Backcountry Skiing Snow or Water — Meier Skis First Look

Post by blogger | July 30, 2014      

Colby Christoff

After a little bit of engineering work involving duct tape and pool noodles, the Meier skis are ready to take to the melted alpine snow.

After a bit of engineering work involving duct tape and pool noodles, the Meier skis challenged a big pond of melted alpine snow.

Another in the phenomenal explosion of “boutique” skis, Meier skis have been manufactured in the Roaring Fork Valley (home of for several years. Matt Cudmore, owner and operator, began building backcountry and resort skis in the one-car garage of his home in Glenwood Springs. Over the past few years he developed and grew the company into a new warehouse, with state of the art machines and technologies.

Matt owner of Meier skis seen here working on my Heritage Tour.

Matt, owner of Meier skis, working on my Heritage Tour layup.

Arcing turns on the Meier skis in spring backcountry conditions.

Arcing turns on the Meier skis in spring conditions.

I was lucky enough to meet Matt, select one of his custom skis and subsequently see the entire construction process. I went with beetle-kill pine for the core, which is slightly heavier but a little stiffer than the aspen-wood core (all cores are from local alpine timber, a selling point). I also was able to add a thin layer of carbon fiber to strengthen the ski.

Growing up ski racing on the East Coast made me appreciate a slightly stiffer ski for resorts as well as touring. Although not as crucial for skiing in Colorado, that’s what I’m used to, so that’s what Meier cooked up. I was able to catch a glimpse of the process from the wood on the truck to the finished product. Matt is a down to earth guy who is making an effort to be environmentally conscious by using local products such as the beetle kill pine for the ski’s core. He is even in the process of experimenting with environmentally friendly products to bind the core together.

The Meier skis that I have are the Heritage Tour. They are 185 mm with a 115mm waist (133-115-123). They have traditional camber underfoot combined with plenty of tip and tail rocker. The large front shovel floats easily in whatever conditions. More, I found with the big shovel and a “thinner” tail there is no need to sit back to let the tips rise. These skis want you to lean forward and attack. I mounted a set of Dynafit FT 12s on the Heritage and cut G3 Expedition skins to fit. The skis have a tight turning radius at only 13m, they’re plenty nimble.

At the ski testing never stops.

At the ski testing never stops. Here, we test H2O flotation characteristics. Thumbs up.

With a small amount of engineering adjustments (this is Wildsnow of course; backcountry gear is never perfect) the Meier Heritage Tour was also suited for the water. With a couple pool noodles and a roll of duct tape, voila, water skis! Even in the white caps the Meiers stayed on the surface.

On tour, the ski's average weight was fine for what they yield on the down -- smooth and strong.

In the human powered arena, the Heritage Tour ski’s average weight was fine for what they yield on the down — smooth and strong. Note the tip and tail rocker — substantial.

Whether you are planning to take the Meier planks skiing on the frozen water — or the liquid — these skis are sure to be a blast and keep you afloat in the backcountry or the frontcountry! Check out Meier skis at Bear in mind this is a first-look; we’ll file another review as we progress through this coming winter.

Meier graphics, my skis below with bindings, this season's graphics above.

Meier graphics, my skis below with bindings, this season’s graphics above.

Weight: Due to choices in materials, weight of Meier skis will vary; we’ll get a weight for this pair as soon as I can get them back over to the WildSnow workshop.
Length tested : 185
Tip/Waist/Tail : 133-115-123
Sidecut Radius : 13m

(WildSnow guest blogger Colby Christoff ski raced at Syracuse University. He moved to Colorado several years ago and explores the backcountry whenever he can escape from his job as an engineer. He appears to escape often with his ski touring on snow and water.)


2 Responses to “Backcountry Skiing Snow or Water — Meier Skis First Look”

  1. MorganW July 31st, 2014 12:24 am

    13m “turning circle” from a 115mm waisted ski….not bad.

  2. Andrew November 22nd, 2014 4:03 pm

    Did you ever get a weight on these skis?

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