words by Jason Tross
By now you’ve probably heard about, or seen photos of, Josh Bibby on Moment Skis. What you haven’t heard is how his latest sponsorship move came about, what it means for him and a small company like Moment and what will come from this new relationship.
Bibby is moving up as a senior in the skiing game. His extensive competition schedule and film shoots with Plehouse and other production companies keeps him busy every year. But Bibby wanted his professional skiing career to be more than busy. He decided parting ways with his ski sponsor K2 was the first step into a large pool of change.
“K2 was good to me,” said Bibby.
“K2 Skis are really fun to ski on. But they [K2] said I was their comp guy, and that’s what it came down to. I’m more than just a comp guy. I’m an all-round skier. I like doing competitions. I think they’re fun and it’s important to do. I also really enjoy just skiing and filming. They had their idea of what I should do for skiing – kind of what I should do for them. That more or less meant me doing competitions. They didn’t care so much if I had a video part. Spyder really supports me in that aspect. I just wanted something more like that for my ski company. I’d rather be with a company that supports all aspects of my skiing,” he added.
Bibby started looking for the right company to fit his style. But winter was approaching and a pro skier needs sponsors and especially needs skis.
Luke Jacobson is the VP for Reno-based Moment Skis. He’s been scouting all around Tahoe and found a few local rippers for the Moment team – just in time too. The 2007-2008 season is Moment’s first run at full-time production. Jacobson will be exceptionally busy as he prepares to graduate the University of Nevada at Reno with an engineering degree. At the cost of one girlfriend, some grades and countless sleepless nights, he, Moment Skis Owner Casey Hakansson and a few other guys hand-make skis in their north-Reno factory. While production was going well and the team continued beating the hell out of their skis, there was still a void. That’s when they found the solution.
“When we got the email from Josh’s manager, Fergie [Cancade], we already knew about him,” said Jacobson.
“We were instantly excited just to get Josh on some of our skis and see what he thought. We knew he was doing a lot of riding over the summer on reverse-camber skis from what we saw in web videos,” said Jacobson
Bibby’s queries about Moment proved to be an uncanny event and just what both parties were looking for. Moment is the first ski company with a reverse camber park ski. Bibby was spending more time finding exactly what kind of ski best fit his skiing style.
“It just seemed like he had some good ideas as to the main direction skiing was supposed to go. Even though we saw him on K2 Hellbents, what we really noticed was the fact he was playing with a powder ski in the park and we liked that,” said Jacobson.
Nearly a month of emails and conversations went by between Bibby and Fergie and Moment. Contract negotiations were almost seamless, according to Bibby and Jacobson.
“With Moment, I didn’t have to try and explain to them – you know, how you do when you’re trying to get sponsored and you send in your resume and be like, ‘here’s why you guys should be pumped on me. Well they were already pumped on me,” said Bibby
“I had a two-year proving period before. That’s not something you really wanna hear, ya know? It feels like you better prove yourself or else. And that may not be what they intended, but that’s definitely what I got from it,” said a relieved and relaxed Bibby.
Last weekend’s Esurance Icer Air was Bibby’s first appearance and experience on Moment Skis.
The Big Moment
Bibby threw down hard on his new skis, but unfortunately didn’t make it to finals. He placed 13th and Moment couldn’t be happier. He already came back with exactly what they wanted.
“I skied on the Reno Jibs and so far I like them a lot,” said Bibby.
“They’re lighter and stiffer. When I was jumping on the Jibs it felt weird because they were so light. I’ve just been getting into wider and wider skis every year,” he added.
The verdict was in and Moment got their first bit of feedback from the new guy.
They reviewed his information, partied at the after parties and partook in customary shenanigans of any major ski event. Bibby loaded up in the 1980 Moment Skis Ford Sportsmobile Van and headed for the factory in Reno, Nevada to start work on his first ski.
“We love making skis and we love making different skis even more. Josh has a lot of experience with different companies and a lot of different skis,” said Jacobson.
“Having someone like him who can work on skis with us and help us is great. With Josh being a dedicated pro skier, traveling and skiing full time, that’s going to help us out so much. Josh is always pushing the skis to the highest level. We know we’re going to get good feedback from Josh because he wants to be involved,” he added.
“I feel great about Moment. They’re all about new and different ideas. Nothing is shot down right away. It’s always trying to build up that idea rather than saying, ‘no that won’t work,’ or, ‘this probably won’t work.’ It’s more like, ‘lets try it and see what happens.’ They take a positive approach to each idea,” said Bibby.
Bibby’s ideas are already being put together. Jacobson and Hakansson were generating CAD drawings at the factory Tuesday and hoped to press something soon. Bibby also spent a few hours designing top sheet graphics with Moment Art Director Max Miller. As of Wednesday night, Bibby was pulling his first skis out of the presses.
“It’s still really early right now, so there’s a lot to work out,” said Jacobson. But Bibby is going home with new skis just days after even tossing around the first ideas about the ski.
“It’s funny because they say it might take a while and it’s only like two weeks. The turn-around time for an idea to turn into a reality is really fast. It’s like, ‘let’s try this,’ and BANG, it’s done,” said Bibby.
As winter rolls into North America, the testing grounds are forming for Josh Bibby and Moment Skis. While none of the interviewed parties wants his ski’s conceptual ideas out in the open, they will say it will be the best all-mountain ski any of them can imagine. Now comes the fun part – testing back home.
“Josh is always positive and has a smile on his face. He’s always having fun and that’s really important to this company. That’s why we’re here and that’s why we ski,” said Jacobson.