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bay area california specialty ski shop

California Ski Company :  Who we are

With more than a collective century and a half of experience,
our staff can help you find the perfect gear setup.

Greg Whitehouse

Greg

Greg is the ever present owner of California Ski Company. Greg started skiing in central Pennsylvania as a small child. Moving to California as a teenager, Greg spent most High School weekends at Bear Valley. After college Greg was involved in the bicycle industry with Pacific Bicycle as part owner and general manager (www.pacbikes.com ). This job left most of his free time in the winter months. Most of this time was spent skiing and he continued to grow a passion for the sport. A  Masterfit Master Bootfitter, Greg is also a skilled ski tech. Racking up 20 plus days per year testing skis from our brands as well as others, Greg usually gets in 40-50 total ski days yearly from Sugar Bowl to Switzerland  to Chili. If it is winter and Greg is not skiing, you can find him here.  

Boot fitting: 15 years
Skiing since 1965
Favorite ski area: Sugar Bowl CA, Deer Valley UT, and Davos in Switzerland, to name a few.
Favorite terrain: Groomer cruising, powder skiing in trees, exploring the mountain
Skis: "I have a lot of skis. My current favorites are Head World Cup i.SL RD, Fischer Big Stix 110 (that I got to build at the Fischer factory), Wagner Customs, Fischer Watea (touring set-up), Skilogik Front Burners."
Boots: Fischer Vacuum, Dale Boot, Black Diamond Quadrant(Backcountry) are my favorites but I try a new boot each year - whatever seems interesting.
Binding preference: Kneebinding
Skiing style: "Focused on smiles; I'm over the adrenaline thing."

Martin Sulser

Martin

Martin is our lead ski tech and specializes in hand finished race tunes. Martin moved to the United States in 1960 to distribute Henke boots. They were leather but had the mind blowing feature of buckles instead of laces! That same year Martin opened Swiss Ski Sports in San Francisco with his fellow countryman Heinz Herzog. Heinz left to become president of Raichle ski boots, while Martin continued with his successful career as a ski retailer. After closing the retail store in 2004 Martin came to work for California Ski Company. In addition to running the shop, Martin continues the ski racing career he had begun in Switzerland and still successfully races to this day. Martin was the masters overall far West Champion in 2005. Previously he had raced with many of the greats including Franz Klammer and many others. Martin held the record downhill time for the famous Parsenne downhill course in Davos Switzerland, and has been presented with a winners trophy by the prince of Monaco. Martin, like many of us a Masterfit Master Bootfitter, has seen and done more in this industry than most and has the stories to prove it! Come by and hear a few for yourself. 

Boot fitting: over 50 years!
Skiing since 1937
Favorite ski area: St. Moritz
Favorite terrain: Groomers, bullet-proof race ice
Skis: Stöckli GS, Head GS
Boots: Head Raptor 115
Binding preference: Tyrolia and Salomon
Skiing style: hard core old-school racer

Paul Jacobs

Paul

Growing up on the east coast, Paul mastered carving at a young age. Utilizing expertise in the backcountry, Paul began a career at Marmot Mountain Works, where he helped skiers from all over the world gather the best knowledge and equipment available. After Marmot's unfortunate closing, he found California Ski Company where he has become head bootfitter and backcountry master. He loves to spend his time getting back into the wilderness, climbing, hiking and, of course, skiing. These days if not bootfitting, he's usually cruising around Alpine or effortlessly ripping Mammoth.

Boot fitting: 14 years
Skiing since 1963
Favorite ski area: Taos
Favorite terrain: Trees
Skis: Head i.Speed GS, Stöckli Stormrider 95, Fischer Ranger 108
Boots: Head Raptor 130, Lange Rx 130, Scarpa Maestrale RS (Backcountry)
Binding preference: Look Pivot
Skiing style: East Coast relaxed carver

Eric Kipp

Gary

A lifetime skier,  Eric purchased his first pair of custom ski boots with custom insoles in 1999. That pair of Salomon X-Scream boots changed how he viewed ski gear (and also  improved his skiing significantly). Since then, Eric has had amazing skiing adventures in the Western States and harbors ambitions to ski outside the US in the coming years.

Eric began working in the ski industry as a boot fitter at California Ski Company in 2013 following a career in the software industry.  He has worked diligently ever since to improve his boot fitting, insole molding and customization techniques.

Eric has also been chosen to represent California Ski Company at America's Best Bootfitters (ABB) Ski and Skiing Magazines annual boot test since 2014. Eric uses this opportunity to ski the coming season's new boot models and helps provide California Ski Company's bootfitters with significant insight into the fit and performance of new boot models. Plus he gets to hang around with the best boot designers and fitters in the world which is tough to beat!  

Around the shop Eric is a certified Master Bootfitter and handles our IT issues as well as many other aspects of the operation (did we mention he has a corporate background?)

Boot fitting: Since 2013
Skiing: Lifelong
Boots: Dalbello Panterra 130, Fischer Ranger 12.
Binding preference: none
Skiing style: "I have no specific style though I am a bit 'old school' and I try to ski pretty much all the mountain as conditions merit.
"

Erle Flad

Gary

Earl manages to get his hours in at Calskico as well as fulfilling his commitments as a patroller at Dodge Ridge for more than 15 years.

Earl has three children who have completed successful High School ski racing careers, one of whom has competed at the college level. Two of his children are currently are/were ski industry professionals as instructors and coaches.

Best house for staff parties. Best house to attend ANY party. Wax and Race expert. Rentals god. Shipping and receiving and a certified Master Bootfitter as well.

Boot fitting: almost 60 years!
Skiing since age 4
Favorite ski area: "I love 'em all, but in CA, Mammoth."
Favorite terrain: steeps and trees
Skis: "More than Winks! I especially like my Blizzard Brahmas, Line Supenaturals, maybe a good stiff race ski."
Boots: "Mostly Dalbello Lupo, but I am always experimenting with different boots."
Binding preference: "Hmmmmm... Salomon."
Skiing style: "The Godfather, The Don, The Man . . . should I continue?
"

Kimberly CollinsJordan Collins

Gary

Kim, a recreational skier her entire adult life, has spent her carer in the fields of office management and accounting. Seeking the perfect professional fit in 2013, she realized that what she really wanted to do was to enter the ski business utilizing her office management background; she found California Ski Company and her dreams came true.

Kim handles office work as well as managing our rental program. In off season, she works at Royal Robbins next door. She even persuaded Greg to hire son Jordan, keeping it all in the family — life is good for Kim!

 

Boot fitting: "I last fit into my size 2 jeans in '81...is that what you're asking? Did I mention that I RUN RENTALS?"
Skiing since the late '70s
Favorite ski area: Bear Valley
Favorite terrain: "Skiing trees with the girls from Head  and K2 teams."
Skis: "I run rentals; I ski what I want!"
Boots: Fischer Vacuum
Binding preference: "Anything but Marker; Did I mention I run rentals?"
Skiing style: "Straightest line to the Bar? Kidding. I don't really have a favorite part of the mountain. I guess I like the top the best."

Gregory (Winks) Winkels

Greg

Starting out on the Dark Side back as a young padawan (?), Winks was able to see the light and seamlessly made the transition to Skiing. Using knowledge gained from Snowboarding, Winks took an interest in skis and in the industry; the rest, as they say, became history. After working as a boot fitter in the Bay Area and then Tahoe, Winks finally landed his "dream job" at California Ski Company. He spends part of his time now as an assitant to Martin in the back room as well as continuing his role as a Master Bootfitter. Winks also handles our Facebook page and other aspects of marketing. Winks skis a ton and has never lost the zest to hit the slopes anywhere. One of his goals for 2016 is to ski every month – that's kinda' how Winks rolls...

Boot fitting: 10 years
Skiing since 2009
Favorite ski area: Sierra at Tahoe
Favorite terrain: Groomers, trails, park
Skis: Waaaay too many; just ask him when you come in
Boots: "Mostly Dalbello Lupo, but I am always experimenting with different boots."
Binding preference: Salomon STH
Skiing style: "Newschooler for sure! Freestyle, nearly all of my skis are mounted close to the center." According to Martin, Winks doesn't know what edges on a ski actually are!

Eric Goshay

Boot fitting: 4 years
Skiing since before he was born!
Favorite ski area: "Homewood, right next to my sweet, sweet Mansion in the woods!"
Favorite terrain: "I love trees and good steep lines. If off-piste isn’t so good that day, I'm more than happy bombing groomers."
Skis: Line Blend, Stockli Stormrider, Fischer Big Stix
Boots: Fischer Vacuum
Binding preference: Tyrolia
Skiing style: Interesting blend of old-school and new-school

Florian Soom

Gary

Born in the Swiss Alps in 1987, Flo started skiing at age 3. Since then, Flo has tried most things and trends, including snowboarding, telemark, kickers and rails (when younger), but found his passion in the backcountry. After taking many courses and avalanche trainings sessions, Flo decided to become a back country guide and he worked several seasons as a ski instructor in Switzerland and Kirkwood before ending up at California Ski company. Fluorine has Master Fitters Certification and specializes in back country boots.

Boot fitting: 3 years
Skiing since 1990
Favorite ski area: Cortina dampest
Favorite terrain: Backcountry
Skis: Dynastar Legend
Boots: Scarpa Maestrale (Backcountry) – Dalbello Blaze 120
Binding preference: touring
Skiing style: Freeride

Gary Kitagawa

Gary

Masterfit Associate Bootfitter Gary Kitagawa comes to us after a "first life" career as tax audit specialist for our great state of California. Gary is a Heavenly Valley property owner and spends most of his ski days on the South Shore. An avid fisherman, Gary journeys to Alaska annually and you won't find him complaining about 5 am and cold when it's time to go skiing. He does it year round to fish the bay as well! A Masterfit University Associates Plus bootfitting graduate, Gary will take part in all aspects of the store.

Boot fitting: since 2008
Skiing since 1968
Favorite ski area: Heavenly
Favorite terrain: Nevada side trees
Skis: Stöckli Rotor & VXL, Blizzard Bonafide
Boots: Dalbello Lupo
Binding preference: none
Skiing style: Like he never even touches snow; Gary glides over all terrain, making it look smooth and effortless.

Gary

Benelia Terry

We call Benelia "Aunt B" which says a lot. She can always be counted on for a smile and a hug. Benelia has been here since about the beginning of time and spends most of her time selling skis and accessories or working the front counter.

An expert on women's skis, Benelia never misses a demo or any other company event; she has skied most of the woman's skis made in the last decade or so. Benelia is also an associate level bootfitter, spends some time in rentals and even waxes the occasional ski. You can count on Benelia every weekend day that alma mater Cal does not play football.

 

Ty Walker

 

Ty Walker

Ty got his start skiing the icy hills of Virginia and Pennsylvania in 1991 and left the east coast to seek deeper snow after many ski trips to Canada, Colorado and Tahoe. When he isn't on the slopes or working in the Data Science field, whatever that means, you'll find him in the shop, likely discussing the merits and drawbacks of rockered skis with customers who are willing to lend an ear.

Ty is an aspiring bootfitter and ski tech, having begun to learn the the crafts during the 2015-2016 season under the watchful eyes of the Cal Ski MasterFit certified bootfitters and Martin, our legendary ski tech.

Boot fitting: 1 season
Skiing since: 1989
Favorite ski area: Kirkwood
Favorite terrain: Anything off-piste if the snow is good, otherwise I'm happy to strap on my race skis and set some groomers on fire
Skis: J Skis Allplay, Blizzard Gunsmoke, Stocki Laser SC, Stockli Laser SX (when my wife lets me ski it), K2 Hardside
Boots: Dalbello Rampage, and likely a Lange RS130 for the 2016-2017 season
Binding preference: Tyrolia Attack 13 for playful off-piste skis, Salomon STH2 WTR 13 for harder charging skis
Skiing style: (Old School + New School) / 2

 

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