[VIDEO!] Vertical Drop Ski Shop and SkyTechSport unite to move Midwest’s skiing community forward

You can no longer open a store and expect customers to come. You need to provide additional value and build a community around your business in order to be successful.


Vertical Drop Ski Shop was founded by Bob Thomas, whose family has been in the ski business for about 60 years. In 1953, Don Thomas, his father, met an Olympian, Stein Eriksen. Don lured Stein to the United States, where he became Boyne Mountain’s ski school director and recreational skiing as we know it today was born.


Bob has tons of hands on, day-to-day experience in the ski industry. Today, not only has Vertical Drop Ski Shop the best ski racing gear, but they’re committed to innovation that leads the industry forward.


This includes Midwest's first SkyTechSport ski simulator.

Here what Bob says:

“We started looking at the ski simulator at the World Championship 2015, Beaver Creek. My kids got on the machine out there. And you know, it’s just like ski racing! We talked to the US Ski Team about how they were utilising it. And we decided we needed it, both for recreational skiers and out racers.”

Since 2017 when it was installed, the simulator has gained massive popularity and attracted a few of the local alpine racing teams. John Diebel, Notre Dame Prep coach with over 17 years of experience, admits that the simulator is a heavy workout — 10 minutes on their machine is like running a mile.


He told us how shocked he was when a couple of young girls who’d really never skied before came to train on the simulator just to help them get rid of the fear… And when they went to the mountains, they were skiing at the top of the hill with the rest of the ski team by the end of the second day! They were getting on edge and allowing their skis to track, and they were able to let their skis come all the way around just by staying on edge.

One of the great things about the simulator that contributes to the success and makes it even more efficient than the ski hill is being able to be right in front of the student and work on certain drills specifically, one after the other.


Moreover, it takes away some variables that are in play on the slopes and can influence the student’s attention span like snow condition and weather. On the machine, everything’s controlled, making it easier to focus on the actual posture and whatever you need to work on today.


Natalie, 13:

“You can really just focus on what they’re telling you to do instead of having to worry about all the distraction on the actual hill.”

Owen, Bloomfield high school ski team:

“When I was 14, I was having issues with my feet - how close they were together. This machine helped me put them into the right spot. Getting gate time really helps you get that muscle memory and fix it permanently, not just a temporary effect.”

The Vertical Drop Ski Shop in Clarkston offers skiing enthusiasts all the high-tech tools they need to get the most out of their downhill experience wherever they purchase a lift pass, including foot mapping system for the perfect boot fit, the best ski racing gear, and most innovative training programs.


Vertical Drop Ski Shop address:

6325 Sashabaw Rd, Suite E

Clarkston, MI 48346


Choose your own SkyTechSport simulator or send us a request!

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Munich, Germany

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*The materials reflect training of the U.S. Ski Team on the SkyTechSport simulator and not individual athletes