Ski magazines typically depict stylish athletes gliding effortlessly down tufts of powder, but those who live on the U.S.’ East Coast (dubbed the Ice Coast) know a different reality. Growing up on the slopes of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, skiers Ben Callaghan and Joel Nashett understand the challenges of conquering less-than-ideal conditions and designed Avant Skis—high-performance skis shaped for what the conditions are, not what we’d like them to be.
“The big trend now is to have super crazy wide skis, which is great when there is waist deep powder, but for the East and even 90% of the conditions out West, they are kind of overkill sometimes,” Callaghan explained in a recent interview. Designed using their own extensive experience skiing, the Hartford, CT-based label have created three variations of their Aviator model.
The Ace is 181 centimeters of carbon composite, making it much lighter and more responsive than fiberglass models, and its striking reflective strips heighten visibility, where the slightly shorter Bomber (165 centimeters) allows for tighter turns and its thick steel edges are perfect for pushing maneuvers to their limit, hitting rails and rocks. For women, the Wasp is the same length as the Bomber, offering the same sturdy construction and steel edges suitable for ice and rocks.
All three models sell online for $800 each, but the innovative duo plan to open a full-service shop with a ski factory and R&D center open for tours in the future. Explains Nashett in an interview with New York ski blog Harvey Road, “I think that if people could come to a ski resort to ski and to watch how skis are made, or even get their hands dirty working on their own boards, it would be a must-do item on a travel itinerary.”