MiVT: Silo Skis

RICHMOND, Vt. (WCAX) Imagine having your own skis that are built custom for you. The Richmond man behind the Made in Vermont company is also letting his clients become the crafters.

Seventeen-year-old Julian Slesar has had his custom skis since 2012. "The final product is definitely legit, you know?" Slesar said.

He made them himself will a little help from Lars Whitman. "I've skied my whole life," Whitman said.

He created Silo Skis about five years ago. "I had an idea of trying to build something that I could use, or try to teach people to use, that was an end product that you could have that was fun and something you could use for years to come," Whitman said.

Growing up skiing in Brattleboro, he picked up carpentry while living out west. He took an apprenticeship to learn how to make skis.

"There's 1,000 little steps that you have to get to that end product and you've got to do it right to get to a good end product," he said.

The first step is sitting down with the client to design the look and feel of the skis. That can depend on the terrain. "Really zoning in on where that client likes to ski is helpful, because then we can design a ski that works for them," Whitman said.

Slesar's skis were designed to be fat, so they could ski in light powder. But they also have a camber that allows for a better spring when heading into snow that's a little more hard.

Silo skis are made of similar materials compared to other skis. The core is a mix of poplar and maple from Lathrop's Mill in Bristol. "So it's all local Vermont wood, which is important to me," Whitman said.

He holds about two workshops a month. It costs $900, and after two and-a-half days you'll have your own custom made brand new skis. "They get to sit on the chair lift and as they're riding up, someone next to them says, 'Hey, where'd you get those?' And they say, 'I made these.' That's kind of the coolest part," Whitman said.

"It's really cool to think of that I actually got to make them," Slesar said.

Now, no matter your powder preference, Silo Skis puts the "custom" in customer.