Brand - HEAD
Since our launch in 1960, we've achieved a reputation for cutting-edge design, engineering excellence and a passion for championing all sport, everywhere.
In 1939, Howard Head went to work as a riveter for aircraft manufacturer Glenn L. Martin Company before securing a position as an engineer.
Head worked at Martin during the war years, when he became known for his fondness for poker and parties. He was still with the company in 1946 when his penchant for socializing led him to try skiing during an outing to Stowe, Vermont, an event that marked a turning point in his life.
Despite being embarrassed by his efforts on the slopes, he was hooked on the sport and determined to improve his skill. Like many a beginner, he blamed the equipment for his poor performance, but unlike the vast majority of skiers, Head possessed the technical knowledge to make a convincing case. Skis at the time were long, heavy, and clumsy; they were also constructed of hickory wood, a material which easily lost its shape and created an unstable ride.
Rather than simply devote himself to mastering the use of the traditional ski, Head boasted he could make a better, lighter, more efficient ski using metal and aircraft manufacturing techniques.
Head bought a band saw for $250 and began designing skis in his spare time.
His concept was not to simply make a metal ski, at which others had tried and failed.
Rather, he looked to the metal-sandwich construction method of the aircraft industry, which developed during World War II when chemists created flexible, waterproof glues to bond aluminum and plywood.
In 1947, Head launched his “honeycomb” ski project, so called because he envisioned a ski that was constructed of two layers of aluminum bonded to plywood sidewalls that encased a core of honeycomb plastic.
In 1950, Howard Head incorporated his business as HEAD Ski Company, Inc.
His skis were not quickly embraced by the market, and it took several years of tireless promotion by Head to establish the expensive Standard as a status symbol product.
According to company records, HEAD became the leading brand of ski sold in the United States and Europe by 1955. Convincing world class skiers to adopt composite skis took longer, but significant Olympic victories on HEAD skis during the 1960s sealed the fate of conventional hickory skis.
Moreover, by possessing important patents covering metal ski construction, HEAD was well positioned to take advantage of the rising popularity of skiing while established ski manufacturers struggled to catch up.
Today, they are the parent company of Mares, SSI, Revo and Liveaboard.com - an amazing legacy!
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