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Kneissl returning?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
As we enter the third week of July, It seems like a good time to ask some questions that I've been curious about.

A year or so ago Kneissl emerged from a financial reorganization proceeding sans the Flexon and other former Raichle boots that it had previously aquired. It sells its skis in Europe and Japan again. Does anyone know whether Kneissl is planning to return the the North American market?

Kneissl made some great skis. Their efforts to intergrate a ski/boot/binding line is what I think may have stretched them too thin and caused them financial difficulties.
post #2 of 13
I think they are owned by Atomic??

But there are others here who much more than I

MTT
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Based on what I've read, they have not been acquired by Atomic or another ski company. Kneissl emerged in 2004 from something comparable to Chapter 11 reorganization with some additional investment capital making Alpine and Cross Country skis but out of the boot and binding business. Just interested to know whether they will be back in North America.
post #4 of 13
I'm dating myself, but any of you old guys ever own a pair of Kneissl White Stars, Red Stars or Blue Stars. I remember my Dad loved his White Stars.
post #5 of 13
Looks like thet are all over the world (Except) the good old USofA (Lawsuit's?)
But hey I found the most over the top Ski I belive I have seen to date??

http://www.kneissl-luxury.com/
MTT
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by highpeaksdrifter
I'm dating myself, but any of you old guys ever own a pair of Kneissl White Stars, Red Stars or Blue Stars. I remember my Dad loved his White Stars.
My Dad had a pair of Kneissl Blue Stars, but he stopped using him before I started skiing because they were too stiff (he switched to 190cm Kastles). They were 205s I think. Mom had Kneissl MC 1600s, which I got as hand-me-downs and skied for a year or two.
post #7 of 13
Kneissl got big in the 90s after the success of its bigfoots and as one of the shaped ski pioneers (Elan Parabolic, Kneissl Ergo). The owner, Mr. Grosnigg, acquired also Raichle (afaik, the way Richard Gere was buying companies in Pretty Women, sans Julia Roberts ) when the heiress of the family business got into troubles, and also two traditional Austrian boot manufacturers Dynafit (Franz Klammer and many others skied in them) and Dachstein (Annemarie Moser-Pröll) forming "Kneissl and Friends".
(The boots became Kneissl later, Dynafits survived as touring boots. Raichle were discontinued first in Europe but the tradition was so strong that they had to re-introduced them.)
He first got rid of the boot companies (Raichle now owned by the Swiss Mammut) and stripped the company to skis only. There were long negotiations with the Czech (!) company Sporten (www.sporten.cz, owned by another Czech company, BGM) who only wanted skis but not boots but, afaik, the Czechs did not accept the price under the conditions offered (June 2004).

Then, Kneissl was "saved" by a group of formerly five local businessmen (I could find the names somewhere but they are no ski names) but I have heard that this winter there were only two of them left.

The production has never been discontinued but the year 2004 was tough.
Nowadays Kneissl strives to acquire the image of small but exclusive brand ("klein aber fein").

More: http://www.kneissl.com/en/index.htm
post #8 of 13
As to history, Franz Kneissl and Anton Kastle were the two first giants of Austrian ski production and together with Rossignol and Dynamic the first four leading brands in ski racing back in the 50s and early 60s.
Kneissl skis have a long tradition in European ski racing begining with Toni Sailer. Afaik, the name "White Star" has been used for almost 40 years.

I also owned those checkered White Star Professionals in the late 70s. Good skis, not very snappy, rather heavy but solid. Rossis ST Comp were better, the Kneissls got sold.
post #9 of 13
OK - once and for all, how are you really supposed to pronounce Kneissl?

Is it K-nice-L? Or is the K silent? Or is it something else altogether?
post #10 of 13
I have always pronounced it with a hard "k" and a long "i": KnIsel

I bought a pair of White Star RS's in 1991, 207 centimeters of the finest GS ski I ever owned. Big and heavy, perfect for busting crud at high speeds and surprisingly nimble too. They were a really fun ski!
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler
OK - once and for all, how are you really supposed to pronounce Kneissl?
Is it K-nice-L? Or is the K silent? Or is it something else altogether?
Yes, it´s "K-nice-L". The K is pronounced (it´s not the English kn-).
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
Kneissl got big in the 90s after the success of its bigfoots and as one of the shaped ski pioneers (Elan Parabolic, Kneissl Ergo). The owner, Mr. Grosnigg, acquired also Raichle (afaik, the way Richard Gere was buying companies in Pretty Women, sans Julia Roberts ) when the heiress of the family business got into troubles, and also two traditional Austrian boot manufacturers Dynafit (Franz Klammer and many others skied in them) and Dachstein (Annemarie Moser-Pröll) forming "Kneissl and Friends".
(The boots became Kneissl later, Dynafits survived as touring boots. Raichle were discontinued first in Europe but the tradition was so strong that they had to re-introduced them.)
He first got rid of the boot companies (Raichle now owned by the Swiss Mammut) and stripped the company to skis only. There were long negotiations with the Czech (!) company Sporten (www.sporten.cz, owned by another Czech company, BGM) who only wanted skis but not boots but, afaik, the Czechs did not accept the price under the conditions offered (June 2004).

Then, Kneissl was "saved" by a group of formerly five local businessmen (I could find the names somewhere but they are no ski names) but I have heard that this winter there were only two of them left.

The production has never been discontinued but the year 2004 was tough.
Nowadays Kneissl strives to acquire the image of small but exclusive brand ("klein aber fein").

More: http://www.kneissl.com/en/index.htm
Since you seem to have a handle on things, I wonder about Raichle (I ski in '02 F-One Revs). It doesn't seem they are making ski boots, I ran a web search and all I found was hiking/mountaineering boots.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict
... I wonder about Raichle (I ski in '02 F-One Revs). It doesn't seem they are making ski boots, I ran a web search and all I found was hiking/mountaineering boots.
That´s right. No ski boots anymore. It´s the story about the molds having been sold in an auction and bought probably? by K2 - there have been some posts on waiting whether K2 will revive the good ol´ Flexon. The Flexon guys would know better.
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