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1923 – The Dawn of Skiiing
Völkl is to Straubing what snow is to winter. The family has been based in this town in Lower Bavaria since 1875. Georg Völkl started out as a master cartwright building horse drawn wagons. His son Franz diversifies to produce boats, sleds and – beginning officially in 1923 – skis which were initially called “Vöstras”!
1952 – The Entrepreneur
Franz Völkl Jr. takes the helm from his father in 1952. The third-generation boss radically modernises the whole operation. 40 years later, at age 65, he sold Völkl to the Swiss group Gregor Furrer & Partner Holding AG.
1967 – The Zebra-Ski
Production ventures “off-slope”: in 1967 Völkl, known for its solid, conservative image, surprises the world with a new, revolutionary ski design: the legendary zebra pattern. The industry mocks the striped skis, the public is thrilled. The Zebra-Ski is a worldwide hit.
1970 – Ski racing
Völkl in 1970 makes its first foray into international alpine ski-racing, which soon becomes a vital force for innovation. This is the beginning of a matchless success story replete with World Cup victories, World Championship titles and Olympic medals. The most illustrious Völkl athletes include Hanni Wenzel, Maria Walliser, Anita Wachter, Frank Wörndl, Katja Seizinger, Brigitte Örtli, Martina Ertl, Christa Kinshofer, Hilde Gerg, Sonja Nef, Alexandra Meissnitzer, Tanja Poutiainen, and Nicole Hosp, our 2006/07 overall WC points leader.
1972 – The Zebra Racket
Völkl moves into the tennis business in 1972 – and remains faithful to the zebra. The very first Völkl tennis racket, the Zebra, revolutionises the sport: it’s the first racket in the world made entirely of plastic. Players everywhere rave about the way it handles on the court and its unusual design.
1973 – The Renntiger
From zebra to tiger: In the early ’70s, a ski legend is born: the Völkl Renntiger! At the outset the “Racing Tiger” is an all-metal ski. Völkl then introduces carbon fibre – an idea that’s miles ahead of its time – and that loses no time in proving its mettle on the slopes. In 2005 Völkl brings the ski legend back to life – with the Völkl Racetiger!
1985 – The P Series
P9. That’s what made for a 10 per cent jump in sales at Völkl in 1985. And it’s the name of the winning skis of three time World Champion Maria Walliser. The “P” stands for Professional Skinetik Powerline Völkl technology, which treats the ski as an extension of the human body. P skis are intimately attuned to human biomechanics. Some 20 years after the P9, the P series era comes to a close with the Model P60.
1994 – The Carver
Völkl was one of the first ski makers to discover the carving trend, and drove this trend to commercial success. In 1994 Völkl presents its heavily tapered Snow Ranger model at the ISPO. Today Völkl holds the rights to the Carver trademark in Europe’s Alpine countries. The Carver is the most important skiing development in recent decades – and Völkl made it happen!
1997 – The Snowboard
Franz Völkl designs his first snowboard prototypes as early as 1986. In 1993 the company starts turning out high-quality, technologically innovative boards for such high-profile brands as Santa Cruz, Sims, Nitro and RadAir. In 1997 Völkl finally puts its own line of snowboards on the market. The boards with the Völkl chevron are still as highly coveted today as ever and have made Völkl’s reputation in the scene as a consummate boardsmith.
1997 – The New Plant
On November 6, 1997 the first sod is turned for our new parent plant in Straubing-Sand and in 1999 Völkl moves into the ultramodern facility. The complex also houses an R&D centre for skiing, snowboarding and tennis equipment. The plant remains to this day one of the most technologically advanced facilities for ski manufacture in the world.
1999 – Völkl Tennis GmbH
In the month of his last court appearance at Wimbledon, Boris Becker announces his retirement from professional sports and purchases a stake in a new company est. 1999: Völkl Tennis GmbH. Since then he has been involved in a great many innovations in tennis equipment. In 2007 Völkl Tennis adds a new brand called Boris Becker Tennis.
199X – The Freeski Revolution
With the launch of its V-Ski collection, Völkl again displays a flair for new trends. It isn’t long before its unusual models for free and New School skiers set new standards in the scene – as does the Völkl Freeski Team. Völkl’s wild young athletes rank with the best at spectacular new disciplines like Big Air Masters and X-games.
2000 – The Sportswear
Ushering in the new millennium, Völkl expands its range of winter Performance Wear. Superior product quality, top-notch workmanship, high-tech functional properties and modern design are the hallmarks of the Völkl Performance Wear product line.
2001 – The Motion Binding
Völkl and Marker pool their forces to develop a revolutionary, fully-integrated ski binding system: Motion! The binding is simply slid onto two “rails”, which form an integral part of the ski without the use of a single screw. Nothing blocks or detracts from the free flex of the ski & create the perfect harmony between ski and binding.
2007 – The Power Switch
In early 2007 Völkl presents another quantum leap in the evolution of the ski: Power Switch Technology, a mechanism that allows you to completely transform your skis’ characteristics, with a simple manual switch enabling the adjustment to current snow conditions or to your fitness level. One of the greatest innovations in skiing since the invention of carving and a fundamental buling block for the future of skiing.