Ready to Romp: ROMP Skis is a classic, garage-start-up story — now they’re making Colorado’s raddest custom skis
These ain't your grandma's custom skis...
When Morgan and Caleb Weinberg made their first skis in 2010 in Morgan’s garage, it was just a fun project for the two brothers. Being lifelong skiers and major gear junkies living in Crested Butte, Colorado, it was the kind of thing they were stoked to try themselves and to let their friends try: ugly, homemade boards, handcrafted with love and whatever materials they could get their hands on.
That first season they made around eight pairs of skis, says Caleb Weinberg. And the response from their friends was insanely overwhelming.
“We put our friends on them because they're like, ‘what the hell are those things?’” Caleb recalls. Those first skis weren’t pretty, he admits, but they were crowd pleasers right out of the gate. Everyone came back, grinning from ear to ear, blown away by how hard the Weinberg bro’s skis romped.
“The feedback that we got from that was what made us think that we could do this as a business.”
Thus, was born ROMP Skis.
Image courtesy of GunnisonCrestedButte.
The very next year the brothers leased their first factory space in Crested Butte and got to work. Not just making skis — but making custom-built skis unlike any other company in the game. These guys geek out on equipment nuances — it’s always been something of an obsession of theirs, says Caleb. They revel in the opportunity to design a pair of skis to fit a person’s style of skiing like a glove.
“My brother and I are gearheads. Ever since we were kids, we’ve liked reading about specs on skis and everything, pouring over the magazines,” says Caleb.
When they first started making custom skis that presented a problem: not all of their customers understood (or cared about) the nitty-gritty gearhead details that went into designing a custom pair of skis just for them. So, the Weinberg’s had to change their tactics up.
“Over the years our process for the custom skis has evolved so that we spend almost the entire interview talking to the person about their skiing,” Caleb says. Instead of asking what kind of camber or stiffness their customer likes, they ask them what kinds of terrain they ski, how aggressive they are, what aspirations for skiing they have, and so on.
“We take our knowledge of skis and apply it to their skiing, and design the ski around their skiing,” Caleb says. “But as a customer, you don't need to know anything about the ski.”
That means, the ROMP Factory is constantly shifting around; redesigning, realigning, resizing the machinery to pump out one custom pair of skis after the next.
Image courtesy of GunnnisonCrestedButte.
The end result is a ski that is truly, authentically unique to its owner. There aren’t many companies on this side of the planet that are making custom skis — and none of them are making their custom skis like ROMP. Their skis are a perfect blend of technical, high-performance capability and playful, all-mountain flair. When you get on a pair, you realize instantly that they were designed by people who really understand how to make a fun ski.
And, these days, their skis look really sick too, with a huge lineup of top sheet deigns to choose from. Or customers can submit their own designs that the guys at ROMP are more than happy to slap on your custom skis. They’ve come a long way from those first eight ugly pairs they made in 2010.
Just a small sample of topsheet designs, ROMP's customers can choose from.
Caleb adds that, for those customers who might not be able to afford the price-point on their custom pairs, ROMP also offer a "Romp Ready" line of skis that sell for a flat rate $750. Which is not only, extremely reasonable, but given the quality of these skis, it’s a steal. The ready-made line rides just as hard as any of their custom skis — they just won’t be specifically custom designed. You’d be hard pressed to find a better bang for that kind of buck, anywhere.
To the Weinbergs, it’s more about their customer’s experience riding on the products of their passion. Caleb and Morgan love making skis, and hearing how much skiers love to ride them is really rewarding, he says.
“My favorite part about making these skis is when I get feedback from the customers,” he says. “When we get a call from someone who’s just raving about their skis, it’s really fulfilling to hear.”
The ROMP ski factory is in central Crested Butte, at 420 Bellveiw Ave. If you’re in town stop by and take a peek behind the wizard’s curtain — you’ll be able to peruse their line of ready-made skis, as well. Or, simply check out their website and browse their rad inventory virtually.