Matt Cudmore always wanted to own a ski shop.
The idea struck Cudmore in his time as a ski instructor in Germany. Three years ago, the 32-year-old found himself drinking beers with his neighbor in his garage and threw the idea out there again.
“I was studying aviation maintenance and working with composite materials,” Cudmore says. “I thought, ‘How cool would it be to build a pair of skis out of these?’”
Cudmore started building custom skis in 2009 while working a fulltime job and raising three children. He calls the first pair of skis he made the coolest he’s ever ridden.
It takes roughly 15 hours of work to create one pair of skis.
Cudmore expects to produce more than 300 pairs of skis this year.
His company, Meier Skis, has started to gain a following, including a group of high school kids who wanted to learn to build their own boards.
“I feel like I have the whole community behind me,” he says.
That support is important for Cudmore, who put a commitment to “balance, sustainability and living in the moment” into his company philosophy for Meier Skis. He uses materials sourced from Colorado, including wood that is 50 percent from beetle-kill pine. He also wants to create jobs for the locals who’ve supported him.
“The idea is about doing what we’re loving and not getting stressed out,” Cudmore says. He wants to show the kids who help him that life is more than a time clock and a paycheck.
Cudmore says he wants the kids to “write their own stories — ask yourself what do you want to do and make it happen.”
And he’s making it happen one plank at a time.