The History of Helm of Sun Valley.

  • 1940

    Founder Chuck Helm opens his first ski shop in Sun Valley, Idaho.

  • 1972

    Eric Plane starts working at Helm while attending college in San Jose. This is when Eric develops his love of helping customers and his passion for the snow sports and outdoor living.

  • 1975

    In 1975, Eric Plane bought the San Jose location of Helm of Sun Valley from Chuck Helm.

  • 1985

    8 years of pitifully little snow are not enough to put Helm of Sun Valley under, thanks to a consistent committment to customer service, an unquenchable thirst for expertise and good old dedication and hard work.

  • 1988

    To serve our customers during the perfect Summer months we enjoy in Northern California, Eric and his family develop expertise in fine patio and outdoor furniture and start offering high quality products at outstanding prices.

  • 2001

    In 2001, Eric and the Plane family open Helm of Sun Valley on Capitola's 41st Avenue to serve the Monterey Bay area's residents with exceptional ski, snowboard, disc golf and paitio furniture, backed by our friendly, local, expert staff.

  • 2013

    Helm of Sun Valley is honored to serve the South San Francisco Bay Area and the Monterey Bay communities for over 35 years!


It all started in 1940.


It was 1940 when Chuck Helm opened his first ski shop in Sun Valley, Idaho. Mr. Helm pioneered the ski business out west . He came to San Jose in the early 70′s where Eric Plane, current owner and operator, took over the San Jose Helm of Sun Valley location on Bascom Avenue in 1975. Eric Plane has grown the business to include several locations over the past 35 years. The Plane family operates their 2 current locations in San Jose and Capitola, California.


Helm is here for you all year round.


Helm of Sun Valley is a unique business model with two seasonal product offerings. 

For almost 40 years, Helm of Sun Valley continues to bring you the very best in snowsports. Top brands and products are sold for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Helm of Sun Valley offers the best modern technology in a full-service tuning and repair shop for snowsports equipment. 

At Helm, you will find the very best in boot fitting experts with many years of specialty experience. 

Helm of Sun Valley’s impressive rental department is stocked with up-to-date ski and snowboard gear for rent at very reasonable and competitive rates. 

Although Helm sells snowsports gear and outdoor furniture 365 days a year, during the summer months the focus and emphasis is shifted to the high-quality offering of outdoor furniture and accessories for your home and business. In addition, Helm offers beach accessories, lifestyle and disc golf products.

At Helm of Sun Valley in San Jose and Capitola you can often see the Plane family on-hand and working with customers. This good ol' fashioned and personalized way of doing business is a rare find in today’s retail environment. Come in and say hello! We would love to introduce ourselves and thank you personally for supporting your local shop!

Have a question we can help you with? Let us know how we can help!
* Required




Captcha Image

Earbuds
Think Local First Santa Cruz