October 30, 2015
Forget Neil Young and Steamboat's harvest moon in September. Local woodworker Eric Baker will take his Harvest Skis. That's the brand he's breathing life into in his new line of garage-made, wooden skis.
Baker, a former arborist and current mandolin player for Old Town Pickers, picked up the ski-making bug last winter after buying a steel ski press in Denver. He's made 40 pairs so far, all from local aspen. "It's great wood for skis," he says. "It's light and responsive, with a nice dampening feel. Plus, it's beautiful. What might seem like imperfections are natural cosmetic details, showcasing the core of the ski. You see exactly what you're skiing."
As for agriculture-themed name, Baker wanted to tie it to the time of year when people think about skiing. "Plus, you can use them to farm powder," he says.
That's done via a hybrid camber, which incorporates
rockered tips, traditional camber underfoot and semi-flat tails. The Trench Town Rocker is an all-mountain powder ski (168, 178 and 188cm), with a 152mm tip and 115mm waist; the more traditional Home Grown (166, 176, 186 mm) has a 133mm tip and 104mm waist; and the new Pow Cow carries a 150mm tip and beefy 124mm waist. "They're all great for Steamboat," says Baker, who's also experimenting with adding touring scales to the bottom.
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While he admits "a lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into making them," he hopes to build another 50 pairs this season, saturating Steamboat's slopes with his home-spun schussing creations. "It's something I always wanted to do," says Baker, who's put his Ski Town Tree Care business on hold while he churns out skis. "It's a craft, like making home brew. I love making them, and it's pretty cool skiing skis you made yourself. But I'm going to have to move the press this winter so my wife can have the garage back." Info: http://www.harvestskis.com
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