Meet Mike McCabe, a CU Boulder alumni and Co-founder of Folsom Skis, an influential company that manufactures fully custom, all-mountain alpine skis. Mike was born and raised in Loveland, Colorado, where skiing became a large part of his life.
Mike majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at CU Boulder. He participated in many extracurricular activities during his tenure and the CU Freestyle Ski Team was one of his favorites.
Mike has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and when given the opportunity to start Folsom Skis with Jordan Grano, he took the chance. Folsom Skis has been operating for nearly 15 years! Folsom Skis creates a fully personal experience by taking the time to get to know each customer, their terrain preferences, experience level, and ski goals to generate a product that works best for them. From the flex profile and camber all the way down to the graphic design, Folsom Skis will create any ski you want or need! They even have over 200 graphic designs that customers can choose from and also allow the opportunity to create a fully custom graphic!
About Folsom Skis
The idea for Folsom Skis came to Mike around 2006 as he was completing college. Jordan Grano reached out to Mike with a general business plan to create a custom ski company. Jordan felt that Mike’s ski experience would make him an excellent fit for testing product designs. Mike also had a large ski network and a background in manufacturing operations.
For two years, Mike and Jordan worked together developing various products and polishing their manufacturing skills. After testing and building hundreds of prototypes, Folsom Skis fully launched in 2008. Although the launch was during the largest economic crash in US history, the duo focused on strengthening their customer service relations and manufacturing techniques. Eventually, Mike fully took over Folsom Skis and began establishing a new team.
Folsom Skis wants winters to be cold and snowy for generations to come! The skis are 100% manufactured inside their private manufacturing facility located in Denver, CO., Unlike many other ski companies who manufacture overseas. Folsom Skis also operates within sustainable boundaries and aims to be significantly more environmentally friendly than others in the industry.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Folsom Skis had to cancel many of their events and was not able to provide demo tents at front-range ski resorts. However, Folsom Skis’ sales skyrocketed this season as a result of the public’s increase in outdoor activity. Their production for custom skis remained unaffected by the pandemic because they manufacture inside the US.
The Covid-19 pandemic also brought about a new manufacturing opportunity for Mike and his team. Mike wanted to assist our local Boulder community and began producing personal protective equipment (PPE) within his manufacturing facilities. They had access to materials that allowed them to produce face shields, loop compatible face shields, and plexiglass barriers for restaurants and grocery stores. Mike decided to operate this side venture on a break-even model because the goal of this product extension was not to profit off of the situation, but rather to do what they could to assist our community during the outbreak. You can view these products here.
Future Plans and Upcoming Projects
Folsom Skis’ pricing varies throughout the year. Currently, they are running a summer promotion where custom skis are at their lowest price of the year and will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. View the Folsom Skis website to secure your discounted custom skis for next season before it’s too late!
Aside from their summer sale, Folsom Skis does not have any upcoming events. For updates on events, view Folsom Skis’ Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Blog. In the past, they have hosted events at local bars and restaurants in Denver, operated formal pop-up demo tents on front-range mountains, and allowed customers to tour their manufacturing facility!
Folsom Skis is also in the process of a shop expansion and has released 25 more graphics for customers to choose from while designing their skis.
Advice for Current Students
Mike provides the following advice for current students:
“Ultimately, have fun. Use your education as a foundation for understanding how to communicate with other people and navigate through problem-solving. Try not to hyper-focus on your current major, it’s possible to branch out from that once you’ve graduated. Try not to stress about all the minute details, just have fun and try to retain as many of these experiences as possible!”