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About Full Tilt

WHO WE ARE

Inspired by over two decades of consumer demand, Full Tilt was founded in 2006 with a mission to bring back to life the ski industry’s ORIGINAL 3-PIECE ski boot design. With honor, FT continues to produce & improve upon this legendary design sought-after by the best athletes in the world, who choose FT for the same reason as the every day skier . . . COMFORT IS PERFORMANCE.

FULL TILT’S FULL STORY – FOR THE GOOD OF SKIING

During the late 60s and early 70s, NASA was in the early stages of developing the modern spacesuit. These suits, which would be used during the agency’s first lunar missions to the Moon, had a large problem. The heating, cooling and electrical lines that ran throughout the suits, which powered the suit and kept the astronaut alive, would kink, crease and crimp when the astronauts would walk and flex their arms.

Enter Al Gross.

AN EXPERIMENTAL SPACESUIT // P: MARK AVINO AND ROLAND H. CUNNINGHAM, SI

Gross with Dixie Rinehart and the NASA design team came up with the solution to include articulating hinges with ribs that allowed a natural flex in the astronaut’s ankles, knees, and elbows; preserving the shape and functionality around the joint.

Today, this technological feature is seen in everything from water pipes to flexible drinking straws.

ERIC GIESE AT HIS DESK IN ASPEN, CO.

Gross and Rinehart would eventually leave NASA and find their way to employment with a small research and development firm, Comfort Products, headed up by former racer Eric Giese. Gross applied his knowledge of space-age technology to skiing while living in Aspen. The goal was simple: to enable the boot to flex without a bulge or distortion in the lower shell, which was one of the largest problems of the day with boot design – boots during the time period had no ankle hinge. No hinge meant any distortion caused a significant loss of control.

X RAY BOOT // P: SOLE CHAMONIX

He developed many unique boot designs during this period that featured a floating ribbed tongue instead of an overlap. These designs would become the precursor to the original Raichle Flexon tongue. Tongue in hand, Giese approached the US distributor of Raichle and presented his concept with a rough prototype. Seeing the potential, Giese was flown to Switzerland to meet the president of Raichle Switzerland, Heinz Herzog.


NEW IN 2016 – THE ALL-NEW EVOLUTION SHELL


Full Tilt’s wider-lasted Evolution shell adds better fit, function, and styling to the company’s classic three-piece DNA. Built from the ground up with new molds and tooling, the new 102-mm-last shell offers an advantageous strength-to-weight ratio in a clean profile.

 


Meeting after meeting, the Comfort Products team found themselves facing steep opposition to his new concept. The Swiss felt it too radical of a design, too different of a look for the conservative company. In one last effort, Gross leaped onto the conference table wearing one of his own prototypes and one of the company’s own products, flexing them both in the process and showing the Swiss how their boot bulged and distorted under pressure which Gross’ product kept its shape and aesthetics in tack. The decision to move ahead was obvious.

In 1979, ten years after the first moonwalk, the first 3-Piece boot prototype was built by Raichle and finally brought to market in the Winter of 1981, becoming known as the Flexon Concept and ultimately named the Flexon 5, and later the Flexon Comp.

BEACH PARTY! // P: MARK SHAPIRO

In 1983, the president and sole owner of Raichle parted with the company in a sudden sale to a relatively unknown figure in the industry: Peter Werhan. Werhan, a grandson of German chancellor Konrad Adenauer, had married a Swiss woman and moved to the country. Loving skiing, Werhan’s new acquisition meant the perfect blend of work and play. Raichle enjoyed tremendous success during this time as Werhan’s enthusiasm and charisma helped shaped the company into an industry leader. Sales grew at an exponential rate and outpaced production and the boot found itself on the podium after podium.

Some of the first professional skiers to compete in the boots were Billy Shaw, on a prototype in the early 80’s, as well as hot dog freestyle skier Peter Ouellette. Legendary Bill Johnson would win a gold medal in the 1984 Olympic downhill in the boot. Nelson Carmichael would also dominate the late 1980 mogul scene in a pair of Raichle’s.

NELSON CARMICHAEL // P: BRIAN ROBB

From the Olympics to the World Cup circuit to Freestyle competitions, no other boot could match its performance in part to the athletes that wore it and to its patented flex technology.

In the late 80s, only a few years into running the business, Werhan died in an unfortunate auto accident with his secretary in the car. Werhan’s wife immediately inherited the company and took over its operations. Sadly, the company was never the same after that. By 1996 the business was on the verge of bankruptcy. It was then that Raichle was purchased by Swiss banker Dr. Grosnick who was in the business of buying companies in distress. He purchased the Kneissl Ski Company shortly thereafter.

Despite its success and due to its unchanged design, the original Flexon boot was archived. Knowing the 3-Piece concept worked, the new owners offered volume and lower-priced versions of the original design, but none ever delivered on the predecessor’s performance. The new owners failed to understand that no matter how many iterations of the original design were created, skiers would always come back asking for the original.

In 1999, insisting that the Kneissl brand offer a boot, Dr. Grosnick made the decision to rename all of the Raichle boots to Kneissl branded boots. The rebranding wasn’t received well by consumers and only a year and a half later, Kneissl was sold to the parent company of Roces.

From this point, the molds were bought and sold and passed around, all the while maintaining a strong core following of skiers addicted to its performance. These pro athletes had built their careers on this boot as well as thousands of skiers like you whom also couldn’t give them up. With a lack of production, everyone was suddenly forced to search for parts and boots on eBay and scrounge ski swaps to keep them on their feet.

We’re skiers. We’re boot fitters and we know better than anyone that something had to be done. We took it upon ourselves to go back and search out the original molds and bring it back to life! Not in some new and distorted form, but in the original construction and design that had been proven over the past 25 years to be the most popular 3-Piece design in the world.

We purchased the original molds, tested every feature, kept what worked and then added some of today’s most advanced technology to make them work even better, never stopping until we were skiing them again. We hope you enjoy these boots as much as we enjoy bringing them back to life. The revolution in 3-piece boot design started here, and will now continue from here.

For the good of skiing.

Maude Raymond’s Focus on Style

Flowing in style from the car park to the terrain park // photo: Rachel Bock

“It’s all about flow and doing what feels good.” – Maude Raymond

Montreal, Canada born Maude Raymond grew up surrounded by a culture of outdoor sports and smooth style. Gymnastics, diving and ski racing were building blocks to her love of freeskiing and an integral foundation to fluidity, flow, and style.

Starting her career competing on the world circuit, Maude stepped away from the start house and focused on traveling and filming to showcase her own style and aesthetic. Inspiring women around the world ever since,  as an extension of her smooth skiing style, she has formed her own brand, MAAD.

From the products, imagery, and film Maude produces the Soul Sister’s style and function are a perfect extension of herself.


“The Soul Sisters are so comfortable and easy to put on! They help me ski smoothly and the height is perfect to keep my knees at their full strength.”



Maude Raymond in Japan.

 

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Wanna talk true Love ? So happy to be in @whistlerblackcomb again. P: @maxmorello

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Head in the clouds ☾ ✦ P: @bengirardi

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Lena Stoffel Chases the Winterfox

Freeride Full Tilt athlete Lena Stoffel, based in Innsbruck, Austria took a journey in the frozen lands of Hokkaido, Japan with her warm Soul Sister boots for a start to the season that was too good not to share with the world. Enjoy the teaser

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Watch out! This is a picture which I took on my travels through Hokkaido! The northern fox! My new movie which will be released this fall is called „WINTERFOX“ and it’s the first movie I produced completely myself! I filmed most of it myself, except the skiing of me is filmed by someone else! I edited myself and the music I worked with musicians who made the tracks especially for my movie! Thanks to @roryjwilliams and @lacurren ! And thanks to @charlesmeny for helping me with the finishing touches! Soon I will release a teaser with dates of screenings! So watch out for „WINTERFOX“ ! #ajourneythroughwinter #skiing #snowsurfing #skitouring #powder #japan #makewavesmovemountains @roxy @ortovox @lumix #lumixstories #hes12060 #sponsored #lumixg9

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“I spent two months in Japan last winter and wanted to show everybody what Hokkaido means to me, through my eyes. I feel so content and calm in that country. It feels like a second home to me. But this was a big challenge as I am new in the field of filming.”– Lena Stoffel

Winterfox, the first part of her new series “a journey through winter”, offers an immersive perspective of the Japanese island, seen through her eyes – a delicate balance between the raw power of skiing and the poetic beauty of Hokkaido’s wildlife and landscapes.

The short movie was shot and directed by Lena Stoffel herself alongside crew members Aaron Jamieson, Simon Abt, and Bine Zalohar. With a very special soundtrack of Rory J Williams & Lee Ann Curren, this short film is a unique experience.

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