How it all began
In 1973 the hard rock band AC/DC was born in Sydney, the Watergate scandal came to light, the first oil crisis hit the economy and Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, and Heidi Klum were born. But it was also the time when skiing became a mass sport, when in 1973 the architect and engineer Christoph von Zallinger Stillendorf from Bozen started building a modern ski factory in then very sleepy Sarnthein and founded the company Sarner Tyrol AG. Already at their first presentation at the ISPO 1974 sports fair in Munich, the Sarner Skis impressed with their design, modern technology and intelligent marketing strategy. In addition to ski design, Heidi von Zallinger - a young graduate product designer - had also designed fashion accessories, advertising prints and corporate design, and had sparked a real uproar for the brand.
Sarner Ski worldwide
30,000 pairs of skis were produced in the first year, 60,000 in the second year and a record 100,000 pairs in the 1977-78 season. Sarner Skis were quickly exported not only to Europe, but also to the United States and Japan. A real skiing fever broke out in the Sarntal Valley: local runners were hired to test the latest ski models, children in the valley were sponsored to run in slalom and giant slalom and apprenticeships were created for teenagers. Overall, the ski factory in the Sarntal Valley gave work to 120 people. Freestyle world champion Peter Lindecke and members of the Norwegian national team Jan Erik Narvestad and Paul Arne Skajem also skied with Sarner Ski. The ski industry had never seen such a success story before.
It ended too soon
Despite the excellent order situation, the Sarner Ski factory had to close down as early as 1979, as the high interest rates, the long payment terms in the industry and the lack of profitability left a growing financial hole. Sarner Tyrol AG had to file for insolvency despite a partial financial contribution even from FIAT. The Sarner Skis became a sought-after collector's item and are still on display in the Oslo Ski Museum and the German Museum in Munich.
Hans Innerebner from Sarnthein worked in the Sarner Ski factory from 1974 to 1977. Already when Sarner Tyrol AG had to close down, he dreamed of continuing the production activities of Sarner Ski. But at the time he lacked both money and know-how. In 2017, Hans Innerebner had the idea of producing skis again under the Sarner Ski brand name. No sooner said than done, the project was implemented in a very short time. With the young graphic and industrial designer Iryna Kucher, who lived in Sarnthein at the time, it was possible to win over a designer who took up Heidi von Zallinger's original idea and adapted it to current trends and requirements. In spring 2020 Hans Innerebner founded Sarner Ski vGmbH together with his sons Lukas and Christoph. And from September 2020, after more than 40 years, Sarner Ski is available again.