Updated December 1st, 2023
I’ve been skiing a pair of Shaggy’s Ahmeek 95 for 3 seasons now. Shaggy’s Ahmeek 95 is an all mountain ski produced by a local ski builder from Boyne City, Michigan. Can a small company from northern Michigan produce all mountain skis that perform? Absolutely. These are the best set of skis I’ve ever owned and the only replacement I can think of right now is another set of Shaggy’s. Let’s take a look at what makes them great in this Shaggy Skis Ahmeek 95 review.
Who are Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis?
Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis was started by the father and son team Jeff and John Thompson. The name Shaggy comes from their great grand uncle that hand carved skis for family members. Uncle Shaggy was from the Keweenaw Peninsula which is known as Copper Country hence the name Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis. The Keweenaw Peninsula is the thumb of the Michigan Upper Peninsula. It is also home to Mount Bohemia and about 275 inches of lake effect snow every winter.
The Thompson’s made their first skis as a hobby in 2006 and sold the first pair of Shaggy’s in 2008. They set up shop in Boyce City, Michigan near Boyne Mountain. Since then the Shaggy’s line has expanded to include 15 skis. These include men and women all mountain skis, backcountry skis, and park skis.
Each year Shaggy’s hosts a “Shaggy’s Family Vacation” to one of the ski resorts in Michigan. Usually Mount Bohemia. This is a gathering for people skiing Shaggy’s to get together along with the family that runs Shaggy’s. I haven’t been to one yet but someday I will make it.
See the below video for a cool watch on the history of Shaggy’s.
Shaggy Skis Ahmeek 95 review
I said good buy to my Salomon QST’s 3 seasons ago and ordered up a pair of Shaggy’s Ahmeek 95’s. My wife has been skiing a pair of Shaggy’s Belle 95’s for the last 2 seasons. These are the women’s versions of the same ski.
- All Mountain On & Off Trail
- Groomed, Crud/Variable, Powder (<6 in), Spring Corn, Ice
- Trees, Open Runs/Trails, Moguls, Bowls
- Dimensions – 129-95-114mm
- Turning radius – 20-22meters
- Mounting setback – -6.7cm (180cm length)
- Weight – 1860 grams per ski
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Why did I choose Ahmeek 95 skis?
My prior 2 sets of skis were a set of Blizzard Bonafides and Salomon QST 105’s. The Blizzard Bonafides were great for going fast and had good float going in a straight line. Their lack of any talk rocker and squared tails meant they don’t turn well in powder, crud or slush. I took them heli skiing in British Columbia in April after being talked out of the big fat rentals. They were okay at the top of the mountain but they were miserable skis in deep slush. They just didn’t turn.
My next skis were the Salomon QST 105’s. If 95mm had good float on powder days, 105mm was bound to be better right? The QSTs have a much softer flex pattern and are lighter. They were wonderful in deep snow and slush. They vibrate and don’t feel good on the other 95% of ski days when there isn’t new snow. The 105mm width made them a bit awkward to carve. The QSTs have cutouts in the tip and tail under the cover sheets to save weight. This makes them feel lighter turning but does nothing to damp vibration when going fast.
On to the Shaggy’s. I like the idea of hand crafted skis over something getting pumped out of a factory across the world. I live in Michigan so it’s always good supporting local companies. I’ve seen Shaggy’s around and liked the idea of a ski using real wood cores and designed for Michigan skiing. Michigan ski resorts are short in vertical but we have a huge variety of terrain from glades and chutes. The western half of the state gets a lot of lake effect snow so powder days aren’t that uncommon. A good swiss army knife all purpose ski is what is needed.
The Ahmeek line of skis from Shaggy’s are their all mountain ski available in 95mm, 105mm and 115mm widths. I chose the 95mm version for good performance on groomed runs with enough float to work for powder days.
Mine have a ski length of 180cm. I am 6′ 200+ lb guy for reference.
Ability level – Who can ski Ahmeek 95/Belle 95
The Ahmeek 95 and Belle 95 both fall into the 95mm waist width all mountain ski category. 95mm all mountain skis are the friendly, go anywhere, do anything ski that works for almost any conditions. They are suitable for anyone who is an intermediate or up skier. If you can competently parallel turn these skis are for you. See my article on the best type of ski for intermediate skiers to learn more. This is the only type of ski I think you ever need to own for skiing Michigan and the midwest.
The ordering process
Ordering Shaggy’s is pretty straight forward. Go to their website and if you are happy with the standard graphics, go to the model page and select your length.
My experience with Shaggy’s is that they are very quick at responding to email questions. I had a few when I was first shopping and used the contact us message form. Jeff Thompson himself responded within a few hours. He also offered me an a $100 discount in the same email.
I ordered a set of Shaggy’s Ahmeek 95 and put the Tubby’s graphics on them. Jeff contacted me first with a graphic proof showing exactly what the skis would look like. About a month and a half later the new ski arrived.
I ordered my wife a pair of Belle 95 skis a year later. She also wanted different graphics on them and the custom order went just as smooth that time.
Shaggy’s skis have a traditional construction involving a hardwood core. The wood is locally harvested in Northern Michigan. The cores are wrapped in fiberglass and carbon fiber. The sidewalls use UMHW polyethylene. The base uses 1.4mm sintered 4001 Race Grade Durasurf. These are very traditional skis. No compromises to make them easier to mass produce. Wood has a natural damping property to it to help with vibration. A wood core ski will feel smoother than a ski using a foam core. The extra weight from wood will also help damp vibrations.
They have a flex pattern that is about average for an all mountain ski. They are comparable to a Blizzard Rustler. They are much softer than a Blizzard Brahma/Bonafide.
I have one complaint about the design of the skis. They do not have any rubber or hard plastic at the end of the tails to stand the skis on. You have to be careful standing these skis up on pavement or other hard surfaces. They are standing directly on the ski laminate. Don’t go slamming the tails down hard on the ground when standing them up. This is one change I really do hope they make in their skis at some point.
The skis are a rocker camber rocker design with twin tips. They don’t have a crazy amount of tip and tail rise but enough to get the job done. They have camber underfoot They have an extra camber pocket just before and after the binding area. This gives them just a little bit more grip on hardpack and ice. It’s subtle but if you look at the shape in those areas you can see it.
The real fun begins. For a little extra money you can have whatever topsheet graphics and design you want. The custom ski builder is a new feature on Shaggy’s website since I ordered my skis. You can preview all the graphic designs. You can also alter the wood, add carbon layup, add extra damping and change the bottom colors. If you want anything else different contact Shaggy’s by email or phone and chances are they will do it for you.
They have many available graphic designs to choose from or you can send in your own. One of the most unique is the “Da Ski – Yooper Plaid” edition. It is red plaid for those who want to match their flannel. They make a few other cool special editions every year such as Northern Lights. There was a Mount Bohemia edition one year too.
The only disappointment I had was that my skis came with a flat matte finish. The standard Tubby’s skis have a gloss finish and look much better in gloss. I wasn’t asked which finish I wanted and didn’t realize it was an option. They asked my ski friend who ordered Shaggy’s a little after me which finish he wanted. If you ordering custom skis I would specify glass or flat finish in the comments section to avoid this. It’s not a huge deal. These skis have come to be affectionately known as my “Stealth skis” with their flat black finish.
All of Shaggy’s skis are sold as flat skis with no bindings. I have been a long time Salomon binding person since I was a teenager. I tried a set of Marker Griffon bindings once and hate the step in effort and how easily the toes pack with snow. For my Aheek 95’s and my wife’s Belle 95s I chose Salomon STH2 bindings. 16’s on mine and 12’s on hers.
The other bindings I was considering are Look Pivots or Tyrolia Attack. Get something that has brakes a few mm wider than the skis you are getting. For 95mm width skis get 98-100mm width brake bindings. For 105mm width skis get 108-110mm width brake bindings.
You can get bindings at your local ski shop and they can mount them too. A lot of ski shops will not charge for mounting if you buy the bindings there. If you come in with a set of Shaggy’s and bindings you bought online, you will pay for mounting. Buying bindings online may not save you any money because of this.
On the snow
My Ahmeek 95’s have put down some vertical in the 3 seasons I’ve owned them. I have skied Whistler, BC, Jackson Hole, Snowbird, Park City and Powder Mountain with them out west. They have been to Mount Bohemia for a few days. I have skied the glades at Nubs Nob. They have been to Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, and almost every other ski area in Michigan. I have skied almost every snow condition possible with them now.
These skis can carve it up on hardpack. They aren’t as easy to carve as a dedicated set of front side skis. They are not as stiff as the Blizzard bull series of skis (Brahma, Bonafide, Cochise). They will go fast. They don’t feel like a set of GS race skis. They are very smooth and well damped. I don’t feel any tip vibration like I did with the Salomon QST’s.
They will dig trenches in corduroy if you get on edge with them. Like any ski with tail rocker, you have to stay balanced on them and not weight the tails too hard or you skid out of the carve. I would prefer them to be a tad bit stiffer than they are to grip a little better on hard surfaces. Extra stiffness is an option in the customizer.
Once the groomers get beat up and they turn to crud piles these skis are still fun. The tips don’t dig in like front side skis. They have enough damping to stay stable when your ripping at high speeds later in the day.
2 trips ago we arrived at Mount Bohemia to the worst ice day I’ve ever skied. I skied in Vermont a lot growing up back east. I know what true ice really is. This was reflective, shiny, boiler plate hard ice all over the mountain. There was a sign by the cashier “It’s icy, no refunds”. It took us 10 hours driving to get up there and we were all using White Gold Cards for lift tickets so we were skiing. Up we went.
The Ahmeeks handled this okay. They have enough edge grip thanks to the camber pockets. Their width and stiffness gives a stable enough platform that you can stay upright. I made it to the bottom a couple of times before we headed into the trees looking for softer snow. Thankfully it started dumping snow and an hour later we had powder conditions for the rest of the day.
The 95mm width lets these skis float good enough in powder. They won’t float like 115mm width skis. They are way way better than a set of front side carving skis. There is enough tail and tip rocker in these skis that they turn easily in deeper snow. I have skied these blower snow up to borderline sludge heavy fresh snow. They always stay easy to turn.
Spring slush is an area these skis really excel. They have enough rocker to be very easy to turn in wet heavy slushy conditions. Just keep you speed up and weight in and out of turns and they don’t fight much. They will rise up and float well in slush.
Glade skiing is my favorite activity when skiing in Michigan. We don’t have endless vertical and wide open bowls. We have some good tree skiing at places like Mount Bohemia and Nubs Nob. The softness of these skis and rocker makes them very easy to turn. The camber gives them enough grip to keep you in control when you need it. These are by far and away my favorite glade skiing skis I’ve ever had.
Shaggy’s Ahmeek 95 Summary
Use my link below and get $25 off your skis.
|What We Liked|
|✔️ They work in almost any snow condition|
|✔️ Hardwood core gives them excellent vibration damping|
|✔️ Cool small business run by skiing enthusiast|
|✔️ Customizable ski finish in whatever graphics you want|
|What We Didn’t Like|
|❌ No plastic tip protector on the ski tails|
|❌ Received matte instead of gloss finish on custom finish skis|
Overall we are really happy with the 2 pairs of Shaggy’s skis we have. I can’t wait to get on them again for the upcoming ski season. I can’t see replacing my Ahmeek 95s with anything but another set of Ahmeek 95s or Ahmeek 105s. They are great feeling skis and you can have whatever look you want. You are supporting a great family owned business run by true skiing enthusiasts.
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Co-Founder & Chief Editor
I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.
I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.