In 1947, Klaus Obermeyer arrived in Aspen, Colorado to join a friend who had opened the Aspen Ski School. For 12 years Klaus worked as a ski instructor by day and inspired by the short comings of ski clothing of the time, started Sport Obermeyer. He set out to develop more durable warm parka he could use while instructing. Over the years, Sport Obermeyer has made everything from sun tan lotion to the first plastic ski boot. Klaus still resides in Aspen and skis every day he can.
I got a chance to catch up with Klaus for a quick interview out in Aspen at the Obermeyer headquarters. Maybe you will hear him yodel!
Transcript: Hi. I’m Jess from Skis.com here with Klaus Obermeyer at Obermeyer headquarters in Aspen. Klaus, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. (yodels). Perfect. I love it. So, first off, I’d like to ask you, what do you miss most about the old days of skiing? I miss nothing about the old days of skiing. I have more fun now than ever before. Well that’s great. I need to know, what do you like most about new skiing? What’s your favorite new trends? The new trend, the wider shaped skis that float in deep snow like a snowboard. And so it makes the deep snow skiing really a lot easier and more fun. Yeah. And you can carve with them which is also a lot of fun so no complaints. It’s just better, huh? All right. So, you’re celebrating 65 years here at Obermeyer. That’s amazing. Can I ask how you got into the industry? Well, I fell and when I got up I was in Aspen. That’s a good reason to be here. Good. So, you do have a birthday coming up. Can I ask how old you are? No, you can’t. No. Oh, please. 93. Wow. But I feel only like 92. Young at heart. So, how often do you ski? I usually ski every day. Every day? Because as you get older, you keep forgetting and I don’t want to forget how to ski so I do it every day. That’s a good philosophy. I like it. So, where do you see the ski industry heading versus where it’s come from? Oh, it’s getting bigger and because the equipment is so much better than it used to be and also the snow making is better which is kind of the life insurance to the ski industry and it’s just everything is better, you know. So, there are more and more people skiing. I think the twin tips brought a lot of young people to change from the snowboard to twin tips because you can jump higher in the half-pipe with them so it’s just a lot of exciting stuff happening, you know. So, you think it’s going to keep growing? Oh absolutely. It’s also skiing is the best family sport. You can go out with your kids. Now, there’s fortunately they have little cell phones so parents can keep track of them, you know. I always say, ski with your kids for 3 days and then they’re faster than you. That is the rate it’s going now. So what is your best skiing story? Best ski story? You know what? They’re all good. Skiing is just fabulous because in the winter, in the landscape that is like in a fairy tale with the trees covered with snow and people having fun and smiling and combining the beauty of nature with the speed. And the zero G’s you get when you jump so there’s nothing but good. No matter where you do it and how you do it. Just as long as you’re doing it, right? There you go. All right, so as the last question, Do you have any advice for all the skiers and snowboarders out there? Well, my advice is to just enjoy it. And slow down sometimes, you don’t always have to go 100 miles an hour, you know, slow down and look at the beautiful landscape and look maybe you can find a rabbit jumping around. The weasel, the black-tailed weasel which we have on Aspen mountain. Just enjoy the fact that you’re out there and have the freedom of choice as to how you want to come down. That’s perfect. I love it. Thank you, Klaus, for taking time with us. I’m Jess, again, from skis.com. Thank you for watching.