Almost exactly three years after a horrific career-ending crash at the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships, Bode Miller returned to the valley to ski. This time, instead of barreling down Beaver Creek’s double-black Birds of Prey downhill at highway speeds, he was carving aggressive S turns, and turning the heads of awestruck beginners on Swingsville, a groomer that gently meanders down Vail Mountain’s front side. Having established himself as one of the world’s fastest men on skis, the five-team Olympian was taking his time on Swingsville, putting a handsome pair of $1,600 handmade Italian carving skis through the paces to provide feedback for product engineers at Bomber Ski (bomberski.com), a Manhattan-based ski company with a Madison Avenue storefront he co-owns with real estate mogul Robert Siegel.
“I skied my whole life trying to be better and faster, and I always felt that the skis were maybe not where I wanted them to be,” says Miller, 41, who pioneered the first shaped skis with K2 in the mid-1990s. “Throughout my racing career, I was known for innovations on the equipment side of things, so when I was done, I wanted to own a company that really was innovative and trying to make things better. Here we are several years later and I think we’ve accomplished that.”