/) Igneous is one of the first and best custom ski companies. Which is exactly why we included them on our list of the best ski brands. Founded in Jackson, Wyoming in 1993. “We set out to make the perfect big mountain freeride powder ski that could withstand an entire season of hard-charging in Jackson Hole, a place notorious for devouring skis and boards. That mission remains today.” Founded by Mike Parris who was originally from PA and was studying to become a robotics engineer at Carnegie Mellon when he realized his true calling was to build the best damn pair of custom skis you’ve ever been on. Check out their full story here.
Meier Skis (https://meierskis.com/) Handmade skis from Colorado trees. Meier made our list of the best ski brands because they make kickass skis plain and simple. I had the opportunity to get on a few of their models at Killington last season during winter storm Stella and let me tell you, their skis rocked! “Meier Skis makes high performance, hand crafted skis with respect for the environment. The materials we use in our hand built, hand crafted skis is eco-friendly and environmentally conscious.”
Slant Skis (http://slantskis.com/) Slant was started in 2007 by founder Josh Bennett in a garage in Truckee, CA. When Josh started Slant, his focus was create one of the best ski brands, while also sourcing all of their materials in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Slant has since moved out of the garage and into their factory, The Tahoe Snow Lab. They now have a handful of employees that enjoy making skis almost as much as they enjoy skiing. I added them to list of the best ski brands because I personally rock the Slant Cornelious and it is hands down the best pow ski I’ve ever been on. You can check out my review here.
You can even get 20% off a pair of Slant Skis through the RY Outfitters Membership.
Shaggy’s Skis (https://www.skishaggys.com/) These guys are pretty cool. Who would have thought that one of the best ski brands would be based in Michigan? A family owned operation, it was founded in 2005 through the family’s hobby of crafting skis. “Here at Shaggy’s we feel strongly about supporting the local economy. We source all materials on the local level, the state level, and if necessary, the national level. We are proud to say that the hearts of our skis come from select cut, northern Michigan hardwood. We bring in rough lumber from the mill right down the road and process it from the start to a finished core.” Founded by father and son, John and Jeff Thompson, their goal is to build the best pair of skis you’ve ever been on. Check out their full story here.
Lonely Mountain Skis (https://www.lonelymountain.ski/) Freeride skis beautifully handcrafted in Scotland. “Lonely Mountain Skis is a micro ski company based in Perthshire, Scotland. “We build handmade custom skis that are a blend of traditional and modern materials and techniques. We currently have three ski shapes in our library and we also do bespoke ski commissions.”
Rocky Mountain Underground Skis (https://www.rmuoutdoors.com/) I have personally been following these guys since their start in 2009. Based and built in Colorado and founded by Mike Waesche. “If you’re going to build a ski yourself you’re not going to build a crappy one,” He said. RMU started out as a passion project between a couple of friends. They started out painting houses to raise enough money to build their first batch of skis. Now, they are a leader in the ski building world. Most known for their Professor and Apostle models, I included RMU on our list of the best ski brands because I spent 3 seasons on the Apostles. They were my daily driver and let me tell you, they are a blast in the trees and bumps!
J Skis (https://jskis.com/) Some of you may know who Jason Levinthal is. If you don’t, have you heard of Line skis or Full Tilt ski boots? He started both and now he’s back hand making some of the best skis you can buy. All of J skis are sold direct, which helps Jason keep the cost down, while still offering the highest quality materials. We included J skis on our list of the best ski brands because he releases new models in batches. This means that Jason can design a new ski today and in a couple weeks be selling it directly to you.
Community Skis (http://www.communityskis.com/) You might know Community skis as 333 skis, famous for their mobile ski factory. Michael Lish and Kristin Broumas take ski building to the next level as they combine their love for dirtbaggin, sustainability, and skiing. The result is a kickass mobile ski home/factory. They travel the country building skis wherever they please, which is exactly why we included them on our list of the best ski brands. Check out their full story here.
Wagner Skis (http://www.wagnerskis.com/) These guys are probably one of the most popular custom ski makers. For Wagner, creating one of the best ski brands is a way of life. Founded by Pete Wagner, a computer scientist whose goal was to build the perfect skis for each individual. After moving to Telluride CO, Peter was disappointed with the “mass-produced skis” that dominated the market. So in 2006, Pete started Wagner Custom, and they have been building some of the best custom skis you can buy ever since.
Volition Skis (https://volitionskico.com/) Small Batch, handmade skis crafted in Maine. Built in the U.S.A. and founded by Chris Bagley in 2009. “Volition is a way for me to assist in the growth of the Maine ski industry. I try to do as much local business as I can, and I know many others that do the same. I figure if I can build skis in Maine, for East Coast skiers and like minded individuals then I can help our own economy grow by giving people the option to buy a local brand.” If you are an East Coast specific skier, I’d check these guys out. They make some of the best skis for any East Coast condition, Including the “I” word no one likes using.
7even Skis (http://www.7evenskis.com/) Started in SLC, Utah in 2009 with the goal of building custom skis with the highest quality materials. Founded by Todd Herilla, an ex ski racer who would log 170 ski days a year. Todd is an old school skier, with a crazy passion for ski building. If you are ever in SLC, you can stop by their shop to get a tune and see exactly what they are about.
Caravan Skis (https://caravanskis.com/) One of the lesser known ski brands on our list of the best ski brands. Founded in 2011 by Zeph Hallowell and located a short 15-minute drive from Bridger Bowl in Bozeman Montana. They are best known for the The Daily Driver, their flagship ski. There are few things as great as getting a pair of handmade skis, especially if they are a pair of Caravan’s. “Caravan taps into the local community for input in ski design, graphics and testing. We are all about movement. Whether it is searching for something new, or traveling back to a favorite range, we are always on the move. We are a roving pack of skiers, artists, engineers, environmentalists and locals coming together to create CARAVAN”
Renoun Skis (ttp://renoun.com/) One of the most unique ski brands on our list of the best ski brands. Founded in 2014 and based in Northern Vermont by Cyrus Schenck, an engineer and passionate skier. “There are close to 1,600 ski models in today’s market, and we think that’s crazy. Not just the sheer number, but that out of 1,600 skis, so few are fundamentally different.” With RENOUN’s proprietary Hyper Damping Technology™, they aim to drastically improve the way skis are made. If you are a Northeast native, I would highly suggest checking them out.
HG Skis (http://hgskis.com/) Another small East Coast brand, that’s been hand building skis since 2010. “HG Skis is the east coast’s premier up and coming ski company. We represent the core scene that is the true east coast. Our skis and products are developed from skiers like you, for you.” Based in Burlington VT, and founded by Harrison Goldberg, their focus is the build the best skis for the everyday East Coast skier.
Parlor Skis (http://www.parlorskis.com/) One of the best ski brands if you’re in the market for a custom pair of skis. Have you ever wanted to build your own skis? Parlor offers ski building classes in their East Boston shop. Handmade skis you can personally be proud of. “Parlor skis are custom built from the highest quality products. They incorporate the latest trends in ski design, with a keen eye toward the history of the sport, to craft a product and experience to enjoy.”
Romp Skis (https://rompskis.com/) Founded by two brothers, Morgan and Caleb Weinberg, in 2010. Starting in their garage, they handcrafted skis for fun, giving them out to friends. After getting a ton of raving reviews, they rented a factory space and started Romp Skis. “It took most of the next year to perfect the manufacturing system and tools to make a saleable product. By the end of the 2010-11 season Romp Skis was making custom skis for the public.” If you’re looking for your own pair of handcrafted skis, then check these guys out. They are without a doubt one of the best ski brands in the world.
Fat-ypus Skis (https://www.fat-ypus.com/) We included these guys on our list of the best ski brands because they make some of the best powder skis you can buy. (If you find fatter, please send them my way… I want to try them!) Anyway, founded by a big mountain pro skier, Jared Mazlish in Breckenridge CO. Jared’s goal was to build a ski company that built the best powder skis on the planet. Speaking from personally riding the I-Rock, I and can tell you they are epic! If you like to charge hard in deep snow, drop cliffs and spend time in the air, then check these guys out.
Maiden Skis (http://maidenskis.com/) These guys are the creators of the popular forum called SkiBuilders.com If you’ve ever build your own setup, or thought about building your own skis, you’ve probably found yourself on SkiBuilders. Many popular brands like ON3K Skis got their start on SkiBuilders! After a couple years of running the forum, Kevin Wu decided to start Maiden Skis in Jackson Hole Wyoming in 2012. There’s nothing like riding your own pair of handcrafted skis. Their influence and knowledge is why we included them on our list of the best ski brands.Maiden certainly take it to the next level. Whether you want him to custom build a pair for you, or you want to take a class and build your own, These guys even have a site Blank Slate Skis, which will help you purchase everything you need to do it yourself! Basically, you should check them out! 🙂
PFD Skis (https://www.pfdskis.com/) Founded in 2012 by Rupert Gammond who had a goal to build and design some of the most innovative and quality skis on the market. “At the heart of PFD is a dedication to the careful production of bespoke handmade skis; every set is made to order for a limited number of passionate skiers each year.” All of PFD’s skis are made with bamboo cores and top sheets. We guarantee they will turn heads when you’re in the lift line.
Deviation Ski & Snowboard (http://deviationusa.com/) Their art work alone could make them one of the best ski brands. “We are engineers, craftsmen, and artists seeking to break free from stagnant industry standards.” Handmade skis in Oregon and built from locally sourced materials, Deviation was founded in the summer of 2012 by a handful of friends that wanted to challenge the status quo in the snow sports manufacturing world. Deviation offers a number of models, along with custom and build your own workshop options.
Sego Skis (https://segoskis.com/) “Sego Ski Co. is pioneering ski manufacturing craft in the heart of the Teton Valley. As a group of passionate skiers and ski artisans, we live here to ski in the Tetons, our backyard, and to produce the highest quality skis in the industry.” Founded by Tim Wells in 2014, they currently offer 5 models that are all made in their local factory.
That concludes our list of Best Ski Brands – 22 Best Ski Brands. We hope that you found a couple new ski brands to try. If you want to discover a new outdoor startup every 2 weeks and have a chance to win gear from them, then join the RY Outfitters Community below.
You can also hear the stories of many of these startups from the voices of the founders on the RY Outfitters Podcast.