Want rad skis? Then you should get your skis made by a rad skier. Fully custom and overbuilt to thrash the Rockies, CRSP offers up planks built by Winter Park local Chris Peters. Those living in Fraser Valley know him as Crispy, and his products will keep your turns looking oh-so-crisp. I got the opportunity to have a phone interview with Peters to learn about CRSP, and big things are happening in this small company.
Peters has held nearly every job in the ‘biz from being a sponsored athlete and finishing second in the 2005 Scion Open (to none other than Tom Wallisch), to a sales rep, ski tech, and now a ski and snowboard manufacturer. An industry veteran, Peters began skiing at the age of two at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. His passion for skiing is evident by the number of jobs he has held in skiing. After working at Snowshoe, he decided to head west to bigger mountains with better snow. On his way up US-40, headed to Steamboat, he stumbled on Winter Park and Mary Jane, thus marking the beginning of Peter’s story in the Fraser Valley.
About seven years ago, Peter’s first started manufacturing skis with 7 Mile Skis in Silverthorne, CO. After getting rent-hiked, 7 Mile Skis moved to Golden before the group decided to close shop and find a new spot for the business. Peters found a new investor, Byron Johnson while skiing in Winter Park, and they decided to set up shop in Winter Park—right where Peters wanted to be all along. Peters and Johnson are passionate about the brand and building it to be a sustainable business model—not just trying to make a quick profit.
There are seemingly endless choices in the market for skis. What sets CRSP apart? Simple. Fully custom skis. Peters said:
“I’m not expecting as a single guy in a small place to sell half a million pairs of skis a year. I’m hoping to maybe sell 500 pairs of skis a year. In doing so, I should sell them at a better value. And the best way to do that is to cater to each individual customer, so they get the ski that’s made just for them. Something that’s one-of-a-kind.”
CRSP is dedicated to giving the customer the most amount of choices. “Their name, their graphic, the core that they’ve picked, has the composite’s that they’ve picked, and continue to give them more and more options to choose from,” Peters said.
The customer can even send in a picture and have that photo as their top sheet. As the company grows, Peters plans to offer more choices regarding sidewall and base color as well. The bigger the company gets, the more material the company will have in inventory to offer the customer.
Controlling every part of the production process is a high priority of CRSP. Peters said:
“I do everything in-house here. A lot of companies outsource the entire process, then there are some that have their cores provided to them. They have a printing shop do their top sheets for them. I do the printing and the sublimation for the top sheets here. It gives us a lot of control of our product. If we want to change something in a day, we can do that as opposed to waiting till next season. With our ski and board products, if we want to make a new shape or modify something. Then we just do it. Now.”
The research and development process could not be any more direct. He makes the changes based on athlete feedback. He has several new shapes with new materials ready to go for on-snow testing and as soon as the snow starts blowing. Currently, Peters is using poplar, ash, and bamboo in the core. He is starting to experiment with hemp and aspen and even has a pair of skis and snowboard with a hemp core ready to test.
Starting CRSP has not been without its challenges. Opening a business in 2019/2020 is rough, to say the least. When lockdown started, Peters was unable to get out to test the new product. Last winter’s restrictions didn’t allow any demo events for skiers and riders to get on the product. The supply chain was slowed when lumber yard stock dwindled. This has led Peters to wait up to several months for supplies. Hiring workers for the shop is challenging because the cost of living in Winter Park is so high. With all of these challenges, Peters has still managed to develop and produce a product that’s bound to withstand anything the mountain or the economy throws at it.
To withstand these economic challenges speaks to the company’s rock-solid business plan, but the quality product needs to be there to handle the Rockies. Peters uses the thickest sidewall material out there, and the edges are 2.5mm thick instead of the industry standard of 1.8mm. This makes the CRSP more than burly enough to handle whatever rock may decide to tap your ski. The graphics are always top-notch as well. Peters currently works with tattoo artist AJ Wicks and several other artists to create the best graphics on the hill.
CRSP is poised to make some noise certainly in Colorado and across the U.S. this season. It’s a core brand built by a skier that has dedicated his life to the sport. If you want a ski built for you by one person to ensure the highest quality product, you need to check out CRSP.