These bespoke skis cost more than a grand – but are they worth it?

At times my inelegant style wasn’t quite up to par with what was below me but despite an influx of Brits this season the slopes were pretty clear and it didn’t take long to find a trail steep and fairly empty red. And then… “It’s good to be back,” I rejoice.

Nobody needs an excuse to go skiing this winter, or next, but if you want to do it in style, the opening to the public of this workshop in Verbier is a perfect opportunity. Climbing aboard the gondola for another try on my custom pair, I didn’t feel the need to brace the skis on my boots. I just held them up front so everyone could see.

The verdict

The experience at First Tracks Lab strays into pointless territory, but if you’re planning on buying a pair of skis, it’s not much different than a high-end boutique set – and they are truly unique. Definitely a talking point at the after bar.

Sure, it’s not cheap, but it’s a unique experience with a unique result at the end: custom boards. Even the most gifted DIYer in the world will not be able to create his own pair of skis. If you are interested in business, entrepreneurship, or just creating something to be proud of, this will be on your trail.

As for the experience on the slopes, they actually helped me slow down. I am sometimes guilty of skiing too fast; using a bit of speed to make up for a lack of technique. After making them myself, I was careful to test the ski; really see what it can do.


A two-day ski-making workshop costs £1,530 with First Track Lab ( B&B at the four-star Hotel de Verbier (00 41 2756 44000; costs from £185 per night. Return flights to Geneva are available from £118 with SWISS (0345 601 0956; Return rail transfers to Le Châble cost from £132 via

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