We love LoloMore than 20 years of Dynastar told in three insightful anecdotes.
“The S430 ski, after the phone number of the factory’s switchboard!”
“It was my first few weeks within the company, I’d joined as a ‘tech rep’ on a workstudy program! For me, coming from the South of France to live in Sallanches, at the foot of mont Blanc, and to work for Dynastar was a bit like moving to Disneyland… As an introduction, we were lucky enough to visit the ‘museum’ of iconic skis. We started with the legendary MV2. Then came the S430, much less well-known than the world-famous Omeglass and Course. I thought it an unusual name and asked where it came from. Back then, there were no marketing managers. The names of skis were chosen in an impromptu brainstorming session at the coffee machine. But strangely, no one had had any bright ideas. Our guide Jean-Claude told us that since they were all out of creativity, the then product managers had chosen the name in reference to the telephone number for the factory switchboard: 430.
‘S’ standing for switchboard and ‘430’ for its number. The S430! Makes sense, doesn’t it? I sometimes wonder if we shouldn’t go back to this kind of initiative to name our ranges!”
“Laurent, I’m calling you because I have the Nepalese team in the store and they need to be equipped for the Worlds in a few days!”
“There’s a real buzz in Val d’Isère. The resort is running at full throttle with the final preparations for hosting the World Alpine Ski Championships.
My phone rings. It’s Sylvain on the line, a super client but one of a kind, really into Freeride and Telemark and up against big brands, ‘Yes Laurent, I’m calling you because I have the Nepalese team in the store and they need to be equipped for the Worlds in a few days!’ I tell him to stop fooling around and that it’s a good joke. Then I go off to see another client, Bruno, at Killy Sport in the center of Val d’Isère. He says, ‘Guess what, Laurent? The Nepalese team was here just now. They’re looking for equipment.’ I look him straight in the eye and ask him if there’s a hidden camera… But Bruno is a serious guy! Jokes are not his thing. He explains, ‘An English sponsor financed their preparation and entries but their skis never reached France.’
So I call the Racing department, kicking off with, ‘Right, listen to me guys, I swear this is not a joke…’ We end up bringing them in and equipping them but it’s a catastrophic mess: they have no skis, boots nor poles. What we don’t realize however, is that this act of selfless kindness will bring us unprecedented visibility.
The world media is besotted with these new ‘Rasta Rocketts’ and talks about nothing else for the next few days. For us right then, the media coverage was probably greater than during the competition itself.”
“I follow in his tracks. The further Rich goes, the more he commits. I brace myself.”
“What I really appreciate in my job, and more generally in Dynastar’s philosophy, is how close our athletes are to us and how they are involved both in the construction of the skis and in developing the brand’s vision.
In 2016, I was lucky enough to share a whole trip to the United States with Richard Permin, in his early days at Dynastar. There was a natural vibe between us from the word go. I quickly understood that I was dealing with a true pro, conscientious, capable of delivering projects that came close to perfection; and a true champion too, with his aura and his strong personality, expecting as much of others as of himself.
When the ski tests were over, we both set off for a Freeride session in Dear Valley. I followed in his tracks. The further we went, the more he committed. I braced myself. We came into a pretty thick forest, but still he sped ahead, as if he knew the way (in fact he didn’t), until he came face to face with a huge fallen tree… It must have been 4 feet high! He jumped. I had no time to stop and instinctively, my survival instinct kicking in, I followed suit. I made it. But only just.
Once we were back down, I gave him a good telling-off, pouring out the fear and anger I felt when he took this risk. That’s when I understood what makes this athlete a different kind of animal: his ability to disconnect and commit. He’s not cut from the same cloth as the rest of us. His willingness to break rules is a perfect match with Dynastar’s DNA, this trailblazing, pioneering, bold nature. I have a lot of stories about athletes that reflect true closeness. This one left its mark on me.”