As many of you know my wife Katie and I purchased Fanatics last November from long time owners Deb and Don Engelhardt. One of our main goals as new owners was to ensure that the Ski Fanatics brand Deb and Don created was preserved — high level customer service, knowledgeable and friendly staff, family friendly vibe, excellent gear and apparel selection from the best brands, great deals, and a top notch boot fitting and tuning/repair center. With those ideals in mind we’ve also been on a mission of progress. The new website, updated aesthetics and layout inside the shop, exciting and different promotional/sale ideas, and new brands, have been at the heart of everything going on at Ski Fanatics over the last year. And here I am….writing a blog. Hunter S. Thompson I am not, but my intention with the blog is to keep folks up to speed as to what’s going on around here. Whether that be talking about new product, sharing stories, posting photos or videos, or whatever else comes to mind, the blog will be light hearted, informative, and as offensive as possible (kidding). With that, I’d like to introduce a few new brands Katie and I have brought in for this season.
Icelantic – My relationship with Icelantic was pure happenstance. Wandering around the sensory overloaded mishmash of all things winter sports that is the Providence buying expo, I was struck by the incredibly different and beautiful graphics on Icelantic’s lineup of skis. For something to really grab your eye at an event like this is telling. Now, most folks that have been tapped into the boutique ski brand explosion over the last decade are at least familiar with Icelantic. I was on the lookout for a new brand to bring into the shop and these guys really fit the bill: awesome graphics, handmade in Colorado, an incredibly friendly and customer-centric staff, and probably the ski industry’s best warranty on skis (3 years!). And that was all before I got the pleasure of skiing on their stuff. I spent two days at Stratton demo-ing who knows how many skis from an assortment of brands. My personal favorite ended up being the Icelantic Pilgrim. I was sold. This year we have the Pilgrim, Pioneer, Da’Nollie, and the ladies specific Oracle, which will all be available for demo. Try them out, you will not be disappointed!
Black Crows – I had heard some slight rumblings about these guys early last year but had never seen them in person, let alone skied them. Black Crows has been blowing up in Europe for the last couple of years and are just now sinking their beaks into the US. The skis are manufactured in Chamonix and were the brain-child of a couple locals that had found they owned great skis for hard pack, and great skis for blower pow, but their quivers were missing a ski that dominated the mountain when conditions were less than optimal. The story is cool, the skis are cooler. I had the chance to spend a couple days in Colorado last spring with the Crows’ US sales team — Global Sales Guys. Marty and Joe from Sales Guys showed a bunch of us east coasters a heck of a time and set us up on Black Crows for two days of skiing, one at Loveland and the other backcountry cat skiing in Vail Pass. In all honesty before I got on these skis I had no intention of picking them up as a brand for Ski Fanatics for this season. It was more of a “I’ll check these out and maybe next year” type of thing. The ski I chose (and didn’t swap out for a single run over those two days) was the Atris. The first run on the Atris felt like I had been skiing on those skis my entire life. Dropping into one of the cat-only accessible bowls at the top of Loveland on the 3rd run I knew this was a brand we needed. Absolutely impeccable ski design that had me grinning from ear to ear for two straight days on everything from windblown steeps to head shot pow. Just incredible. This year we will have the Atris, Orb, and Camox, also all available for demo. The Atris is a go anywhere, do anything ski that will be as at home in the Colorado bowls as it will be all over the mountain at Cannon. The Orb is a more traditional eastern all mountain ski, and the Camox is a nice happy medium between the two. Check ‘em out!
Picture Organic Clothing
Fashionable. Functional. Sustainable. What more could you ask for? Picture is a relatively new clothing brand that looks amazing and is made with all recycled materials. It’s a 21st century brand for the 21st century consumer. We’ll have a selection of parkas, pants, and even a sweet one-piece suit, to choose from this year. Yes, one-pieces are back!
Stay tuned for more incredible blog posts and think snow!