Wagner Custom Factory Team Athlete Lets Fly at “The Bird.”

Wagner Custom Skis announced today that team athlete Silas Chickering-Ayers of Mad River Glen, Vermont, captured the top podium spot at the Snowbird event of the Subaru World Freeskiing Tour.
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Wagner Custom Factory Team Athlete Lets Fly at “The Bird.”
Chickering-Ayers Grabs Top Spot on Podium

Snowbird, UT (March 19th, 2012) – Wagner Custom Skis, the Telluride, Colorado-based leader in custom ski fitting science, announced today that team athlete Silas Chickering-Ayers of Mad River Glen, Vermont, captured the top podium spot at the Snowbird event of the Subaru World Freeskiing Tour. In just his second season on the tour, Chickering-Ayers has established himself as a dominant competitor among a deep field of new, young talent.

“Silas is just amazing,” claimed CEO and Wagner Custom Founder Pete Wagner, “He has such a solid technical background coming from Vermont, and has been through a lot in the last year. We are so stoked he came out on top in Utah.”

Skiing in variable and relatively firm conditions, competitors on the Freeskiing World Tour charged a rowdy line on Snowbird's North Baldy and Silver Fox terrain. Chickering Ayers commented, “Coming from Vermont seemed to really help for this one, the conditions on the finals day were less than ideal, with an inch or two on top of refrozen corn snow.”

Dropping in on his final run, the 19 year-old went big in several areas, capping an aggressive and stylish run with a 360 off of “Fields of Glory.” “Even considering the conditions, I knew everyone would still be charging hard and stomping their runs, so I lined up some pretty big features and it ended up working well,” Silas added, “There are some big names in the past list of champions here at Snowbird including my brother Lars, and to be a part of that is overwhelming.” At last year's Snowbird competition, Chickering-Ayers earned the coveted Backcountry.com “Sickbird” trophy, a silver belt buckle that is given to the competitor that elevates his or her game the most on a given run.

This year, Chickering-Ayers drew his inspiration from a special pair of skis that Wagner Custom built with him this fall. The design (136-115-128) was determined to strike a balance between agility and good flotation, the sugar-maple and ash cores provide a predictable and comfortable ride, and the entire base and sidewall is reinforced with Aramid for impact protection. The ski was designed specifically for big mountain riding: a smooth, round, flex pattern with a medium stiffness in the tail for landing huge airs. The topsheets have a graphical tribute to his friend and teammate “Flyin” Ryan Hawks who was tragically killed in Kirkwood, California last March.

“Having Ryan on there is really special, and a constant reminder of his enthusiasm and spirit,” Chickering-Ayers commented, “Especially in the start gate when the nerves are going, it is important to have confidence not only in your skis but also in yourself. Looking at Ryan getting ready to drop, I know he would be there relaxed and always offering words of encouragement. I'll always be looking up to Ryan.”

Chickering-Ayers and the rest of the FWT competitors head next to Moonlight Basin in Montana from March 22nd to the 25th, and then wrap up the tour at Kirkwood on April 4-9th.

About Wagner Custom Skis
Wagner Custom was founded in 2006 in Placerville, Colorado, just downstream from the Telluride Ski Resort. Wagner Custom hand-builds precise-fitting skis and snowboards one-at-a-time, each unique and designed for a specific rider. Wagner uses only the finest raw materials, and all skis and boards are crafted around sturdy, solid wood cores. Wagner shapes and assembles skis using state-of-the-art 21st Century equipment in what may be the world's greenest ski factory, running entirely on wind and solar energy. Visit Wagner Custom online at www.wagnerskis.com.

About Subaru Freeskiing World Tour (FWT) The Subaru Freeskiing World Tour is the largest and longest running competitive big mountain freeskiing tour in the history of the sport with an unprecedented six stops. Founded in 1998, the FWT, created and produced by Mountain Sports International, Inc., is heading into its 15th year. In addition to up to $110,000 in winnings, the world tour champions are awarded the McConkey Cup, honoring legendary skier Shane McConkey, founder of the IFSA. The FWT also features the coveted backcountry.com Sickbird Award, which honors the athlete with the most spirit, style and wow-factor. For more information, visitwww.freeskiingworldtour.com