Ride Utah’s Factory-to-Slope Pipeline
When ski gear manufacturers and designers have such incredible outdoor inspiration, there’s no need to go far afield when they can stay right at home. Plus, there’s an endless supply of enthusiasts eager to demo the latest, greatest and yet-to-be-discovered. Utah’s gear scene benefits from being able to use its backyard as a testing ground, making the complete ski and snowboard cycle uniquely Utah. Wanna play?
Keeping it Close to Home
When ski gear manufacturers and designers have such incredible outdoor inspiration, there’s no need to go far afield when they can stay right at home. Utah’s gear scene benefits from being able to use its backyard as a testing ground, making the complete ski and snowboard cycle uniquely Utah. For an industry especially interested in reducing its carbon footprint and keeping a consistent winter from year to year, remaining local is a key element.
Based in Linden, Bluehouse produces innovative ski designs at affordable prices, and because it’s independent from major ski companies, distributors and retailers — when you buy Bluehouse skis, you’ve established a relationship directly with the company that made your skis right in Salt Lake City, and you save money in the process. Get an even closer look with a visit to the factory to take a peek behind the curtain and see how your skis are made.
With its global headquarters and state-of-the-art ski factory in Salt Lake City, DPS Skis knows Utah skiing and ski making. After nearly 10 years of overseas manufacturing, DPS opened its factory on the Wasatch Front, and now the company’s entire DPS Pure3 line, sandwich construction skis with pure prepreg carbon fiber laminates, is made in its Utah factory. While you can buy DPS Skis products in shops throughout the world, getting them closer to the source is special.
Pro Tip: You can rent DPS Skis at Level 9 Sports (multiple locations along Wasatch Front) but beware. This locals’ favorite outdoor consignment store will tempt you to walk away with gently used skis, boots, jackets and other gear, all for amazing prices.
Born in a California garage, Monson now creates its custom snowboards in Utah. The company’s simple approach allows it to serve global snowboard companies, marketing firms and individual riders searching for high-end or cost-effective production. When your board is different from everyone else’s on the mountain and matches your riding style, that’s when you stand out and add extra oomph to your days on the slopes.
The folks at RAMP (Riders Artists Musicians Project) believe consumers prefer products built with new technology, high-end materials, clean best practices, and made by people who love skiing and riding. The company’s skis and snowboards are made in Utah, and RAMP gives 13 percent of its proceeds back to the Earth through a variety of clean, green initiatives, like using FSC certified bamboo cores, Blue Sky Clean Energy, purchasing carbon offsets, and establishing a buyback program.
Pro Tip: If you’re in or around Park City, call and reserve skis or snowboards for a free one-day demo. You can use the gear anywhere. Just return them by 5pm the same day or the following morning by 8am. Because Ramp’s office is closed Saturdays and Sundays, if you reserve for Friday, then you can enjoy them until Monday.
Founded by former U.S. Ski Team racers, Soul Poles makes eco-friendly ski and hiking poles by hand in Park City, both to provide local employment as well as to curb emissions that cause the climate change threatening snowy slopes. The company uses the most environmentally friendly materials possible to reduce waste (by not having to replace poles), initiate a sustainable movement and provide the customer with a piece of art in a ski pole — all of which have a 2-year, no-questions-asked warranty.
Pro Tip: Although locals eschew fashion over function when it comes to skiing (fake fur and microwave jackets are dead giveaways), Soul Poles’ cool sticks are ones of the few exceptions to the rule. Folks on the lifts will definitely ask you where you got them, and they will definitely stand up to anything Utah skiing requires.
You may think the name sounds like it would be from a French ski company, but Voilé has been manufacturing the majority of its gear in Salt Lake City since 1980. The company prefers to build its own splitboards, skis, telemark bindings, avalanche shovels and soft goods rather than outsource to less-expensive countries in order to stay flexible and close to its roots. And Voilé’s focus is making the best backcountry products in the ski industry right here in Utah.
Pro Tip: Check out Voilé’s Retail Store (minutes from the SLC airport) in West Valley City for great backcountry gear and, then, drive around the corner to the Backcountry Retail Store located at the online behemoth's warehouse to buy whatever else your outdoor-loving heart desires.