Originally Posted by SkiSafe
Skier, not the ski.
The folks on the FWT are all great skiers. And Tabke is rated the best. However, to ecimmortal's point, it is worth noting that the Praxis Great Pacific Octopus (aka GPO) took 2 different skiers to first place finishes at 3 events. Only one ski and one brand occupied that first place podium spot more than once. So I'd say that taking first at three out of six comps probably says something - probably a lot in terms of an innovative small indy's ability to design and build skis. It should put to rest the notion that only the big guys can do this. If you know anything about Praxis, you know darn well Keith is not "buying" talent with a big team budget. And that's putting it mildly.
I could only find this on Facebook, but this ii an interesting little video they popped up in Dec when Drew and Keith were designing the GPO. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3387532107203
It is further worth noting that Wagner was up there in first too. So US indies took 4 out of six first place finishes...
Honestly, I personally have no strict "made in the USA" policy. I'll buy what I consider the best skis. At the moment, Praxis tops my list. The fact that I can get my questions answered by the guy who designed the skis and runs the factory is a nice big bonus IMO. And a bunch of other American indies are definitely among the top players in terms of the intersection of innovative design and quality build. ON3P, Wagner, etc, etc. DPS (who is moving manufacturing...). Prior (yes - still North "America" ) is right up there. And despite some comments above - to my mind, Neversummer clearly turns out nice work for folks using that factory.
To my mind the really interesting question is why the innovation has been so geographically concentrated? Not 100%. But certainly highly concentrated...