Today, Dynafit announced the signing of professional skier Eric “Hoji” Hjorleifson to a three-year sponsorship contract. He will be a member of Dynafit’s International Team and a major consultant on boot and binding design. Though he's previously been riding Dynafit gear and working in a less prominate role with the brand, this marks his first major deal with the company.
Hoji comes from an extensive big-mountain film background with Matchstick Productions, and, during the past few seasons, has been exploring human-powered descents, ski mountaineering, and boot design. Which is to say, he’s a pretty well-rounded badass.
It’s an interesting though not unsurprising move considering Dynafit just lost its premier North American athlete, Greg Hill, to Salomon. (Which raises a whole plethora of questions around our office. Primarily: What the hell is Salomon up too signing an athlete with such touring acumen? Some of which are answered here.)
Hoji brings a much more downhill-focused mindset to Dynafit’s team and a certain measure of mainstream recognition—at least for the ski industry—to the brand. Now we’ve got more questions. What the hell is Dynafit up too?
It seems the entire industry is fully recognizing the touring market—one of the few segments of skiing actually seeing growth—and starting to invest bigger dollars in touring-centric athletes.
With the explosion of interest in backcountry skiing, traditional alpine companies and traditional touring brands are all rushing to get a foothold on the rapidly expanding market, especially the freeride touring category where fast, light, and burly are equally prized in equipment. Athletes like Hoji will further push that image and interest to the masses.
We’re guessing a big shake-up of the whole boot and binding industry is not too far down the road. Just sayin’.
Read the full press release from Dynafit at Skiing Business here.