access to the most modern edge-sharpening technology with a variety of machines and price points from which
to choose. These machines will help to substantially cut down maintenance time and save edges from being
overfilled, thus making race skis last longer.
If you could share anything about being a ski tuner, what would it be?
As one of very few who operate at the top one percent of the ski service industry, I would share that skiers need
to realize that we have made this our jobs. There’s nothing like someone who comes into your shop claiming to
be able to do what you can do. A skier who buys ski tools is only an owner of ski tools — not a technician who
can compete with those of us who have been lucky enough to work and win at the highest levels of ski competition in the world. How would it feel to the parent who excels and succeeds at their occupation to be told by me
that I can easily do their job, and maybe better? Oh yeah, and how about, “Can you give me a deal because I’ve
got six pairs of skis?” I’m pretty sure none of my customers work for free, so why should I? SkiMD has an enormous investment in machinery and their consumables, with an open-ended operation budget. No top operation
can afford to skimp on its materials to perform the very best work. No matter how one sizes it up, it’s anything
but cheap to run a niche specialty service.
Richter Race Service
After five years working with the women’s Europa Cup and World Cup speed teams, Jonathan “Napa” Wey-
ant opened Richter Race Service in 2005. He has worked with Jake Fiala, Casey Puckett, and Daron Rahlves,
among others. Today, he provides service for the U.S. womens World Cup tech team and oversees the shop.
What aspect of your background do you feel has given you the ability to create success as a small
I have combined a college degree in business management with the real-world training of ski service at the
highest level. This training has included working alongside top World Cup servicemen and countless hours in
various factory race rooms.
You’re running a successful super-niche business within an already tiny industry — what’s your
value proposition to your customers that is creating success?
Richter Race Service offers true World Cup ski preparations, not a watered-down version commonly offered at
other service centers. A customer at Richter Race will often have the skis prepared alongside skis that will race
on the World Cup.
What motivates you to face a wall of skis in need of tuning, day-in and day-out?
I am mostly motivated by the idea of the customers getting out on the hill with equipment that allows them to
perform at their highest level. It is always satisfying to fix a problem ski and then hear how well that person was
Mike DeSantis stands in front of — and
behind — the skis he tunes.