Johnny “Foon” Chilton, a man’s name that is interchangeable with the concept of being connected to where you live and how you play. Johnny Chilton is the man behind the local Pemberton based company Foon Skis, but he’s so much more than just a man that makes skis. He’s a man that knows the calculated impact of every action he takes or deliberately chooses not to. He is inspirationally intune with mother nature and over time has developed a sustainable relationship with her.
Whether you’ve had the honor of meeting Johnny in person or know of his legacy – it’s easy to see why this living legend is a true Character of Whistler. He’s an advocate for a sustainable local economy. He’s so madly in love with this beautiful backyard of ours he wants to protect it for future years of skiing and exploring, yet utilize it for everyday life. He wants to educate future generations about being connected to where you live and cherishing it.
FOR THE LOVE OF THE COAST MOUNTAINS
“There’s no question that there’s a magic in the coast mountains.” Growing up in the Vancouver area, Johnny made Whistler his home for many years and now resides just down the road in Pemberton. While he knows the mountains will remain wild he set out to “make a ski that makes everything fun, no matter what the mountain throws at you.” And so, Foon Skis was born.
“Why did I make a ski company and not just skis for myself? It’s the connection to the mountains.” By starting a ski company Johnny found a voice and an outlet to share his message. “I’ve always believed in a local economy, using as much local resource as possible be it human and/or natural to create an economy from your local area.” In the early days of Foon Skis, Johnny went touring not far from his home one day to a logging slash and took home some yellow cedar. He built a pair of skis from that wood and the next season took those skis back to the logged area and skied it. This concept hasn’t changed much over the years as Foon became more established. The concept of authenticity is very important to Johnny, this concept is unmoveable and we love that.
FOON’S FUTURE OF SKIING
Johnny has recently teamed up with Kye Petersen to create Kye Shapes. The pro skier’s father, Trevor Petersen was one of Johnny’s best mountain friends and a true inspiration behind the ski company and to the mountaineering world of Whistler. A lover of community and the people in his life Johnny embeds his personal life into the skis he creates and they ooze passion because of it. Carrying on his friendship and legacy with Trevor through his son Kye was natural and a partnership he couldn’t be more thrilled to finally share.
While the entire Foon line up is filled with stories we highlight the Tyfoon as an example of Johnny’s character shining through the brand. The Tyfoon is a ski created for the aggressive skier that has no limits. Rails in the park after conquering couloirs in the backcountry for breakfast, this charger of a ski is adaptable and strong enough to handle it all. Johnny named this iconic ski after his son. Ty is a young shredder still in high school and already conquering big lines with his father, Kye and other ski legends.
New this year is the Moma Lisa. A ski built to tribute the legacy of Lisa Korthals who passed away in the spring of 2018 in an Avalanche. Lisa was Johnny’s ski partner, life partner, and Ty’s mother. Lisa shared her passion as a Canadian Ski Guide, to keep her love for the coast mountains alive Johnny is donating a portion of the sales from every Moma Lisa ski sold, to support the Canadian Ski Guide Association through a fund established in Lisa’s memory to help women start a career in ski guiding. The Moma Lisa is designed to effortlessly adapt to the changing mountain terrain and conditions.
While he might introduce himself as someone who just likes to ski pow – Johnny Foon is clearly an instrumental part of keeping the soul of skiing pure. He keeps our community grounded and connected. While appreciating the natural resources and ski legends of the past Johnny also looks forward to a sustainable future and the next generation of shredders – a balance that is hard to strike. We truly appreciate Johnny’s shared passion and success in this aspect of life – keep inspiring us with your ways Johnny Foon!