Today it was announced that Olympian & former World Cup Overall Champion, Bode Miller, has launched a new direct-to-consumer ski brand, dubbed Peak Ski Company.
We caught up with Bode to discuss this new venture and will be posting the conversation on our GEAR:30 podcast this Thursday, so subscribe to GEAR:30 wherever you get your podcasts to make sure you don’t miss it (trust us, you won’t want to).
Bode partnered with outdoor-industry veteran, Andy Wirth, to start the brand, with Bode serving as Chief Innovation Officer and Andy serving as Chief Executive Officer.
Peak Ski Co. is launching with six all-mountain models: the Peak 88, 98, 98SC, 104, 104SC, and 110. The “SC” in the name of the 98SC and 104SC stands for “Side Country,” with the SC skis being made slightly lighter for use inside and outside the ski resort boundaries.
All six of the skis feature metal layers, though the thickness and implementation of the layers vary model-to-model. The Peak 88 and 98 feature a paulownia / ash wood core, while the 104, 104SC, and 110 get a lighter poplar, paulownia, and polyurethane stringer core. All six models will sell for $890 only on Peak’s website and can be pre-ordered now.
One of the key features across all Peak models is what they call their “Keyhole Technology.” This all stemmed from a really interesting experience that Bode (and later, a fellow racer) had on two particular pairs of GS skis that let both of them achieve significantly better results than on any other skis. Bode found that he could initiate turns easier through the forebody on those skis, but then still had excellent edge grip from just in front of the bindings through the tail.
Bode later cut apart the skis and discovered that whoever constructed those skis had cut away a small patch of the upper metal layer to place a damping element there, but it was apparently that missing metal patch that made all the difference in terms of the longitudinal flex patterns of the skis.
So, in all the Peak ski models, there is a small oval cutaway in the upper metal layer to achieve a similar effect — easier turn initiation, without losing edge grip where you need it. For more on the story and rationale for Keyhole Technology, head to Peak’s website.
We’re very curious to get on some of Peak’s models next season and will report back with updates. In the meantime, make sure you’re subscribed to GEAR:30 so you can hear the story of Peak Ski Co. from Bode himself.
For reference, here’s the full press release from Peak Ski Co.
Montana-based Peak Ski Company introduces “Peak by Bode Miller”, a new line of high-performance, all-mountain skis featuring revolutionary and innovative design.
BOZEMAN, Mont., April 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Bode Miller, the two-time overall World Cup champion and six-time Olympic medalist, and co-founder Andy Wirth today announced the launch of a new venture, Peak Ski Company, LLC, a direct-to-consumer, high-performance ski and brand platform that is leading with a line of six all mountain and side-country alpine skis. The Peak Ski Company was co-founded by Miller, who will be Peak’s Chief Innovation Officer and Wirth, Peak’s Chief Executive Officer, a respected executive with global experience in the mountain resort sector, including commercial and retail operations and technology platform development.
“Our world-class team and I began over a year ago with the intense focus on developing the highest performance skis possible, for all skiers and truly, every part of the mountain. I was deeply engaged in the design of skis throughout my racing career where I learned that every single element, design feature and measurement – no matter how miniscule – that makes up a ski, influences performance,” explains Miller. “Just one small example is that if you change the rise or the rocker by a millimeter or two, you change how the ski engages at the initiation of a turn. If you change that, then you need to compensate by adjusting the torsional rigidity of the ski underfoot. It was with that experience, I learned years ago that a cutaway in front of the binding, unlocks the torsional performance of a ski. We’ve integrated this feature, calling it Keyhole Technology, into all our skis and it has yielded great results. After years of research, design, and experimentation and over three months of testing the 2022/23 line of skis here in Big Sky, Montana, I can verify that these skis rip…and we are just getting started.” said Miller.
“Bode’s racing experience and passion for performance, coupled with his unique and creative approach to engineering, are the key differentiators of our company,” said Wirth. “At the core of Peak Ski’s brand platform is the lineup of six, high performance all mountain skis for 2022/23. Today, we are announcing our first line of skis, however, the long-term strategic vision that Bode and I share entails so much more and is almost entirely centered on innovation. We are already exploring the development and use of advanced materials, including thermoplastics, the possible integration of high-tech devices in our skis, and even have our sights on revolutionizing the process and machinery used to manufacture skis. We see the opportunity for long term success and growth here at Peak Ski Company by way of our constant focus on innovation along with our team’s ethos, which features a hunger for precision and high-performance and a truckload of grit. I’m proud to have these skis be the first step—our first expression—of the Peak Ski Company.”
The company developed its first prototypes and had a team of respected ski testers led by 30-year veteran ski tester David Currier (Skiing, Outside, Mountain), review the skis. “Before we commenced testing Peak prototypes, Andy said it was Peak’s hope that of the six models, a few might perform well enough to earn top-five rankings in the Outside/Mountain magazine ski test,” stated Currier. “After multiple rounds of culling—selecting the best of each of the four prototypes created for each model—I’d say Peak skis far exceeded that goal. In fact, every model of ski would have clearly broken into the top five 21/22 skis and three models would likely have won—outright—the ‘Best in Test’ ranking in their respective category for 21/22. I’ve never seen a new brand even come close to this performance. Bode and the product team have developed an entire line of skis that have a feel of their own and don’t ski like anything on the market, meaning they are just plain better than what’s currently in the market.”
Keyhole Technology TM is a unique oval cutaway in the top layer of aluminum-titanium alloy that delivers what Peak calls “accessible power”— skis that are uniquely high performers when skiers are just cruising on groomers yet are ready when skiers ramp up speed and energy. As an added benefit, the Keyhole allows for less side cut in the wider models. In all terrain, particularly off trail, this feature allows for easy turn initiation and the ability to alter turn shapes at will. With Keyhole Technology TM, Peak is also the first company to offer skis that are perfectly balanced for every user in all lengths, with proper flex and accessible power built into each ski.
The lineup of skis for 2022/2023 include four models of Peak by Bode Miller skis, predominantly for front country skiing, with each model being delineated by the measurement (in millimeters) underfoot: The Peak 88; The Peak 98; The Peak 104, and; the Peak 110. The company has also developed a line of high-performance “side-country” skis, Peak SC by Bode Miller, including Peak SC 98’s and Peak SC 104’s. The Peak SC by Bode Miller skis feature the relatively lightweight characteristics of backcountry or touring skis, yet uniquely integrate those high-performance qualities more typically found in front country skis.
The 2022/23 Peak by Bode Miller skis and Peak SC by Bode Miller skis will both be priced at $890 and exclusively available through peakskis.com. Based on the finite number of the company’s 22/23 line of skis, Peak Ski Company has developed a special reservation program including a fully refundable $50 deposit, allowing customers to lock-in the desired model and length of Peak skis well ahead of the 22/23 season.
The Peak Development Group & Innovation Center, more commonly referred to as “Peak DevGru”, is a 10,000 square foot facility with strictly limited access located in Bozeman, Montana. Peak DevGru is the location where the company will manufacture the Peak DG by Bode Miller line of skis and will serve as the company’s center of innovation, sometimes referred to as “skunk works”.
“Our DevGru team will be given the resources and latitude to look for entirely new ways to innovate with materials, design, construction and the integration of technology,” said Andy Wirth, Peak Ski Company’s CEO. “We will be encouraging experimentation and will embrace failure, as we know it’s out of that process that truly new ideas and innovation rise. This will also be the team that makes what will likely be the very best and high-performance skis one can find in the world, the Peak DG by Bode Miller skis.” Additional details on the Peak DG by Bode Miller skis will be made available in early Fall of 2022.
ABOUT PEAK SKI COMPANY LLC:
From the four-buckle boot and double-lens goggle, to modern sidecut and rocker, and to the very terrain and snow surfaces we ski, American skiers have long led the sport of skiing. However, true innovation has not been a primary focus for the past decade. From the creative, engineering mind of legendary ski racer, Bode Miller—a lifelong ski designer driven by necessity— and co-founder, Andy Wirth, whose career, and passion has also been in the mountains, the Peak Ski Company, was born in the mountains of western Montana and is reclaiming American design and innovation. A direct-to-consumer business, Peak delivers ultra-high-performance skis and is building a brand platform and company based on innovation, precision, performance and grit. Learn more at www.peakskis.com.