SR Staff Report
In June, we suspected Croatian SL specialist Istok Rodeš would change equipment partners. The conspicuous absence of his name on the Atomic athlete roster informed the world that change was imminent.
We now know that Rhodeš will work with Marker/Dalbello/Völkl. In an Instagram post, Rodeš states, “I am part of Völkl for the coming season— a great company with even better personalities who will give me the momentum to take my skiing to an even higher level.”
Eric Wolf, Racing Manager at Marker/Dalbello/Völkl, and his team of experts are producing top-quality racing equipment. And although they don’t have the money to sign many racers, the materials they provide are excellent. Therefore, they have been able to attract prolific talent. For an athlete like Rodeš, a smaller program will give him a higher priority and more influence in the direction of new constructions.
Even though Rodeš spent most of 2021/22 recovering from an elbow injury sustained during an August training accident, he was able to start his 2021/22 World Cup season in Adelboden.
However, no one will be surprised if Rodeš has an outstanding 2022/23 and performs at a world-class level during the February Courchevel/Méribel World Championships. The injury caused the sixth-place finisher in the Cortina d’Ampezzo 2021 World Championships SL to miss the 2022 Beijing Olympics. However, after only three World Cup races in January, he showed his form had returned. Rodeš finished 12th and 8th in the two February SLs in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
As we have reported, many equipment contracts end after an Olympic year. Rodeš is just the latest to announce his new brand partnership.
The biggest U.S. name to make a brand switch is Jared Goldberg, who switched from HEAD to Rossignol.
Rossignol also contracted Italian speed skier former HEAD athlete Mattia Casse.
HEAD has attracted its share of talent.
Austrian GS talent Patrick Feurstein converted from Rossignol.
Also, French speed event skier Olympian Matthieu Bailet left Salomon to join the program.
Atomic signed their share of new talent to add to their athlete roster. Most notably, Italian SL star Alex Vinatzer has left Nordica to join Atomic. Also, Norwegian tech star Mina Füerst Holtmann has left Völkl to partner with Atomic.
Henrik Kristoffersen ended a long and successful relationship with Rossignol. He joins Marcel Hirscher’s Van Deer-Red Bull Sports Equipment GmbH skiing on Van Deer.
After being acquired by Van Deer-Red Bull Sports Equipment GmbH, Augment has signed two Austrian speed athletes. Most notably, they signed Austrian Max Franz, formerly of Fischer. Franz is a World Championship medalist, World Cup winner, and three-time Olympic team member.
To date, it appears Salomon was the most aggressive with new signings.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist, Michelle Gisin of Switzerland, came to the program from Rossignol.
French Olympic medalist and World Champion Mathieu Faivre transferred from HEAD.
Alice Robinson, the young three-time World Cup winner from New Zealand, came over from the Völkl program.
Additionally, Salomon added Slovenian speed skier and World Cup winner Martin Čater, who had been skiing on Stöckli, and Swiss Olympian Camille Rast, who previously skied on HEAD.
Finally, it is good to see Kästle back in the game, signing former Stöckli athlete Slovenian Ilka Štuhec. Štuhec is a multiple World Champion and World Cup winner.