We’ve taken the 80 years of Stöckli history and wrapped it all up for your enjoyment. Find out here how Stöckli outdoor sports became the brand you know today.
In the mid-1930s, Josef Stöckli was making wooden skis for his own use. One day, he filled his mother’s large washtub with water and lit the fire underneath. No, not to wash dirty laundry. He was much more interested in the boards he had already hewn in his parent’s carpentry shop from ash and in steaming them over his mother’s bubbling wash basin to bend them into shape. The skis must have been good since he started getting orders from his friends. When the demand grew larger, he decided in 1935 to establish the ski brand Stöckli AG. Today, it has the only ski manufacturing facility remaining in Switzerland.
Innovation as guiding principle
Josef Stöckli was pretty inventive from the beginning. When he was making his first pair of skis, he was already considering how he could pare back some weight, so he fluted the surface of the ski. All his life, he was always searching for something new. In 1945, he made his first pair of laminated wood skis combining hickory and ash with screwed-on steel edges. He also experimented with gluing on celluloid edges on top. He was the first in 1957 to make metal skis, taking on an idea from Head. In 1965 Stöckli then made the first skis of plastic compounds. And, best of all: Josef Stöckli only sold skis that he himself had tested.
Since the beginning in 1935 when there was a small production line over a washbasin where 50 pairs of skis were made, Stöckli has of course progressed enormously. Ski production has remained primarily in Malters outside of Lucerne since 1986. Today, Stöckli Swiss Sports AG sells more than 70,000 pairs of ski annually. Using a combination of the most modern computer-controlled (CNC) milling machines and hand finishing, 80 associates build today’s high-tech ski products. Relying on its more than 80 years of experience and constant implementation of successful new ideas from racing and development departments, Stöckli guarantees a wide-reaching collection sure to meet the needs of every skier.
At first, Stöckli was involved primarily in the regional ski racing scene. Indeed, mostly athletes from central Switzerland were the ones who put their trust in Stöckli skis. Once proven by its regional successes, Stöckli was finally in 1994 allowed entry into the Swiss Ski Pool after having made several prior applications. This resulted in the Olympic silver medalist Urs Kälin moving over to Stöckli as the first Swiss World Cup skier to do so. In that first season alone, he had several podium finishes. Now, after more than 20 years involved with ski racing at the highest level, the company can be very proud of its successes.
Top athletes such as Tina Maze, Mike Schmid, Ashleigh McIvor, Viktoria Rebensburg, Ambrosi Hoffmann, Fabienne Suter and others have or had all placed their trust in Stöckli skis. Together they have won many World Championship titles, Olympic medals as well as had many World Cup victories and podium finishes. Consumers can also benefit from the innovations that have found success at the World Cup level since the identical racing skis (special Laser models) as used by our elite World Cup athletes are also found on the retail floor at stores.
Marketing strategy and selective distribution
Every ski manufacturer in Switzerland was under margin pressure from both domestic and foreign competitors – except Stöckli. If Stöckli had not opted in 1967 for a vertical distribution structure, the company would have likely suffered the same fate. Today, for example, we operate five of our own brand stores and five rental and service centers, plus we work in partnership with 40 other shops in Switzerland to guarantee customer convenience. And when it comes to distribution, we stand by the basic principle of “Quality over Quantity.” Stöckli follows a selective distribution strategy: This tenet provides the assurance in business partnerships that customers will receive the essential sales consultation so valuable when buying skis.
PASSION & EXPERTISE
Our passion is evident in the DNA of every handcrafted ski. There are no compromises when it comes to quality, materials or performance. That demands a lot of careful hand detailing.