Best boards | AspenTimes.com

Best boards

Paul E. Anna

Aspen, CO ColoradoThe couple was ecstatic.A great run down Walsh’s on an early season Saturday brought big grins to the faces of the Aspen Mountain virgins. “Where you from?” I asked as we waited for the Gondola. “Silverton,” came the reply. “Can’t you tell from the skis?” It was then I noticed that they were both riding the most unique skis I had seen in a long time. They were tele-skis with a clean wooden veneer that made them look like an old surfboard. But even more interesting than the construction was the side-cut. Each ski had a notch, a cutaway, on the tail of the ski. “What are those?” I queried. Again, the grins. “They’re Scotty Bobs.”Scotty Bob, I have come to learn, is an innovative high-quality ski that had its genesis in Silverton, Colo., home of the steep and deep. There, Scotty Bob (yes, that is his real name) invented and patented an asymmetrical ski design that took into account the different amounts of pressure that are applied to each edge during a turn. He reasoned that by shortening the edge of the uphill ski, the pressure applied to the sweet spot on each turn would be maximized.Soon the Silverton telemark community had embraced the concept, and people were in love with their skis. An idea begat a company, and today Scotty Bob is making alpine skis to go with their treasured tele-skis.But beyond the design innovation, Scotty Bob has drawn admirers for their quality construction and artistic nature. Scotty Bob skis feature a wood core made of hua birch hardwood and German steel edges. The company has determined that their marketing path is best served by using the highest quality materials and pricing the ski for those who want top-of-the-line.But perhaps the most unique aspect of the Scotty Bob is that you can order custom-made skis from their factory in Silverton. Their website features an ordering system that allows skiers to select the dimensions, the flex and the artwork you want on your Scotty Bob skis. The designs are truly amazing, and you can work with them to create your own artwork if you would like.You can’t get Scotty Bob’s in the Roaring Fork Valley at this time as they are in the process of ramping up production. So that leaves you two options. The first is to get in your car and drive down Highway 550 to their factory/design shop in the renovated Silverton Power Station just outside of town. Or you can go online to http://www.scottybob.com, where you can see the man, read the story and design your skis.You, too, will be grinning when they arrive.