You may have seen his bright excited blue eyes and enormous grin
at Loveland, Whistler or in Washington. Ben Anderson, Founder and
Domestic Sales Manager of Icelantic AT Boards, and I conversed
about his idea to change the ski industry, the company and what
causes his excitement. Look for him and the next generation of
Icelantic skis at one or all of the 40-50 resorts in their
upcoming US resort demo tour.
Cassi: What was your vision from the beginning for your company
Ben: Really just introduce something totally new to this market,
I mean, in every sense from the product to the people working
behind it, to the visuals and graphics. Really just bringing a
new energy and fresh image to this industry because it is
somewhat of a stagnant industry as in participation.
Cassi: What's different about the people behind your products?
Ben: Just like the over all energy and passion behind it. You
know, like, that's one of the biggest comments that we get when
we're at different trade shows and tests; we're truly passionate
about the product and we really want to relay that to the end
consumer and the buyers, and anyone else really involved.
Cassi: Tell me about the Scout.
Ben: When we first had the idea to go back to the native American
roots, the first ski we wanted to put on the market was the
Scout, and the whole idea behind that one was we really just
wanted to push it to the extreme and see how short and how fat we
could get, and still get performance out of it. So we really just
pushed it to the limit in that sense.
And then the whole idea behind the graphics was we wanted to
bring this radical new idea and find the balance between that and
just like old world classic imagery, or just a classic figure I
guess you could say. Just really play with the balance between
like the natural side and the scientific side, like a balance
between wonder and structure.
Cassi: How are the Pilgrim, Nomad and Shaman different?
Ben: The first year, you know, we hit the industry with just the
Scout. It definitely opened some eyes. We went to Vegas that
first year. We were definitely seen, which was pretty cool. And
then from that, you know, we definitely needed to broaden the
line to cater to some different skiers and also have some
different cool design aspects when we wanted to bring them onto
We still wanted to make sure that each of our specific models was
unique in their own way.
The Nomad is really just a bigger version of the Scout. We wanted
to keep most of the capabilities of the scout, make it little bit
longer, but really just keep all mountain performance, you know,
from carving to crud to deep snow. So it's just an everyday ski,
but still keep it really maneuverable, and then high quality at
the same time. So that was the like the first one.
And then we just started sort of looking at, like, what we think
the industry somewhat needed and would like to see. So for
instance the Pilgrim, we looked at that one and we were seeing
all these twin tips that were really catching ground. Our initial
idea was to make a park ski that also had the capabilities to go
out and carve like a carver ski. You know, we all came from
pretty much racing backgrounds. Somewhat, you know, not too
We all definitely like to carve, and we also like to jump, so we
really wanted to make a ski that could capture both of those
conditions. If you take a carver ski into the park, you know it's
pretty self-explanatory that it doesn't work too well. And if you
try to take the majority of the park skis on the market out and
get any performance on hard pack, you know, they're too soft and
they really chatter around. So we really wanted to find a balance
between those two. Just give an all mountain tool for kids that
are in the park and then people that are outside give them the
opportunity to go and play around in the park if they wanted.
And then with the Shaman, you know, we wanted to create a new
type of powder ski, one that would be pretty easy to manage in
deep snow and then also give great performance. We really wanted
to be able to stay forward and aggressive in deep snow. On a lot
of different skis you kind of have to lean back to keep the tips
So we really wanted to go with just somewhat of a tapered design,
and we mount it further back than most of our other models. It
just allows you to stay forward and aggressive in deep snow, and
the tip will never dive; you can just charge down the mountain.
With that tapered design, it had quite a bit of sidecut to it.
So we've been shocked at the performance that it does on hard
packed groomers; the thing really carves also. One of the
toughest things was just making the tip torsionally rigid enough,
where when you do get on an edge, or you are, like, on harder
snow going really fast the tip doesn't flop around.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our interview of Ben Anderson,
Icelantic's founder and visionary.
Peace and snow!
P.S. -- Summertime is hat wearin' time. We're almost sold out of
these puppies, so grab yours NOW!
P.P.S. -- Did you miss an article, or maybe just want to go back
in time with us? Catch up on old times at our news archive:
Copyright, Icelantic LLC, 2007
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