BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – There’s only one person in Buffalo who builds skis from the ground up: Jonathan Capozzi, the owner of Former ski company, and News 4’s Kelsey Anderson was invited to his Larkinville boutique to see how they’re made.
That day, Capozzi built a snowboard. It was just the second he created. He hopes to have boards available this winter, along with his skis. WATCH the video above to see the process it takes to make a board, which he says is similar to making his skis.
Son of an entrepreneur, Jonathan has always loved working with his hands. He also grew up outdoors and enjoys enjoying the cold Buffalo winters.
“What’s the saying?” he asks. “Whether you like winter or not, you have the same amount of snow. So you can choose to enjoy it or complain about it and most people at WNY don’t complain, they like to go out and do it. WNY has a truly unique ski culture.
A few years ago, he combined his passions and created Vieux Cru.
He found a co-working space and went there every day after working as a high school tech teacher to get the business off the ground. He spoke with people in the ski industry and spent 300-400 hours designing and building a press that he uses as the final step in building his skis.
“It was a lot of drilling in solid steel,” he laughed, thinking back to the construction of the press.
Over the past year, he has taken the plunge and quit his teaching job to pursue his profession full-time. And since then, he has sold skis to people across the country.
“This year I sent skis to Boise, Idaho and I sent a few to California, (I) sent two pairs to Denver and Minnesota,” he said. “There were Canadians… people from Ohio and Pennsylvania too.”
And skis are not only aesthetic. Using a person’s height and weight, where they normally ski, their technicality and more, it comes up with a unique design for every customer who orders a pair.
“I can use more or less carbon fiber, more or less wood, fiberglass; the different ingredients that go into skiing,” he said. “Each pair is made to order and designed for a specific customer. I don’t do anything for stocks.
And you certainly don’t have to be an expert to own a pair.
“I also have a lot of clients who just want to take the Kissing Bridge lift and go skiing with family and friends.”
The price of each pair of skis ranges from $999 to $1,299, depending on the customization desired. To learn more about Old Growth Ski Company, Click here.
Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning presenter and journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.