I'll start with a disclaimer: I have no business training, no formal ski-building training, and never really even had ski lessons. I got into building skis on a whim. After filling up my house with custom furniture and lighting, I ran out of projects. At the same time, I got back into skiing after a 25 year hiatus. On a family vacation to Colorado, I ran into ScottyBob skis hanging on the wall of a Silverton Restaurant.  They were hand-crafted from wood and were the most original pair of skis I'd seen at the time. The lightbulb went on and I decided I needed to build my own skis. I wasn't sure where this would lead, but I knew I wanted to get started.

As luck would have it, when I returned home I found a ski press for sale in Salt Lake City. I slowly kitted out a small ski factory in my garage and basement (much to my wife's delight). Lots of tinkering and trial and error ensued.

 

After months of work, the first pair came off the press. Not perfect, but very serviceable. I learned quickly that there were lots of time-saving opportunities, so I turned to refining the process.  My next acquisition was a computer controlled router, which would allow me to design and build one-off skis in a matter of hours, not days.  Coming soon in part 2, how a little automation and a lot of study got things really rolling...