Pepi Culver got in touch with us via email recently, and enclosed photos of two cases he has been using for the last twenty-five years as a ski tech. We could see how well-traveled and well-loved they are, so we reached out to him for details about his history and why he chose ZARGES aluminum cases for transporting his gear.
Pepi is a native of Montana and veteran of the international Ski community, first as a racer Nordic-style, then converting to Alpine. Since the late 1990’s, he has been a professional ski technician, starting at a shop in Park City, Utah. He worked up to supporting first the USA and then the Norwegian Ski Teams. Now he works with Völkl Skis, traveling with, making, and tuning skis for rising World Cup phenom Alice Robinson.
The life of a professional Ski Technician is not easy. It involves many months of travel every year, following the pro ski circuit with all the gear needed to keep racers’ skis in top condition. And there is a lot of gear needed: waxes, vises, irons, files, heaters, tools and more! Over the many stops and thousands of miles traveled, whether it is for reducing shipping costs with maximum protection or making gear easier to unload, carry and load, every ounce matters.
He told us he first learned about ZARGES when he was working in Park City. “ZARGES has always been one of the favorites of all the ski technicians around the world… as a travel case it’s the lightest and strongest… I would say every ski tech out there, anyone who is traveling, is using the ZARGES box. The ones you see are pretty recognizable, you know what they are.”
As you can see by all the stickers, his cases are pretty recognizable in their own right. In fact, when we posted a photo of one of them to our Instagram account (@zarges.usa), we received this in response from coach and former ski racer Kristian Saile (@kristiansaile) within hours: “@pepshred I immediately recognized that box!”
When asked what he keeps in his ZARGES cases, Pepi responded, “All my tools: my ski vises are in there, my ski irons, my wax, my lightbulbs, ski files… everything I need to prepare my skis. Pretty simple travel. Just open them up and pull the trays out to have easy access to my tools… every little tool a ski tech needs to do the job.” On the lightness and durability of the ZARGES case, he explained, “That’s imperative for us because we’re flying all the time. I just flew to Europe with fourteen bags and I needed to keep those bags under 50lbs/23 kg.”
He also shared an anecdote about one of the advantages of aluminum over plastic cases. “In a ski room, I hear this loud banging noise and someone who just arrived pulled out all their trays, and they’re hammering the case back in shape. That’s a very familiar sound. You’ll walk over there and you’re like, ‘Oh, wow! That’s a pretty good hit there!’ Kind of like battle scars on the body. We get together and we talk about our ZARGES hits.”
We felt that Pepi’s cases were such a fine example of the longevity and durability of ZARGES cases that we asked him if he would trade one of them for a new case, and allow us to bring the 25-year old case with us to trade shows to share with the public. After some deliberation, he agreed, and we sent him out a brand-new K470-40564 case and we will be displaying his cherished case throughout the new year. Our deepest gratitude to Pepi and we wish him another 25 years of safe travel with his new ZARGES case.