Main Project Plans and Inspiration: Retro Skiing

I believe my personal aesthetic emerged when my dad took me skiing for the first time at a very young age. Ever since skiing has changed my life and dictated where I move around the world. The more specific aesthetic I am trying to achieve for my final project is Retro Skiing. The retro ski aesthetic primarily draws from the 80 design movement of the 20th century, which included crazy patterns and neon colors. The Retro Skiing aesthetic displays the neon and vibrant colors of 80s fashion, and emphasizes the style and fun in skiing. I plan to implement this aesthetic in my main project by making a vintage ski bench.

[1] Skiers riding up a chairlift in the 1980s

The Retro Skiing aesthetic started primary in the 80s. During this time period, there was a new age influence in the sport. Freestyle skiing became professional in the 80s which allowed for a much more relaxed and entertaining style of skiing. Freestyle skiing was also advanced due to the increasing number of wide powder skis on the market, which were improved versions from the first models in the early 70s. The ski industry was growing as a whole during this time. This enabled ski resorts and ski apparel brands to improve their lifts, snow conditions, and equipment for this new generation of skiers. Freestyle skiing gave the sport new life, and made professional skiing more relaxed and more about style.

[2] Skier catching air in Taos with all vintage equipment

My dad was the one who got me into skiing at the young age of three. He grew up skiing and passed on his experiences with me, taking me out skiing while I was growing up. Whenever he would go on ski trips on his own or with me he would buy vintage ski posters from different destinations to hang in my room, which accustomed me to the Retro Skiing aesthetic at a young age. My dad grew up learning to ski in this 80s freestyle wave of skiing, and he passed those aspects of skiing on to me.

[3] One of my first days of skiing; [4] Snowboarding with my dad; [5] Backcountry skiing with my dad

The 80s era of skiing was influential for the sport, because it allowed for the emergence of freestyle skiing. My main project will stay in this aesthetic. I am pursuing this aesthetic of Retro Skiing for my final project because freestyle skiing has been a large part of my life, and the Retro Skiing aesthetic is very vibrant and interesting.

[6] Ski bench inspiration photo

I plan to implement this aesthetic in my main project by making a vintage ski bench. I was inspired to pursue this project when I thought back to when I was skiing in Canada, at a resort that had benches all around the resort made out of snowboards. These benches had one board for the seat and one board for the backing. I plan on making a bench using the bottom sides of skis, using only old, skinny, retro skis to incorporate the retro skiing aesthetic. I plan on making supports with steel tubing that is bent into legs and supports for the backing. Doing preliminary research for my project, I have found several sources on second hand sites selling retro skis.

I am excited to start this project and portray the aesthetic of Retro Skiing. This aesthetic has a cool and meaningful history to me and I cannot wait to create a functional piece to portray the Retro Skiing aesthetic.






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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Ethan Polacsek
    February 28, 2024 2:43 pm

    Duncan I think this is a very cool idea and very influenced by your childhood. The Retro skiing aesthetic colors and designs are super interesting and I like seeing the benches and chairs people make out of old skis. How are you going to source materials for this project? Old skis may be hard to come by.

    • Duncan Laird
      March 6, 2024 8:51 am

      Hi Ethan, thanks for reading my post. I plan on sourcing the steel for the supports from a local steel manufacturer in Golden, and I plan on sourcing the old retro skis from Facebook marketplace, where I have already found several good and cheap options.

  • Your passion for skiing and its influence on your personal aesthetic is evident and inspiring! It’s fascinating how your personal experiences with your dad introducing you to skiing at a young age, have shaped your aesthetic preferences. The Retro Skiing aesthetic you’re pursuing for your final project reflects your love for the sport well and also showcases the cool elements of skiing in the 80s. I like your idea of creating a vintage ski bench, especially with the intention of using old, skinny, retro skis to capture that specific aesthetic. I’m curious, what challenges do you anticipate encountering while bringing this project to life, and how do you plan to overcome them?

    • Duncan Laird
      March 6, 2024 8:53 am

      Hi Max, I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I anticipate the supports of the bench to be difficult. I expect the old skis to bend a good amount when sat on so I will need to carefully plan where I place my steel supports.


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