BOZEMAN – Seneca Boards, a Bozeman-based ski and snowboard manufacturer, announced on April 14 an early, limited-edition release of its 2016 backcountry-specific line.
Seneca’s products are typically released in fall when demand increases in anticipation of the ski season, a move that also gives manufacturers the summer months to finish production. The early release was timed to encourage its customers to ski in the backcountry after the resorts closed.
The decision to release next year’s products early was made in February to allow for an extra production run during the winter. One of the company’s core philosophies has been to challenge the status quo in the ski and snowboard industry, both with its practices and products, according to Seneca Boards’ Founder and Product Developer, Eric Newman.
“Seneca continues to create innovative products every year,” Newman said. “The goal of this early release is to demonstrate our commitment to doing things a little differently.”
The company’s new backcountry skis feature a hybrid construction of fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon fiber – which is roughly twice as strong as steel at a quarter of the weight. However, manufacturing with carbon fiber is difficult and has only recently been used by mainstream manufacturers, such as DPS skis and Volkl.
Seneca began developing its carbon skis two seasons ago, working closely with its epoxy supplier to develop new heating and curing cycles. It also worked with the company that supplies carbon fiber to NASA’s space shuttle program, to calculate and calibrate the new flex of the ski.
The result is a livelier, stronger ski that’s up to 1.5 pounds lighter than a non-carbon ski with the same dimensions. To illustrate the complexity of the boards, the carbon-fiber skis have a clear top-sheet that shows the delicate weave of the carbon fiber inside.
Seneca Boards will sell 50 limited-edition pairs of these backcountry skis, each hand numbered and signed by the company’s owner.