Worth foil­ing for

Ski­ing’s new­est sta­tus sym­bol is com­ing to a slope near you.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Travel & Fine Dinning - By JOSH SIMS

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

ski­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Led by An­dreas Pich­ler, Foil’s de­sign team cre­ates be­spoke skis such as this lim­ited-edi­tion Oro-nero model crafted from 8,000-year-old bog oak with bind­ings, poles and in­lays plated in 14-carat gold.

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