Photo courtesy of ZEAL Optics

Banks Gilberti is Getting After It

Words by Ryan Waterfield.

After giving up skiing competitions, Banks found joy in skiing again. Now he’s taking that joy to a new level.

 

Photo courtesy of ZEAL Optics

Skier. Biker. The guy with the hair. And now, entrepreneur. Banks Gilberti is many things and at 28 (he thinks—it takes a bit for him to really settle on his age when asked), he’s up for trying new things. “I’m working with two friends, guys I grew up with in Sun Valley—Chase Englehart and Ross Falcone—to create a new line of skis.” He laughs and follows with the self-deprecating, “Like every other guy out there.”

Crosson Skis is Banks’ latest project and one that makes sense for a person who seems to be most at home on a pair of sticks moving with a playful grace through all sorts of transitions. “We have put a lifetime into researching and now we’re creating the ski we want to ski on.”

Photo courtesy of ZEAL Optics

After getting out of the world of freestyle ski competitions, Banks found a way to make skiing his career. Realizing the “Hey, will you pay me to ski?” conversations weren’t his bag, Banks and his buddy Jake Strassman started Adventures in Transition, a film series showing Banks (and friends) doing what they do. In one of the episodes, “Stick to Your Guns,” Banks skis, jumps, flips, slides, twists, turns, floats through trees, over trees, into trees, while a song by Okkervil River called “No Key No Plan” plays. With driving guitar, the stripped-bare voice sings, “Really I just want to slide, I want to crash land.” And there’s Banks soaring through the air. Sliding on rails, making the world his playground,  a place to express the joy and freedom he feels in flying. The song continues, “I’m doing what I really like and getting paid for it / There is no key, there’s no plan / I discovered that / And, truly, I don’t think you’ll find a happier man…” For Banks, while there may not have been a plan, there was a mission. “When I first jumped into the ‘professional’ side of skiing, I wanted to make sure that I brought something of value to the companies like Orage and ZEAL who supported me. With A.I.T. we had a quality product with an audience.” Banks puts his energies toward merging his passion for skiing with a creative product—whether it’s a film series or a new pair of kick-ass skis.

Photo courtesy of ZEAL Optics

When asked about what he’s learned with this new chapter, Banks laughs, “Going into the business, we learned pretty quickly how much we needed to learn.” But he’s approaching this adventure just like he skis—nimble and fluid with an underpinning of power.

So maybe there is a plan now, but you still won’t find a happier man.

Photo courtesy of ZEAL Optics