Rethink Everything: Renoun founder, Cyrus Schenck (Ep.67)

Cyrus Schenck is the founder of, Renoun, and a ski designer with an award-winning technology that’s used by no other ski manufacturer in the world.

Renoun Skis Founder, Cyrus Schenck on Blister's Gear:30 Podcast

Cyrus is thinking big. And definitely outside of the box. And definitely not just about skis.

Renoun Skis Founder, Cyrus Schenck on Blister's Gear:30 Podcast

So we talk to Cyrus about building skis with non-Newtonian polymers, and everything else he’s working on — both inside and outside the world of skiing.

“Rethink Everything” is a tagline of Renoun, and if that sounds rather over-the-top to you, just listen to our conversation, then see whether you’ve changed your mind.


  • Cyrus’ background (2:50)
  • Starting Renoun & working with “Non-Newtonian Polymers” (6:25)
  • So what is the on-snow advantage of using “HDT” in a ski? (16:14)
  • How does HDT work? (18:23)
  • If HDT is so great, why don’t more companies use it? (34:11)
  • Other applications for HDT – like NBA flooring?? (36:03)
  • Why expanding into other industries could be great for skiing (39:36)
  • Who is “Renoun” — you and who else? (41:49)
  • Renoun’s current ski lineup (42:16)
  • Renoun’s new ski – The Citadel – with carbon + HDT (45:16)
  • Why Renoun’s 100-Day Guarantee is the smartest thing any indie could offer (49:14)
  • What’s the best question I haven’t asked you? (53:54)

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* Video – The Aspen “HDT” Test

5 comments on “Rethink Everything: Renoun founder, Cyrus Schenck (Ep.67)”

  1. I have a pair of Endurance 98s as my AT skis; I don’t find them as playful as I need skis to be in the trees, but they’re extremely stable on steep east coast ice. The Slides at Whiteface haven’t been open yet this year, but this is the ski I’d take if they were.

    Non-Newtonian material has been available in armor for a few years, Demon is one company that makes it, costs about as much as an ER co-pay. I recommend it to anyone who is concerned about impacts. It’s light, comfortable, adds a layer of warmth, and it *really* works. I was skiing the Highway at Smuggs a month ago, got caught in some brush through a turn, and hit a huge maple with my shoulder at about 25mph. I spun down the backside, got up, assessed for pain and mobility (none, full), and continued my run. Without the armor I’m certain I would have been ER-bound.

  2. This was really interesting! Question about HDT though. In moguls you want some softness in your skis so they can flex on the front side of the bump. How does HDT react to this? Does it stiffen when the ski flexes or does it flex more with vibrations?

  3. Older folk like myself will remember Head with their “Intellifiber” technology and the associated piezoelectric microchip, which they put into skis, snowboards and tennis racquets. It was their version of a non-Newtonian material; my experience was that it was effective in variable conditions (I was a snowboarder then). In any case, it all completely went away at Head (a theme for them to be fair). The question remains, why — and would it return with the renewed interest?

    Before helmets became ubiquitous, I could not find one that fit. So for a time I used a non-Newtonian beanie (discontinued since of course). I guess my point is this tech may simply be a cyclical trend…

    • Head does still use their brand of pzioelectric dampening technology in their race and supershape line of skis. I’ve skied them and they tend to feel pretty damp, but at a weight penalty that makes them less playful and more race-oriented (that being said I love a good race ski).

  4. NB In the beanie was D3O (polyborodimethylsiloxane, per wiki), the same material in Renoun’s skis, which they licensed and now attempting to patent (per NYT).

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