Worth foiling for
Skiing’s newest status symbol is coming to a slope near you.
If you’re on the slopes this summer and someone flashes by you on the black run, that may not just be down to their superior skiing skills. It may be down to them having gold skis. “Everybody understands that nobody needs gold on their skis, other than to maybe appreciate the craftsmanship that makes it possible,” notes Andreas Pichler, the creative director of Foil International, which makes skis from 8,000-year- old bog oak, with 14- carat gold inlay. “But this is just the first step in making skis a truly luxury lifestyle product. ”
As Pichler notes, to date there has been a disconnect between the marketing of skiing as a luxury experience and the fact that most skis are rented - and thus typically a low-cost, low-quality product. “We wanted to make the Steinway of skis,” the one-time pro ski racer adds. The vintage-look bog oak and the gold
are just trimmings, mind - albeit ones that give a pair of Foil skis a US$60,000 (S$84,000) price-tag. The most important aspect is that they are made bespoke.
“Bespoke skis offer the customer a better skiing experience, at least if they’re competent skiiers.” Each pair is made on the basis of a number of the client’s details - from their weight, height, dimensions and stance, to their preferences in how they ski and even most typically the kind of environment they ski in.
Customer details can typically be taken by email though a face-to-face meeting is ideal, especially for serious or professional skiers. Each pair of skis is then made in Italy over some 130 hours of work.
“Bespoke skis can make all the difference, which you notice,” Pichler argues. “And if you’re an experienced skier we can fine-tune our skis to give the best dynamic. How fast they push you out of a turn, for example, is all down to the materials.”
Indeed, the skis are engineered to provide the skier with the best ratio between stability and flexibility. They feature a mixed-wood core - a combination of bamboo, ash, rosewood and mahogany - and graphite base, stainless steel edges, a special dampening technology and a secret treatment for the glossy top sheet.
“I love skiing,” Pilcher adds, “and I’ve always been disappointed that skis and other products related to it have always been not as good as they could be.” www.foilskis.com ≠
“Bespoke skis offer the customer a better