Starting in the late ’80s, industry veteran Clark Gundlach was an integral part of the ultimate disruptive product in the snowsports industry: snowboarding. Working alongside Jake Burton, Gundlach helped to not only develop the pioneering brand into an industry juggernaut, but also to usher the sport of snowboarding from rebellious upstart to wildly popular global winter sport.
After 22 years breaking ground at Burton, Gundlach has found another product that he’s excited to get behind: The Dahu Swiss Ski Boot, a cutting-edge product that hopes to revolutionize the industry.
It's hard to say whether the USA company's website which indicates that Dahu is 'Landing in North America Fall 2019' referenced product delivery or a launch to the trade, though the boot was shown at the 2018 Snow Show.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen true innovation in the ski boot business,” says Gundlach, who, as Dahu USA’s president, is teaming up with like-minded industry veterans on the project—including Maurizio Molin, renowned designer who also worked for two decades at Burton.
Designed in Switzerland, the Dahu boot is a modular design that reimagines the ski boot. It consists of a Grilamid plastic shell featuring a series of strategic cutouts, a Corsair entry and a Italian-made inner lace-up Cambium boot liner that’s unlike any ski boot liner on the market.
They say "Designed in Switzerland, the Dahu boot has a pivotal hinge design that totally changes the alpine ski boot. The Grilamid shell features carefully engineered cutouts eliminating pressure points and the Italian-made inner Cambium boot liner is designed for performance, warmth and comfort. The Dahu boot introduces a precisely engineered Corsair entry system, with hinges at the front and back of the boot. The skier has two options, either step into the insulated Cambium liner, lace it up, and then simply step into the shell or leave the liner in the boot and step in, as a single unit, like a conventional Alpine setup."
Either way, Dahu boots are supremely easy to get in and out of. This boot will also let skiers step out of the shell and walk around comfortably in the liner boot alone, a distinct advantage over traditional alpine boots.
“After thousands of days on the mountain, I know what an uncomfortable boot feels like. This product has the potential to revolutionize the ski boot business,” says Gundlach. “It’s an innovation that the industry deserves. I’m excited about that. A pain-free ski experience will bring joy to every vertical foot of your day.”
Gundlach recalls how Burton and other snowboarding companies challenged the establishment at the industry’s annual snow trade show. During those early years, every season was an evolution in every product, from boots to boards to bindings. “Both the design teams and the riders were continually innovating,” says Gundlach.
With Dahu, Gundlach feels he is bringing that same excitement to the ski side of the business. “It’s time to disrupt ski hardgoods,” he says.
Dahu’s Swiss headquarters are nestled in the foothills above Lake Geneva, where they sit at the intersection of international culture and alpine geography. To reach the nearby ski resorts of Verbier, Chamonix, Saas Fe, and Crans-Montana, one first passes through the lakeside resort of Montreux, famous for its annual jazz festival. This interchange of music and culture, mountain and valley imbues the brand with a multi-dimensional appreciation for versatility.