In April, I was able to visit the Ski Trab ski company's factory in Bormio, Italy. I was skiing in the mountains nearby and realized it was much easier to ski into the town than it would be to drive or take a train.
Giacomo Trabucchi made his first wooden ski in 1946 and Ski Trab as a company was born. Today, the company is still run by members of the Trabucchi family. Ski Trab is best known in North America for their super lightweight skis designed with randonee racing in mind. Skis such as the Free Rando and the Free Rando Light are very popular with the the fast and light racing crowd.
Less well known but equally as well designed and constructed are the Ski Trab Stelvio Freerides. It is the fattest ski that Ski Trab makes, but at 84mm underfoot the ski is often overlooked in the North American market. It may not be the fattest board around but the Stelvio is an excellent ski and handles a wide variety of ski conditions with ease. I have been using them for a full season and am impressed with their versatility and fun factor. We have reviewed the Stelvio here.
My visit to the Ski Trab Factory in Bormio was a great window into a small but high-tech company dedicated to making quality handmade skis. From the 3-D software based design room to the custom flex testing machiines and the room where each ski is layed up by hand, Ski Trab uses cutting edge materials and design techniques. They do everything in house, from milling the wood core materials to creating the molds and pressing the skis. For a humble family owned ski company, Ski Trab offers an impressive set-up.
We suggested and questioned about the possibility of producing a wider ski more geared toward the North American touring/freeride market. Our questions were answered with "we are working on it". These guys make some great skis and although the rando race skis may not serve the broader backcountry market here, the potential to blend aspects of their lightweight construction with the characteristics of their Stelvio into a wider ski is there. Our ski posse urged them to push into wider skis, they laughed a little at our insistence on wider skis, but I believe they heard us too and do have some plans in the works. I will write up a longer article on the factory tour for the mag this fall.