Pro skier Jay Beyer in Japan

Voile: Domestic Manufacturing and Innovative Backcountry Design

Voile: Domestic Manufacturing and Innovative Backcountry Design

Voile has been manufacturing high-quality backcountry equipment for more than three decades. In 1991, the company was one of the first to act on the idea of widening ski waist widths, and today they continue to evolve, with products that push the boundaries.

“In a lot of ways, we’ve been pioneers in these [backcountry] product areas as far back as adopting wider skis in the early 90s, when we built the original Mountain Surf,” explains part owner, David Grissom. The Mountain Surf was an 88-mm-waisted ski— which doesn’t seem like much now— but which was one of the fattest skis around when it came to market.

Rather than dealing in fancy marketing campaigns or building high-priced ski teams, Voile likes to let its product speak for itself. “The manufacturing side has and will always be a big part of what we do,” explains Grissom. “We’re really product focused and haven’t wavered from that since the beginning.”

Voile skis

The founder of Voile, Mark “Wally” Wariakois, is still very involved in the day-to-day design work, and the company continues to use the same manufacturing facilities in Salt Lake City, UT, that it has for the entirety of its 34-year existence. In addition to Wariakois, Grissom handles sales and marketing, while another part owner Mark Christopherson focuses on production.

“[The company] is closely held,” explains Grissom. “We’re really immersed in all of the details of the product and its production, and that’s rare in the world in my view.”

Voile’s product mission is to produce super lightweight and highly maneuverable equipment that’s efficient for backcountry travel and can adapt to ever- changing conditions. The company accomplishes this thanks to skis with short turn radii, coupled with optimal lengths of tip and tail rocker. In addition, an aspen wood core with a carbon composite weave keeps the skis lightweight yet durable.

“The short running lengths and turning radii on the V8 and V6 make those skis insanely easy to move around on,” says Grissom, “whether it’s trees, a slope of breakable crust or any number of varied conditions.”

Pro skier ERic Balken in Japan

Eric Balken in Japan. Photo by Jay Beyer

Conveniently, Voile is able to make adjustments and design innovations on the fly thanks to its location in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Once a concept is brought up among the team, the design can be produced and tested out on the snow in a matter of days. From there, tweaks can be made, more tests run, more tweaks, and so on until a polished design is ready for market.

“A couple of prototypes won’t get it done,” insists Grissom. “We’re great at iterating the design to get it just right. With all of our design and manufacturing being done in Salt Lake City, we can go from design to snow in under 48 hours. It’s something that some competitors making product offshore don’t have the ability to do.”

Voile’s ability to continue pushing boundaries will be the key to giving customers cutting edge products. “I think that we’re really poised to keep evolving with our backcountry product,” adds Grissom. “We’re in the position to do that because we’re so immersed in the design and manufacturing that we have the innate ability to innovate.”

Voile V8

Voile V8 skis 2015

“Voile operates on three words: ‘Simple, solid, backcountry.’ And the Voile V8 ski is so light that you’ll want to head straight out of bounds. In addition, it’s ultra playful…” Click for full review.

Voile V6

Voile V6 Skis 2015

“A trimmer, more maneuverable version of the inimitable V8, the Voile V6 skis are the purist’s everyday powder ski. It has the same wide shovel, round flex…” Click for full review.

Voile Charger

Voile Charger skis 2015

“Our original progressive big-mountain powder ski, the Voile Charger skis are just itching to demolish that dream line of yours. Beefy flex and a fat waist combined with our proven hybrid rocker…” Click for full review.

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