“Monks have been studying the meaning of life for 1300 years in Disentis. They aspire to the choreography of a higher stage. To reach that goal demands infinite care and dedication, but then comes the ineffable moment when eternity becomes one with our timeframe. Zen students practice with their bow until it shoots on its own. Similar to them are monks and ballerinas and sometimes a special kind of skier.”

—The Abbot of Disentis Monastery

The Abbotto of Disentis

Disentis, a small village nestled in the Surselva mountain ranges of Switzerland, is home to a Benedictine monastery, the luxury ski brand, Zai, and its inventor Simon Jacomet. A great deal of philosophy goes into the manufacture of Zai, which means “tough” in Sursilvan—a Rhaeto-Romanish variant spoken in Disentis. Jacomet’s Zen approach to design and engineering aims for unparalleled skiing experience: the unity of thought, mountain and man—in one unwavering agile line…

Spada (which is Rhaeto-Roman for “sword”) is Jacomet’s newest chapter in the Zai experience. Striving to incorporate the ideal characteristics stone has to offer (compressive strength, dynamic resilience and most importantly, vibration damping) he constructed the Spada model out of granite. To make it flexible, the granite core is encased in carbon fiber. Ultimately this innovation promises an uncommonly lively and agile ski replete with ease of control and smooth running characteristics—for both experts and beginners.

We’ll take their word for it—and the testimonies of an elite class of skiers which includes Yello front man, Dieter Meier; Marcus Levy, 2003 Prix Courage winner; former ski racing champion Franco Cavegn and, of course, the Abbot Daniel Schönbächler of the Disentis monastery.

With a price tag of $4400 USD and upwards, what you can expect from Spada is a unique hand carved (160 cm) granite and carbon ski with accessories. Just remember, it’s not just expensive gear you’re buying—it’s also the philosophy and a dream of unbridled freedom and perfection.

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