New skis hit the market each fall boasting the latest technical innovations, but the aesthetics of each plank are often overlooked. While the visuals might not have anything to do with the way the ski performs, they certainly help sell the ski. Most ski top sheets feature eye-catching graphics, but these three skis celebrate the art of minimalism. After all, isnt skiing an art form?
When the independent French freeski brand from Chamonix came onto the scene in 2006, its boldly minimal top sheets featuring nothing more than a sans-serif brand name and series of symmetrical chevrons (resembling a flock of birds) turned heads in the ski world. Black Crows (co-founded by a former pro skier and a stunt double for James Bond) calls itself “obsessively design driven” and now enjoys a cult following in North America. The Camox Freebird is a modern mid-fat touring ski for skiers who want to enjoy the descent after climbing up. Gorsuch Ltd., 601 E. Dean St., black-crows.com
A rarity in the ski industry, each pair of Bomber skis is crafted by hand in a boutique factory outside Cossato, Italy, exclusive to Bomber. The company offers small production runs, unique custom graphics and touts complete quality control. Expect luxe materials, from high-density base material for maximum glide to premium Titanal that promotes consistent tip-to-tail flex and generally smoother, safer skiing in all conditions. The Bomber Pro Carve was designed and developed with Bode Miller to maximize turn angle and energy and serve as a responsive, nimble and intuitive tool for groomers, hard pack and ice. Performance Ski, 614 E. Durant Ave., bomberski.com
Based in Telluride, Colo., Wagner Custom Skis can offer the cleanest top sheet design you can come up with because every pair of skis is custom made and one of a kind. Without set molds or models (the Colorado factory uses state-of-the-art milling machines to precisely cut all parts of the ski so they fit together like a 3D jigsaw puzzle), Wagner skis vary in shape, profile and material makeup. In-house graphic designer Heather Baltzley uses customer ideas, but some of the best creations to come out of the Wagner workshop are remarkably inconspicuous. Gorsuch Ltd., 601 E. Dean St., wagnerskis.com
Photography by: BACKGROUND PHOTOS BY ANNIE SPRATT, INES ÁLVAREZ FDEZ AND LUIGI MANGA ON UNSPLASH