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Review: Shaggy's Copper Country Skis Featuring the Ahmeek 95 and Medora 95

Ruh roh! We would have gotten out of Michigan if it hadn’t been for those pesky local ski builders! While Michigan is home of some of the largest auto manufacturers in the world, it is also home to Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis, a small independent ski builder in Boyne City, Michigan. We haven’t been to Shaggy’s new facility, which they moved to in 2020. But, we did visit their former home on a trip to "the mitten" to visit family.

: It only seemed fitting to stop in at Shaggy's after spending time in their namesake Copper Country in the Upper Peninsula while at the Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. We met with Jeff Thompson, along with some of the other staff, including some of their family members, at the old Boyne City place. After getting the tour, and a few beers, we can understand why they needed to move to a new facility: Even then, they were busting out at the seams. On that trip they asked if we have skied any of their skis. Sheepishly, we had to admit that we not only hadn't skied their skis, but had never even seen a pair in person. In fact all we could really do was admit that we had heard of Shaggy’s. The year I moved to Reno, the ski builder had moved closer to my old stomping ground back in Michigan.

When Jeff, Shaggy's chief, heard that we didn't have any experience on Shaggy's Skis, he said, “Well, let‘s change that!” This small-town innovator was smart enough to know that the more we talk about their skis, the more interest will be generated in them. After giving us a full tour of the facility and showing us how the sausage is made, he was pretty clear that they felt the 95mm Ahmeek and Medora would be ideal for us to test in Tahoe conditions. He arranged for them to arrive on our doorstep later in the fall. That’s Midwest hospitality! Hospitality aside, they were right: It indeed got us talking about Shaggy's. So here are our impressions on these two reference models from a ski builder that is far from mainstream.

2022 Shaggy’s Copper Country Ahmeek 95

Philpug: Visually, the finish of Shaggy’s Ahmeek 95 is on par with most any mainstream brand. It has a clean glossy rollover topsheet and a factory tune that was actually very skiable. Dimensions of the Ahmeek are a not-out-of-the-ordinary 129mm tip, 95mm waist and 114mm tail. The Ahmeek will not overwhelm a skier that just wants a do-it-all ski, but also will also please the better skier who really wants to push it. On-the-snow feel is smooth and solid and again on par with any other brand in this class. What separates Shaggy’s from some of the mainstream brands (and even some of the smaller indies) is its blue collar work ethic of putting in a solid day on snow, while all it expects from you is to have a few pops or local brews at the end of the day.

2022 Shaggy’s Copper Country Medora 95

Upon arrival, the Medora made me almost giggly because it has a playful appearance with a serious construction, two things that should make any skier smile. I tend to take it easy the first few turns on any ski I review, and the Medora was no exception. Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what to think of it at first. After stopping halfway down the run and taking notes, I headed out to put her through the paces. When I opened it up a bit, THAT is when she really started to shine. This is a ski that wants to run, responds to confidence, and urges her driver to explore bumps and trees. With everything I threw at her, she said, "Give me more!" When it was time to dial it back and figure out the "take it easy" side of her, I realized there wasn't anything to figure out at all. She was just fine taking a cool down run and letting me wind down so we could come back for more tomorrow. This is a seriously playful ski with the right mix of spunk and class. Just what you'd expect from a Northern Michigan girl.

I approached Jeff to ask him how they come up with the names of their skis, and he explained that they name every ski after a place in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. The name "Ahmeek”, a small village, is a word taken from the Chippewa term "amik," which means "beaver.” The Medora ski was named after rugged Lake Medora just outside Copper Harbor. However, I also looked up the name “Medora” and learned it is a name from the Greek meaning Ruler. All I can say is: “That, she is!"


Philpug: Having some of the Shaggy’s skis in our fleet has been close to Tricia’s heart for a few years because of her Mitten roots. I am still not 100% sold on Shaggy’s Pocket Camber, a triple camber design. They are building a really well constructed ski; they don’t need this as a gimmick; they can trust their engineers and their construction. In their defense, I felt the same of our local Reno brand’s Triple Camber Twin Rocker. At $749, the Ahmeek and Medora might be a few bucks more than some of its mainstream contenders, but it is on par with the other small batch offerings in the class. This is your chance to put your money where your mouth is when you a want a good ole ‘Murican built ski.

  • Who are they for: Those looking for a small batch good old US of A built ski with a fun name that lives up to the hype.​
  • Who are they not for: Like most smaller builders here in the states, Shaggy's does not make a true hard snow ski under 80mm.​
  • Insider tip: Shaggy's does offer each model with custom graphics.​
About author
I started skiing in the mid-70s in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; from then on, I found myself entrenched in the industry. I have worked in various ski shops from suburban to ski town to resort, giving me a well-rounded perspective on what skiers want from their gear. That experience was parlayed into my time as a Gear Review Editor and also consulting with manufacturers as a product tester. Along with being a Masterfit-trained bootfitter I am a fully certified self proclaimed Gear Guru. Not only do I keep up with the cutting edge of ski gear technology, but I am an avid gear collector and have an extensive array of bindings as well as many vintage skis.


I rode the Ahmeek in Michigan at Marquette Mountain. Only a few runs as we were heading out when they called me over to the tent. I really liked the ski and it was several years ago but I remember how solid it felt and it had great edge hold on the ice in the shadows. I will own a pair at some point. I have to. I attended Boyne City Elementary School! I'm really proud of them for putting Boyne on the map.
I was at the new Shaggy facility a couple of weeks ago. Its very nice. A show room with all their skis and soft goods displayed. The production facility is neat and orderly with very modern equipment. They also have a large Wintersteiger for base prep. Really great folks.
I wish them every success, but I wonder how sustainable the business model. I'm a tactile guy and I like to physically see/hold skis before I purchase. I want to see how the tip and tail flex. I want to see how much tip and tail rocker there is. Etc.

The direct-from-factory business model just eliminates me from their potential customer base. Sure, by eliminating Retail/Distribution costs these skis are cheaper; but it's just too risky for me to purchase without seeing.
I wish them every success, but I wonder how sustainable the business model. I'm a tactile guy and I like to physically see/hold skis before I purchase. I want to see how the tip and tail flex. I want to see how much tip and tail rocker there is. Etc.

The direct-from-factory business model just eliminates me from their potential customer base. Sure, by eliminating Retail/Distribution costs these skis are cheaper; but it's just too risky for me to purchase without seeing.
Amazon is doing pretty well with selling without the comsumer touching the product ;). I think the key is consumer confidence by offering a strong return policy which has made direct to consumer ski companies like Renoun and J-successful. Is it for everyone and will it take over the industry, no, I don't think anyone thinks that but it is an option for some that for them is appreciated. As far as Shaggy's in partucular, if you are in the midwest, you can walk into their showroom and flex all the skis you want, they will also gladly invite you in the back to see how the sausage is made, an offer that you will not get every brand in the traditional retail/dustributon model either.
These Ahmeek 95 made their way to my feet last week. I have been on the 105 many years ago with a terrible tune and have been on few other Brockways. The Shaggy's have a following like the people with Stocklis. Every answer is always Shaggy. :)

My son rode this pair last season in SLC, thanks to Phil and Tricia. He rode them hard and never had a complaint. His normal everyday ski is the Renoun Endurance, but ski anything and anywhere.

I picked the skis up this last week and in Denver and skied them one day at Sunlight. Now I'm not the most comfortable on twin tips/center mounted skis, but these skis felt pretty comfortable to me. I was able to carve on them really well. In the bumps, I could turn them when needed. I'm just not well verse in bump skiing much.

My season is probably done but these skis will make it back out next season in a normal rotation of skis. Though if next season is like this season, it might be hard for me to stay of the Nordica RB 80s, which is about the only pair I skied and Head Rallys.

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