The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides professional members demand a lot from their gear… in fact they’re some of the hardest users and critics out there…
I spent most of my season at Mica Heli, skiing a set of custom built Bigbend skis and I was very impressed with the skis they built for me. They took the time to really figure out what I wanted in a ski, and totally nailed it. The skis held up well to the rigours of guiding, including the beatings in the ski basket, and showed very little wear after many days on them. I would definitely recommend Bigbend Skis to anyone looking for a custom built ski!
Shane Kroeger – Guiding Manager – Mica Heli – ACMG Ski Guide
Finally a local ski company building very cool, high performance skis. Bigbend Skis has taken custom skis to a new level. The high quality craftsmanship is directly related to the high quality ski performance. I am on a wood core and wood top sheet ski that provides a very smooth and solid ski, easy to turn in the trees but solid enough to tackle the icy slopes. There is nothing that compares to the passion put into each pair of Bigbend Skis!
Jeff MacPherson – ACMG Ski Guide – Heli Guide – Ski Coach
“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
In an effort to keep up with all the hype, buzzwords, trademarks and all ’round hoopla that has become ski marketing these days, Bigbend Skis is excited to unleash our new ski technology for the 2013/14 ski season.
Our approach to ski manufacturing will forever change the way you should think about your next pair of skis. Keep it Simple Ski Technology is just that… thoughtful ski designs put together with passion, focus and the best raw materials available – minus the complexities and gimmicky marketing B$ some other manufacturers would have you believe are important.
KIS² technology… helping to demystify ski manufacturing one pair at a time.
And yeah… we own that™!
Quality, durability, performance… our new top sheet material for 2013/14 is here!
New for the 2013/14 season, we’re using an improved top sheet material on all of our skis. This incredibly tough, micro-textured and matte finished nylon is manufactured to the highest standards in the industry. The artwork is heat transferred into the top sheet from the back-side, insuring vivid colour replication, incredible graphic detail and a new level of durability and protection for your skis.
Bigbend Skis sent a pair of custom built boards down to the crew at Backcountry Skiing Canada for testing early this season… read their review here:
CBC’s Outdoor Guy, Dave Quinn on the evolution of skis.
Link to the CBC Radio West interview here: Radio West – February 5th 2013 – with Rebecca Zandbergen
Bigbend Skis is proud to offer this beautiful topsheet in support of our friends at Avalanche Canada. Bigbend Skis will donate a percentage of the proceeds from sales of skis using this topsheet to Avalanche Canada, where the funds will be used to help deliver their Youth Education Programs. Avalanche Canada’s Youth Education Programs help create an awareness around safe backcountry travel and empower and educate youth by helping them gain the experience and knowledge they need to make informed choices when travelling in avalanche terrain.
Big shout-out to Jennifer George, Brent Strand and the rest of the crew at Avalanche Canada for helping to pull this great project together… also, HUGE thanks to artist Isaac Becker for donating his time and talents in creating the artwork for the topsheet!
Click the Avalanche Canada logo below to get more information on some of the youth focused programs they offer.
This past Sunday’s episode of Spark on CBC Radio touched on a number of really cool ideas. Bigbend Skis’ favourite was ‘Good Products, Bad Products‘… a short conversation with Mechanical Engineer and Stanford Professor James Adams, about some of the ideas surrounding hand-crafted goods and quality craftsmanship.
Keeping the spirit of craftsmanship alive in a mass manufacturing economy!
Listen to the ‘Good Products, Bad Products’ segment now:
Link to the entire episode of Sparks on CBC Radio here: Sparks 186 – June 17 & 20, 2012 – CBC Radio
Revelstoke Museum & Archives
Thanks to support from the Revelstoke Museum & Archives, we are stoked to announce the launch of our very first stock graphic as part of our Graphics that Give initiative! Our ‘Recon’ Sublimated graphic is based on a classic map from 1915 that highlights the Northern Selkirk Mountains and the Big Bend of the Columbia River.
A portion of the proceeds from sales of this topsheet will be donated to help support the Revelstoke Museum & Archives and their ongoing effort to preserve and share the rich history of the Big Bend. Props to Cathy English for all her hard work!
Get your very own piece of history and help support the Revelstoke Museum & Archives!
Bigbend Skis started off as an idea built on a dream, later structured by a plan. Part of that plan is to build 100% custom skis by hand, but to get there a lot of other planning and building needed to take shape.
Our skis are hand-built and custom all the way. No two pairs of skis are the same and that’s the way we like it. Each pair is a one-off inspired by our customers needs and wants and our manufacturing process reflects this need for uniqueness and versatility. Now when I say “hand-built”, I’m not talking about throwing down Amish-style and chewing a ski out of a solid piece of wood with my bare teeth. However, Bigbend Skis does not use CNC machines. CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines as they are used in the ski industry, are essentially computer driven robot-routers used to shape various ski components from base material to wood cores. Instead of CNC machines and in keeping with the handcrafted ideal, all of our cores are hand-milled by a real human pushing a router that utilizes several different jigs that were also custom designed and hand-built by Bigbend Skis. Part of the pleasure in this for Bigbend Skis is making tight tolerance, quality skis using means that require tactile human input into every single step of the process… after all, this is what “hand-crafted” truly means, right?
As the popularity of ski jumping started to dwindle and interest in downhill skiing took off, several downhill runs were built on the lower slopes of Mt. Revelstoke for the 1939 Western Canadian Championships. Parks Canada actually ponied up $200 to build a downhill course that started up around the 11 mile marker on the summit road… 3000 vertical feet of beaver-licious fun.
In January, that same year, four boys set off on skis from Revelstoke with the intent to ski the 183 mile route to Golden, BC on the original Big Bend road up and around the Columbia river (“What are you doin’ tomorrow? I don’t know, what are you doin’ tomorrow? I don’t know what are you doin’ tomorrow? I don’t know, youse guys wanna go ski to Golden or sumpthin?”). Don, Bill, Alex McCrae and Jim McDonald set out on the journey, but only Don, Bill and Jim finished the trip (Alex was ditched in a trappers cabin by the rest of the crew when he got sick… he recovered just fine and skied home alone). As reported by the Canadian Press at the time of their arrival in Golden:
The boys were tired and hungry and said all they wanted was a good sleep
They went on to describe the 11-day trip as “tough”. BIG time – Hell Ya!
Back to Mt. Revelstoke National Park and 1961. While backcountry powder snobs with good winter tires would have to wait another 2 years for the Rogers Pass route of the TransCanada Highway to open, hardcore downhill skiers living in Revelstoke recived a new 1600 foot Poma lift complete with a whopping 535 feet of vertical. Shortly after, in 1963, a new rope tow was also opened and together they created a ‘large’ recreational skiing area complete with night skiing that would last until…
1968 man. Originally known as Powder Springs, the first ski hill on Revlestoke’s “other” mountain, Mt. Mackenzie, opened with a single two-person lift and was followed up with a cat skiing operation in the early ’70’s. Check out this February 8, 1968 article by Kurt Hilger, from the UBC magazine, Ubyssey:
… Whistler has become over-crowded and expensive within the last few years and as a result it is becoming difficult to find a ski resort that has good facilities and is easy to reach. The only solution is to turn to the little known slopes of the interior. One of these can be found in the Revelstoke area”.
Not so sure about the easy to reach part (even these days), but groovy to think you could basically read the same thing today and not bat an eye.
After years of speculation, in late 2005 construction started on the new Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Powder Springs was relegated to the name of a downtown hotel, the old Powder Slug chairlift was sold off piece meal and the local dialect began to take on a eerie Australian tone six months of the year.
While it can be hard to escape the “I’m-so-rad” factor that the modern ski-industry tries to cram past our consumer culture medicated gag reflex, it is important to remember that Revelstoke and the Big Bend has a skiing history that will outlive all the re-hashed neon and bro-bra BS that you can throw at it. Thanks to hardworking guys like Ole and Nels and strong women like Isabel and Anna, ski tradition has deep roots in these parts and way-back-when, handcrafted ski building was also a big part of that tradition. Bigbend Skis looks to reflect this history and tradition and to try it’s hardest to carve out a little piece of it’s own. We work hard to make great skis… custom sticks to reflect who you are in the art of skiing and to propel you into the whiteness of winter with a hoot and a holler and a smile that lasts for days afterwards. We want everyone to appreciate what we offer… cool-kids and not-so-cool-kids alike. Love skiing… that’s our only request.