After 20 years in the ski industry and skiing for 40 years, I had an idea and I went with it.
Looking back, whenever I went to a ski hill it was always when I skied with a local that I had the best skiing. Sure you arrived with friends but it was that local knowledge that made it that much better. Which line of trees could be flowed through without getting cliffed out, where was the snow the best, what lift had the fewest tourist, and where was the best place to grab a beer.
The idea came to me on the chair lifts. I was skiing on a |Monday, no one had the day off so I was heading to the back bowls of Blackcomb for a couple laps solo. Jumped on the chair, sat silently for a few towers before I asked how is day was and where he was riding. Four more towers and I learned he was there on the trip of a lifetime with friends who were taking lessons. A few more chairs and I was pointing at areas he should ski and talking about where the pockets of snow should be. By the top, I pointed over a ridge and said I'm going up there to a place called spanky's. I offered to take him up and over and show him a line if he was up for it.
Spanky's ladder is only about 30 steps up but it takes you into a whole new world. Watching his eyes light up with awe. With a few turns and stopping, turns and talking, and waiting. Taking twice as long as it normally does, we dropped to the cat track and down. By the end of the run, you would have thought he was in knee deep champagne all day. One was enough, but he couldn't thank me enough.
This is what lead me to thinking there has to be a way for people to meet up and just shred. So I thought "what about an app"
2 years later... and Playtu was born
Playtu is for people who didn't want to pay for a lesson or take a blue run sight seeing group around a hill. It was for riders who wanted to ride where the locals do. I am too old for tinder and grindr wasn't my scene so I thought how can i connect with locals other than buying rounds of beer at the pub the night before. From there, it took off as connecting with riders who like to ride where you did and at the same level. Not only when travelling but when you're just bumming around your home mountain with no pals with the same days off.
With no history in tech and only an idea, I spent days drawing on my bedroom wall in crayons laying out features and design. Through a whole season of talking to friends, writing down every idea, drawing lines and doing layout, an idea was born. This was the first step in creating what would become Playtu. Have a dream (besides bottomless powder) and go for it. I don't know if it will succeed but the process and trying to get it to market has all been worth it.
I started beta testing in February of 2020, then COVID hit. The worst possible timing for a launch. Now with restrictions lifting, and hopefully a full season ahead of us, I am hoping that Playtu connects riders who just want to share their passion for powder.
The idea is simple: choose social over social media.
The take away: chase your dreams like you do Pow.
It seemed simple, but what a trip it has been.