Hello, this is Kilch, President and CESnow.
This has been an amazing spring at RAMP. We have purchased a new building, renovated and modified it, and moved in—all happening in the month of May, basically. In addition we set up a new manufacturing facility and are molding the first skis. We have developed a new manufacturing process, which is going to allow us tremendous flexibility and efficiency. We can create new shapes without having to create all new molds, which is a major breakthrough. We feel that by taking control of design, prototyping, quality and delivery we can move dramatically ahead in becoming a world class innovator and producer. And, made in the U.S.A.!!!!! Most of the U.S. production left when Burton and K2 shut down here and moved their factories to China.
In my opinion we can move manufacturing back to the U.S. and thrive if we develop new and more efficient processes that take the cheap labor advantage away or at least reduce it. We plan to prove this concept and succeed in building the best new skis on the market. We are going to use the best possible materials in the new products as well. For example, most modern skis use poplar wood cores. On the hardness scale used to measure wood (Janka Ball), poplar is a 450. Harder woods like Ash and Oak are about 1300. RAMP is using a very expensive Bamboo Core, which is at 1800. It is also 100 percent FSC Certified. Not only will this dramatically improve performance and durability, it uses best forestry practices, which is highly unusual. Most ski cores don’t; the harvesting isn’t generally managed and the cores are full of formaldehyde. Using much better materials will also allow us to eliminate plastic on the sidewalls as this bamboo is much harder than normal plastic sidewalls. This is just one example of how we are going to elevate the performance and durability while using more responsible practices than what is typical in the industry.
Currently many of the most popular ski and snowboard models are made in China where people who have never seen snow are making $200 a month to make them. We think most people would rather buy from a company that makes them using more responsible methods and materials and right here in the U.S.A. We plan to make RAMP a leader in bringing production back to the U.S. in action sports. This season we are building our adult skis and will start working on snowboards next.
As you may already know, our business model is new: We sell our products through our website directly and through a small network of the best resort shops so we can offer you better value as well.
We hope you feel as strongly as we do about this and will support us in our new project. — Kilch President and CESnow