Folsom Skis – Custom Build Time Lapse

Post by blogger | June 20, 2014      

After making the decision on what I wanted from the Folsom skis they made for me last winter, I had the opportunity to go down to their new location in Denver, Colorado and watch them make my planks from start to finish. I was hanging out eating pizza and wings in the shop for a bit over eight hours doing my best to ask questions, without getting too much in the way.

Mike has the process down to super efficient, while still paying attention to detail and avoiding costly mistakes. He’ll tell you it’s taken him quite a while to get to the point of being fast enough at the job to make enough skis to keep the business going.

This short little time lapse video will tell most of the story from the hours spent in the shop watching these guys work their magic on my touring and backcountry boards!

(WildSnow guest blogger Jordan White just got done with his epic SkiTheBig3 Alaskan mountaineering expedition. He used Folsom skis during the trip, and has a gear sponsorship from them.)


16 Responses to “Folsom Skis – Custom Build Time Lapse”

  1. Ted June 20th, 2014 9:52 am

    Can you tell us more about the skis you spec’ed? Dimensions, weight, rocker (or not) and why you picked what you picked?

  2. Joe June 22nd, 2014 12:48 pm

    Well that is a nice ad Lou.

    I thought they were only on the top banners and left on your page

  3. Lou Dawson June 22nd, 2014 1:33 pm

    Joe, I don’t know, I thought is was just interesting… did it offend you or just bore you? Good to get feedback, thanks. Lou

  4. Alex June 22nd, 2014 5:04 pm

    Lou, I thought it was interesting too. Thanks for running an awesome site. Your posts and stories like this are the things that got me interested in ski mountaineering and what keep me going back each year. Keep it up!

  5. Lou Dawson June 22nd, 2014 5:14 pm

    Alex, thanks, I was feeling beat down by the nattering nabobs of negativism (grin). Especially after working like a dog on this thing, much of it back-end that you can feel but not see.

    But deferring back to Joe, I don’t mind some feedback as it’s all too easy to end up with the wrong type of content when the guest blogger has a gear sponsorship. Don’t know if anyone noticed, but I turned off all the optional links on the video that make it seem more commercial.


  6. Mark Worley June 22nd, 2014 11:02 pm

    Um, I was hoping to see what the finished skis looked like.

  7. Ru June 23rd, 2014 12:59 am

    Ted: from the beginning of the video, they’ll be 196 Givers.

  8. Ted June 23rd, 2014 10:50 am

    Thanks Ru. Guess I didn’t pay attention. Thought they were building the skis Jordan used for the Big3 trip. Was more curious about those specs.

    Good post Lou!

  9. Lou Dawson June 23rd, 2014 12:17 pm

    Ted, Jordan did use some Folsoms on SkiTheBig3. He showed them to me before they left, they were beefy narrower skis that looked perfect for real Alaskan big lines, (rather than ones created by camera angle and hype). Someone needs to bug Jordan about doing some gear reviews, or at least dropping by here. But I think I understand. I saw those guys at a party the other night and they were still eating. Lou

  10. Jordan June 23rd, 2014 1:54 pm

    I used their new MTX mountaineering ski on the Alaska trip. Best ski mountaineering stick I’ve ever used. And yea, its easy to understand why someone will complain about a video made by someone who is now on the Folsom team…. I did however start out buying all of their skis. I ski on them, because they are the best I’ve found yet, and they make skis for people my size, which isn’t something I can say for just about every other company out there.

  11. Joe Risi June 23rd, 2014 2:17 pm

    J, Nice time lapse! I’ve had the pleasure to ski on a few Folsom models, including a few of Jordan’s personal pairs, and simply said they are a no-compromise ski. Everything you want in a specific shape and nothing your don’t.
    Additionally there maybe other boutique ski manufactures out there that offer similar products but not the level of customization to each ski like Folsom can offer.
    I must add that Jordan is a force to be seen when skiing and the guy can easily break most pairs of skis in a day or so.
    I’ve sent a few people to Folsom after they say ‘I wish I had a ski for this, that, and this etc.’
    Time and time again they deliver a top-notch ski to that specific individual.
    P.S. I was not paid to say this.

  12. Lou Dawson June 23rd, 2014 2:35 pm

    Thanks Jordan, where can folks get more infos about MTX? Lou

  13. Joe June 23rd, 2014 4:29 pm


    Not trying to beat you down…I enjoy your website and visit it often. I appreciate all of your work into it.

    I just found this post to be a bit too commercially incestuous and out of character. If the process was really of interest, why not a vid from Praxis or other ski manufacture that are truly at arms length? But you did state Jordan’s affiliation up front…which I tip my hat to you.

    Perhaps I’m a bit jaded with the blister gear type blogs that are written by folks on gear manufacturer payrolls. Anyway, back to ski talk…

  14. Lou Dawson June 23rd, 2014 6:36 pm

    Hi Joe, let me say that I’m as sensitive to this issue as you are. I’d never commercialize our content, but sometimes the content does arise from commerce, so it can blend the borders. I’m serious about appreciating the feedback, since if you felt that way so did other people.

    Jordan is of course a friend, but other than that friendship a blog about Folsom is at arm’s length. They don’t advertise, and I’ve never even tested nor reviewed their skis. Thus publishing content about them is even more separated from our business than our content about gear such as Voile or K2, who both advertise.

    In the end, much of this is a judgement call on my part and I do make mistakes. I’ve indeed had an especially tough time with guest blogs from guys who love their sponsors and want to reward them with praise. We spend a lot of time working with writers on that stuff, editing, and trying to get them to include useful pros and cons rather than pablum.

    But regarding what you read here, remember that most often we review gear we like. Thus, a post by a sponsored athlete can indeed appear incestuous.

    Perhaps it’s a danged if you do danged if you don’t, as the sponsored athlete wouldn’t be using the gear unless they like it, but if they file positive content it looks biased or incestous.

    In the end, thinking of all above, I just need to be super careful and encourage guys like you to go ahead and take me to task.

    As for covering other companies, if they want their athletes to file authentic original content, that ‘s somewhat or totally exclusive to WildSnow, I’m always willing to look at publishing. But truth be told most athletes we’ve tried that with don’t come up with much in the way of content, either because they don’t have the skills or they realize it’s time consuming work, not trivial.

    Main thing, we’ve got almost 3,000 blog posts here that I’ve sweated blood over for about 10 years. If a few don’t pass the smell test, my bad, but so long as I keep my percentages up I’m just going to keep moving along (grin)!


  15. Bar Barrique June 23rd, 2014 9:31 pm

    Lou, if you ever become perfect, we will probably become disenchanted, and, jaded by your magnificence.
    Just kidding of course. This post is interesting in that is showcases a small niche player in a field dominated by large corporate entities. These “little guys” can’t afford to advertise, and, this post at least informs people that this alternate universe exists.



  16. Lou Dawson June 23rd, 2014 10:04 pm

    And, the post brought up some good discussion!

    I do need to keep my guard up, as I could indeed go back through the years and come up with some posts that slipped by me when I was lazy (as in “Oh Lord, give me a guest blog so I can take 2 hours off!”), and were perhaps over the top in terms of being too advertorial. I’ve probably written a few myself in a moment of weakness fueled by free food and booze. Fortunately, there are very few of those. Few of those blog posts, that is, as the free food and booze on the other hand are desired to flow freely any time the powers want it to be so — saves on the grocery bills. (grin)

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  Your Comments

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  • atfred: With all this talk about lightweight packs, carbon cylinders, etc., I would...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Ok, thanks Bob, I'll look at it. You're probably right. Lou...
  • Bob: Lou, It seems to me that the shape of the boot toe on the TLT7 could poten...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Lee, the empty carbon cylinder can easily be shipped back to Europe, by air...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi guys, I've experimented for years with boot position on ski, I agree, 5 ...
  • Lee: Unless things have changed this is not available in US if you need to send ...
  • PieterG: @Todd: if you are currently mounted at bootcenter and you opt for a shoe wh...
  • Matus: Dave, thanks for clarification. If the backpack fits it is great. With carb...
  • eggbert: Thanks Lou for chasing this down. I looked at the Diamir site and they put...
  • Todd: Thanks Lou. The older binding is on a K2 Coomback (the older 102? underfoot...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Todd, depends on the ski and other ergonomic factors. For example, if you'r...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hack, the trigger handle stows quite nicely. The cylinder can also be unscr...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Gary, they fit fine inside if I'm wearing layers, and can be mounted on the...
  • Todd: I'm possibly going to update my boots and what I'm looking at has a shorter...
  • Jay: This is probably caught up in number 5, but several recent incidents have s...
  • hacksaw: Is it easy to "disarm " the pack for heliskiing?...
  • Gary: Cool small air bag pack, but where do your skins go for the downhill?...
  • Michael: sweet, wasn't aware that was an option. Looking even more appealing. Now ...
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  • Lou Dawson 2: Eggbert, the release of the Vipec has nothing to do with the shape of the b...
  • Lee: Europe has had carbon cylinders for quite a few years. In the US it is the...

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