Faces in the Crowd : Doug Bachand
You might find Douglas Bachand shredding the mountain up at Terry Peak in the winter. His love for skiing and engineering led him to open his own small business of making skis.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — A place where nature and a thrill seeker meet – the ski mountain. Ask Doug Bachand what he enjoys about skiing, and you’ll understand his passion behind his business.
Doug Bachand, Owner of FullSend Ski Co., says, “Mainly because it’s just you and the mountain, you’re just kinda out there basically pushing yourself as hard as you wanna go. And you’re really kind of one with nature, just nice and peaceful and relaxing. It makes me happy so, I always like to paraphrase, you want to always be skiing happy because that makes the best ski day as possible.”
A recent School of Mines graduate, Doug majored in industrial engineering – pair that with a passion for skiing and a small business was born. After years of saving and buying skis, Doug came to a revelation, saying “And it got to the point where like, I really like all the skis I purchased, but I thought, I think I can combine my favorite aspects of each ski and build a better one.”
He became a part of the Ascent Innovation Center at the School of Mines Campus where he has a manufacturing space to build skis. With two and a half years of building under his belt, and lots of trial and error, Doug is offering customers a semi-custom built product with pre-built options to choose from and customize, including color and art work. Skiers can demo the different types of skis and decide what is the best fit for them. One stand out feature is that his ski cores are made from bamboo.
“They look very different than anything else on the hill, and they ski very uniquely. It’s gonna be hit or miss with a lot of people on whether or not they are actually going to find these skis as the best fit for them, but for the right set of people out there – they’ve got like a really unique flavor as far as how they ski. They are just very fun and funky and extremely different.”
A job that doesn’t seem much like work, Doug hopes his ski business will snowball as the years go by, but even if you pass on his custom skis, he wishes only happy trails to all on the mountain.
“It might not work out for everyone and that’s fine, because we want them to get out there and have the best day of skiing that they can, whether or not that’s on my skis or someone else’s skis, as long as they are having a happy ski day.”