How to Custom Graphics: Part 2 (Wood Veneers)

by Wagner Skis / Feb 02, 2023

You've decided to do a custom graphic/wood veneer for your skis, but now what? While some people see this as an immense opportunity for creativity, others find it overwhelming and don’t know where to start. This is the second of five articles helping you hone in on places, avenues, and ideas to find and kick-start your creativity.

Let's talk about wood veneers.

A pair of Wagner Custom wood veneer skis sit in front of a wood pile
A pair of red gumwood skis from Wagner Custom Skis

What are wood veneers? 

Wood Veneers are very thin wood sheets that we press onto the skis to show off the incredible wood grain. Some reasons why we love wood veneers are: 

1) They are so sexy and simple. 
In fact, Wagner’s "Graphic Guru" Heather Baltzley chooses a wood veneer almost every year for her skis because she can never decide which graphic she wants.  

2) They are still customizable. 
We can engrave small logos, meaningful phrases, or other small graphics to make your custom skis really yours. Be aware that the laser is programmed for a specific format, and additions/changes to the format mean a custom-laser charge from $150 - $300 (depending on the addition).

How to select your wood veneer

Well, it’s really up to you! If you are going with an engraving you want to pop, a lighter wood is best. If you want an engraving, your name, or the Wagner logos to be more discreet, choose a darker wood. A few examples:

Pau ferro wood veneer from Wagner Custom SkisPau ferro wood veneer

Pau Ferro comes to us from Brazil and Bolivia. Color can be highly varied, ranging from reddish/orange to a dark violet/brown, usually with contrasting darker black streaks. Narrow sapwood is a pale yellow and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Every batch of Pau Ferro veneer we get is different, your skis are guaranteed to be unique!


Camp Bird Spruce

Camp Bird spruce wood veneer

You cannot get the Camp Bird spruce from anywhere except from us! Two spruce trees were planted in front of the Camp Bird mine above Ouray, Colorado 100 years ago. In an effort to preserve the buildings, the old trees had to be removed and we now have a part of that history. 

Chenchen wood veneer

From tropical Africa and Southeast Asia to Telluride, chechen is an attractive and versatile wood that has become increasingly more popular due to its resilience. Our Marbled Chechen veneer's pale yellow-cream base showcases fluid brown to dark brown marbling that evokes movement and begs for speed! 

See All Wood Veneers

Overall Design tips: 

1) K.I.S.S (Keep it simple skiers!) 
This is self explanatory. Simple, pointed designs almost always turn out better than complex, busy designs. 
    2) A few laser restrictions:

    • Wagner’s engraving laser cannot do full width or length engravings as the laser burns over your sidewalls. (Note: we learned this the hard way.) 
    • We cannot do engravings really close to the tips or tails. The laser is designed to burn a 2-dimensional surface and physically can't maneuver for the upturn of the tip or tail.
    • There’s no depth or color with an engraving. Simple line drawings or black-white artwork is the secret to success with the laser. 

      3) Don’t be afraid to be abstract. 
      People generally see skis from at least 5 feet away, which is a great opportunity to be abstract with your engravings.  

      To start your custom journey, click here.



      How to Custom Graphics: Part 1 (Vector Graphics)
      How to Custom Graphics: Part 3 (Original and Existing Art)
      How to Custom Graphics: Part 4 (Photography)
      How to Custom Graphics: Part 5 (Putting it All Together)


      Article by Tatiana Armstrong

      Tatiana Armstrong is a former in-house graphic designer at Wagner Custom Skis. She has been a sucker for skiing since she was in the womb, and will do whatever it takes to get some untracked turns. 


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