Heidiskis handcrafted for fun, one ski at a time | AspenTimes.com

Heidiskis handcrafted for fun, one ski at a time

Apparently I do not know quality when I ski it. And given the price of a pair of heidiskis, that’s probably a good thing.

Hedidskis, “the ultimate handmade high performance ski,” are indeed what they purport themselves to be: Every pair is handmade, “one pair at a time in our factory in Austria,” according to the company’s website.

The skis, which are available locally at Stefan Kaelin Pro Shop, through several Aspen-based reps and by visiting heidiskis.com, are similarly unique in how they are constructed ” every ski is crafted with mature Swiss white ash wood cores. And, “before they enter the press, each ski is hand shaped and tuned to ensure an equal and balanced flex.” In other words, they are like no other ski on the market today.

That is probably why I couldn’t figure out how to ski them. Or maybe it’s that I was on the wrong model; they come in “all mountain,” “freeride” and “powder.” I tried the all-mountain, which promised to be “the quintessential all-around ski. Quick, light and lively, these skis are easy to maneuver and guaranteed to enhance your skiing experience.”

They were light and lively (I actually call them squirrely), and if they had held a bit more steady underfoot, I can see where they would be easy to maneuver. Rather, on a firm-snow day and with my favorite skis ever being a beefy pair of Fischer women’s freeride skis, it was hard to find my groove on these snappy little boards.

I’ll have to try again ” the all-mountain does come in a Pro Series that is stiffer in torsion and flex ” or maybe I should check out heidskis’ freeride version. The description sounds a bit more in tune with my skiing style and the conditions I usually face: “With a 30 percent piste 70 percent off piste ratio, the Freeride will carry you through days of crud, powder and adventure while still remaining a pleasure on the groomed ” if you ever return to it!”

And performance aside, there’s something very cool about a handmade ski (really, there’s something cool about anything handmade in these days of mass production). Even the graphics ” bright colors, wild dragons, handrawn landscapes ” standout in a sea of predictable patterns. Plus, the heidiskis team isn’t afraid to do the right thing: 10 percent of all profits are donated to The American Himalayan Foundation, in honor of the mountains that have inspired them.

Still, I have to admit I was relieved not to have fallen in love with the heidski; at $1,750 a pair, I cannot afford them. So on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t try that Freeride model. Nah, why not dream a little?


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