Naoki Yuasa scored a top 10 in slalom yesterday on Hart skis. Anyone know if those are Blossom-made Harts? If so, I'm guessing it's their best World Cup result ever.
I have some Hart F-17s from the 90s. Yes. they do work fine. What I've wondered is why Japan hasn't had more competitive WC skiers with all the awesome terrain they have.
I haven't followed the world cup long enough to know where they stand historically, but (I'm a bit behind watching them) but one of the Japanese Hart riders (probably the same guy) finished I think 12th or so back on January 9th as well. Maybe they are improving?
They periodically make some noise in slalom, but that's about it. Japanese WC skiers had appeared to be married to Rossignol for years, but that appears to be changing.
Anyway, I started this thread mostly to see if our local ski factory was producing skis that have made their way onto the World Cup. Guess that's not the case. Blossom's a stealthy little company, though. I'd guess the vast majority of their production ends up with someone else's name on it. Phil would know better.
Here's some info for ya'all on Hart Japana. They are made by Japana industries under the Hart brand in the town of Mitake in Gifu Prefecture. The factory is opwned by Alpen Sports, the largest chain of sporting goods stores in Japan. They make over 100,000 pairs of Hart skis for sale only in Japan every season.
After Yamaha stopped its ski venture, the head engineer was hired by Japana and he has redesigned the factory from making cheap skis in 55 minutes a pair to pretty amazing stuff in about 550 minutes a pair. Hence the recent dramatic rise of the skiers on those boards, and the medals in freestyle this olympics.
Japana has been making Harts for Japan since the 70's, when they acquired exclusive rights to the brand for the country.
Feel free to ask me any specifics on the brands identity around the world.