Kingfisher Heliskiing Custom Fleet

They [Skevik] have been on my personal ski radar for some time now. I love the fact that this ski fits within my hundred mile ski diet, and love to support local companies that deliver up shreddable products. We are both small companies that cater to a specific unique market. Matt “Pinto” Devlin, Owner/Guide at Kingfisher Heliskiing

Lovely words from one of the key figures behind the newest heliskiing operation in Canada, Kingfisher Heliskiing, Skevik’s latest partner and our first custom shape, design client.

The team at Kingfisher comes from a long background and history of guiding. They serve up a very unique product that focuses on customer service and creating unforgettable mountain experiences. When the opportunity to work together with them materialized, we were all over it.

Owners/Guides - Tim "Shanks" Shenkariuk (left) and Matt "Pinto" Devlin (right).

Matt really liked our Loken 116 in the deep snow, as it was great for a wide variety of turn shapes/sizes and the early-rise tip really helps with initiating those turns. However, he did have a few tweaks he wanted to make for himself and for all his future clients who hop on Skevik Skis when riding the Central Monashee terrain that Kingfisher calls home.

It is nice to be growing alongside a newer ski company. We look forward to a great relationship with Skevik Skis. Matt Devlin

Pinto, as he’s come to be known, wanted to reshape the Loken’s tail, making it flatter and squaring it off. This allows him to engage the sharp corner of the tail in more dense snow by rocking back slightly, using it to dump speed without losing the fall line or having the ski wash out. This would also offer up more surface area of the ski to be in contact with the snow, helping with landings and stability at the end of turns. It’s a different style than the slashing and surfy feel that we’ve generally sought, so we were stoked to diversify and try out some new theories. There really is no wrong way to slide down a mountain.

Given that we’d need to reprogram the CNC machine for the base anyway, we decided to take the customization a little further, seeing it through to an appropriate conclusion.

Base cutting Kingfisher's custom tail.
Cores profiled and shaped.

By flattening the tail, the ski gains more surface area/running length, so the mounting location got pushed back accordingly. An additional 40mm, from true center, than the Loken. With this change we had to adapt the sidecut and move the radius back to maintain the 116mm girth underfoot.

The final adjustment came because the new tail wasn’t going to be tapered. If we stuck with the 26m turning radius from the Loken, the tail would have increased in width. This was something no one wanted as it would increase float and not release as easy at the end of the turn. To solve this problem we turned to a progressive sidecut, which is essentially joining two different arcs to create a dynamic turning radius for the ski. Starting with a 26m radius (tip) and finishing with a 32m (tail), we were able to maintain a similar tail width and not sacrifice the original Loken’s performance.

We finished a couple skis with this year’s Pell graphic, integrating the Kingfisher branding amongst the intricate design. However, most were done in a clean, simple black motif, featuring a translucent, green Kingfisher logo, showcasing a hint of our maple wood core. The end result: the Kingfisher, or the “Black Mamba”, in honour of Matt’s dog and long time pal who recently passed.

Custom Kingfisher shape and graphic.

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