My name is Graham Sparks and I am 24 years old (12/09/1987). Right now my workshop space consists of a barn and a basement at my parents house in Little Compton, RI. In order to support my dream of creating Grizzly Boards I spend my summers working in a fine woodworking shop building custom staircases and doors and also working landscaping jobs. Through the summer months I spend my nights and weekends working on new designs, testing different materials, and building a stock of test skis.
In the winter, I relocate to Colorado where I work as a ski- and snowboard-tuning technician. This allows me to be in the mountains and around the culture of skiing. Skiing is simply the love of my life. The sense of freedom that comes from riding big mountains and deep snow is unsurpassed in any other facet of my life. The people who share these values are a passionate, loving, and eccentric breed, and it’s an honor to be involved in such a tradition.
Through word of mouth marketing and allowing passionate skiers like myself to test the designs I bring with me to Colorado I’ve been able to build a considerable amount of demand for Grizzly Boards. This $25,000 would allow me to afford a singular workspace of my own to manufacture, market, and perfect my skis. Most importantly, this grant would allow me to continue to be uncompromising in using the finest materials available to me. I currently sink every dollar I make into purchasing the best, sustainably harvested poplar, pine, and bamboo woods; the strongest fiberglass, carbon fiber, and epoxy systems; and the most beautiful wood veneer top-sheets.
Grizzly Boards uses only American craftsmanship and top of the line materials to create a handmade ski of the highest quality. The company is rooted in creativity, passion, innovation and adventure and the skis we make are a reflection of these ideals. How we make skis is neither fast nor cheap, but it certainly yields the best product, and like Mr. Jack Daniels himself, we would have it no other way.
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Grand Prize in the
Jack Daniel's Independence Project Contest