Santiam SnoLab is a slope side Manufactory teaching students young and old how to build their own custom skis and snowboards at Hoodoo Ski Resort, Oregon.
Meet Hank Gulledge the department manager of Santiam SnoLab at Hoodoo Ski Resort. As a retired public school teacher out of Florida, he has been surfing and snowboarding most of his life. When Matthew McFarland, Hoodoo general manager, offered him this amazing opportunity, Hank took it.
Hank told us, "It was Matthew's vision to create a workshop where everyday people could come in and experience the design and manufacturing of their own custom skis and snowboards." Typically, most people go to the store and buy something off the shelf. The SnoLab offers a completely different and unique experience of creating something this is an extension of yourself through custom design.
The process of building your own custom ski or snowboard starts with SnoLab's custom tooling that will cut the side cut of your skis and snowboard. Next it goes through a variety of milling processes for the core and then a P-tech edge bottom assembly is built for the bottom of your skis or snowboard.
The SnoLab can design custom tips and tail shapes. Hank says, "whatever you can come up with that makes sense, we can build together".
After the P-tech edge assembly is done and the cores are milled out, they are placed on a cassette that is custom designed for the shape that is being made. It is then put on the wet deck where they basically make a giant submarine sandwich of all the composite materials that make your ski or snowboard. After, the custom graphics are laid down.
The next step is to put it on a camber rocker rack and cook in an oven to cure. After about an hour curing time, it's not 100% cured, but it's cured enough for you to take it out and reveal what has been made.
"This type of facility is the only place that I know of where a regular everyday skiing or snowboarding enthusiast can come in and build their own custom skis and snowboards with their own hands." - Hank Gulledge