Sego Ski Company: Skis designed and handcrafted in the Tetons

By on March 1, 2018

Not every shredder would expect their town councilman to be the brains behind their hard-charging all-mountain skis, but Tim Wells, CEO of Sego Ski Company, based in Victor, Idaho, wears both of these hats. He and his brother, Peter, brainstormed the idea four years ago for production quality and wholesale driven skis.

Sego’s world headquarters are in our own backyard, the Tetons, which the Wells brothers affectionately term “the premier big mountain laboratory in North America.”

“We fell in love with the vibe and the energy of the community at the base of the Tetons. It made business sense,” Tim Wells said. “We like the low key lifestyle in Teton Valley.”

From the start, they shared a vision for a sustainable ski company that would ensure a trustworthy bond between skiers and the ski industry. This win-win relationship requires manufacturing and marketing durable, high performance, impeccably tuned skis at an affordable price for customers and retailers. Their business is rapidly growing, already appearing in the European and Canadian markets, making a real tidal wave in the ski industry.

Tim’s business and finance background meshed perfectly with his brother Peter’s experience working at ski shops, while engineering and building his own designs within the industry. Sego is Tim’s second ski company. Previously, he was CEO and founder of a small ski company in Portland, Oregon named Deviation.

Sego won the Freeskier Magazine Editor’s Pick in 2016 and Powder Magazine’s Skier’s Choice for the Cleaver 102, an all-mountain ski with a mid-sized waist and titanal reinforced core. This winter’s line boasts 16 different ski models. Next year’s will expand to 21 models. Women’s and men’s skis, made for the backcountry, all mountain and park/jib sticks are available to consumers, as well as bindings — the company has partnered with some of the top binding makers in the industry, including Look, Rossignol, and Marker.

“Our skis are constructed with care and quality. We upcycle as much as we can,” said Tim Wells. “And we use a non-toxic zero VOC epoxy with organic compounds. We source materials as close as we can. Our wood is from the west coast, and fiber and glass epoxy come from Utah.”

Unlike most skis in the industry that come out of the plastic, Sego’s models come complete with a de-tune and wax pre-sale. Consumers can unpack their new sticks, mount them, and ski on them right away.

But Sego isn’t just a ski company; it’s truly a homegrown business. The company has two locations in Victor, including a classy new show room, complete with a cozy bar that serves wine and four kinds of beer, including a Sego branded beer, the ‘Ski Pressing Session,’ co-created with Roadhouse Brewery in Jackson.

“We want the community to come in and spend time with us for a tune, a mount, a beer, a lap on the hill,” said Tim Wells.

Alex Suckling, athlete and inside sales manager jokes that he has a ski bum background with a business and sales twist. But it’s not all fun and games. He has worked hard to spread the brand’s reach and grow its dealer base.

“Our strategic plan is working. We are face to face with people constantly,” he said. “Last year we had thirty demo days throughout west coast. This year, the goal is sixty demo days including Canada, the West and Europe.”

Wholesale accounts have expanded to forty-eight locations, including evo, Backcountry and REI. Sego’s skis are sweeping the market for their sturdiness, longevity and affordable price point. “People need to test the product and believe,” he said.

With more than a dozen athletes, including local legend Lynsey Dyer, who is their female forefront on design, Sego is developing its brand in the local limelight. The company prides itself on an athlete driven production design process.

“For the most part, a lot of women’s skis have been capped,” said Dyer, a professional skier. “The only new technology that is going into them is an update on the graphics.” She helped design and craft the Up Pro and the Gnarwhal in collaboration with Sego. The Up Pro 110, a big mountain directional moustache rocker ski, earned Freeskier Magazine’s Editor’s Pick, Skiing Magazine Official Selection 2016, and Powder Magazine’s Skier’s Choice 2017 awards.

“These skis are no joke,” Dyer said. ”And the industry is taking notice.”

Local skier Shannon Clay attests to the Sego brand and the Up Pro model, an all mountain ski that also performs well on groomers. “I love my Up Pro’s because I can really charge on them,” she said. “They are made locally, and I was able to do work trade for them. I even have my old friend Tony Birkholz’s artwork on them, which makes them extra special.”

Sego’s big bright blue ski bus cannot be missed, and has become a local icon at the tune shop and Grand Targhee’s parking lot. Sporting the iconic unicorn that represents Dyer’s brand alongside the Sego emblem, the company says it was “designed to spread Sego stoke across the nation.” Equipped to keep the athletes outfitted for months on the road, they chase storms to resorts around the country in comfort, and offer ski demos out of the unique mobile!

Justin Adams, Ski Ambassador and Team Manager, enjoys sharing his passion with like-minded skiers in the USA, Canada and Europe.

“I love getting feedback from ambassadors who rip on our skis! It’s a great help with sales and the design process,” he said.

Upcoming demo days include A-Basin, Red Lodge, Cold Smoke Powder Festival in Nelson, B.C., Schweitzer, and three stops at Grand Targhee in February and March.

Stay tuned for wine tastings coming in February at Sego’s new show room in Victor, where you can also pick up Sego merchandise such as ski hats and beer glasses.

“You can get yourself and your skis tuned up at Sego!” Adams said, laughing. PJH

About Jessica L. Flammang

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