Reflex: 40 years in the making Featured in Powder Magazine
Reflex is about more than just ski poles. Yes, for the last four years they've made some of the best poles available anywhere, and their first limited edition ski is about to drop, but it's not really about that either. For the group of eight ski and aprés ski buddies, one of whom is the son of an original co-founder of the company, that relaunched the brand during Covid lockdowns, it's all about the respect, reverence, and love of ski town culture and the legacy of authentic ski brands born and committed to staying in real ski towns like Sun Valley, Idaho.
I recently asked Ben Verge, former U.S Ski Team coach and son of Reflex co-founder Gus Verge, a few questions about the history, current iteration and future plans for Reflex. If you're looking for a grass roots and authentic ski brand to support, or just a badass pair of ski poles, Reflex is definitely worth your consideration.
Kitt Doucette: What’s the history of Reflex and your personal connection to it?
Ben Verge: Reflex was started in 1979 by my dad, Gus Verge and a couple of his friends, Dick Marshall, Lou Krieger and Roger Roche. At the time, my dad was running the Scott USA ski pole manufacturing and decided that he wanted to split off and do it himself. He got those guys on board and Reflex was born here in Sun Valley, ID.
KD: How did the idea of relaunching Reflex Poles come about and who is involved in it nowadays?
BV: The re-birth of Reflex started to take place about the time that Scott USA moved out of town and there started to be grumblings about Smith packing up and leaving as well. As that was happening, a few of us that ski together, and often apres ski together started talking about what a bummer it was that Sun Valley (Ketchum) was losing its legacy of being the original ski town in the USA and what used to be a hub for many different ski brands. Jack Weekes was kind of the instigator of it all. He suggested that we perhaps bring back Reflex, as it is one of the OG Sun Valley ski industry brands and we had a personal connection to it, being that it was my dad's company. Things really ramped up during that first summer of covid. We decided to make a go of it and really look into what it would take to make a small run of poles. The deeper we got into that, the more we realized that we should just go all in and make the poles as nice as we possibly could. Reflex consists of myself(Ben Verge), Jack Weekes, Joe Marx, Tim Carter, Charlie Dunn, Sean O'Connor, Joel Bernbaum and Clint Lightner.