Locally made skis, boards

Jen Gurecki with Coalition Skis. | Coalition Snow

Is another epic season in store for Tahoe? According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, the coming winter has a 75 percent chance of a strong El Niño (read Mark McLaughlin’s story on “Tahoe winter weather outlook” in this edition).

Skiers and snowboarders are hankering to get on the hill. The ritual snow dance has begun. Whether you dance, pray, put a spoon under your pillow or ask the Norse God, Ullr, to rain down white flakes, snow on the mountains is inevitable.

And local ski and snowboard makers are busy custom-crafting skis and boards. Moment, Praxis, Coalition Snow and TahoeLab are designing products for folks to have fun on the mountain.

Coalition Snow
Coalition Snow is a Reno-based, women-owned and operated snow sport company. Jen Gurecki created the company a decade ago when she admits the industry was different. “Ten years ago, you didn’t see as many women athletes very often in films. magazines, social or women customers in the community of snow sports,” explains Gurecki. She adds that their skis and snowboards are for everyone no matter what their gender.

Last year they opened the first storefront, Far Out, in the Reno Public House. “The store displays skis and snowboards and has a curated collection of goods from around the world,” she said.

What is Gurecki riding this year? She’s riding Coalition’s Myth snowboard and the Sojourner model for powder days. | coalitionsnow.com

Moment Ski
Moment Ski in Reno is the brainchild of founder Casey Hakansson. Raised in Gardnerville, Hakansson made his first set of skis while studying at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2003. The company began producing skis in 2006.

Moment is the largest by volume ski manufacturer in the United States and makes skis for all levels of skiers, according to Tyler Curle, who is the athlete team manager, co-manager of the production facility and runs the storefront for Moment. Curle is also a freeride skier on the Freeride World Tour.

Moment also designs skis for pro athletes David Wise, Colton Schaff and Lily Bradley.

Known for making skis with a unique shape and camber profile. Curle says that both the quality of the skis and graphics are important.

“We put a lot of time and effort into our graphics and make sure that we’re proud of what’s under our feet and have something entertaining to look at on the lift line,” says Curle who is looking forward to riding Moment’s Wildcat powder skis this season. | momentskis.com

Praxis Skis
Owner Keith O’Meara started making skis in his garage in Truckee 20 years ago while at college when he realized that there weren’t any powder skis on the market. As a free skier, O’Meara wanted to create a ski that was specific to the conditions of the Sierra mountains.

Praxis has since grown to be one of Tahoe’s most respected ski manufacturers.

Abe Greenspan of TahoeLab couldn’t say enough about O’Meara when interviewed for this feature.

“Keith is super knowledgeable. Every time I go to his shop, it’s very inspiring to see what he’s done. He’s been doing it for 20 years,” says Greenspan. Read Tahoe Guide’s story on Praxis at YourTahoeGuide.com.

TahoeLab in South Lake Tahoe designs and manufactures split boards, snowboards and a handful of lightweight skis primarily for backcountry touring. Abe Greenspan and his touring partner, Lee Collins, saw a gap in the market for split boards and decided to start their own company.

“Lee is a big guy, and he was always breaking his gear. I had a background riding for the U.S. snowboard team and competing in boardercross and snowboard cross. I wasn’t satisfied with the gear I was buying. Lee and I began cutting solid snowboards in half to build split boards,” explains Greenspan.

TahoeLab athlete Jonathan Penfield is on the Freeride World Tour and Greenspan says that he is an integral part of their design process.

“The boards that we make are a direct reflection of his input and his experiences on a snowboard. Jonathan has a huge part in designing our boards,” says Greenspan. He adds that the company uses the best materials to make its equipment.

“We’re building in a shop that’s literally seconds away from the places we can go test in the mountains, and we all use the products we make,” explains Greenspan.