I was able to “chat” via email recently with Scott Andrus, the owner of Portland, OR based and handmade ON3P skis. Once again, they seem to having a banner season and things are only getting better for ON3P as they continue to build award winning skis and also their brand.
Here’s the conversation with Scott:
Do you have any new models for the upcoming season? If so, what gap are they filling?
We have one entirely new model, which is the Prester. It is a fully cambered park ski, the first we have offered since our initial season. It is the only ski in our line that doesn’t have both tip and tail rocker. That is the biggest additions, though we did add tour model variants for the Tychoon and Wrenegade as well.
Any new manufacturing processes?
We are always trying to improve our process, so we do have a couple of new tools that update and improve existing processes, but the basics of the manufacturing process is the same.
New / updated structure – carbon fiber, different wood
The biggest change material wise this season is the move to FSC-Certified Bamboo. Our carbon is a weave specifically made for ON3P, but it isn’t new as we have been using it since the 12/13 season.
How’s your new facility that you moved into in 2011?
We actually did a major remodel this spring to improve the shop further after our first production run in 12/13. It was almost as extensive as the initial shop construction when we first moved in here. Now the shop is pretty dialed. With our first shop, we found it took 3 seasons before everything flowed really well. I suspect that will be the case here as well. Once this production cycle is over, we will do one more minor remodel and I think we will be set for quite a while.
Have you run out of space yet?
You can always use more space, but I think we are ok for the immediate future. We could use more office space above anything else. We’ve done a good job maximizing the shop space, so we will be in good shape for a while.
Best selling from last year?
186cm Billy Goat
Do you still see the skis trending wider?
Not anymore. I think they’ve actually be trending thinner the last few years.
What are you most proud if since you began building skis?
RES (Reverse Elliptical Sidecut). It changed the way I think about skis and is pretty much all I want to ski on these days.
Do you give shop tours?
During production, we do 2 tours per month as we are just too busy to have people walking in everyday. When we are not in heavy production, we welcome tours as long as people call in advance to make sure we are free.
How can someone try your skis?
Most of our shops offer demo skis, so the best way to demo them is to find one of our retailers. In Portland, Next Adventure is our main demo center, but if they don’t have a ski available we do offer demos directly out of the factory.
What’s the feeling at the trade shows between you & the big brands? Do the Indies stick together or is it a dog-eat-dog world?
Totally depends on the brand. There are always a few unfriendly people out there, but for the most part, the relationships are very positive. That goes for both Indies and the bigs.