Design your own skis – how to customise winter sports equipment

05/08/2013 - Selina Sauerland

Being a personal individual in this world and showing so, is becoming more important every day. Designers create ever more strange clothes and accessories to emphasis the unique speciality of an individual, and hand-made products enjoy more value and popularity than some years ago. Knit your own hat or mittens, design your personal t-shirt, shoes, sweaters, etc online… possibilities seem sheer endless.

So what should keep you from designing, or even building your own skis or snowboard?  If you think back a few years, skis used to be 2 flat, long pieces of polished wood. Over the years the production techniques have become more elaborate to create different types of skis for various purposes. Mostly the skis and boards are covered with colours and logos of the designing brand, but a flat space can also mean an individual design. Whilst browsing the Internet, you can easily come across a number of websites where you can have custom-made designs applied to your skis, order new skis with a personal image displayed on them, or even go as far as building your own skis, with your own display in a weekend workshop.

The easiest way of going about customised winter sports equipment is to paint the items yourself. Rub down the board, helmet or skis and polish the surface. Then apply the paint as desired. Leave to dry and seal off with a special coating. Sounds easy and actually is, but you really have to have some design and material knowledge and you should also have an artistic hand or else you might find the result not as pleasing as you had hoped for.

You can also send your equipment and design to a special manufacturer for having the design printed and applied to the board, skis, etc in a more professional way. They mostly use a special fibre to print the motive on, which is then sealed to the item by glue or heat. That may be done already for as little as approx. €70 (depending on the manufacturer).

If you want to spend a bit more money, you can also order a full set of new skis for example (whereby you can choose what type of skis you’d like and the length that fits you best) and apply the design with the design configuration online.  Mostly you can choose from a range of background colours or motives, additionally to a logo and/or personalised text line. You can also upload your own images if they comply with the size specifications of the manufacturer. Such an order can cost around €700 – €900, but consider you are getting a pair of new skis. Bindings and poles however are mostly not included in these orderings.

If you really want to be exclusive on the piste you can decide for doing a workshop and build your own skis from scratch. A Bavarian company in the Alps for example, offers such workshops over approx. 2 days, in which you firstly assess what type of skis or board you need. This is identified by various factors: by your height, weight and ability. With this information the craftsmen help you saw the body of each ski. Depending on what ski type you are the body is carved to fit the sporty need. The wooden body forms the core of the ski. Above and underneath that there are further layers of material which are added to make the ski more substantial and enduring on ice and snow. In the final step you decide on the design which rounds off your personal equipment. This is put together on the computer and then printed on special fibre to be applied to the skis or board. In the end you are in possession of a unique pair of skis or a board, perfectly adapted to your ability and needs, and with a design you will find nowhere else in this world. How much more customised can it get?  This workshop is bookable for approx. €700, including all the equipment which is necessary to finalise the project. Again, bindings and poles are not included in the price and have to be acquired separately.

Customisation is a costly and sometimes enduring process, but what beats the sensation of carving down a powdery piste with the feel of the perfect skis under your feet?



  • Wednesday, 08. May 2013
  • author: Selina Sauerland
  • category: Equipment
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