Vin Faraci handcrafts custom wood skis even a snow angel would lust for. Here’s how he does it.
By Greg Maino
“Dream it. Build it. Ski it.” That’s Vin Faraci’s motto and how he came about creating WhiteRoom Skis. He didn’t set out to become a ski builder; he just couldn’t find a pair of skis he truly loved. So, in 2010 Faraci set up shop in a shed behind his home in Hyde Park and began to build his first pair of skis.
His first skis, were, by his own admission, experiments. A few might have gone in the ski press backwards. But not just any skis, he set out to do with skis what custom surfboard shapers are doing with boards: make them works of art. As a result WhiteRoom makes some of the most beautiful custom skis you may ever see. WhiteRoom evolved into a part-time business for Faraci in 2013. When working with a customer, Faraci first designs the ski itself based on information the customer provides in his design template. Then he creates intricate designs for the top sheets using beautiful wood veneers with inlays of abalone shell along with custom metal leafing and or wood burning. Every customer gets the opportunity to name their own ski model.
The skis themselves can come in any size but Faraci uses three general shapes; a traditional shaped ski that can be made with various tip, waist and tail dimensions depending on how fat a ski you want. To this Faraci can alter the rocker or camber profile to change the performance of the ski based on their intended use. His “4 Dimension” skis give the tip a slight reverse sidecut with rocker and sidecut underfoot, This design is very versatile and can be skied in a variety of conditions. His “5 Dimension” skis incorporate rocker with reverse sidecut in the tip and tail with camber and traditional sidecut underfoot.This design feels more loose in the tail and can be smeared and pivoted easily in deep snow and is a bit more powder specific.
Vin likes to point out that these skis are not just beautiful they are intended to perform at the highest level and be very durable. “I get lots of compliments on the aesthetics of my skis and I love that. But honestly, the biggest compliment a skier can give me is that they love how their skis perform.” Faraci only builds 10-15 pair a year and charges $900-$925 a pair. It takes a few months from when the order is in but when you get them, you can be guaranteed no one else in the lift line will have a ski like yours.
Suggestion: you might want to lock them up when you go in for lunch.
Oh, and did we mention you can win a pair? On Thursday, Nov. 5 , the Vermont Backcountry Alliance, the Catamount Trail Association and the Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance (RASTA) will be raffling off a pair of WhiteRoom skis at the third annual Vermont Backcountry Forum in Rochester, Vt. You can buy raffle tickets ($20 each on down to 10 for $100) at www.catamounttrail.org and you don’t need to be present to win.