A bevy of ski makers can be found in the Vail Valley, Summit County and Lake Tahoe regions. In other words, you should be skiing on skis from where you ski.
Liberty, Avon, Colo. Liberty's bamboo laminate core is lively and responsive, while remaining strong and durable. And the three-year warranty is proof that the company stands by its handmade product. Available at Base Mountain Sports in Breckenridge and Beaver Creek. 866-SKI-LIBERTY
Ski Logik, Breckenridge, Colo. Ski Logik's custom graphics are carved into natural wood veneers that combine beauty and individuality. For each pair sold, a donation is made to the Nature Conservancy to plant a tree in a reclaimed ecological preserve. 970-453-8000
Unity, Silverthorne, Colo. Breck Freeride Team members and Winter Dew Tour standouts JJ Thomas and Zach Black pick Unity snowboards for their polyethylene sidewall, rubber dampening foil and radial sidecuts. Available at Breckenridge's Alpine Sports and The Big Hit. 970-262-2246
Fat-ypus, Breckenridge, Colo. It's a little like skiing on snowboards. For deep powder, Fat-ypus's award-winning A-Lotta measures in with a mind-numbing 190-mm waist. Available at Breckenridge's Alpine Sports and Lone Star Sports and Vail's Troy's Ski Shop. 720-352-8436
Flo Designed by former NASA engineer and current ski instructor Adrian Floreani, the liquid-filled All-Mountain model (126-92-115) comes in a 160-centimeter length with a rearward binding mount. Billed as easy to ski and good for your knees. Available at Beaver Creek's Christy Sports and Vail's Double Diamond. 800-356-7547
RMU (Rocky Mountain Underground) The Professor is RMU's versatile backcountry powder ski, named for the famous sidecountry peak off Loveland Pass. It's a smart choice for tackling big-mountain terrain but can also handle jumps and jibs. Available at Breckenridge's Mountain Wave Snowboard Shop and Vail's Gorsuch.
Palmer (Snowboards and Skis)South Lake Tahoe-based Shaun Palmer, the undisputed bad boy of winter, is a five-time Winter X Games champ and the 2001 ESPY Action Sports Athlete of the Year. Palmer has used Heavenly as a testing ground for creating unique and innovative snowboards and skis that have earned numerous accolades. and, for skis, 970-736-0238
(Reprinted from PEAKS Winter 2010-11, the magazine of Vail Resorts.)
-- Courtney Holden