Zach Caldwell, one of the premier ski technicians in the US has decided to leave Boulder Nordic Sport (BNS) and return to Southern Vermont to reestablish his own grinding and ski selection business with his wife Amy.
Caldwell initially left Vermont to run a ski testing program for the US Ski Team in the Callaghan Valley as part of the lead up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, following Amy to the Whistler area after she took a coaching position at the Callgahan Valley Training Center.
After the Olympics, Caldwell signed on with Boulder Nordic Sport, relocating to Boulder, Colorado. Nathan Schultz, the owner of BNS is sorry to see Caldwell leave.
“We are not going to be able to replace Zach,” Schultz wrote in an email to FasterSkier. “But I look forward to the challenge of finding people who we can coach into filling his shoes a few years down the road.”
Schultz notes there was no drama surrounding Caldwell’s departure.
“It is tough to lose Zach’s expertise,” Schultz said, “but his return to Vermont is more about him returning to what makes him happiest than any sort of split between us.”
Schultz also stated he hoped to continue work with Caldwell on grinds, while Caldwell wrote in an announcement on the Caldwell Sport website that he welcomes future collaboration with BNS.
Caldwell returns to Vermont with his Tazzari RP23 grinding machine, leaving BNS with a single Tazzari RP13.
Schultz told FasterSkier that he would be spending significant time this summer examining options for a new machine, noting the efficiency gains of having two grinders, and the benefits of state-of-the-art equipment.
The original Tazzari RP13 was purchased from Caldwell in 2006 when Schultz started BNS.
Both Caldwell and Schultz have worked with the US Ski Team over the past years, providing waxing and grinding services both domestically and abroad.
In the short run, Schultz will step into the hole left by Caldwell’s departure, spending more time working with skis, grinds and wax.
Caldwell returns to Vermont, a place he still refers to as “home,” despite his four-year absence. He re-starts his business with a new system for describing grinds, and will focus on grinding and high-end ski selection – not retail.
“Our return to Vermont will mark a return to a more narrowly defined business model focusing on our strengths – race ski selection and ski stonegrinding,” the Caldwell Sport website reads.
Caldwell is also the personal coach for US Ski Team standout Kris Freeman.
In addition to Caldwell’s departure, BNS Race Service Director, Eric Pepper, has taken a job with Ski Club Vail, and is leaving the shop.
“My philosophy has always been to find good people and build the business around their unique strengths,” Schultz said. “Zach and Amy came to Boulder the same year Roger Knight came on board and we launched BNS East. We changed things around radically based on the new team’s expertise and pursued directions that made sense given the personalities and knowledge we had. Now, we’ll have to reconfigure things based on our new team. “
BNS has already hired former Denver University assistant coach Hennie Kashiwa as BNS Brand Manager, and retain Stone Grinding and Service Technician Tom Troutner.
“That leaves us looking for a retail manager for the Boulder shop and one or two full-time people who will focus on Stone Grinding and Race Service,” Schultz said.
The positions will be posted soon on the BNS website, and resumes can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.