Current skis not cutting it?
Ditch the plastic and get some planks that won’t fail you on the mountain from touring the backcountry, to sliding down a rail in the park!
To find out more behind how Slant Skis got it’s start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews Slant Skis founder Josh Bennett.e...
More about the episode...
Slant Skis was founded in 2007 by Josh Bennett in Truckee, California, after breaking countless skis and getting fed up with the quality of skis on the current market. In 2010 they moved to their factory near Tahoe City, California, located on the Truckee River in the Lake Tahoe basin, surrounded by their favorite mountains.
Josh, moved to Truckee, CA, in 2006 from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Josh’s background is in ski coaching, carpentry, and ski tuning which has helped him make an easy transition into ski making.
Josh had the pleasure of speaking with Josh and asked him some questions that our readers put together.
Have an opinion? We want to hear it! Join the conversation and leave a comment, check out show notes, and get all the links mentioned in this episode below
A more indepth look at Slant Skis
Check out Slant Skis current line of skis
Get to know the Team that drive Slant Skis
Slant Skis at SIA 2016
How did you come up with the idea of Slant Skis [01:27]
“I started slants because I wasn’t really satisfied with the craftsmanship or ingenuity of current skies. I used to break a lot of skis, I used to ride a lot of terrain park back in Michigan back in the midwest…”
What’s your background in skiing? [02:50]
“I rode for the Rossi team for four years and I skied competitively in the park until I was 25. I also raced in high school too, so I have a racing background but, I have always preferred freestyle, and freeride skiing…”
How did you develop your products? What testing went into Slant Skis? [04:16]
“In the beginning, we were basically just guess and test. We would design a ski and hope that it would work out and build it as best we could, and most of the things worked as we expected…”
“Every pair of skis we pressed, the better we got at it; we would play with different materials, different shapes. It was a unique edge we had, being able to dream up a ski, build it then test it right away and fix what didn’t work…”
What is something unique that no one knows about you or Slant Skis? [05:07]
“One of the more unique things about my brand is that we use bamboo consistently in all of our skis, and we offer a two-year warranty on all of our skis. We make anything from park skis, all mountain skis to big fat rocker skis, and we are sustainably made in Tahoe by skiers…”
Do you have a mentor? If so, who are they and how have they helped Slant? [06:23]
“I have had a few mentors in the ski industry. Skogen Sprang has definitely been a big mentor of mine, showing me the way of the industry and helping me with innovative ski designs…”
What is your commitment to sustainable manufacturing? [07:41]
“We like to use as as many natural materials as possible and as little plastic...Bamboo is sustainable because it only takes five years to grow to maturation for harvesting...In a matter of a year, the bamboo forest will be back to the original height it was before you cut it down, which is pretty impressive.”
What kind of culture exists within Slant? [09:09]
“Just trying to share my skis with as many people as possible. Sharing stories with skiers, finding out what they like about specific skies, what they like to see in specific skies…”
What has been hardest part about starting a business? [09:52]
“Just sticking with it and every time you fail just know that you have to keep trying and you have to make it happen. You have to keep getting after it…”
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage it? [10:11]
“I don't know what my biggest fear is... My biggest fear is dangling my toes in dark water. And I don't really have to do that with my business. That's why I picked building skis I guess...”
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made? [10:11]
“Well I probably screwed up building a pair of skis like every way possible. I just fucked up a lot of skis. I mean, I have pressed top sheets upside down, cores backwards. I just made so many mistakes in an effort to get the press totally dialed and get everything right…”
What advice would you give to someone that wanted to start a business in action sports? [12:08]
“I would say, try to get with a mentor first. Try to get in with a smaller company building skis, even volunteering your time sweeping the floors, doing whatever you can to get an to build skis. That's the one advantage that I wish that I had…”
Where do you see Slant headed into the future?[12:51]
“We want to slowly but, steadily grow. We have always wanted to grow, but we will never sacrifice quality for quantity. All we do now is build skis and that was the original goal and now we want to build more skis with more innovative designs...“
What’s the best part about running Slant Skis?
- “That I am my own boss, which is great and I get to play with skis all day... Also, any time that we have a foot or more of snow we shut down the shop and have mandatory powder day and everybody goes skiing. It’s the best job in the world.”