Local entrepreneur Eric Sampson wants skiers to protect their skis and eyes with two of his new products: eco-friendly ski wax and team goggles.
A competitive skier since childhood, Sampson got into the ski accessories business about eight years ago when he founded Event Gear, an online storefront based in Glenwood Springs.
Known locally for its brick-and-mortar bike shop, Sampson Sports, 819 Grand Ave., Sampson has specialized in outdoor recreation for decades. But his latest products bring him a little closer to protecting the environment and people who share his passion.
Developed by a team of researchers, Speed Glide Competition Wax blends lubricants and hydrophobic elements within a synthetic wax matrix to provide skiers with coefficients of friction as low or lower than high fluorocarbon waxes and based on hydrocarbons.
“When you melt these waxes on your skis, they don’t give off the typical noxious fumes found in other petroleum-based waxes,” Sampson explained, holding a solid block of black wax in his palm. her hand.
The biodegradable wax comes in four types – hot, cold, medium and universal – to meet a wide range of skier needs and prices range from around $30 to around $90, depending on the formula.
“There is no paraffin in the wax, and although the recipe is proprietary, I can say it’s made with all natural ingredients,” Sampson said.
Born in Denver, Sampson grew up in Winter Park, where he discovered a love for ski racing. In 2015, he and his wife moved from Denver to Glenwood Springs for the area’s year-round access to mountain recreation.
“We wanted to get back to the mountains, and while I love skiing, we wanted to be somewhere that existed outside of the ski bubble that surrounds some resorts,” Sampson said.
After opening Sampson Sports, which supplies riders with everything from brake calipers to bike racks, Sampson was approached at a bike race to supply event organizers with gear bags for riders and vendors . A niche was discovered and Event Gear was born, he said.
Product designer, whose ideas often start on towels or anything close to it, Sampson’s second offering this season is a set of ski goggles he designed himself.
Dubbed Team Issue goggles, the optics offer an impressive array of features, including magnetic lens swap, anti-fog coating, fleece contact points layered over two sections of compression foam, and notches in the frame making the glasses compatible with the wearing of prescription glasses underneath. .
“My philosophy is to always want to provide the best quality gear for myself and my customers,” Sampson said. “I think these goggles are the culmination of the best features and materials on the market.”
Priced at around $180, the quality and features of the glasses rival models from big brands, like Oakley, which sell for double or triple the price, he said.
Made overseas, Sampson said pandemic-related shipping issues put some problems in its supply chain, delaying the eyewear’s release in domestic markets until recently. But, he said, the product line is ready to launch and could soon be found at local retailers. For now, Speed Glide Wax and Team Issue Goggles can be purchased from the Event Gear website, http://www.event-gear.com.
“Some people think maybe I’m too old to keep doing this,” Sampson said of his entrepreneurial endeavors. “But I like it. I can produce really good products that meet a need.
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at email@example.com.