tr?id=790146684351692&ev=PageView&noscript=1 ZANIER Gloves – high quality gloves and accessories for outdoor sports - Speed, style & soul snowboarder Sigi Grabner

Speed, style & soul snowboarder Sigi Grabner

Speed, style & soul snowboarder Sigi Grabner – Zanier Legends part 1

Numerous personalities and athletes have supported us in the development of our gloves since 1969. We would like to introduce you to at least some of these supporters who share our passion for outdoor and mountain sports and also our high standards in product development, to exchange ideas with them and look back on shared experiences.

Speed, style and soul – these are the attributes that best describe snowboard legend Sigi Grabner. From 1995 to 2014 the charismatic Carinthian with the striking long braid under the Red Bull helmet was successful in his main discipline parallel slalom / parallel giant slalom in the ISF and FIS: World Champion, Runner-Up World Champion, European Champion, Lord of the Boards, Olympic Medallist, Soulman and Sportsman of the Year. However, Sigi Grabner was never satisfied with professional sport alone.

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With your own cult board to an Olympic medal. 

Even during his active career he founded his own cult snowboard brand SG Snowboards in 2004 and won the Olympic bronze medal in Turin in 2006 on the race board he developed. As an entrepreneur, Sigi runs a responsible and sustainable business – the snowboards are produced climate-neutral  in Austria. Numerous athletes rely on SG's alpine, freeride, freecarve and big mountain snowboards, and so Sigi is still indirectly present on the podiums in professional snowboarding.

With the book "Boarder zwischen den Welten" Sigi has already realized himself as an author, he has shot international commercials and still inspires athletes with extreme challenges, for example, he cycled from Austria to Sochi together with his snowboard colleague Roland Fischnaller and friends. Sigi lives in Andorra and Lienz/East Tyrol and still travels a lot. His passion for the sport, his routine and successes, but above all Sigi's authenticity and straightforwardness made him a respected figure in the snowboard world and in the sports business too.

Sigi's mindset for various projects also brought him together with Zanier Gloves. Together with Sigi, we developed snowboard gloves with the cult SG logo, which both companies sold over several seasons starting with the 2007/2008 collection. For Zanier, Sigi also opened doors for the long-standing sponsorship of the ÖSV Snowboard Team. We met Sigi in Lienz for a chat and caught up.

Sigi, what were the most memorable experiences during your professional career?

Of course, it's the positive moments, the great successes that stick in my mind. This certainly includes my first World Cup victory in 1995 in Finland, where I beat the big names for the first time as a youngster. That kicked off my career and my launch as a Red Bull athlete. The World Championship home title on the Kreischberg was a big milestone for me personally. I still think back on this experience with goose bumps today. And of course the Olympic bronze medal in Turin 2006 was emotional for me for several reasons. I stood on the podium as an athlete and as a developer of my own snowboard brand.  

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Sigi, what were the most memorable experiences during your professional career?

Of course, it's the positive moments, the great successes that stick in my mind. This certainly includes my first World Cup victory in 1995 in Finland, where I beat the big names for the first time as a youngster. That kicked off my career and my launch as a Red Bull athlete. The World Championship home title on the Kreischberg was a big milestone for me personally. I still think back on this experience with goose bumps today. And of course the Olympic bronze medal in Turin 2006 was emotional for me for several reasons. I stood on the podium as an athlete and as a developer of my own snowboard brand.  

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What was it like to consciously & self-resolutely draw the line under your career?

The end is important in all things, says a proverb. To stop consciously and not because I am injured or my performance is no longer good enough was very important to me. I had in fact never even thought about stopping. The moment the thought occurred to me, I was aware: I'm going to race one more season, then I'm done. So I could experience the final season with fun and enjoyment. It cleared my head and the way for future plans.

One door closes, a professional challenge opens.

How did you start your own snowboard brand SG Snowboards?

It's an interesting story, which shows that setbacks often open up new opportunities. The situation with my material was quite fraught in the 2003/2004 season. I was not really happy with my board and wanted to switch to a Swiss manufacturer. But the brand did not want to give me their boards and said: "If we gave you our boards, we'd be cutting off our nose to spite our face." So in the summer of 2004, I started designing snowboards and making my own boards. It was quite a lot at the time – a change in federation and the development of my own snowboard. I starting racing SG Snowboards in the 2004/2005 season, and in 2006 I took my own board onto the Olympic podium in Turin. This medal means a lot to me. I fought my way onto this podium – as a racer and developer of this snowboard brand, which I had to found! Ahead of me there were two athletes with Swiss boards on the podium. If the Swiss had sold me their board at that time, there would have been three identical boards on the podium, I wouldn't have founded SG Snowboards. This experience did of course influence my professional career, and in retrospect I am very happy about it.

How a snowboard has to feel when carving.

F: Please tell us a bit about product development at SG Snowboards today so we can get an idea of it.

Every SG Snowboard bears my signature of course, but I always try to be open to new things and inspiration from outside. The raceboards are created with a lot of feedback from the active racers and my own experience. I know how a board should feel and behave in different situations. Ideas often come from snowboarding itself, I once designed a new board on a long distance flight. A feedback session with customers and racers is important – not just to plan the products yourself but to incorporate the racers' experiences and requests into the products. Our production is in Carinthia, I am often on site and heavily involved in the production process.

You're a jack of all trades. Are you currently working on other projects besides SG Snowboards?

Over the last 4 years I have been working on the Red Bull Edge snowboard carving event, which was my idea and has been held by us in Montafon and Hakuba/Japan since 2017. Anyone can participate in this event, whether it's with soft or hard boots. It's not about style or speed but who completes the carving course with technical precision. My aim is to get people enthusiastic about carving – I want to see more carvers on the slopes again. At the end of each season, we organise a final snowboard camp where the SG pro riders act as coaches together with me. People interested in snowboarding, about 40/50 people, can improve their skills. So I never get bored.

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What inspires you to take on your challenges – in business and sport?

Basically, it is always the love for sport. I absolutely love snowboarding and want to pass this passion on. The feeling of carving down a slope is the greatest. It is of course also inspiring when racers who I support are successful. Young people who love nothing more than taking their snowboard to World Championships or onto Olympic podiums, that's wonderful. And more SG Snowboards will of course be sold as a result. So I am contributing to this growing niche of carving snowboards.

With the split board through the Pyrenees.

What other major sporting challenge do you have in mind?

There's not just one project, even though a tour through the Pyrenees with the split board should turn out sometime in the next five years. But I never wanted to retireJ in sports but keep fit. Cycling in the mountains, running, touring and ultra trail running – as much as possible alongside my work. What is definitely not up for discussion is a comeback.

How are you experiencing the current situation as an entrepreneur, even though the production of SG Snowboards is located in Austria?

Everything is connected globally, we also have suppliers all over the world. A snowboard is a complex product with many components. Our binding, for example, is produced here in our company, all the components come from Austria – except for one small part from Asia. But we are ready to cope with this season and this situation. As a producer you always have your challenges, this year there are simply more.

Fotocredit:

1. Sam-san/SG Snowboards (Isamo Kubo)

2. ewa/SG Snowboards

3. ewa/SG Snowboards

4. John Colvin/SG Snowboards

5. Die SG-Handschuhe im Katalog Zanier 2007/2008

Some current Zanier styles used by snowboarding pros and enthusiasts:

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GAP.STX 

The GAP.STX is the ideal glove for snowboarders. The supports on the upper hand and palm protect the joints perfectly, the waterproof SYMPATEX membrane keeps you pleasantly dry and warm. The gloves were made from robust microfibre, the palm is reinforced by a PU patch.

Gate Killer Mitten

Special protection and durable materials are essential for racers. The GATE KILLER MITTEN protects the hands, thanks to special TPU protectors. Strong, high-quality materials such as goatskin give the gloves their necessary robustness, the special back of the hand design ensures sufficient freedom of movement. The neoprene glove cuff with its practical double fastening ensures a perfect fit. Protection against the cold and rain is guaranteed by the LOFT insulation. The GATE KILLER MITTENS are equipped with inner gloves, which promise optimal grip.

Revolution.xsx

The REVOLUTION.XSX ensures perfect water and wind impermeability as well as excellent grip by incorporating the Sympatex® membrane in combination with PrimaLoft® insulation. High-quality goatskin and 4-way stretch also contribute to perfect comfort. A firm hold is essential for daredevil jumps in the terrain: with the PRO LOCK fastening, the gloves are guaranteed to sit comfortably and securely in the right place, no matter how wild the run. Practical features such as the wiper on the thumb and the adjustable leash make the models the perfect accessory in the backcountry.