Bringing Passion to Life

01 Mar 2020

Bomber Skis Build Community

Winter 2019/2020

Written By: Michelle DeLong | Images: Carson Meyer, Lindley Rust and Courtesy Bomber Ski

Gov Carrigan knows a good ski when he sees one. Carrigan, who is the visionary behind Caldera House’s Mudroom and Nomad ski shops, has spent his entire life immersed in ski culture. He spent his earliest days carving around on snow in the Catskill mountains, where the town hill functioned as his babysitter. In college, he ski raced in northern Vermont. When the self-described “small-town guy” found the urge to chase the infamous deep snowpack and varied terrain out west, he naturally gravitated toward Jackson.

“From the moment I got here, things just started to fall into place,” Carrigan says. “I felt at home, and I felt it was a small enough community but with big enough opportunity. There is this incredible mix of like-minded people here, all gathered for the same reason.”

Carrigan worked as a ski tech in several shops in the valley before landing a position at Pepi Stiegler’s, where he worked for 20 years, first running the tune shop before taking on customer service, buying, and management roles. At Pepi’s, Carrigan learned how to fill Jackson’s niche for high-tech ski
tuning and customer service. When the opportunity to create Caldera House’s two ski shops in Teton Village presented itself, it was a perfect fit for Carrigan.

“Caldera House had the same vision that I did for specialty shops and products,” Carrigan says. “Everyone can buy ski gear on the internet these days, so what makes them return to a shop? I believe the answer is customer service and the overall experience. Caldera House was willing to take that to the next level.”

Bomber skis, which are available for rent or purchase from Mudroom, certainly tick all of the “next level” boxes. They’re the brainchild of the most decorated American male Alpine skier of all time, Bode Miller. The legendary gold medal Olympian and World Cup Champion is a principal owner of the ski company, and Miller has played an integral role deeply influencing both the company’s ski design and overall culture of excellence. After all, it was Miller who popularized modern ski shapes in the early 1990s, and his eagerness to test the limits of new technology propelled his career.

Miller has always been deeply involved with the companies he represents, and in the process, he has learned a lot about ski design and technology. Before joining the Bomber team, Miller noticed an unfulfilled niche in the market.

“I felt it was a shame that companies weren’t building high-quality skis for the consumer,” Miller says. “Quality skis were almost always specifically race skis.”

"It’s all about bringing people something unforgettable. I saw a perfect alignment with my ethos, with what Caldera House was doing, and with Bomber skis." Gov Carrigan

So, with Miller’s guidance, the already forward-thinking Bomber Ski company began to apply high-quality, competition-level construction for the needs of the modern consumer. The result? A ski that appeals to everyone from the beginner to an ex-racer, including Miller himself.

As a small-batch, boutique ski company, Bomber is able to remain nimble when it comes to product innovation. All of Bomber’s products, which range from GS race skis to wide powder skis have, as Carrigan puts it, “a unique feel and incredible edge control.” According to Miller, the skis, which are hand-crafted at the Bomber-owned factory in Italy, “offer the stability and versatility of a higher-quality ski.”

Bomber also sells apparel, helmets, and even curates “Bomber Experiences,” which include adventures like heli-ski trips, racing clinics with Miller, and backcountry getaways. The experiences are meant to bring the red carpet treatment Miller enjoyed as a celebrated ski racer to the public. From informative clinics and events to unforgettable dinners with wine pairings in the Italian Dolomites, the experiences provide skiers of all levels with something to remember.

“It’s a way to connect with people, give them something unique, and expand on their knowledge,” Miller says. “A big part of skiing is knowledge… we try to provide that in these experiences.”

Some Bomber experiences are open to the public, while others, like powder-chasing trips to Japan and heli-skiing in Alaska, are available only
to members of the Bomber Ski Club. The club exists to connect like-minded people and create a community with skiing at its core.

The community aspect of Bomber really spoke to Carrigan, who appreciates the tight-knit nature of ski towns and culture. He intuitively knew his customers in Jackson Hole would benefit from Bomber Skis, both from a performance and a community aspect.

“It’s all about bringing people something unforgettable,” Carrigan says. “I saw a perfect alignment with my ethos, with what Caldera House was doing, and with Bomber skis. My job is all about giving the general public the passion of the sport, and it’s the passion of the people behind those experiences that bring them to life.”

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