Dynafit Signs Eric Hjorleifson

Hoji pens a deal with Dynafit. What’s next in the world of backcountry?
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Today, Dynafit announced the signing of professional skier Eric “Hoji” Hjorleifson to a three-year sponsorship contract. He will be a member of Dynafit’s International Team and a major consultant on boot and binding design. Though he's previously been riding Dynafit gear and working in a less prominate role with the brand, this marks his first major deal with the company.

Hoji comes from an extensive big-mountain film background with Matchstick Productions, and, during the past few seasons, has been exploring human-powered descents, ski mountaineering, and boot design. Which is to say, he’s a pretty well-rounded badass.

It’s an interesting though not unsurprising move considering Dynafit just lost its premier North American athlete, Greg Hill, to Salomon. (Which raises a whole plethora of questions around our office. Primarily: What the hell is Salomon up too signing an athlete with such touring acumen? Some of which are answered here.)

Hoji brings a much more downhill-focused mindset to Dynafit’s team and a certain measure of mainstream recognition—at least for the ski industry—to the brand. Now we’ve got more questions. What the hell is Dynafit up too?

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It seems the entire industry is fully recognizing the touring market—one of the few segments of skiing actually seeing growth—and starting to invest bigger dollars in touring-centric athletes.

With the explosion of interest in backcountry skiing, traditional alpine companies and traditional touring brands are all rushing to get a foothold on the rapidly expanding market, especially the freeride touring category where fast, light, and burly are equally prized in equipment. Athletes like Hoji will further push that image and interest to the masses.

We’re guessing a big shake-up of the whole boot and binding industry is not too far down the road. Just sayin’.

Read the full press release from Dynafit at Skiing Businesshere.

Related

From the second Dynafit added Eric Hjorleifson to their pro team, the skiing community has anxiously awaited some new developments in boot technology. By using the tech developed in their widely successful TLT5 boots and marrying it with the ideas from Hoji’s Frankenboot, Dynafit has created the Vulcan. Intended for the aggressive freeride touring/mountaineering crowd, the Vulcan is one of the stiffest touring boots I’ve ever tried on (though I didn’t get to ski it). However, what impressed me the most—even more than its light weight (1590 grams)—is the range of motion in walk mode. When you pull out the removable tongue (much like the TLT5), this boot has near unmatched stride length (both fore and aft), especially amongst other aggressive, downhill-oriented boots. I personally am pumped for the arrival of this boot next season. It will do a big part to change the perception of what is possible in boot tech, especially in the tourability of aggressive AT boots.

Dynafit's New Gear

Between Bavarian pow turns and steins of weißbier, one editor got the scoop on some exciting new developments at Dynafit during a trip to that brand's homeland—including a new Eric Hjorliefson collaboration boot called the Vulcan.