RAMP Sports: Rocking a Home Team Advantage

RAMP Sports: Rocking a Home Team Advantage

RAMP Sports founder, Mike Kilchenstein, has a lifetime’s worth of know-how in the ski industry. Having spent 32 years with ski manufacturing giant, Rossignol, he noticed a hole in the market where there could be a more personable and friendly brand. In 2009, he founded RAMP.

Kilchenstein’s goal was to build a much closer relationship between the ski maker and the buyer, allowing avid skiers to communicate with the manufacturer as well as reps in the field.

In addition to the personable approach, Kilchenstein also sought to implement new technology to further entice the shopper. The company’s biggest tech story is undoubtedly its vacuum molding process.

Ramp Sports Derek Roy Skiing Mount Hood

Derek Roy at Mount Hood. Photo by Noah Wallace

“Every other industry that uses composites, whether it’s helicopters or sailboats, is manufacturing using vacuum molding versus the old press,” asserts Kilchenstein. “There’s more flexibility with the tolerances of thicknesses you can put in, shapes you can use, and more consistent and even pressure.” The resulting layers and materials retain natural shapes and yield a higher performance ski.

In tinkering with the molding process, the company designed, in Kilchenstein’s words, “a patent-pending sidecut invention, where we can change shapes, radius and widths without having to make a new mold,” leading to even more creative power in the design process. This led to Razor Cut sidecut, relationship between the ski maker and the a straighter sidecut from the mid-boot buyer, allowing avid skiers to communicate with back that ensures that RAMP’s fatter the manufacturer as well as its reps in the field. skis have better edge performance on firmer snow.

With the commitment to an advanced molding process comes a need for the highest quality materials. RAMP utilizes full bamboo wood cores which are three times as hard as commonly used wood types like aspen and poplar, and provide added stability and durability along with excellent dampening and liveliness. The brand even implements Kevlar in the bottom laminates of the ski for added durability.


Dania Assaly on her RAMP skis. Photo by Joe Canfield

In order to keep up with its technological standards, RAMP moved its production facilities from Asia to the good ol’ US of A in 2012. While Kilchenstein maintains that the move was partly to cater to domestic users that are increasingly interested in products manufactured in the United States, he adds, “When you outsource products, you don’t have very much control over the materials and the processes being used.”

In addition to favoring domestic production, RAMP’s commitment to the environment is equally appealing to today’s consumer. Each pair of skis sold is shipped in a padded ski bag instead of a box. The brand buys back old skis for a $50 credit toward RAMP purchases. And it uses pine-based rather than petrochemical-based resins to bond ski layers together during construction.

The brand is young and energetic, and it’s investing heavily in core values that cater to the conscious consumer. Recent years of hard work and determination are paying off for the ski maker, and it’s now operating well in front of the production cycle, testing prototypes for 2015-16 — a sure sign that further innovations are on the way.

RAMP Peacepipe

ramp peacepipe skis 2015

“Do you enjoy ripping steep, fall line terrain with the occasional monster pow slash thrown in there? Then take a hit of the Ramp Peacepipe, friend….” Click for full review.


ramp cork skis 2015

“The Ramp Cork skis have the guts that any high-flying athlete wants to have in a twin tip—a full bamboo core for ultimate energy and Kevlar veil for bombproof edge retention…” Click for full review.

RAMP Beaver

ramp beaver skis 2015

“Women looking for a go-to everyday ski should take a gander at the Ramp Beaver skis. With early rise in the tip coupled with a respectable 100 mm of girth…” Click for full review.

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