Then & Now - Jeff Buckman
As we head into our 45th season, we took a minute to ask some of our long-time employees about their time here. With a legacy as a family business owner and a local ski industry expert, pour a cup of coffee and read about what Jeff Buckman, owner of Buckman's Ski and Snowboard Shop, had to say.
Q: What are your best memories from the early years of the ski shop?
A: It was just myself and a few part-timers in the early years. When the shop got busy, I would call my mom and dad to come in and help. They would drop what they were doing and get to the shop asap! I miss those years of working alongside my mom and dad taking care of customers! When we fell behind in the workshop, dad and I would come in at 6am and mount Salomon 444 bindings before we opened at 10am. We made quite the team getting a lot of skis mounted before opening!
Q: How have things have changed for the company since then?
A: Oh my, many things have changed. I would say that we are more specialized now with people working in various areas. Staff in skis & boots, snowboards, outerwear etc.. I used to buy everything for our inventory. Now we have buyers dedicated to the various departments. We sell a lot of product on the internet and certainly back in 1971 the internet wasn’t even thought of. Products sure have changed and are far better then they were 45 years ago. When I think of what we used to ski in and on compared to now, wow, what a difference. The same goes for outerwear, the technology in each garment is awesome compared to the so called good old days!
Q: What are some of the key innovations you remember in our industry over the years?
A: Solid edges instead of edges with screws, fiberglass in skis and boards, Gortex, snowboards, wicking base layer, socks, bindings, goggles that don’t fog, wax, boot liners
Q: What do you like best about skiing?
A: Time with family and friends, being outside in some of the most incredible scenery, and the atmosphere in a ski town at the end of a day.
Q: What is your favorite place to ski and why?
Q: What are your weather predictions for this season?
A: Zermatt, Switzerland because of the variety of terrain, and the huts you can go into for lunch or a break. Also, being able to ski into Italy is pretty cool as well!
A: Over the years I would get excited when early predictions for lots of snow were made by the experts. Now I just wait until I can measure it. So, for this winter I will wait. It has to be better then last season though. Last season was the warmest in history so we got that out of the way and look forward to a colder snow filled winter here locally this year!
Q: What is one piece of advice you could offer to a new skier or family of skiers?
A: If you are new to skiing or snowboarding, take a few lessons. More people just go and get disappointed and think it is hard. Take a few lessons and then practice. Don’t depend on your friends to show you, they are not instructors…take a few lessons. Then hang out with your friends to practice.