The First Skibuilding Workshop

Martin Joined me for two days to make his dream swallowtail powder ski.

Making the Swallowtail Ord

We set out on Monday morning with a mission to make a swallowtail powder ski for those special occasions and first lifts! Martin chose the Ord. A great powder, slush and crud ski which boasts an impressively light weight (1.8kg) which makes it fun for all-day piste skiing and touring. I had always wondered what a swallowtail on the Ord would look and feel like. We hope that it will make the rear of the ski fun and slarvy in deep snow and kick up a big plume of pow into the air covering any chasing skiers.

I started the day showing Martin how the skis were laminated together, then we glued up an Ord from start to finish.

Sanding sidewalls

We cut out the ski and began to shape it from its woody and gluey mass. It is one of the most satisfying jobs to see a lovely ski emerge from a blank looking object. Martin was getting the sidewalls just how he wanted them after rough machining (see photo).

Designing the swallowtail

We prototyped the swallowtail with a flexicurve and some French curves. It was great to do some really creative shaping at this point. We looked at a few other swallowtail ski designs and went for something which would be strong but still swooshy!

Cutting the swallowtail

The ski was really starting to take shape

It always feels a bit strange to fire into the back of your ski with a jigsaw.

Sanding the top sheet

We sanded the cherry back and cleaned it up ready for varnishing.

First coat of varnish

We put the first coat on to protect the wood and make it waterproof for its first base grind. We would then return to the varnishing after the base grind.

Varnishing before base grind

The base grind

Martin absolutely loves ski tuning and I could tell he had a good eye for detail when it came to the base of a ski.

Al fresco varnishing

After the base grinding we put on a second coat of varnish and the ski was starting to look really beautiful!

The Brand

This brand is getting machined at the moment and will be stamped on the end of the ski! I think it is an understatement to say we are both excited about this ski! I cannot wait to see some footage of it flying around Chamonix and beyond!