In the past, if you wanted to buy a pair of ski boots, the choice was pretty limited to North Face or Timberland. It was pretty much a case of “one size fits all”. But since the inception of the U.S. ski market, it’s opened up considerably with a variety of manufacturers producing a range of skis, snowboards, and other winter sportswear.
So just what are skis made in the U.S.A? Let’s take a quick look at what’s available to buy and how much you’ll need to spend to get your paws on some maple leaf-shaped snow fliers.
Quad Bikes And Snowboards
While traditionalists might grouse about the encroaching ‘gokayle’ culture of the 21st century, the fact is that more adults are turning to mountain activities, such as skiing and snowboarding. And what’s more, they’re seeing these activities as a great way to stay fit and active as they get older. As a result, the demand for all-around winter sport equipment, including bikes and snowboards, is booming.
It should come as no great surprise that U.S. manufacturers are leading the way in designing and creating innovative products to meet this rising demand. Take the X-Caliber, for example, a mountain bike that features a tapered head tube with a bladed fork. The head tube forms the base of the suspension bridge which connects the front wheel to the body of the bike. This creates an integral, one-piece front triangle, ensuring no binding gap between the handlebars and the front wheel. Other notable products include the Mad Dog snowboard, which is designed to be compact and lightweight while retaining the strength needed for snowboarding. And then there’s the Huffer Snowboard, which is made of a highly-bonded foam that’s designed to provide exceptional comfort and strength during athletic activities.
The fact is that while the variety of ski choices can be a little overwhelming, sporting goods retailers, such as Cycle Gear, make it easier to find what you’re looking for. In addition to selling snow gear, they also stock a full range of mountain bikes, including some real bargains if you know where to look.
Racing, Freeride, And Ski-in/ski-out Access
The United States also leads the way in terms of providing the most advanced and unique snow sports facilities. The men’s ski marathon, an X-Games staple for over 20 years, was actually established in Colorado in 1975 and the women’s ski marathon in Mont Blanc in 1976. Since then, the X-Games ski marathon has become an annual event – and a testament to the innovation and quality of winter sportswear made in the U.S.A.
The same can be said for the Arroyo Blanco slalom, which is an unofficial competition that features a series of snow-covered bowls connected by short stretches of packed ski trails. Inspired by the town of Arroyo Blanco in Mexico, this winter-like event was established in California in 1994 and named after the color of the mountains that surround it. Since then, the Arroyo Blanco slalom has become a key event on the winter sport calendar, attracting participants from all over the world.
The most innovative of the U.S. ski resorts also have the advantage of being freeride mountain destinations, meaning that anyone can participate in the sport and enjoy the snow-based activities without having to prove their shredding potential to the world. Mt. Baker in Washington state, for example, allows ‘freeride’ on all of its trails, while Park City in Utah is a hub for snowboarding and boasts the world’s first triple decker chairlift.
Finally, when it comes to the most convenient way to access the slopes, few developments have matched the rise of ski-in/ski-out (known as ‘skinning’ in Australia) in the U.S. In fact, since the 1960s, the number of skiing-friendly lodges and hotels has risen from just a few to over a thousand, and they continue to grow every year. Thanks to technology and improved design, today’s ski gear is durable, comfortable, and safe while avoiding the bulkiness and slush weight of yesteryear’s gear.