Virtue Born of Necessity
Alpine winter sports as we know them today were still very much in their infancy some 50 years ago. Sports journalist and ski instructor Hannes Marker, concerned by injuries suffered by his eager students and other inexperienced skiers on the slopes of the Bavarian Alps, resolved to lessen the sport’s inherent risks. And in so doing, he founded the company MARKER. Marker determined that inadequately responsive skiing equipment represented the single biggest cause of injuries. His perfectionist, problem-solving approach and commitment to arduous work paid off.
He successfully developed a technique whereby the skier’s leg would automatically free itself from the toe-piece on a ski board once the pressure on the knee reached a critical point. At the 1952 Sporting Goods Trade Fair in Wiesbaden, it was with enormous pride in his own ingenuity that Hannes Marker presented his new binding – the MARKER DUPLEX. The occasion marked the beginning of a new era in winter sports – an era characterized by radical new developments in binding technologies and the ever-increasing popularity of skiing as both a professional sport and a recreational pastime.
A Milestone in the World of Alpine Skiing
One year after the debut of the MARKER Duplex, sales were lively. Yet Hannes Marker, the enduring perfectionist, allowed himself no time for complacency and busied himself with modifications to his original product. The outcome of his efforts was the 350 gram MARKER SIMPLEX toe piece. Thanks to a special safety zone around the instep – featuring an elasticised shock-absorber – skiing became even safer and more comfortable than ever before.
Accidents are unavoidable. Injuries are minimizable.
During the 1960s, alpine winter sports were becoming increasingly popular and more accessible – a trend partly attributable to MARKER’s creativity. Ordinary citizens without any formal training in the art of skiing were taking to the slopes in droves. And as their numbers increased, the injury count followed exponentially. MARKER took note. Telemat and Rotamat, featuring automatic heel release and spring-catch, emerged as solutions to the most widely prevalent types of injuries.
What’s good for professional skiers can’t be bad for amateurs.
With the changing definitions of professional, amateur and semi-amateur, Marker set itself on course to make widely available to the public affordable bindings that were once the preserve of either the wealthy or professional athletes. The initiative saw the launch of the M-Series. In combination with the M44 automatic heelrelease, the four-linkage binding marked the beginning of a new era in alpine skiing. One of the many professionals who expressed and demonstrated confidence in MARKER was ski idol Franz Klammer. Who could fail to remember the legendary Olympic hero and his spectacular successes, to which MARKER contributed proudly throughout the 1970s?
MARKER – A Winning Name
The increasing use of new materials and technology became evident in the development and manufacture of first-class bindings. In 1985 the entirely new binding combination M46 Racing commanded much attention during the World Championships. And extraordinary innovations such as the Twincam toe-piece and Pivot Cam Step-in helped ski racers win medals during the 1986 World Championships in Bormio. In December of 1988, MARKER celebrated the opening of a new factory in Eshenlohe. A step into the future, MARKER could increase annual production from 350,000 pairs to 850,000.
Gold for MARKER!
For decades top skiing athletes from around the world have made it to pole position with MARKER. Ski aces with colourful names such as Maria Walliser, Katja Seizinger and Marc Girardelli were seen by millions as they each skied their way to victory, arms raised in triumph. It’s a fact that gave the respected â€˜US Ski Magazine’ reason enough to congratulate and praise MARKER in no uncertain terms. As the only ski-binding of its type on the market, the M51 Turbo SC was honoured with a gold medal for its special contribution to sport. MARKER accepted the accolade with pride, yet remained, and still remains, aware of the fact that high expectations require eternal vigilance.
2001 / 2002 – With Piston® Control you’re on the slope of a new age!
MARKER has committed itself to a product that meets the needs of skiers in the 21st Century. The Piston Control Technology sets new standards with its revolutionary innovations. A unique hydraulic piston ensures, even under extreme conditions, a smooth skiing experience with optimal performance. It represents a formidable leap into the future. MARKER – At its best!
2007 – The Royal Family begins to Rule The Mountain.
With the introduction of the Duke, Baron, Jester and Griffon, Marker takes hold of the freeski market. From big mountain to pipe and park, Marker innovation begins its reign.
2010 – Marker on Tour
Marker introduces the Tour F12 and Tour F10 bindings. Developed to accommodate 76mm minimum width skis, with new, lighter weight technology ideal for touring enthusiasts. The new Tour Bindings are sure to push AT skiing performance to a new level.
Click here to see a graphical timeline of Marker through the years.