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Oct 23, 2023 by Gordy Megroz

Trade Secrets: Stay True to Yourself

Featuring SKIER & ARTIST Chris Benchetler

Home Base / Mammoth, California.

Insider Knowledge

Chris Benchetler’s number one rule is to stay true to himself. “I will never create something because it’s what an art collector or the industry wants. It’s much more important to stay authentic and create pieces of art or films that come through me,” he says. And when it comes to partnerships, rather than take the easy payday, Chris plays the long game. “I’ve been offered $5,000 to represent certain companies in single Instagram posts,” he says. “That’s great money but it’s not worth it because it’s not who I am or what I do.” 

I will never create something because it’s what the industry wants.

Instead, Chris prefers to cultivate long-term relationships with companies that allow him creative control. “Before I signed with Atomic, the brand didn’t make skis I would ski on,” he says. “I told them, for me to join the team, I would need a lot of input on design, and they agreed to that. I think that’s been a huge benefit to both of us. Their knowledge in ski development, plus my creative influence, helped us curate something truly unique in skiing. There are now five models of Bent Chetler skis, including a kid’s version.”

Everything in “Snowdonia” is drifting. But Chris stays true to his compass.

Quick Tip:

“If a company comes to you and is trying to capitalize on the decades of expertise and relationships that you built, you can politely turn them down by explaining that you’re trying to work with brands who are looking for long term relationships,” says Benchetler. “Sometimes they see your point, and it can turn into a great relationship.”