There’s always a party feel to the occasion when the Kästle Family gets together before the start of the season, at the company headquarters in Hohenems. The objective is to check out the latest models, to hear about developments within the company, projects being undertaken and any new ideas in the pipeline. The atmosphere is always lively, plenty of laughter, and everyone recounting tales of their adventurous exploits over the past year. The ‘family’ tours the production facilities, learns about new technical developments, shares their plans and meets new Kästle team riders, like Dennis Risvoll from Norway. With the emphasis on ‘Professionals Assemble’ (or ‘Kenner kommen zemma’ as they call it in Hohenems) this year’s ‘family gathering’ took place on October 5th. The Kästle staff were joined by numerous sponsored athletes, mountain guides and ski legends from Austria and further afield. Their combined experience, knowledge and technical insight makes them a team of real experts in the sport of skiing, and also best placed to convey the brand message.
One thing all Kästle Family members have in common is a passion for skiing. Regardless of whether they ski at an international or national level, are mountain or ski guides, photographers or influencers, Kästle is what connects them all, and makes them more than just company ambassadors. Kästle Family members really appreciate the open and direct relationships they enjoy with product developers, designers and marketing managers. They live and breathe the brand, not just professionally but throughout their mountain lives.
The Family gathering began with Clemens Tinzl, Kästle’s new Co-CEO, explaining the company’s plans for the coming years: “There will be a substantial expansion of the portfolio of products, and the course is also set for international growth. However, throughout these developments, it is vital that the brand remains true to its heritage and that we maintain a close working relationship with the Kästle Family”.
Of course, it was not just the Kästle history and heritage taking centre-stage at the ‘Kenner kommen zemma’ event, the new season models also had a starring role. Kästle is set to start the winter 18/19 season with its biggest collection in twenty years, and is launching its innovative iD4 mass customisation ski concept that is bound to generate great interest. The individual tailoring approach of the iD4 ski concept, available from select premium Kästle retailers, is based on four specific factors: terrain preference, skiing ability, body measurements and design style. Co-CEO Clemens Tinzl explains: “Our special ski fitting terminal uses an App to gather the client’s data and our Kästle algorithm then applies 90 years of ski manufacturing knowledge to calculate the optimal ski for that person’s needs. The iD4, including the client’s preferred design and signature option, is then ready to collect from the premium Kästle retailer in just 5 working days”.
Forty-five Kästle Family members rounded off the day with an evening of food and live music at the Gaukler Restaurant, in Aach, just across the border in Germany. But before the presents were distributed and the party drew to a close, it was time to celebrate Freeride World Champion Lorraine Huber’s career. She is stepping down from the Freeride World Tour but is far from retiring altogether. Lorraine has several new projects on the horizon in the coming years and will be focusing on her own freeride events. Kästle presented her with a special gift at the end of last season in recognition of her achievements in competition skiing. She was given a tandem paraglide flight with pilot Pascal Purin, who took to the skies with the freerider, dropping her (and her skis) in the backcountry near Lech. The film of this feat will be launched to coincide with the start of the winter season, but the Kästle Family were shown a sneak preview of it at the gathering.