Venture Snowboards is doing something different: they're introducing the new Sultan Ski to its line-up from their exclusive Shape Shack division. Venture Snowboards is best known for their big-mountain and powder-oriented snowboard designs and Klemens Branner, the company's founder and design engineer, admits that this is a crazy concept for a snowboard company to be getting involved with.
The new Sultan Skis, as Branner explains, are "like regular snowboards, but half as wide, and you put one on each foot!" So the Sultan Skis are crazy, that's for sure, but maybe it's not so crazy that a snowboard company like Venture is the one creating them. Who else would try to create a hybrid of snowboards and skis?
Sultan Skis Development
From their headquarters in Silverton, Colorado, Venture Snowboards has had plenty of time to test, experiment, and design the perfect powder boards for both one- and two- plank riders. Prototypes of the Sulstan Skis been on the testing grounds in the San Juan Mountains for several seasons. Branner says that they started creating the Sultan Skis for Venture employees who like to ski, not just snowboard, as well as a few local residents in Silverton
But if you're going to wear snowboard/ski hybrids out in public, sooner or later someoneis going to notice and start asking questions. "Once our customers got wind of it they clamored for more," says Branner. "There are lots of skiers who like Venture's grassroots approach and want a piece of the action too." So, yeah, they couldn't keep the Sultan Skis to themselves forever...
Sultan Skis Stats
These new skis from Venture have some very interesting stats:
- Surf and powder oriented shape
- Gradual tip
- Tail rocker
- No camber underfoot
- Two lengths: 175 and 187cm
- Specifications: 145/120/135
2012 Release Schedule for Sultan Skis
Limited numbers of Sultan Skis are being released by Venture this winter, before the end of the 2012 ski season. Branner says that they only expect to build a dozen or so pairs of the new skis before spring and they'll only be available through the company's website. Klemens Branner founded Venture in 1999 with his wife, Lisa, and they are still an independent company which makes all its snowboards by hand and from scratch.
The release comes under the new experimental division of Venture Snowboards, known as the Shape Shack. Branner says that the purpose of Shape Shack is provide Venture Snowboards with an outlet for "a mad scientist kind of approach, experimenting with designs that might normally be considered too wacky." When they come up with something interesting enough to go public with, like they are doing with the Sultan Skis, they'll only be offering it in "small batch releases" — again, like with the Sultan Skis.