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 - Dec 3, 2008
References: heidiskis & thegearjunkie
As winter descends on ski country, so are the new heroes of skiing: small batch skis like Heidiskis ( which cater to alpinists of discriminating tastes.

Heidiskis are handmade in Austria, the same country that produces the world’s best skis (and skiers), year after year.

It’s tough to figure out what’s cooler about Heidiskis: their Himalayan-inspired topsheet (and corresponding 10% of profits going to the American Himalayan Foundation), or the fact that the skis are made with 100% tip-to-tail Swiss White Ash, the ultimate material for flexibility and strength.

"I compare the boutique brands to independent surfboard shapers," said Kelly Davis, director of research at SnowSports Industries America in McLean, Va. "A lot of people are living their dream, trying to make the best ski possible."

Limited edition skis are a response to the dominance of mega-brands out there. Instead of making 5 million pairs of skis, these entrepreneurial designers are making just a few hundred. The price is a little higher than usual (around $1,800 per pair), but not much considering the handmade boost in performance and style that you get.