The age of the box store is not dead. Just ask Ian Beckner, an entrepreneur and life time skier who has returned home with his family to open Driftland Ski & Sport in the town of Davis, WV. At one time Driftland Ski and Sport housed the regions only pharmacy, located next to the Davis fire department. It could be said Ian will have the same healthy impact on the local sports enthusiast and their equipment’s’ well-being, as did the pharmacy. At least the only overdose Ian is worried about would be from his customers having too much fun, which is not hard to do in Tucker County, WV.
I can tell you first hand the ski/snowboard tech shop in the back is as professional and state of art as it gets. Fine tuning begins with Beckner’s auto fed base and edging machine; it is the Ferrari of tuning machines and manufactured in Italy. The work bench is given incredible detail in order to prevent cross contamination of cleaners, metal shavings, and various types of hot wax. When I stopped by for pictures the other day, Dave, the ski tech, was wearing safety glasses and gloves while tuning, this is the first sign of a top notch product. The second omen is the fact there we 30 pairs of high end skis and snowboards that had been tuned or were slated for tuning. The word has spread fast on his ski tech’s skills, wait until winter enthusiasts find out Driftland has the newest and least expensive ski and snowboard rental fleet in Canaan Valley!
There has been a resurgence in the winter recreation scene in and around Davis, WV over the last three years, beginning with the new lodge, slope upgrades, and new terrain park groomer at Canaan Valley Resort. Blackwater Falls State Park has added snowmaking, the longest surface lift on the East Coast, new grooming equipment for the sledding hill and cross country ski trails, and Timberline has upgraded their snow making system. Ian has kept up the momentum by opening Driftland Ski and Sport, here are the facts on what Driftland has to offer. The entire line of ski and snowboards are made by Rossignol. Ski rentals range in size from children’s 80cm to 174cm; ski boots fit children to size 15, and are 4 buckle, front entry boot. Rarely will find such a high quality/performance boot that comes with your ski rental. The snowboard rental fleet varies in size from 100cm-163cm, and are designed with modern rocker, specific to beginners and intermediate riders. Boot size availability range from small children to size 15 and you will find helmets of all sizes are available for rent as well. Performance ski demo rentals, from reverse camber powder sticks to slalom, ‘I love my race suit’ type of skis, are very important to the kind of product Ian wants to offer. On the retail side everything you need for a day on the snow can be found, some of those brands are Electric, Fly Low, and Spy.
Before talking about the future of Driftland Ski and Sport let’s talk about the past, more specifically what’s behind the name Driftland. In 1950 the Washington Ski Club began skiing an apple orchard just to the right of where the current snowmaking ponds are located at Canaan Valley Ski Resort. The club referred to this location as ‘driftland’, due to the abundant snowfall that was first spotted by pilots flying over Canaan Valley. By 1954 a rope tow was installed and ‘driftland’ had set the path forward for Weiss Knob Ski Resort (modern day Whitegrass) in 1955, and the ski industry as we know it today. As for Ian, he wants to provide the next generation with a quality shop, bring fun and excitement to the community and ski industry, to “raise the stoke level in the skier lifestyle” as Beckner puts it. This summer he plans to close the shop, resuming his carpenter job, and working on a business model for summer 2017. Mr. and Mrs. Beckner, your stoke level has us stoked! Kudos to ya’ll.