Recently, we had a chance to catch up with Pat, the CEO and Head Janitor of PM Gear, manufacturers of handmade skis in Reno, NV.
BSS: Hey Pat, what have you been up to this Summer?
Pat: While still nursing a knee back to its former status that I trashed the ACL and meniscus on three years ago, I’m getting in as much summer skiing as I can because I never get enough powder days in the winter. I’m too busy making sure everyone else has their new Bros for the ski season and I want to get my leg back in shape.
BSS: Any new ski or graphic designs due out for the 2012 season?
Pat: Right now I’m working on new designs for new skis, both shapes and topsheets. We’re loading up a bunch on different carbon fiber weaves we’ll press this summer to see what we’ll use for our final seasons skis. I have some aeronautical weaves that are insane, but extremely expensive. Like the carbon fiber that the fuselage and wings of the new Boeing 787 is wrapped in. I’m considering trying it out on a new mountaineering ski people have been begging us to make that would be just wood and carbon, no fiberglass.
BSS: Sounds really rad & I can’t wait to see them. Do you have any pics you could share?
Pat: No pics at all. Been wrapping up the year and talking to people who want to build us a big factory so the Bros can go into shops worldwide. We just got some French engineers to help us design our new line and improving what we currently offer have. We tune up the skis every year in any ways we can to make them better.
BSS: All of us loved the carbon fiber look of the Bro’s during our testing at Powder Mountain last season. Do you design your topsheets?
Pat: Our graphics have been the work of a talented designer named Jared Allen in SLC. He just dreams up the most awesome stuff. Other times, I send him examples of what I think a top should look like and he’ll run with it. Right now, we are touting the carbon fiber content of our skis, two full layers edge to edge, and are using a clear nylon top to show it. We’re also consulting with Jared on some designs that allow that top carbon fiber to come through in graphics that complement the black background without covering it in ink.
BSS: Besides the factory idea that you’ve been working so hard on, do you have anything coming up that us skiers can look forward to?
Pat: I have twill carbon fiber weaves exclusively for PM Gear.
BSS : Speaking of carbon, you are awfully proud of the amount of carbon that each pair of your skis contain. Why is that?
Pat: We want people to know that we’re not blowing smoke when we say we put full layers of carbon in their skis. This will go well with our new ad campaign that will say, next to a photo of the skis, A lot of people say they put carbon fiber in their skis. We’re showing it boldly and artistically, blending a carbon fiber weave with some modifications to current and past topsheets. But for me, the skis are about performance far more than pretty pictures. I love our art but I want to back up the pretty with cutting edge awesomeness in the way they ski. We’re working on tweaks in the carbon layers with the new look we’re bringing this year.
BSS: Any major structural changes being made? I know you use a lot of carbon in your skis!
Pat: With the variety of composite materials we currently have, we’re strongly considering doing soft and stiff flexes on all our models this year like we have done in the past. We won’t start pressing until late July or August.
BSS: Being a small company and with limited workspace and production, its obvious that there won’t be any huge blowout sales or massive price reductions, even at the end of the season. Do you have any advice you could give to potential customers regarding the best time to purchase some PM Gear boards?
Pat: We currently build only 300 pair a year. This allows us to build new skis and make adjustment to the ones we have in an extremely short time frame. Our pre-season sale that runs from July until Fall will be the lowest prices of the season. Currently, we have skis listed for $750. That will continue to rise all Summer and once the season begins, they will be $1000 or more. If people buy now, they’re at the front of the line for delivery. I know people don’t really project their purchases long term, but those that do get the best prices on our skis. We don’t build the cheapest skis on the planet but we’re really perfecting the art of building the best skis. Once we expand our factory, we’ll be able to make them more available to more people, but right now, there’s only so many to be ha, so people will hopefully get them now at these great prices.
If you haven’t heard of PM Gear before, well now you have. You now know all he goings on this summer at one of the premier handmade ski manufactures’ in America and what lies ahead. And, there’s a good chance you will be hearing more about them in the future.
Bro Factory, circa 2008