The Choice of Champions Yesterday and Today

Northland Ski Manufacturing Company got its start in St. Paul, MN in 1912. Northland has been credited as the catalyst in creating America’s love of skiing. Many skiers recall Northland’s being their first pair of skis.

From its earliest days, Northland was committed to the quality of their skis and to the sport of skiing. The copy from an 1944 ad read, “When you buy Northlands you buy the finest – for Northland’s are indeed the choice of champions. Whether you are a novice or expert be sure your skis proudly wear the Deer Head trade-mark of NORTHLAND, because the better the skis, the better your skiing.” Northland skis were the skis of choice for Olympic skiers as they were widely known for performance and unsurpassed quality.

Beginning in the 1920’s Northland published some of the first how-to-ski pamphlets – selling them for $.10 a copy. These manuals were an instant hit with American skiers.

Soon Northland became the largest manufacturer of skis in the world. A series of factory fires (a common hazard for woodworking factories in the early days) caused Northland to move to different locations over the years. Later materials and technology changes knocked Northland off skiing’s manufacturing pinnacle.

Today, Northland is back. We are building handcrafted wood skis designed for carving in the heart of Ski Country USA – Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Innovation

Honoring the Past by Building a Ski for the Future

Manufacturing techniques and materials have evolved over the years. And while we’re not opposed to change – we embrace change that innovates. Change driven by marketing hype or graphics simply serve no purpose in our minds.

Northland skis may look old school but on the mountain they are the apex of performance and aesthetic.

To us, skis are more than a piece of equipment. Instead Northland skis are an extension of the skier, amplifying one’s connection to gravity and friction. The stability of the edges, elegant wood top, and cambered profile create drop-jawed reviews of this soon-to-be classic ski. One particular review of Northland Skis reads, “If a well-rounded flavor full of vigor is your taste, don’t waste your time with mass produced soulless endeavors when you can literally become a work of art through this piece of artistic brilliance.” (Patrick L, Utah) Well said, Patrick!

To make a ski worthy of this sort of praise we brought together the finest Tri-wood core plus full-length kevlar, carbon fiber and fiberglass materials. The components are carefully pressed in our workshop at 6,732 feet in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Each pair of Northland skis is thoughtfully handcrafted to deliver an all-mountain carving experience like no other ski on the mountain.

Design Intentionality

Designed With Purpose For Performance

Northland Skis are beautiful. But they are also built to deliver all-mountain performance.

The wide tip tapers to a narrow underfoot and flares back out at the tail serving multiple purposes for our ski. First, it allows us to dictate the turn of the ski by creating such a drastic sidecut. Very few skis on the market can claim they even have a sidecut, let alone one that starts at the tip and ends at the tail. What that allows the skier to do is engage the entire ski in the turn and not just a small portion of the ski edge, like many, if not all of our competitors in the all-mountain ski class are limited to.

The wide tip and tail prevent the ski from sinking and diving in deeper snow – not uncommon but what is different from most other skis is the width and action underfoot. The combination of the narrower waist and lively camber allow Northland skis to be an exhilarating ride in deeper snow. The narrow waist allows the ski to sink down into the snow when the skier engages a turn. Not only does the skier fully experience the depth of the snow and get more of that powder, but it also flexes the cambered shape of the ski, so that as the skier releases pressure from the turn, the ski snaps back and propels the skier upward and out of their turn, in a balanced stance, ready to dig in again. It’s almost like being on a trampoline.

Due to the shape and the camber, the skier expends minimal energy, while obtaining maximum functionality. Additionally the camber and the sidecut help in other facets as well, like trees and bumps. The sidecut and camber help you make smaller turns, avoiding lines you don’t want to take and trees you don’t want to hit.

Our Approach to Making Skis

The confidence in our skis comes from real world experience. Over the past three years we’ve been designing skis…building, refining, testing in all kinds of snow, gnashing a few, refining again. We don’t outsource anything. Every step of the ski building process is performed by us, in our shop. Handcrafted in its truest form.

Making mass produced skis may be easier but there are no shortcuts when creating and building the ultimate carving ski. Each step in handcrafting the “Ski of Champions” is meticulously measured against exacting quality standards. Our love of the mountains, skiing and American-made quality is exemplified in every pair of Northland Skis.

Our Mission

Building The Ultimate Carving Ski

Northland has a singular mission. To be true to who we are and what we want to do. We say it succinctly in these 10-words:

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At the Core of Our Business and Our Brand is an Unbridled Enthusiasm for: