wagner skis - summit 106 - 5050
(Photo/Morgan Tilton)

Wagner Skis Launches New Factory Summit Series Lineup — We Put It to the Test

The Factory Summit Series (which dropped in spring 2022) provides a more accessible made-to-order ski setup with a faster turnaround and more economic price tag.

Wagner Skis is recognized in the U.S., and probably elsewhere, as the foremost company for customized skis. This year, the boutique ski company released the Factory Summit Series lineup, which narrows down and simplifies the specialization of building a made-for-you ski.

Instead of imagining a brand-new model from the ground up, skiers can select a handful of design traits from a menu of pre-established options. The process offers the best of both worlds, blending custom selection with off-the-shelf design.

In short: The Factory skis ($1,450) are stock models that can be personalized and manufactured in a speedier production process. The skis also bill at a lower cost compared to a completely custom construction.

This season, we signed up for the Factory build: The entire experience was premium, and the skis were playful yet bomber.

wagner factory skis melissa plantz
(Photo/Melissa Plantz)

A Rundown of the Factory Summit Series Skis

Wagner Skis isn’t replacing its iconic custom ski build. The brand is widening its product offerings to help more skiers get the gear they want.

“If you have a trip planned, need to get on nice skis, and don’t have time to do a full custom process, this is a great option for that person,” explained Pete Wagner, owner of Wagner Skis.

“The idea is that this process is straightforward: You pick out the right length, make a decision about the stiffness and graphics, and we quickly put them together for you.”

Pete-Wagner-1
(Photo/Pete Wagner and Wagner Skis)

To start, skiers choose among four profiles that are each tailored to their broad goals and general snow conditions:

Summit 97: All-Mountain Resort

  • Profile: Early rise tip, camber underfoot
  • Width (mm): 97 waist
  • Sizes (cm): 161, 168, 175, 182
  • Best for: A powerful driver for versatile conditions inbounds, corduroy, or powder

Summit 105: Touring

  • Profile: Rockered tip and tail
  • Width (mm): 105 waist
  • Sizes (cm): 164, 171, 178, 185
  • Best for: Backcountry tours

Summit 106: 50/50

wagner skis

  • Profile: Moderate rocker with subtle tip and tail taper
  • Width (mm): 106 waist
  • Sizes (cm): 165, 172, 179, 186
  • Best for: Splitting time between groomers at the resort and skinning in the backcountry

Summit 107: Off-Piste Resort

  • Profile: Traditional camber with minimal rocker
  • Width (mm): 107 waist
  • Sizes (cm): 165, 172, 179, 186
  • Best for: Wider all-mountain ski that offers smooth stability in crud

For each ski, folks choose between a softer, standard, or more aggressive flex pattern. Patrons can opt for the Flow Bundle, a $300 upgrade that reinforces the base with extra-thick material, as well as stronger sidewalls and edges for improved durability, more speed, plus easier repairs.

The topsheet art options are organized in three galleries full of hundreds of choices, including nearly 100 ski maps designed by famed artist James Niehues. Lastly, “most people send us a boot, we mount the binding, and then send it all back to you,” added Wagner.

Niehues works in his home studio in Parker, Colorado; (courtesy of J. Niehues via Verde PR)
Niehues works in his home studio in Parker, Colo.

Compared to a fully custom ski, the Factory production takes only 1-3 weeks to receive — other companies typically take 3-5 weeks to deliver similar pre-manufactured, personalized builds, noted Wagner — and costs $545 less than Wagner’s fully custom ski.

Built From Recycled Avalanche Debris

Following the historic avalanches of 2019, Wagner decided to source the fallen aspens around the brand’s headquarters in the San Juan Mountains of Telluride, Colo.

The Factory Summit 106 and 107 are among the brand’s first skis to incorporate the locally harvested avalanche-collapsed trees.

“The materials we choose for each ski are dictated by design intention — our custom ski builds have more than 1,000 materials to choose from,” said Wagner.

“For the Factory designs, we chose concepts that are really good for the resort and as a daily driver for skiers in western North America, where people generally ski a wider ski.”

First Look: Factory Skis Summit 106

Wagner Skis and shed mplantz
A lineup of the Wagner Factory Ski collection; (photo/Melissa Plantz)

A hybrid design, we tested the Summit 106 uphill and downhill on hardpack corduroy, chalky runs, and ice-packed descents as well as soft snow, slushy grooves, and light powder.

The Summit 106 has Wagner’s new aspen wood core and a base wrapped in carbon fiber stringers. We went with the 165cm length in a standard flex with the Flow Bundle, which Wagner recommended for the rocky terrain.

The ski is a moderate weight and, despite being wider set, is fairly nimble without feeling snappy. The Summit 106 isn’t the heaviest to slide uphill, but it’s not a dedicated tour setup and isn’t for weight-conscious speed missions.

On the other hand, the mass and strength of the build allow this ski to perform super well across variable terrain, plow through choppy snow and chunder, and we never experienced chatter.

Wagner Skis - summit 106
(Photo/Morgan Tilton)

Compared to other, more aggressive all-mountain skis, this profile felt centered and easy to drive at the resort. The ski charged down hardpack steeps in the Elk Mountains and maneuvered well in tight terrain.

Overall, the Factory Skis Summit 106 is an excellent contender for skiers aiming to split time between the resort and backcountry in a wide range of conditions. And, of course, who doesn’t like a custom look?

Check Price at Wagner Skis

Morgan Tilton
By

Morgan Tilton is the Senior Editor, Buyer's Guides, Snowsports for GearJunkie and is based in Crested Butte, Colo. More broadly, she's an adventure journalist specializing in outdoor industry news and adventure travel stories. A recipient of more than a dozen North American Travel Journalists Association awards, when she’s not recovering from high alpine or jungle expeditions she’s usually trail running, mountain biking, or splitboarding in Southwest Colorado, where she grew up and lives today.