Peak Skis – Bode Miller’s New Ski Brand
Larry Olmsted – Senior Contributor
With Olympic Gold, World Championship Gold and Overall World Cup season titles, Bode Miller is the winningest American male skier of all time – by far. He is also one of only five racers in history to win World Cup races in all five alpine disciplines.
Miller’s championship pedigree is well-known, but what is less talked about is his opinionated passion for equipment, tinkering and perfection. As a pro, he worked endlessly on his own skis, sanding the sidewalls to reduce aerodynamic drag, and helped develop the sidecuts that are popular industry-wide today. At one point when he was sponsored by Rossignol (he raced on K2, Fischer and Atomic as well) he cut a hole in the top of his skis before a World Cup Giant Slalom (GS) race, noticed the skis were easier to turn and edged better, and proceeded to win the season’s World Cup GS Crystal Globe. From boots to the fabrics in his clothing to bindings, skis and everything else on the mountain, he is obsessed with design, quality and function.
A few winters ago, I had the pleasure to spend two days skiing, eating, drinking and chatting with him at one of my favorite ski destinations, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. It was during this trip that he shared his thoughts on what was wrong with the ski market, what could be better and how we wanted to change things. That was when he was still planning his next career move, and this thought process led to the 2022 launch of Peak Skis, a brand Miller started with his friend and longtime ski industry executive Andy Wirth, who was previously the president and CEO of the giant sibling Palisades Tahoe/Alpine Medows resorts near Lake Tahoe.
Taking some new models from Peak Skis for a spin in Montana- PEAK SKI COMPANY
Peak Skis launched in time for the 2022/23 season, and while they are still very new, they are quickly rewriting the industry playbook – and winning fans. Peak is based in Montana, where Miller has designed and tested his protypes at the second largest ski resort in the nation, Big Sky. But more important than its prodigious size, Big Sky has some of the toughest terrain around, especially its notorious Lone Peak, which Miller told me is one of his favorite spots in skiing.
It is important to note that these days former pro athletes and entertainment celebrities often hitch their names to just about anything they can sell – especially tequila, wine and other spirits – whether they have anything to do with the production or not. Just about every golf ball and club on the market has PGA Tour players as sponsors, but how often are they in the labs helping design gear? In sharp contrast, as Peak’s Chief Innovation Officer, Miller is very hands-on, and when he revived his hole in the ski concept, he was up late at night in the Montana workshop cutting models by hand until he perfected what is now Peak’s signature “Key Hole Technology.” This is an oval cutaway in the upper layers (not all the way through the ski), which according to Miller, creates an inflection point in the ski flex that serves two purposes, making turn initiation easier up font and getting better edging along the entire ski.
“Using my 25 years of experience as a professional ski racer, we set out to develop skis that advance the sport by changing the way people ski,” Miller said. “Our intense focus on performance and precision are coupled with innovative design features, including Keyhole Technology, that make skiing fundamentally easier. Ski design can only happen holistically. If you alter rocker, you alter turn initiation, which means you must adjust flex and torsion. These details matter. My name is on the skis.”
Check out the full article from Forbes.