This is the second of 5 articles helping you hone in on places, avenues, and ideas to kick-start your creativity.  

Custom graphics makes your ski topsheet an infinite canvas for self-expression. While some people see this as an immense opportunity for creativity, others find it overwhelming and don’t know where to start. 

Part 2: Wood Veneers

What is it? 

Wood Veneers are thin, wood covering that we press onto the skis to show off the incredible wood grain. 


Why We Love Wood Veneers: 

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.  

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 like Figured Sassafras is a great choice.

If you want an engraving, your name, or the Wagner logos to be more discreet, we love Quilted Makore


Some Cool Wood Veneers Choices: 

Pau Ferro

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!

 Stranahan's White Oak Barrel

This unique veneer comes from the American white oak whiskey barrels that previously aged Stranahan's Colorado Whiskeys. The oak barrels were disassembled, kiln dried, cut into veneers and laser-engraved.

American white oak is used for whiskey barrels because tyloses in the grains prevent water from penetrating so the barrels don't leak. The oak barrels are charred and cured which introduces flavors of vanilla, caramel, and nut to Stranahan’s premium expressions. Those same tyloses help dampen vibrations in skis, as well as being a very dense and durable veener for a topsheet.


Marbled Chechen

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!) 
    1. This is self explanatory. Simple, pointed designs almost always turn out better than complex, busy designs. 
  1. A few laser restrictions:
    1. Wagner’s engraving laser cannot do full width or length engravings as the laser burns over your sidewalls. (Please note that we learned this the hard way.) 
    2. We cannot do engravings really close to the tips or tails. The laser is designed to burn a 2-d surface and physically can't maneuver for the upturn of the tip or tail.
    3. There’s no depth or color with an engraving. Simple line drawings or black-white artwork is the secret to success with the laser. 
  1. Don’t be afraid to be abstract. 
    1. People generally see skis from at least 5 feet away, which is a great opportunity to be abstract with your engravings.  


Article by Tatiana Armstrong

Tatiana Armstrong is an 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.