Miller and Wirth answer ‘Why PEAK skiing’

Ski Racing Media wants to know why Andy Wirth and Bode Miller, two knowledgeable industry professionals, would even consider starting the PEAK SKI company. After all, if you’re trying to maximize your return on capital, it’s probably one of the hardest industries to choose.

Andy Wirth is a longtime rider and successful ski industry executive who starred on an episode of Undercover Boss. Bode Miller is, well, Bode – a renowned downhill ski racer. The two men have no illusions about the stakes of their business. So why would two friends agree to travel the difficult new road of the ski companies? We decided to contact both partners and find out. What we heard was both interesting and exciting. This brought more questions than answers, but we will continue to seek information and based on our initial discussion, we believe they will continue to respond.

Wirth was an innovator in the ski industry. He knew that Miller had always been a prolific innovator in ski racing. Indeed, there isn’t a ski racer today who doesn’t benefit from Miller’s contributions. So it was only natural that they would reunite as friends and business partners when they retired.

Without a doubt, over Miller’s long career he has helped improve every piece of equipment we use today. However, his contributions are too numerous to count, even if one considers only the details of ski construction. Therefore, it has a long history of endless challenges for engineers and ski equipment manufacturers. From flex points to twists, rockers, sidecuts, lengths and widths, Miller has influenced every aspect. And due to his focus on performance, he is well known for constantly challenging the status quo. During his racing career, Miller has collaborated with K2 (and is credited with inventing the K2 Four shaped ski), Fischer, Rossignol, Atomic, Head and Bomber. He influenced all of his brands significantly but was limited by their tolerance for change. Now with PEAK he has full control over the design of the ski.

Remove the clamp

Wirth is acutely aware of his friend’s talents and looks forward to what is possible if Bode can design skis that are unfettered and uncompromising. Wirth says, “One of the many things I’ve learned from working with horses is that they’re at their best when they’re to freedom – remove the halter or bridle and let them run. In many ways, this is the heart of what we do at Peak. We have a world class team. However, innovation is central to our philosophy. “

PEAK SKI partners value the innovation and resources that the ski industry has applied to advance the sport. However, they also believe that the ski industry’s existing models have limitations. Both partners use deep industry knowledge and a year of research, analysis and business modeling. However, an important part of the story is that they both know when they are using an exceptional pair of skis. They started PEAK with a blank canvas and never stopped asking what could be better. Miller comments, “The challenge for many is to really see that nothing like this has been done in such a holistic way.”

Create communication channels with consumers

When it comes to product development, the Peak team wants to be able to react quickly. Based in Bozeman, MT, they’ve built a high-speed team with access to state-of-the-art systems and machinery. PEAK can quickly make improvements to its products in a very short time. Their headquarters are at the top of “The Peak Development Group & Innovation Center”. Dubbed DEVGRU, it has everything it takes to build prototypes and quickly get them on the snow for testing near Big Sky.

But it’s not just the increased flexibility of product design that excites them. PEAK believes the best way to create a meaningful end-user relationship is through direct-to-consumer sales. PEAK sees that the more layers there are between you and the consumer, the less likely you are to access their input.

Miller has strong opinions about the benefits of direct-to-consumer selling. He shares: “There are no hidden agendas. We are very transparent with our customers. Wirth adds: “PEAK SKI wants an open dialogue with customers and immediate access to their feedback. Through direct communication with our customers, we develop a community, a kind of tribe. Miller says, “We share our information with our customers and want them to share theirs. We call it our educational component and want it to be part of every aspect of the PEAK SKI experience.

Direct to consumer makes PEAK economically viable

Moreover, after taking into account the economic aspects, both partners consider direct contact with consumers as an essential strategy to be financially viable. Removing the layers between them and the end user creates opportunities for communication and innovation and allows them to do so more economically and efficiently.

Miller says, “The whole process for Andy and I was a discovery. The fundamental elements of our partnership were that we liked working together and that we wanted to do something. Once we did our due diligence, we found a business model that would work. We are convinced that our business model can lead to a very successful business.

Miller adds, “It’s been exciting from the start, but we have times where we’re really excited. We haven’t lost motivation or been flat at any time, so it’s still a good time.

Origin of the PEAK logo

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The unique PEAK logo lets people know there is a story. Keep in mind that the two men are definitely against the grain. Wirth strikes up a conversation on the topic: “First of all, remember that a logo isn’t a brand, it’s a brand. The logo was born from our long discussions in our homes, on the hill and even on the hunt. Our discovery process may have been unique, but the meaning is not very well hidden. It’s a thinly veiled reference to people like Bode. In winter, mountain thunder and thunderstorms are very rare. Wirth then references Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken. Specifically, he quotes: “Two roads diverged in the wood, and I took the one less travelled, and that made all the difference.” He goes on to quote John Muir “Society speaks and all men listen, the mountains speak and the wise listen.”

Ski Racing Media has learned that PEAK SKI exists because two contrarian friends who are industry experts believe they can improve their beloved sport. PEAK SKI attaches great importance to a close relationship with its customers. They believe that the customer relationship will provide a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Wirth and Miller are just doing what they’ve always done; partners take the road less travelled.

Carol N. Valencia