We first spotted Skilogik at the SIA Snow Show in January, where its burnished wooden planks stuck out in the forest of bright technical fabric and fiberglass boards. Led by Coloradan David Mazzarella, the company makes skis that double as works of art, hand-tooled with designs ranging from mountain landscapes to Grateful Dead skeletons with mother-of-pearl detailing. Beyond being eye candy, its products, which range from heavily-rockered powder models like the Rock Star to racers like Occam's Razor, have won honors from magazines like Freeskier and Powder.
Originally founded in Breckenridge, Skilogik has since moved its production facilities to China's Hainan Island, following the lead of major industry players like K2 and Dynastar, which headed east to cut labor costs. Mazzarella, however, went a step further and offshored himself, too, relocating his family to the coastal city of Sanya in 2007 so he could build his own factory and supervise production in person.
While Skilogik's models look like solid wood, their guts are a little more complex. The company's skis are constructed out of sheets of fiberglass/carbon fiber composite and rubber layered around a hardwood core, and topped by a wood veneer; Skilogik claims that 95 percent of the timber used to produce the skis is sustainably harvested.
Skilogik's limited edition band-themed designs celebrate classic rock groups, including the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd. The Dead version, produced in partnership with Warner Music Group, is limited to 420 pairs, and can be layered on top of any model that the company makes.
Skiers who aren't into classic rock can still see their dream design on a pair of sticks: For an extra $100, the company's art director, David's wife Mariella Mazzarella, will work with the customer to create a one-off design for their new skis. Among the company's past custom creations: a set festooned with pot leaves.
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Read on for a sample of the Skilogik lineup we saw at SIA.