Alt. Skis is performance. Inspired by aeronautic technologies, our high-end skis push established boundaries of durability, versatility and performance. ALT. skis are designed and handmade in Montreal, Canada. Internationally recognized for its aeronautic innovative engineering savoir-faire, the city offers Alt. Skis competitive advantage on research and development, on materials and on cutting-edge technologies. We’re also proud to benefit from one of the most progressive communities of freeskiers in the world. Timeline 2008-2009: While working for a high-end carbon fiber bicycle frame manufacturer, engineer Simon Bergeron envisioned a way to translate his knowledge into skis. His vision led him to build in the beginning of 2009 a ski press, which enabled him to put together the first ever carbon fiber Alt. ski. 2009-2010: In the quest of building the best possible ski using the latest technologies, Simon explored different types of fabrication processes and ways to optimize the usage of the carbon fiber. He also used various types and combination of woods while continuing testing the skis on and off-hill. With a rigorous development schedule and his everlasting passion, Simon obtained results that were impressive. 2010-2011: Confident with a product that has been r&d for more than two years, a test campaign is put together with the help of some of the most influential skiers in Canada. Over 2010-2011 winter, numerous pairs of skis were tested by dozens of skiers. Gathering all feedbacks, Simon produced a series of demo skis to test during summer 2011 in New Zealand. The last adjustments were made, and a line of 3 exceptional carbon fiber freeride ski models is ready to hit the market for 2011-2012. - website December 2011
Website not working as of September, 2012. Simon Bergeron has launched Alt. Skis from his homebase in Montreal, producing a high-tech multi-biased carbon fiber/wood-core line of skis with a confident, two-year warranty. Steeped in a background of engineering carbon-fibre bicycle frames, Simon has extended his creativity into rockered and traditional camber ski models. First designs began rolling off his press in 2009, with a business-ready lineup starting in 2011. Simon touts finite-element analysis, dual-density cores and CAD production techniques as the foundation for his race-technology sandwich construction skis. No fiberglass is used in these skis, only a variety of carbon fibre materials. Multiple types of fibres are oriented in various directions to obtain the appropriate flexural and torsional stiffness. Custom designs and graphic topsheets are available. Prices in 2011-2012 are approximately $1050 cdn.
Dual density cores
Variety of carbon fibre matting used by Alt. Skis
Testing in the Alt. Skis shop
Tip photo (click for larger version)
Altai Skis represent a convergence of utility and adventure in backcountry ski design. Founded by Nils Larsen and Francois Sylvain, Altai Skis is focused on design inspired by the true spirit and utility of backcountry skiing. Larsen and Sylvain are both ski industry veterans who have worked extensively together in the past. They believe that the easily accessible, everyday backcountry is generally overlooked by much of the current equipment offered. “We believe that the term ‘backcountry’ can and should include the patch of woods behind your house or the hills just out of town. The name Altai Skis was inspired by the ski culture found in the Altai Mountains of northern Asia. Since 2005, Larsen has been documenting an indigenous ski culture in the regions that dates back thousands of years. The local culture’s go-everywhere, do-everything skis is the inspiration for Altai Skis. Sylvain brings 12 years of ski design and construction experience with Karhu and Line skis to Altai Skis. His designs are highly regarded in both alpine and nordic ski categories. Larsen has been at the forefront of the backcountry ski scene for the last 20 years and started working at Karhu Skis in the early 1990’s. Together, they developed the majority of telemark, backcountry, and XCD skis that Karhu released in the last 10 years." We both had extensive experience in the ski industry and had worked together designing nordic and backcountry skis for over ten years. We felt there was a great potential for skis designed for what we like to call ‘pocket backcountry’, the skiing many skiers have ready access to close to where they live. In both Quebec (Francois’ home) and NE Washington (Nils’ home), skiing out the back door or close to it offers us excellent and easy access to the winter world. We set to work on new designs, with the goal of creating easy to use and accessible gear to match the often overlooked skiing possibilities hiding in plain view. Nils has been working on a documentary project on indigenous skiers in the remote Altai Mountains of Northern Asia since 2005. The ski traditions in the area date back thousands of years, possibly to the origins of skiing. The skiers in the Altai still use one ski design for all their skiing, whether it’s a short trip to feed their livestock, over the hill to visit a neighbor, or a two week hunting expedition deep into the rugged mountains. All skiing in the Altai is ‘backcountry’. This was the inspiration for Altai Skis, it defines the spirit of our company and it will drive our designs into the future. - from the website May 2011
Founded by Nils Larsen and Francois Sylvain in 2009. With backgrounds from Karhu, Line and K2, Nils and Francois brought their experiences together to create a new backcountry ski with integrated skin ("the Hok"). The Hok is available in 125 and 145cm lengths and comes predrilled with 75mm inserts. Prices:
Hok w/o binding (both sizes) $199.95 USD
Hok w 75mm $249.95 USD
Hok with universal $269.95 USD
PO Box 159
Curlew, WA 99118
Twin binding monoski, luges, snowboards, skateboards too...
2007 Order form and price list
Some high-alps footage of Aluflex in action in their native habitat:
[Comments from an enthusiast in France:]
Hand-made ski designed and produced in Haute-Savoie in a small valley named Le Giffre (near Chamonix). All the production (longskateboard, luge, ski, monoski, snowboard) is realized by only one craftsman (Daniel Serre) who are using only first choice materials (hood core, strengthened construction...). The production not exceed 150 pairs of skis. All the skis are tested and approved by Denis Rey, ex-pro race skier (downhill in the french team...) now mountain guide and the only pro rider for aluflex. The (wrong...) reputation in France is to say "Aluflex made exclusive ski, very stiff, with strong flex...". That's true for only one ski : the 2 metres (the "ski of the hell" like to say Daniel Serre). But the others are very good in all-snow.
1 lady ski named : jade (165 cm)
1 piste ski named : 188 (188 cm with a version in bamboo very smooth)
1 derby ski named: 200 (200 cm)
1 mid fat ski named : passe montagne (185 cm traduct : cross mountain)
1 fat ski named : barbapoudre (180 cm, 188 cm, 196cm traduct : daddypowder)
Here's my topic on skipass.com about the passe montagne (in French). One word to describe Aluflex: efficacity
[The excellent research below (translation by Google) is provided with permission in 2008 courtesy of our friends at FreePresse.fr who produce http://www.WinterGuide.fr containing great articles and information. Thank You FreePresse.fr !]
• Created: 1954, France.
• Positioning: Trend dreams.
• History: Aluflex is the first ski world to have been fabricated aluminum, 1954. In the sixties, one of its creators sold the technology to a company now Dynastar. While technology has been sold, the brand has not been, so it was reborn in the eighties, with the manufacture of snowboards. Now led by Daniel Serres, Aluflex produces Longskate of mono and of course with the former ski downhill freerider and Denis Rey.
• The ranges: A nice range of four skis: freeride with the two-meter mountain with the all-Mountain Pass Hundred and Ninety-Eight, and track with the Tracker.
• Annual production: 40 pairs for 2005-2006.
• Manufacturing: homemade Skis (including kernels). Aluflex passes between fourteen and twenty hours per skiing!
• Contact: aluflexski.com
All models are adaptable made to order, in hardness and in width. curve alone it and the rays of curve remain irremovable, and as for the decorative, we can personify your skis " If you know what you want, we shall enjoy to accomplish it ". Our production is restricted, command beforehand, not to miss your season....
Handmade telemark, XC touring and Sky Surfing (parachute skiing skis!) skis. Wood, carbon, honeycomb, kevlar ingredients. Made by Vincent.
• Created: 2004, France.
• Positioning: Operates segment ski touring, telemark and track. Wooden skis with custom Decos marquetry (on request).
• History: Ame was born two years ago the will of one of the creators of the French brand Bohemia, in particular to develop the manufacture of ski touring, telemark and track. Ame uses the material most noble for his skis, wood.
• The ranges: The range consists of five skis. Alpine (160 cm), Bi-Spatula (160 and 170 cm), hiking (173 and 186 cm), Rayon Court (173 and 186 cm) and fat (186 cm).
• Annual production: 10 pairs.
• Manufacturing: All skis are made by hand.
• Contact: Vincent 06 87 10 08 82 - Direct sales on http://ame.ski.free.fr
"Conventional skis are, by design, difficult to control skidding and sliding devices at the edge angles used by virtually all beginner to advanced recreational skiers. This makes recreational skiing essentially a skidding, sliding sport. Unfortunately, this skidding and sliding is exhausting and a very uncomfortable sensation for many people. Most frequently they are out of control. It is not surprising that “feeling out of control” is the reason most often cited by those who have given up the sport. The Anton Gliders are designed for total control. A unique patented shape combined with a very sophisticated full suspension system enables the Anton Gliders to easily carve and go precisely in the direction that they are pointed. The reality and sensation is one of being in total control. Even in icy hard pack conditions the Anton Gliders can create railroad tracks in the snow that provide total lateral stability. Equally important, when intentionally skidded, the independent front and rear suspension systems continue to maintain even and consistent tip and tail pressure regardless of mistakes in stance and balance. Together with the under-the-boot edges, this allows the beginner to advanced skier to easily and totally control a skidded maneuver like an expert."
[Exoticskis test reviews...]
A completely new concept in carving ski brought out in 2006-2007 by Anton Wilson (who invented a very commonly used commercial video camera battery system). 4 models for 2007-2008. These are short (130-154cm), hyper-cambered suspension ski with waist sizes of 55-64mm underfoot with bindings mounted on a rockered frame suspended above the ski with two indpendent, leaf springs, pressuring the tip and tail constantly. Spring pressure can be adjusted fore and aft with simple thumbscrews to provide flex patterns ranging from very soft to very stiff. Targeted at the beginner or intermediate or anyone who wants to carve effortless turns on groomed slopes (no powder skiing with these babies). You have to see the website and videos to understand completely.
Many people will remember a host of "flex altering / behavior modifying" gimmicks tried in the past such as the Solomon PowerLink, Kneissel supplemental edges, "the Claw ski", Fischer "fins", K2 blinking piezo-electric module, Marker "Select Control"...etc. We tested the entire fleet of these funny looking skis January 7, 2008 and we have to say they are not gimmicks. They really do carve, the machine work, component quality and craftsmanship is simply a toolmaker's work of art, and yes, the high-end carbon series is expensive. Offshore production next year will bring the price down to reasonable levels (see Manufacturer's comments below).
Click HERE for Big picture (881k)
Some reviews exist over at EpicSki.com too.
On-snow video of one of our test sessions:
08-09 Anton Gliders Carbon EX Skis
Why choose custom skis? The biggest difference between custom made skis and mass produced is the performance, responsiveness and reliability. Once you have skied on custom made you will never buy mass produced again. Every person is an individual and as such skis slightly differently. We can make each pair of skis individually tailored to your needs style of skiing and expectations, allowing you to become truly involved in the making and design of your own skis. Your skis feel so responsive that they feel like they are an extension of your legs giving you confidence and control in every move you make. They give you improved agility in challenging terrains, reduced stress and impact on the body. Longer endurance allowing you to ski that extra mile. Each pair of skis are truly individual. There will never be another pair exactly the same on the mountains. Although you can use our top sheet designs no two pairs will ever be identical. If you have your own design if it is possible to adapt it to fit the skis you require we will do it. If you have an idea for a design you would like we can work on it emailing sample designs for you to choose from. Whatever Shape, Style, Length, Camber you require we will endeavour to make them for you. Each pair of skis will be customised for you and have the manufacture date and who owns the skis printed on them unless you instruct us not to. Below is a video snippet into how we make our skis.
- From website, September 2011
One of the only custom ski builders in the U.K. Antra Custom produces four basic shapes, ranging in waist size from 75mm to 124mm, in lengths of 155 to 190cm, as well as several designs of custom kids' skis. Environmentally-friendly production with non-toxic epoxy, locally-sourced ash and poplar laminate cores with Durasurf bases, Rockwell 48 edges, UHMWPE sidewalls, carbon and kevlar layers and sublimated ABS topsheet graphics as well as veneer topsheet options.
The brainchild line of skis from Regis Rolland and Eric "Bob" Bobrowicz (15 year veteran of Rossignol who helped launch Scratch skis, and sells his own line of APO-related skis through Ride-Doctor.com). These are back-to-basics, wood core torsion box fiberglass skis in three initial models with very affordable pricing and fun graphics.They even put avalanche awareness messages on the skis.
Wyatt - 98mm waist in 179cm and 189cm.
Gamme twin tip 98mm waist
Starsky 92mm waist(179, 173, 167 et 161 cm / €489).
Marielle 92mm waist(167, 161, 155 et 149 cm / €439 euros)
Malcolm, 92mm waistJunior ski (149 et 155 cm / €389 euros)
Available in September 2008.
"Our passion for snowboarding affect our daily actions and allows extremely lively and driving organic boards. The input of our European boarder X-teams and riders like Mike Basich, Rob King will be our boards in a constant evolution to be better, so divisive, vibrant shapes with excellent processing. Arbor processed only natural products, which is extremely durable and regenerative. We are committed to prudent management of the environment for the production of our boards, and decks. We support and participate in our organizations, the reforestation of Koa plantations to restore the natural balance. We develop Topsheets different and unique for our wooden boards, which the uniqueness of each driver underscore Arbor. Each of our Topsheets is less than 2.6 Kubikinch Koa wood. The Arbor Topsheet veneer comes from resources, which invariably environmentally explored (for example, wood, sawmill leftovers, etc.)."
Extensive lineup of beautiful wooden snowboards in all styles and layups. German ingenuity and "natural" materials. Rumored to be manufactured in the Elan facility since 2009. Skateboards too. Ecologically minded philosophy stated on the website.
The ExoticSkis Swag Store...
Your browser does not support iframes.