Imagine a ski that simply fits. When skiing feels natural from the first turn you take. When each of your movements translates into the turn you imagined before initiating it. A ski that feels like an extension of your body. That’s the ski we were dreaming about when we cut a ski in half and decided to build our own.
Here at ÜNIQUE SKIS, we have been building custom-made skis for 5 years. We are always up for new a challenge and that’s why, 3 years ago, we decided to build the perfect freeride ski for real conditions.
Although we all dream of powder every day - lets face it – we only get so many perfect days per year. That’s why we imagined a ski:
- Designed for powder
- Fine tuned to be fun on hard pressed snow
- Easy to manoeuvre
- Versatile enough to glide you up short distance tours
After a lot of back and forth between the drawing board and test rides on the mountains we are proud to present the prototypes of our first series - the ski we dared to dream about - 1 shape / 3 lengths, with all the other trademark characteristics of a ÜNIQUE SKI: Handcrafted - Durable - Refined.
Let us introduce you to Anne-Marie (168 cm), Wendelin (178 cm) and Anton (188 cm), the 3 new members of the ÜNIQUE SKIS’ family. You might be wondering why we gave them names. We spent so much time together in the past years that it seemed a lot more natural then to call them 168,178 & 188. Each of them has its very own personality and we are very excited for you to meet them!
Ladies First – Anne-Marie
Anne-Marie is in love with life. She’ll always be in good spirits and keep you smiling through every turn. She’ll follow you wherever you take her: neck deep powder, moguls or hard packed slopes. Quick turns are Anne-Marie's idea of pure bliss and she is incredibly nimble in the tightest tree runs. Anne-Marie is a playful girl - a girl to fall in love with.
Wendelin is the perfect mate for a trip to the mountains. He floats through powder without effort. On the slopes he faithfully keeps you on track. Being an accomplished skier you’ll fully appreciate his quick feedback coming out of your turn. Wendelin is the loyal friend you can always count on, whether you are in deep trouble or have something to celebrate. You’ll always want him by your side.
Anton - Last but not Least
Anton is a legend on the mountain. It almost feels like he’s cutting the mountain in two, when he carves down the slopes with his long drawn-out turns. Anton is on a constant quest to find huge open lines to show off his smoothness and clearly thrives at high speeds. He likes to take a walk on the wild side - with style. Anton’s like the big brother who never stops challenging you, but who you can fully rely on when you truly need him. You can always count on this calm beast.
Handcrafted: Honest craftsmanship ensures true quality. We hand pick all the materials to make sure only the best are used. All our skis have a sandwich construction and we use an extended pressing process to reduce tension between the layers to a minimum.
Durable: We believe that a great ski should be pure pleasure to ride day after day. We have worked really hard to build a long lasting ski. That’s why the heart of all our skis is a wooden core, which keeps its flex for longer and gives the ski its alive feeling.
Refined: Looks are important to us - but what really excites us is the shape of each ski, the combination of the materials, the perfect camber. That’s why we chose to use wood veneer as top layer for all our skis: it gives them a great and simple look, differentiating them clearly from all other skis you see on the slopes. And the best part: every ski looks different as two sheets of wood will never look exactly the same.
For the sandwich construction the materials are stacked in horizontal layers from bottom to top with epoxy resin between each of them. The ski is then placed in the press. Heating elements on both the top and bottom of the mould, along with over 4 bar of pressure, gently “cook” the ski. After 30 minutes the epoxy has cured and the ski is left to cool down under pressure over night.
Once removed from the press the ski is cut into its final shape. We then grind running bases, edges as well as the wood veneer. Finally we tune the ski with hot wax. Before shipping it out to our customers, the ski has to pass our thorough quality control.
Wood Core: The core is the heart of your skis and we use ash wood from local timber productions for our series. Ash wood has been popular in ski construction for a long time, as it has proven to be strong as well as flexible. The wood core is protected by sidewalls made of polyurethane.
Carbon Fibre: We use carbon fibre for the 2 composite layers around the wood core. The properties of carbon fibres, such as high tensile strength and low weight make them popular in high-tech industries, such as air- and spacecraft and Formula 1. Together with the wood core, the carbon fibres are responsible for the right balance between flex and stiffness of the ski.
Edges: To keep control when racing downhill at a high speed, you need hard but elastic edges. The hardened steel edges used in ÜNIQUE SKIS are widely popular in ski racing. They will keep you on track even on icy tracks.
Base Material: Your ÜNIQUE SKIS run on the best bases out there, which are made of sintered polyethylene. They are fast, durable and absorb wax particularly well.
Top Sheet: Like our custom-made skis, the series has a beautiful & simple wood veneer finish. Given the natural grain of the wood no two skis will ever look the same.
Clemens – the Allrounder worked for various well known PR and communication agencies in Europe before starting ÜNIQUE SKIS with Dominic. His international PR experience has proven to be a real asset at ÜNIQUE SKIS. Clemens is a true craftsman and it’s a real pleasure to watch him working on a ski: concentrated on each movement and completely at peace whether using a screwdriver, welding or handling our 4-ton milling machine.
Skiing was Clemens’ first love, which only grew bigger over time and led him to Japan and its unparalleled powder, where he worked as ski instructor and in ski consulting.
Dominic – the Engineer has a degree in physics and worked as a patent lawyer in training before starting this adventure with Clemens. He specialised in mechanical engineering and his experience and knowledge gives him the perfect skillset to be ÜNIQUE SKIS’ CTO, the mastermind behind our skis.
Dominic learned to ski before he knew how to walk and has ever since been on the quest to take it to the next level: after skiing on water and grass, kiting, paragliding and skydiving he found speed riding, a combination of those last three and skiing.
Gernot – the Ski Pro knows the skiing industry inside out: after a career as an international ski racer he worked as a ski tester for Fischer Sports. He was closely involved in the development of skis, which quickly became some of their best selling models. Today Gernot's experience makes him our biggest critic and an essential part of the team.
Gernot’s passion for skiing has always been marked by rigorous training. Instead of hanging out at the beach, he spent his summers at the glaciers to practice the perfect turn over and over.
Frustrated by the choice of skis in the shops, we started experimenting with building our own skis 5 years ago. What started as a hobby in an unheated garage quickly became ÜNIQUE SKIS. We quit our careers, transformed our garage into a rather modern - heated - workshop and assembled a team dedicated to build the perfect ski for every skier by offering entirely custom-made skis.
After the first ride on our self-built prototype we were over the moon: we had absolutely no experience in ski building and this first prototype was far from being technically mature. Still, those skis felt more alive and more intuitive than anything we had ever tried before.
We mastered the skills to craft skis relatively quickly. The real challenge began when we started playing with different shapes and materials. What’s the best wood or wood combination to use for the different wood cores? Does fibreglass, carbon or basalt make the best composite layer? Which one gives the best torsional strength? How do we achieve the most natural flex curve? What’s the ideal bending line? How much titanal do we need? Do we need it at all?
The more questions we had, the more conflicting answers we got from other ski builders. We set out to build one ski after the other to make up our own opinion. Always focusing on our goal to build our dream ski.
At the beginning we only built skis for ourselves. Our friends got curious when seeing us on the slopes and we realised that there was a wider interest for custom-made skis.
Like so many others, the skiing industry is driven to present a revolutionary innovation year after year. It is is a huge competition between the different producers. If you take a closer look, more often than not it is just mediocre marketing. Loud colours and generously used technical seeming abbreviations hide the fact that the production has long been moved to the Far East and that the materials used are not always the best.
With ÜNIQUE SKIS we would like to offer you an alternative: a simply brilliant and durable ski, which is a joy to ride for many many years. The right shape, premium materials and real craftsmanship are the ingredients for a great ski. All our skis are handcrafted with love and attention to detail.
Quality over quantity.
We have been working on the development of the first ÜNIQUE SKIS Series for the past seasons. The skis you see in the video and on the page are the result of countless hours spent between the drawing board, prototyping and testing. We have created the ski we were dreaming of.
Now we need you to get the production of this limited series started.
Please spread the word
By selecting one of our rewards, you bring us a big step closer to our goal: the manufacturing of the first ÜNIQUE SKIS Series. There are also other ways you can support us. In North America boutique ski manufacturers have already established themselves as an alternative to mass produced skis. But in Europe this trend is still fairly unknown - even among passionate skiers - and the skiing market is dominated by a few big companies. You can help us to change this:
- Tell your friends about ÜNIQUE SKIS
- Invite your friends to our facebook page and to this campaign
- Share the links to this campaign and to our website or facebook page
- Post about ÜNIQUE SKIS on facebook, twitter, instagram or any other social media channel
- And finally, give us your feedback and help us improve.
… simply spread the word that there are boutique ski manufactures out there!
To get all the latest ÜNIQUE SKIS news:
Risks and challenges
We are very conscious of the possibility of unforeseen challenges as we are launching the first ÜNIQUE SKIS Series.
The product: We have been building custom-made skis for years now. To launch this series, we have developed many prototypes and tested them extensively over the past years. The manufacturing process, materials and skills needed to produce the series are the same we have mastered producing our custom-made models.
The manufacturing: We have a clear production plan in place and everything is lined up and ready to go as soon as we reach our goal on Kickstarter.
Shipping: We have established relations with local and international shippers and know from experience that shipping around Christmas can be a challenge. Although we hope to send out some of the rewards in December, we have set the fulfilment date to January 2016 to have some margin.
In any case, we will keep you informed.
We look forward to shipping your ÜNIQUE SKIS Reward!
If you have any questions or want to get in touch, please email us at: email@example.comLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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