Like many other designers and engineers who work in front of the computer all day, robotics engineer Mike Parris was tempted to leave the office environment for good in favor of working directly with his hands.

At the time, Parris was working as a robotics engineer at Carnegie Mellon developing the technology that would later be used on the Moon Rover expeditions. When his friends began building powder skis that could withstand an entire season of hard-charging in Jackson Hole, he knew that he too had found his calling outside of the office.

With a solid background in robotics engineering and automation, Mike brought his mechanical expertise to the group and helped streamline the equipment designs and manufacturing process – a decision that saw him leave behind the robotics industry for good in favor of crafting handmade skis.

“Let’s make some skis for ourselves; see if we can make something better than what’s commercially available.”


Today, Parris creates 100 pairs of the $1600 skis each season from his Igneous Skis workshop in Jackson, Wyoming – each of which is completely tailored to the different riding style of each customer from hand-processed wood and take approximately one month to design and build:

…and he gets to ski every day, too. Not a bad trade-off.

Find out more over at Igneous Skis.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.