Snowpals’ Top Pick for Bay Area Ski Shop goes to California Ski Company
California Ski Company is a premier San Francisco Bay Area’s ski equipment shop specializing in:
alpine skiing(aka downhill skiing)
backcountry – the only SF Bay Area ski shop specializing in backountry
expert custom boot fitting
professional ski tuning
high-performance ski rentals
What is most important to you when you’re looking to buy or get your gear serviced? California Ski Company provides stellar customer service and has an experienced, knowledgeable and capable staff with insightful answers to your product and gear questions. Most importantly, they care about your snow riding experience and have the track record to prove it — thousands of loyal customers.
“For more than 16 years, California Ski Company has been the Bay Area leader in specialty alpine ski sales, offering knowledge, expertise and experience that few volume retailers can. Our staff is what makes our store unique. We are a group of ski enthusiasts drawn together by the desire to work in a SKI ONLY environment where skiers come to learn about the latest and best products from people who spend every available moment using those products.”
Exclusive promotional offer
Receive a free beanie or cap with any purchase of $50 or more; just mention that you saw this video on the Snowpals website to get in on this promo.
“Please click on the thumbs up ‘like’ button if you find our Youtube video informative. Thanks!”
California Ski Company | 843-A Gilman Street, Berkeley CA 94710 | 510-527-6411
where: The FIT Potato Studio, 6894 Village Parkway Dublin, CA 94568
Are you in shape for skiing/snowboarding?
When October arrives, there’s less than seven weeks left until the start of the 2013-14 ski season. Are you in shape? Skiing and snowboarding is one of the most demanding sports, both mentally and physically. Whether on a ski holiday or skiing 30 days per year, sign up for our preseason ski conditioning boot camp to increase your enjoyment, skiing performance and help prevent common skiing and snowboarding injuries.
Common ski injuries involve the knee, particularly, a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury(see diagram below: source wiki)
Other common ski injuries involve ligament sprains, soft tissue bruising and joint injuries. For snowboarders, common injuries typically involve fractures(broken bones), joint injuries such as dislocations (when the joint surfaces are completely torn apart) and subluxations (when the joint surfaces are moved out of position, but not completely). Most injuries are the result of poor or no conditioning.
Skiing and snowboarding are dynamic activities that recruit multiple muscle groups. These activities are carried out on even and uneven surfaces and place high levels of stress on muscles and joints which increases the likelihood of injuries. Incorporating functional exercises to strengthen muscle groups of the quadriceps, gluteals and hamstrings help to prevent injuries and get you in shape for the ski/ride season.
Each class will focus on snowsport-specific exercises integrating strengthening, balance/proprioceptive, agility, plyometrics, flexibility/yoga and core training.
learn & develop:
proper knee alignment through training
plyometrics for power
interval training for stamina
stretching/yoga for increased range of motion and relaxation
Each class is unique. You will get a great workout that will get you in shape for the ski/ride season. We maximize training effectiveness by combining circuits, interval courses, drills, calisthenics and functional ski/snowboard-specific exercises(incorporating typical athletic stances, and engaging all of your muscles in movement patterns typical of how you would move when skiing/snowboarding).
The exercise format is fun and easy to follow and can be modified to any level: beginner to advanced. You’ll get in great shape and meet other like-minded ski and ride enthusiasts.
pre and post assessments included:
Included in this class is a fitness performance assessment that will take place on the first day(to set a baseline) and last day of each class(to measure your improvements). Fitness Assessments include a body composition test (body fat testing) and taking your body circumference measurements.
Francisco Gomez holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology; currently earning a Masters in Exercise Physiology; National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association(NESTA) Certified Trainer and award winning college coach. Francisco enjoys skiing and snowboarding at Squaw Valley.
Juan Gomez holds a B.S. in Business Marketing; currently earning a Masters in Exercise Physiology; top running athlete and cross-country running coach. Juan’s favorite Tahoe resort for snowboarding is Heavenly.
“No Time Like Now”
To quote a phrase, it’s never too late to get started. According to Linda Crockett, education director for the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors, “the six weeks before the season are the most important in strength training and anaerobic conditioning. Even if you haven’t been conscientious about training in the off-season, you should focus on a regime during these fleeting days before the snow flies. After all, you can’t get up to the slopes and expect your body to do something that it can’t even do on dry land,” she says.
Pre-season training is for everyone. Get fit and prevent injuries.
Our fitness assessments are included. Our workouts are different each day, our classes are never overcrowded, and our sessions are closed to the public once we’ve begun.
1. Submit the registration form below. Pay $20 to reserve your spot; the remainder of the balance is due on the first day of class. You will receive an e-mail confirmation within 24 hours that you have been registered.
2. If you’d like to try out the bootcamp, we offer a $25 drop-in class option. Keep in mind that the more frequently you go, you’ll get better results, and you’ll save more when you select one of our bootcamp packages described above.
*Please note that classes are non-transferable. Classes do not roll over and credit will not be refunded for unused classes.
For questions or to order a gift certificate: drop us a line via or call (925) 487-6115.
Sorry, you've already submitted this form.
*what to bring to class
Bring a water bottle, a towel, sunscreen(for our Saturday morning classes), gloves if you don’t like putting your hands in the grass, comfortable layers of clothes and athletic shoes. Most helpful is to bring your unworried mind, high energy and positive attitude!
* Win 1 of 5 VIP wine/beer tasting entry tickets by retweeting (RT) the following to help us get the word out.. ” @SnowPalsDotOrg Get 1/2 off Snowbomb Ski & Board Fest VIP Wine/Beer Tasting tickets at http://www.snowpals.org/2014/free-half-off-2014-snowbomb-ski-board-festival/ “ .. winners will be announced via our twitter feed @SnowPalsDotOrg
Powder Pass & VIP Pass Include the Following Lift Tickets/ Perks
Bear Valley Lift Ticket
Valid Sun-Fri, non-holiday
Holiday sates defined as: December 26 – Jan 4th, January 17 – 19th, February 14 – 16th 2015
China Peak Lift Ticket
Valid Sunday – Friday, non-holiday.
Holiday dates defined as December 26-31, January 1-4, January 17-19, February 14-16.
Badger Pass Lift Ticket
Valid Sunday – Thursday, non-holiday.
Holiday dates defined as December 14 – January 3, January 17-18, February 14-15.
VIP Pass Includes the above plus
Saturday – Wine
Sunday – Beer
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows
Buy one get one free lift ticket.
Valid Sunday – Friday, non-holiday.
Holiday dates defined as December 20 – January 3, January 17-18, February 14-21.
Life is about the friendships we nurture, the places we visit, and the memorable experiences we share; SnowPals invite you to join us to share skiing and snowboarding experiences that will contribute to your collection of life’s treasured memories. Join us to connect with skiers and snowboarders of all levels for Tahoe trips and ski/ride trips to other snow destinations. You know the story, after college, once settled in with a professional career, our circle of friends and activity partners become smaller by each passing year unless effort is made to reach out and connect with people who share common interests; well, here’s your chance. 😉
“Create ski and snowboarding memories today so when you’ll look back through the years, those are the moments that will be most vivid and will likely to triggered joyful smiles.”- Snowpals
What have adventure(s) you checked off your bucket list this year?
How do I join? Is there a membership fee?
We have a one-time membership fee of $20. This one-time fee helps us pay for web hosting, technical website services, group management and various operations such as facilitating Bay Area-Tahoe ride shares and organizing social events. Our aim is to help you connect with like-minded people, network with other Bay Area professionals, and generally, grow your circle of friends. Our activities include pre-snow season ski-and-ride movie screenings, social events, and parties. Snowpals is a dynamic, fun, friendly and engaging alternative to traditional ski and snowboard clubs for busy Bay Area professionals. Members range from newbies to experts in snow sports. Members ages vary from 18 to well into the 70s(single people and married couples with and without kids).
Membership perks include:
✔ Access to our Tahoe ridesharing members network of 8,025 members as of March 2017 (a free alternative to fee-based Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services)
✔ 10% off social events
✔ Entry into our swag and lift tickets raffle giveaway
✔ In the off-season, we may facilitate connections for outdoors activities such as hiking, road cycling, mountain biking, wakeboarding, surfing, etc. to encourage an active lifestyle.
Founded in 1999; as of March 1, 2017, we have grown to 8,025 members. Join us to celebrate 18 years of snow sports activities and connect with members for Tahoe trips. Here are some feedback from people who’ve joined.
A screen shot of a few postings from our forum:
** Once you’ve submitted the above membership form, we’ll contact you within 24 hours to request the $20 one-time membership fee via PayPal. Once payment has been received, we’ll send you an invite to join the forum.
* The group’s name was changed from Ski Pals to Snow Pals to include all snow sports (ski, snowboard, cross-country, telemark, back-country, and snowshoe).
Got a question? Drop us a line via and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Parting thoughts: Great all around ski. Can be a quiver of one ski.
What follows is a gear review of the Praxis MVP skis from your everyday working man who’s passionate about that sensation of floating on untracked powder:
I just finished three days on my new MVP’s and thought I’d tell you about them since there doesn’t seem to be much out there about them. I’ll start by telling you a bit about me so that you can determine if you want to take what I say with a grain of salt or decide that maybe this may be helpful to you. then I’ll describe my observations with this ski and you can do what you want with the info. My hope is that you will gain some sort of insight (good or bad) about this ski if you are in the process of pulling the trigger or not.
So, I am a early 40’s guy, 6’0, 205 lbs (athletic, gold medal at SF tri last year, scratch golfer that wins amateur tournaments), that is now able to ski again because my kids are now old enough to enjoy time on the mountain. I used to ski lots in high school and college and was considered an expert. Zipper lining was my favorite past-time. the bigger the bumps the better. I would also huck cliffs and anything else that would impress my friends and girls because I was fearless. They tried to get me to race in Nastar stuff, but I just wanted to rip around with my buds.
So, fast forward many years, three kids later and a great career. I’m back to skiing again and its like riding a bike. You never forget how to although it seems like “carving” is all the rage these days. When I learned, I was taught to ski as fast as you can in as strait a line as you can, keep your upper body pointed downhill and only pivot your skis to control your speed. I skidded my turns to control speed.
With this “carving” thing all the rage, my trusty 195 K2 5500’s weren’t going to cut it anymore so I bought some used Atomic Slalom skis and skied them all last season. They are pretty awesome skis and you can turn so quick in them. They are stiff as boards too.
Then all I kept hearing about last season is “rocker” and wide skis. So this year I bought a pair on a leap of faith without trying any. I orignally ordered Praxis Pist Jibs. Keith then recommended that I go with MVP’s and that’s what I did. Praxis MVP, 184’s, Medium/Stiff with Carbon/glass layup. Bindings mounted on boot center on dot indented on left side of ski. They are not nearly as stiff as my Atomics.
I skied them for the first time on Friday at Squaw. Basically all on groomers, the steepest terain being Siberia Bowl, but mostly on the runs off Shirley Express. I love moguls so was happy to see little bumps form. Anyhow, on Friday the skis felt very “spinny” or pivoty. They wanted to pivot at the slightest movement. I’m guessing my first experience with rocker?
The tails kept washing out on me and the tail tips would cross a lot. I also felt very forward on this setup and noticed that the bindings looked too centered on the skis. When the speed increased the tails seemed to behave a lot better and so I started seeing how fast I could go until I felt unsafe on them. At higher speeds, they would start twisting around on me. Its like there is some sort of speed sweet spot on these. Not enough speed and the tails misbehaved and too much speed and they start being thrown all over the place. I was not happy on Friday. I hated these skis. I wanted my Atomics back.
So after Friday I needed to do something about these skis since I dropped a boatload on them. I took the skis to the Squaw shop and asked them to remount them for me. The centeredness of the bindings bothered me so I eyeballed the binding position that looked right to me and asked the guys in the shop to remount them there. That ended up mounting the bindings with the boot center mark 4 cm behind the mark on the left side of the skis.
What a difference that made!! It is like a totally difference ski. Not sure of the technicalities of moving the mount position but it looks right now. Better for my old style of skiing? Don’t know.
By today, I’ve got them so dialed in and I feel I have total control over them. Not one crossed tip or tail, zip through bumps, great skidded turning and sometimes I would even get on the edges and carve some nice turns that felt locked into the snow and solid. I had lots of fun Saturday and today. I don’t feel a speed limit anymore and they are now stable at high speeds. I did plenty of beginner slopes too, teaching my kids skiing and these skis are much better when going faster.
Anyways, that’s what I have to say about these so far. Again only three days on these and all on piste. I feel like I have the control like my Atomic slalom skis with solid edges that I can lock into the snow, but also with the rocker for deeper snow that hopefully I’ll be able to experience soon.
I totally love them now and have confidence to do anything on them now. I have the feel of my Atomics in a modern form factor that will add to the terrain I can ski with them. I want to try the 187 to see if I can control them as well as I can mine at 184.
Those are my thoughts on these. Hope this review helps someone in the purchasing decision process . Take care!
Gear review by Joe Woo who mainly ski Squaw and Alpine; he’s based out of the North Bay.
Snowpals is looking for snowboard, related snow gear and apparel review contributors; if you have a unique writing style that engages the reader, to share a writing sample.
POWder Parties, Ski Bus Deals, Ski & Ride Vacation Getaway
Help us celebrate our 14th Season as a ski and ride community: engage in some fun at our annual season kick-off POWDER parties happening around the SF Bay Area – view photos from previous events!
East Bay, Berkeley POWDER party – Wednesday DEC 5, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM; 20% of event funds collected will be donated to Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts managed by New Your Cares; $5 event fee,view details & RSVP
Treat yourself, family and/or friends to a ski/ride destination vacation to Revelstoke Mountain Resort in British Columbia, Sun Valley Idaho / Grand Targhee in WY and Brekenridge / Vail in Colorado; get $30-$40 off these trips.
Pay at the door event fee: $5 – please complete the eventbrite registration to RSVP and to help us plan for this event. Due to space limitations, only 32 spots available for this event.
Included with every entry is a free Liftopia gift card. Also, light snacks will be provided.
For ladies, enjoy a “French Kiss”: a mixture of French Champagne, puree of white peach, and fresh raspberry, served in a champagne flute for $8.
For gentlemen: a glass of tasty Haraszthy Zinfandel for $9 (regularly $11). Tasting notes: “The nose of this vintage is full of berry aromas and in the mouth you will taste blackberry, spice, and a hint of vanilla.”
Please make a note to bring cash. For these special events, it’s cash only.
Sagittarian’s Secret Desire: To make a difference in the world
Description: Ruled by the benefic planet Jupiter, Sagittarians possess a natural exuberance, sense of adventure and love of life that makes them one of the most optimistic zodiac signs of all. Like their astrological symbol – the Archer – Sagittarians are renowned for aiming their sights towards whatever it is they find alluring – a love partner, dream job, vacation – and making it their own. They believe that anything is possible – and because of this belief system, Sagittarians are adept at seeking out their very own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
But sometimes trying to tie down these free-spirited individuals is frustrating for those around them. Sagittarians are happiest on the move – exploring new cultures and ideas and many are attracted to occupations related to travel, the media, outdoor work and philosophical pursuits. In love, their catch-cry is “don’t fence me in”. But once they find a partner who understands their need to retain their own sense of self and identity, Sagittarians can be the most big-hearted, generous and fun-loving companions of all.
Freedom loving, optimistic and honest, Sagittarians are ruled by Jupiter, the planet of abundance and higher learning. The wisdom of Jupiter imbibes Sagittarians with an inherent need to develop their own unique philosophy of life. The Centaur is their astrological symbol, and it gives many insights into the Sagittarian personality. The higher-evolved Sagittarian learns to integrate the two ends of the Centaur (half-human, half-beast) in order for their arrow (another Sagittarian symbol) of higher aspirations to be more on the mark. Although they are intellectually and spiritually advanced, Sagittarians are notorious for their lack of tact. In relationships they demand independence, but when in love, it can’t be denied that they are one of the most big-hearted signs of the zodiac.
If you were born on the first or last day of a Sun sign, in astrological terms you were born on a cusp. If that’s the case, you will probably benefit from reading your own Sun sign and the Sun sign that ends or begins right before or after your date of birth. For example, if your birth date is 22 December, your Sun sign is Capricorn, but you probably have some Sagittarian traits as well. ” – by Athena S.
Here’s a summary of 2012 Ski & Snowboard Movies & Films coming to the SF Bay Area:
As of October 22, 2012, minus seven days until the first Tahoe resort, Boreal, open their doors. Opening date for most Tahoe resorts typically fall on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. So, what’s there to do between now and then? Mark your calendar and gather some friends to watch one or more of the following 2012 ski & snowboard films/movies coming to the SF Bay Area, and score a free lift ticket*..
*Most showings will give out a free mid-week 2012-13 lift ticket or a 2 for 1 lift ticket coupon/voucher.
Warren Miller’s Flow State shows multiple dates at Northern California locations; starts on November 7, 2012; see below. Ticket Pricing varies from $20, depending on location.
“Warren Miller’s 63rd annual ski and snowboard film will take you into the zone…the moment…the groove…the center…the Flow State.
Warren Miller’s Flow State guides viewers to the top of the world’s most striking peaks, taking you on an exhilarating journey across the globe to Norway, Austria, California, Switzerland and beyond. The powder in Japan will send you scrambling to tune-up your gear, the gravity in Telluride will have you scheduling an avalanche refresher course, and the steeps in Alaska will drive you to push a little harder during your next preseason workout. Winter is right around the corner, and it is time to enter the Flow State…where the mountain meets the mind.
Hosted by Jonny Moseley and showcasing celebrated athletes including Colby West, Chris Davenport, Jess McMillan and David Wise, Flow State throws down some of the most captivating footage ever shot by Warren Miller Entertainment. Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety takes on Alaska’s mighty Chugach, Julian Carr bombs down Utah’s famed Wasatch, Jackie Paaso explores the Norwegian Arctic and Chris Anthony makes Warren Miller history on 70-year-old, 10th Mountain Division ski equipment. Roll-call winter’s finest athletes, because they are all here – embodying the essence of the Flow State and tackling the mountain with absolute attention and deep confidence.”
*Film showing includes TWO – 2 for 1 lift ticket, one for Heavenly, and one for Kirkwood:
“BUY-ONE-GET-ONE FREE(BOGO) LIFT TICKET OFFER TO HEAVENLY Everyone attending Flow State will receive One (1) 2-FOR-1 lift ticket voucher to Heavenly*.
BUY-ONE-GET-ONE FREE LIFT TICKET TO KIRKWOOD* Everyone attending Flow State will receive One (1) 2-FOR-1 lift ticket voucher to Kirkwood.
*Buy One (1) adult lift ticket at the retail rate and receive a second lift ticket for FREE. Both tickets must be used on the same day. Offer valid from Opening Day of the 2012-13 season through 4.14.13, with the following restrictions: NOT VALID on Saturdays; NOT VALID 11.22.12 through 11.25.12, 12.15.12 through 1.01.13, 1.19.13 through 1.21.13 and 2.16.13 through 2.18.13. Not valid with any other discount offers. No cash value. No refunds.
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA Wheeler Auditorium 101 Zellerbach Hall #4800 University of California, Berkeley, California Showtimes Thursday, November 15, 2012 – 8:00pm
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA Castro Theatre 429 Castro St, San Francisco, California Showtimes Friday, November 16, 2012 – 8:00pm
SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA Marin Center 10 Ave of the Flags, San Rafael, California Showtimes Saturday, November 17, 2012 – 8:00pm
PLEASANTON, CALIFORNIA Amador Theater 1155 Santa Rita Rd, Pleasanton, California Showtimes Sunday, November 18, 2012 – 7:00pm
SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA Rio Theatre 1205 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, California Showtimes Tuesday, November 20, 2012 – 8:00pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012 – 8:00pm
MODESTO, CALIFORNIA State Theater Modesto, California 1307 J Street, Modesto, California Showtimes Friday, November 30, 2012 – 6:30pm Friday, November 30, 2012 – 9:00pm Saturday, December 1, 2012 – 4:00pm Saturday, December 1, 2012 – 7:30pm
Resonance brings shred fans deep into Absinthe’s world of powder and powerful riding with the legendary pros such as Nicolas Müller, Gigi Rüf, two times Olympic silver medalist Danny Kass as well as Scotty Lago and nine more heavy hitters riding in misty locations from the Alps to Alaska.
Free Sierra-at-Tahoe early season 2012-13 lift ticket with paid admission. Not sure on exact restrictions, check with Sierra at Tahoe.
Tickets are $10 and are available at the following snowboard shops or at the door: SF Snowboarding 1630 Haight St., San Francisco, CA Milosport 3566 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA
October 30,2012 TGR’s The Dream Factory shows at the SF Palace of Fine Arts.. Follow the Teton Gravity Research modern day athletes on this cinematic voyage through Alaska’s awe-inspiring expanse, rich history, and colorful characters. Watch as the TGR crew ventures from Alaska training grounds Jackson Hole, WY, and Pemberton, BC, and delves deep into the Alaskan way of life during a record snowfall year in AK, skiing terrain most of us only dream about. Everyone in attendance at the San Francisco premiere will receive TWO FREE midweek lift tickets, one for SQUAW VALLEY/ALPINE MEADOWS(a $92 value) and the other lift ticket for MT BACHELOR. Buy discount movie tickets and join Snowpals for conversations and drinks before the movie.
Powderwhore Ski movie: Choose Your Adventure – Despite the underwhelming winter of 2011-12, in which snowfall reached near record lows and unstable avalanche conditions, the Powderwhores were able to make the most of the conditions at home and abroad, with trips to Cerro Castillo, Chile; La Grave, France; the Antarctic Peninsula; Svalbard, Norway; Mount Foraker, Alaska; British Columbia, Canada, and the Wasatch Mountains in Utah.The film features an array of characters from salty backcountry veterans to some of the top skiers and snowboarders, including Chris Davenport, Jake Sakson, Andrew McLean, Seth Wescott, Dylan Freed, Noah Howell, Matt Reardon, Drew Stoecklein, Forrest Coots, Ian Provo, Neil Provo, Chuck Mumford, Darrell Finlayson, Bob Athey, PY Leblanc, Jason Thompson,Todd Stuart and Hugo Harrison.”Remember the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books? We are playing with that theme for delivering this ski odyssey.” says Powderwhore athlete and founder Noah Howell. “Our interest lies in finding exotic locations and people with real stories and objectives. We wanted to tag along and capture their actions and motivation for heading into the mountains. It’s more of an authentic experience this way. Instead of a staged video shoot we arranged, we traveled light and moved fast to avoid interfering with the actual adventures unfolding.”Chris Davenport joined the filming while on a boat on the Antarctic Peninsula. “I have had the opportunity to ski on the Antarctic Peninsula three times and it has quickly become one of my favorite places in the world for ski mountaineering,” Davenport says. “I love life on the boat, and the easy access to incredible ski terrain make it hard to beat. Throw in the amazing wildlife and gorgeous ocean views and you have a location second-to-none for the new film ‘Choose Your Adventure.’In the end, this is a feature-length ski film that celebrates exotic locations, wild adventures, and the dedicated personalities writing their own stories in snow.Proceeds benefit Snowlands Network.
The San Francicso Bay Area and Silicon Valley is at the heart of new technologies and innovations that benefit society and improve our lives.
At Snowpals, we love to support innovators and those who are passionate about making our world a tad better. Every week or so, we’ll feature a Kickstarter project that we feel merit visibility and funding support. If you have a Kickstarter project you feel passionate about and would like to have it affiliated with Snowpals, .
Introducing this week’s featured Kickstarter project:
Designer’s experience: “In our day jobs, we design components and systems and manage suppliers to deliver them. Our “portfolio” includes work on the Airbus A350XWB airliner, the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, James Webb Space Telescope and others.”
What is this project about?
Waterproof case mounts your iPhone anywhere. Secure quick-release adapter, wide angle optics, free app for wireless control and share.
Click on the ‘play’ button to watch the prototype case in use:
Launched: Oct 29, 2012
Funding ends: Nov 19, 2012 at 1:00 PM PST/4:00 PM EST
$13,924 raised as of 11:05 AM on Nov 19, 2012
time left to reach goal: 72 minutes to go as of 11:45 AM on 11/19 – project ends at 1:00 PM PST/4:00 PM EST on Monday Nov 19 2012
We met in LA while working as engineers designing aircraft and satellites. We started this product about a year ago coming back from a trip to the lake after realizing that we all cautiously stowed our iPhones in ziploc bags. We wanted to use our iPhones to record outdoor video, but found that nothing existed to address our need. We siezed the opportunity to design something our friends would be excited to use.
Paul: Paul is a surfer, skier and mountain biker who spent college winters in Tahoe and now builds telescopes. Paul is responsible for the optics and web development.
Tim: Tim is a snowboarder and volleyball player who has been controlling vibration on aircraft and spacecraft for the last 6 years. Tim is responsible for app development.
Zoltan: Zoltan is a mountain biker and snowboarder who was making flight control systems for 6 years before going to USC to get his MBA. In his spare time, he volunteers with FIRST (high school robotics) team 1197. Zoltan is responsible for mechanical design.
Alex:Alex is a surfer, snowboarder and volleyball player who worked as a materials engineer in semiconductor manufacturing before going back to school at UCLA. He is one of the founders and now serves as an advisor to the team.
Where we are now and how we will close with the Kickstarter pre-sales:
We’ve designed, prototyped, and then redesigned the case and mount over and over. We’ve performed a lot of analysis to ensure it works well and can stand up to abuse. We’ve been using the product and improved on all the things you only discover after testing something in the real world.
We met with our manufacturing partners and inspected their factories. We collaborated with them on the design to ensure that it is producible and affordable. We developed the app, designed and manufactured samples of our custom lenses, and completed our 3D printed mounts. The time has come to build injection molding tooling for manufacturing the production run of the case.
This is where you come in: The Kickstarter funds are dedicated entirely to tooling and material for the production run. We specified the highest grade of tooling for the best surface finish and part consistency. We’ve taken the project this far, now it is up to you to help us bring this project from prototype to production.
So if you are ready to start getting great video from some creative angles, lock in your pre-order now. You know Kickstarter isall or nothing so tell your friends about iconic.am and share it on Facebook, every contribution level helps.
schedule starts after funds are processed (typically 2 weeks)
Week 1: place orders for injection molding tooling, place order for die casting tooling, place lens order, place die cut material order
Week 2-3: set up assembly tooling with rapid prototyped parts, die cut components (screens, acoustic pass-throughs, sticky pads) arrive
Week 4-5: injection molding tooling finished, proved out, prove-out units assembled, prove-out units tested for IP rating (waterproofness)
-Optics Accuracy: We have a preferred vendor that we chose based on their technical capabilities rather than price. We bought and tested lenses to our final specification from them.
-Injection Molding Tooling Producibility: Our vendor has provided quotes based on final CAD models, but there will almost certainly be details that need to be worked out. We plan to mitigate risk by being co-located with our vendor during the detail design phase of the tooling and initial production.
-Case Waterproofness: We performed all of our testing with rapid prototyped parts. They are not as waterproof (because they’re porous) as the final injection molded parts will be. We dunked our iPhones with these prototypes plenty of times, but our waterproofness rating tests need to be performed on production parts. This presents a schedule risk that we will mitigate by testing design elements in mock-ups. For example: a tube machined to look like the optics portion of the housing assembled with real optics, o-ring, and retainer to test that seal. We are working with a vendor that produces IP rated sealed electronics and incorporated their recommendations into the design of the iconic.am case.
Our Risk Mitigation Qualifications: In our day jobs, we design components and systems and manage suppliers to deliver them. Our “portfolio” includes work on the Airbus A350XWB airliner, the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, James Webb Space Telescope and others.