Company Callout: Coreupt

Company Callout: Coreupt

This story originally ran in the November 2008 issue of Freeskier (V11.3). Words written by Shay Williams

Photo: Tristan Shu

It takes some serious rocks to start a ski company these days. To emerge in today’s ski world, it seems that the stars must be in a fated alignment for your company just to get off the ground, let alone succeed. But with all the crucial pieces in place, the French startup CoreUPT is primed to make a big move in the scene. Armed with a solid business plan, financial backing, and a dedicated team, CoreUPT founder Guerlain Chicherit — yes, that Guerlain, legend of big-mountain skiing — has one foot in the door of the industry, but one still firmly planted in the mountains.

After 15 successful years riding for Dynastar, Guerlain felt a need for a different kind of company. With the dedication of a few — most notably Guerlain and Matthieu Moyse, the Chief Marketing Officer — CoreUPT hopes to be the company to fill said need. “Riders no longer need just skis, they need something more,” says Moyse. “From the start we decided that the brand would be dedicated to the riders, and not the contrary. We will listen to every single skier who rides our toys and we want every rider to take part in the life of the company. Our riders’ opinions matter.” CoreUPT plans on selling mostly through direct sales and core shops, which will keep the company in touch with its customers, keeping the entire community creative and lively.

And, it is CoreUPT’s riders that have been at the heart of substantial speculation, which is nothing abnormal for a startup. CoreUPT finally put the rumors to rest, officially signing big names like Candide Thovex, TJ Schiller, Colby West, Richard Permin, Gus Kenworthy and Julien Lange, among others. On paper, it may look like the company is buying the best, but CoreUPT says otherwise. “We want every rider to feel good, to set their own goals and have better opportunities to reach them,” says Moyse. “We may seem to be ‘best-rider buyers,’ but that’s because people haven’t seen what we do. It’s big business, but the fi nal choices are made on human feeling. Guerlain picked up the phone and spoke to each athlete about the story we want to write. Money comes after. It’s a matter of fun. We want the best guys on and off the slopes. We try to spend the most time together, and it’s always very fun.”

Passion, rider involvement and community are all well and good, but without a high-quality product, a company will sink faster than the Titanic. To assuage would-be worriers, CoreUPT partnered with Dynastar to press its skis. “We have never hidden that we’re working with them,” explains Moyse. “It’s quite funny, all the rumors we have heard about CoreUPT being part of Dynastar. We are realistic and can’t claim to have years of experience in ski production. We need experts in order to be reliable immediately. Being reliable encourages our creativity. We made this choice to be sure to have quality skis the fi rst year, as it’s a long and tough process to develop good and long-lasting skis.” By making minor tweaks to existing molds, the nascent production team can quickly build reputable skis, while staying true to their designs.

It seems likely that CoreUPT is poised for imminent success. But the company knows it isn’t successful yet. “We have good ideas for the future,” says Moyse. “We are small enough to make for specific needs. But one thing at a time. We are not born yet. The first goal for us is to see if we can motivate enough people around, to take this ride with us.”CoreUPT: a company stemmed from the love of skiing, with a global all-star cast of riders, dependable product, and a keen sense of self-awareness. People might just catch onto that.

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