While Tyrolia may lack the name recognition afforded to its ski and boot producing peers, do not underestimate the role the Austrian brand plays in the industry. Chances are that you or a friend has skied with Tyrolias before—its bindings account for one of every three sold worldwide. Thanks to a host of high-quality products and industry-leading innovations, Tyrolia has carved out a sizeable spot for itself in the binding market.
History of Tyrolia
Founded in the state of Vienna in 1847 as Wiener Metallwaren-, Schnallen- und Maschinen- Fabrik GmbH (don’t worry, we can’t pronounce it either), Tyrolia produced a variety of products out of metal. They didn’t enter the binding business until 1949. This was a little more than a decade after the invention of the Saf-Ski toe binding, the first model that was designed to eject the toe during a crash. Far from that level of sophistication, Tyrolia’s initial offering featured the traditional cable binding invented in the late 1920s.
Binding technology improved rapidly, and by the mid 60s products began to resemble their modern descendants. Tyrolia’s first major innovation came in 1973 with the Clix Diagonal Heel. In order to curtail injuries caused by diagonal forward falls, Tyrolia invented a binding that ejected upwards and sideways, eliminating the risk of twisting a leg when wiping out at an angle.
Tyrolia’s history is expansive, but the company has earned most of its clout by way of recent inventions. Since being acquired by Head in 1989, the brand has released a number of well-respected bindings.
Popular series like the Freeflex system helped Tyrolia earn the designation of World Market Leader in 2000. In 2001, it became the first binding brand to be certified under the ISO 9001:2000 Standard. Awarded by the Technical Inspection Association of Germany, this certification states that Tyrolia meets the highest standards for quality and corporate culture. 2009 saw Tyrolia take home a Red Dot Design Award for its LiteRail and Carbon prestige model.
Despite its acquisition by a multi-national ski industry giant, Tyrolia has remained true to its Austrian roots while headquartered in the same town it was founded in, Schwechat, Austria.
A binding’s job is relatively simple: keep skiers strapped in when they’re upright, and release them when things go haywire. Tyrolia’s team roster speaks volumes for how adept at this balance the brand’s products are. Tanner Hall, Phil Casabon, Mathilde Gremaud, and Mike Hornbeck—to name a few—are known for boundary-pushing stunts that require top of the line bindings. Those same bindings are found on the sticks of millions of skiers worldwide. From rentals strapped to the feet of kindergartners to your dad’s ruler-straight, neon twigs from college, Tyrolia is trusted to keep people clipped into their skis the world over.
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Award-Winning Products from Tyrolia featured in SKI Magazine