When Icelantic releases its new line of Colorado-made skis each year, you never know who’ll be more impressed: the First Friday Art Walk crowd or the pow-hungry ski bums. As the only ski company–slash–art gallery in the Santa Fe art district, Icelantic has found a twin-plank niche that resonates in Denver. Each 2010–11 ski reflects a music genre, from hip-hop to bluegrass to classical (aka the Shaman, pictured), which hints at how the ski performs on the mountain. Here, the Icelantic team weighs in.

THE PHILOSOPHY Icelantic is all about creating a culture—on and off the slopes. “This year’s music theme goes along with what we’ve been trying to do at our company with art, like throwing concerts and having a gallery space. We want people who love to ski to be more of a community.” —Ben Anderson, founder

THE ART All the images are first created on canvas with acrylic. “We’re booming, so I knew we had to go rock ’n’ roll. This image has the attire of Mozart but the hair goes all Beethoven. We want all of our art design to be more personal than just slapping on a graphic.” —Travis Parr, lead artist.

THE SPORT The Shaman’s tapered design slices through snow so nicely, it practically floats. “It all comes down to the soul of the ski: The wood poplar center [for superior turning response] is the best material available. The Shaman is all about durability and flexibility.” —Jose Doton, head inspector and technician.

THE TEST A skier with 18 years of alpine cred takes the Shaman out for a spin. “They’re fun, everyday skis for powder. They turn supertight—sometimes it felt like they were trying to turn too fast. The brand has a fierce following, and they’re not afraid to make more radical shapes.” —Sean Hamilton, evo product tester.