Building the best skis is a fascinating combination of modern technology, latest materials, advanced machinery and handcrafting. Each AUGMENT ski is built from over 35 parts using over 200 processes and amazingly over 80% of those 200 processes are fully handcrafted.
All AUGMENT skis are manufactured using the prepreg compression moulding (PCM) method. After creating CAD files of the designed skis, the bottom and top ski moulds are precision manufactured using HSC milling machines for each length of the ski. The cost of a precision-made aluminium mould is €8,000 to €10,000 and one mould can be used to produce up to 2,000 skis.
Before the skis can be manufactured a lot of preparation work has to be done including the following:
- Wood core laminates/hybrid laminates for each ski model manufactured from up to 30 pieces of multiple species including; ash, poplar and paulownia
- Top sheet graphics printed using sublimation printing
- Racing full wrap edges have to be pre-bent using CNC 3D edge bending machines
- Ski parts such as race base, titanal sheets, phenolic sidewalls, PA racing top sheets, fibreglass, carbon and kevlar prepreg sheets are cut using a high precision CNC machine to the tight tolerance
First, the parts are hand laid into the bottom mould in a pre-defined order and then the ski is covered with the top-mould for pressing. The pressing is done using specifically built hydraulic autoclaves. The autoclave processing is used in the manufacture of superior quality structural components containing high fibre volume and low void contents.
The pressing is one of the most critical parts of the manufacture of high-end skis.
The pressing process gives the ski its unique features. The pressing time, temperature (120 – 180°C) and pressure per 10cm ski length section are optimised per AUGMENT ski model.
After cooling, the skis are finished using grinding and sanding machines. The bases and sidewalls are prepared using a combination of belt sanding and stone grinding machines. The edges are also then bevelled and polished.
Next, each ski’s flex is measured and matched up into pairs. This is again a high-precision operation by hand to test for flexibility and camber. After the skis are paired, the AUGMENT ski builders make certain that they are well matched by bending the skis into their final form. In the final stages, the steel edges are fine-tuned and polished giving them the razor-sharp finish. The final step before the skis are ready for their maiden voyage is waxing.