Staying Alive: Independant ski manufacturers hang tough

Staying Alive: Independant ski manufacturers hang tough

According to SnowSports Industries America, ski manufacturers last season sold about 8 percent fewer skis in the U.S. than the previous year. It was a significant drop — 59,000 fewer skis, for a total of 675,000 — but given the way the economy swan dived into a snowbank leading up to the season, it wasn’t totally surprising.

What was surprising is how the industry’s independent manufacturers managed to avoid the fate that befell some of the bigger brands — and continue to do so.

Fat-ypus, a small Colorado company that introduced the first superfat (140mm underfoot) ski five years ago, has doubled its annual sales since 2007, going from 400 pairs to 800. Reno-based Moment Skis sold only five pairs of skis in its debut year of 2002-’03, but last winter the company sold “several thousand.”

“I can’t even keep up with production this year,” said Moment VP/engineer Luke Jacobson. “We’ve just been producing, producing, producing. We actually hired a bunch of new guys to start producing double the skis on a daily basis.”

Check out more at Buzz.Snow.com

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