THE STUFF OF LEGENDS
From skis made in solid wood to the Radical Mutix, Rossignol's history is driven by innovations embodied in the skis of today.
A laminated wood structure was an innovation which laid the foundations for modern skis. Winner of the Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in St Moritz 1948, with the descent by Henri Oreiller (best friend of Abel Rossignol). The Olympic 41remained in production until 1965.
Emile Allais, impressed by the some American skis made by Head, brought them back to France. He worked with Rossignol to develop them and the Allais 60 was the result. At least two years ahead of of its rivals, it spurred a new era for competition ski technology.
This ski offered previously unknown abilities thanks to its novel structure combining fibreglass laminated on a wooden core. It carried generations of champions to an unequalled list of honours. Marketed until 1975, it was the first to ski to sell more than one million pairs.
Flagship model of the Rossignol range for almost a decade, recognized for both its performance and ability, this slalom ski sold one million pairs worldwide. With its VAS shock absorbtion system and use of kevlar, it set new standards of efficiency, stability and comfort.
Slalom ski structure encased in fibreglass and kevlar, with a micro cellular core, VAS system, and narrow edges. It offered the most demanding skiers precision, vivacity and manoeuvrability. A multiple winner in the World Cup and the Olympic Games, including with the great Italian champion Alberto Tomba.
RADICAL R11 MUTIX
Another new step in the world of skiing - customization technology with the Radical R11 Mutix racing ski. With one pair of skis, skiers can choose between two types of handling characteristics - short or long turns - thanks to the interchangeable arms which adjust and raise themselves with a turn of a screw.
Rossignol pays hommage to the Rossignol Olympic 41 and Strato (shown right), two skis which have stood out above all others in the history of skiing.
For over a century French ski-maker Rossignol has lived and breathed for the mountains, the marque’s raison d'être. An icon from the past, and a dynamic emblem of the present, the brand draws on its roots and heritage to build its vision for the future. The years to come will see Rossignol allied to a mountain lifestyle which is both authentic yet modern, developing a range of products for all seasons.
1907: THE BIRTH OF A LEGEND...
ABEL ROSSIGNOL, craftsman carpenter at the helm of a wood turning business at Voiron near Grenoble, decides to make himself a pair of skis in 1907. The results win first prize in a manufacturing competition organized by the Touring Club de France. Abel Rossignol then opens a ‘skis et luges’ section in his workshop and the first manufactured skis make their first appearance.
1936: ALPINE SKIING BECOMES AN OLYMPIQUE SPORT
Emile Allais, medalist at the 1936 Olympic Games in combined downhill and slalom, is the first athlete to take an interest in the manufacture of his skis. He contacts Rossignol, whose skis are already achieving quite a reputation. One year later Emile Allais is World Downhill Champion, the first French ski title. He would go on to win the Gold Medal in the combined in 1938.
1956: INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION
Laurent Bois-Vives takes over Rossignol Skis and immediately decides to concentrate all activities on the ski market. He will give the company globally-oriented industrial production.
1967: Rossignol takes control of Dynastar Skis.
1968: Rossignol becomes the first global ski producer.
1967-1971: Rossignol decides to relocate to Spain, where the industrial production capacity is totally rethought. This technique increases production to nearly 500,000 pairs of skis per year.
1972: Rossignol skis become No. 1 in world skiing. At the Olympic Games in Sapporo, Rossignol skis are ranked first in the results, obtaining 7 out of a possible 18 medals, including 4 Golds.
1976-1977: RECORD YEAR
Rossignol Group is the leading manufacturer of skis, with a million pairs of skis sold in the course of one year.
During the early 80s, the monoski opens the way to a different way of skiing. It is well well received, particularly in Europe, by skiers seeking new sensations. Judged to be too close to alpine skiing, many followers of new trends instead take to snowboarding. One of the first major manufacturers to take an interest in the discipline, in 1987 Rossignol markets with its ‘Avion’snowboard. .
1988: CALGARY OLYMPIC GAMES
Rossignol is the most highly ranked manufacturer, with 6 out of a possible 12 Gold Medals for downhill skiing.
1989 - 1990
1989 sees the acquisition of the Lange group and the international launch of the Rossignol ski-boot range.
The Company’s presence in garments under the Killy and Anoralp brands stimulates new levels of technical expertise.
The 89-90 season finds the Rossignol Group consolidating its position as No. 1 in skis worldwide with both Rossignol and Dynastar brands performing well.
Rossignol acquires the US Roger Cleveland Golf Company.
1994: Rossignol Ski acquires Look Fixations, a production unit making ski bindings.
The Company launches a new range of ski bindings under the Rossignol brand. The group now offers a comprehensive range of equipment (skis, boots, bindings, poles) for different skiing disciplines.
Now ranked No. 3 in the world for ski footwear, the group enjoys exceptional growth for its Lange and Rossignol brands.
Cross-country skis and ski poles now ranked 2nd worldwide.
The Rossignol Group becomes one of the first ski manufacturers to commit to the snowboarding market.
1996: PARABOLICS - A NEW GENERATION OF SKIS
Parabolic skis are introduced across several ranges.
At the World Championships in Sestrière Deborah Compagnoni, gives Dynastar its first victory — and on parabolic skis.
Rossignol inaugurates Olympic snowboarding.
The introduction of clothing under the Rossignol brand.
Launch of the ‘Pure Mountain Company’ defining the brand’s mountain strategy.
Ten years after its entry into the Rossignol group, Look Fixations achieves No.1 spot worldwide for its products.
Respect Campaign: Rossignol takes an original approach to defending and safeguarding the mountain environment.
The Rossignol group joines Quiksilver, creating the new world leader for the outdoor market.
OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS: 62
OLYMPIC MEDALS: 133 (SILVER 64, BRONZE 7)
No.1 IN ALPINE SKI WITH 30% OF THE WORLD MARKET IN VALUE
ROSSIGNOL IS PRESENT IN 53 COUNTRIES
DISTRIBUTION BY PRODUCT LINES OF THE ROSSIGNOL GROUP BUSINESS 2005/2006
Alpine Ski: 40%
Clothing & Accessories: 15%
Nordic: 5% Ski Poles: 2%
All information and images courtesy of SKIS ROSSIGNOL S.A.S.
MountainPassions joins the security team at Samoens in the Grand Massif ski domain for a day. We look at the job of the pisteurs and how they keep the slopes safe for skiers.