Posted: November 01, 2010
Colorado cool stuff: Logik skis, Sick Stickz and slick shadesBy Eric Peterson
SKI LOGIK SKIS
David Mazzarella started making skis 10 years ago. "I got into it with a passion," he says. Now Mazzarella has founded a boutique ski company, Ski Logik, based in Breckenridge and with a plant on Hainan Island in the South China Sea.
Mazzarella incorporates hardwoods and mother of pear into its designs: Black locust is commonly used for the sidewalls, and the skis are topped by artistic and ornate veneer inlays of all kinds. The base and core are made of more traditional ski materials - fiberglass, graphite and steel - for top-end performance.
"The whole thing we're trying to do is offer a better ski at the same price as the major brands," Mazzarella says. "We put our heart and soul into each pair." $750 to $850 retail.
Made by Ski Logik LLC, Breckenridge, (970) 453-8000, www.skilogik.com . Available at Bent gate (Golden), the Edge (Pueblo), Christy Sports (mountain locations), the Mountain Shop (Fort Collins), and Sawatch Backcountry (Leadville).
In 2007, Colin Wayne came up with the concept for Sick Stickz as a college project at University of Denver, then co-founded the ski-pole company with his identical twin, Ben, and their friend, Patrick Wessels.
"There weren't a lot of companies doing graphics on ski poles," Colin says. "It's a hard surface to work around."
After calling every pole manufacturer they could find, the Waynes and Wessels found an Austrian partner and began electronically sending their designs. The poles came to market first in December 2007. Three years later, the trio, who completed their bachelor's degrees this spring, are trying to make a "big push" to make the company a full-time pursuit, says Colin, with four new designs, including the pictured CO Argyle, blending the state flag and its title pattern. $48 to $70 retail.
Made by Sic Stickz LLC, Denverr, www.sickstickz.com . A store locator is on the website.
Founded in 2004, Boulder-based Neve Designs has steadily saturated ski shops all over the continent with its sweaters, pants, shawls, wraps and other accessories balancing function and fashion.
"Our market is people who ski hard in the day and then go out to eat somewhere nice at night," says Tom Irvine, Neve's CEO and primary owner. "What we're trying to do is provide a full outfit for anyone."
About 90 percent of styles by Neve - Italian for snow - are women's, but the men's line is expanding for 2011. This year has seen a European office open in January and the hiring of a new head designer in Carol Gantos.
"Carol's had extensive experience in knitwear and fashion as a runway designer," Irvine says. "She's brought a very good eye for technical detail to the line." $120 to $350 retail.
Made by Neve Designs LLC, (303) 440-4592, www.nevedesigns.com. A store locator is on the website.
ZEAL OPTICS TRANSCEND
Founded in Moab, Utah, in 1998, Zeal Optics relocated to Boulder in 2008 after outgrowing canyon country from a logistical standpoint. Zeal makes sunglasses and ski goggles that incorporate the company's patent-pending photochromic technology, meaning it changes tint to match the available light.
"It's as close as possible to one lens that works in all conditions," says Michael Jackson, Zeal president. New this fall is the Transcend, the industry's first GPS-enabled ski goggles, featuring a head's up LCD display that shows the skier or rider's speed in real time, as well as other metrics.
At the end of the day, users can download the data onto their computers to retrace their exact routes in Google Earth. It's hard to go back to old goggles after you try Transcend, warns Jackson: "You get kind of addicted to seeing how fast you're going." $399 (polarized) to $499 (photochromic) retail.
Made by Zeal Optics Inc., Boulder, (303) 449-3525, www.zealoptics.com. A dealer locator is on the website.
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com