When you put your heart into your work, success comes quickly. We don’t even have to go far to fulfill this claim. The unique Forest Skis from the Tatras, born from the love of skiing and nature thanks to brothers from Liptovský Mikuláš, are enough tangible evidence. The story of the Devečkov brothers´ brand will convince you about the fact that Slovakia is a country of skilled people.
From hobby to business
Anyone who expects a mass-production factory under the Tatras will be surprised. The whole company is run by two brothers Viktor and Jakub together with Viktor’s girlfriend Broňa. As the brothers say, everything began with a passion for skiing and the manufacture of the first models of skis just for themselves. Later, a trip to Norway became fateful for this trio where they mentioned skis in a conversation with the domestic people. A Norwegian guy had ordered ten pairs of skis, a new chapter was opened to the brothers. Upon their arrival, it was decided – they are going to pursue their hobby professionally. Even though this first Norwegian customer declared personal bankruptcy and the order was cancelled, the ten produced pairs of skis started their brand. The initial hobby thus grew into a family business, which is currently based in a Prague workshop and is still progressing.
In addition to skis, they also produce original longboards and collaborate on other projects. As an answer to the question, if the brothers are going to delight snowboarders as well and make their way in this direction, Viktor says: “The workshop where we manufacture skis is originally a snowboard workshop and has its own brand LTB snowboards, with 32 years on the market. That’s why we’re not going to make our snowboard or split board yet, but we’re co-working on development and maybe we’ll be doing experiments in this segment soon.” For example, they are currently helping the brand ambassador, free rider and experienced instructor from Jasna – Michal Plicht to launch his brand of ski poles with a concept similar to Forest Skis.
Since Viktor and Jakub have been skiing for many years and are still faithful to their passion, they know very well what a skier needs on a slope. Skis from under the Tatras are unique in that they are tailored to each customer. Each ski has its specifics. An example is LOTOR skis, which are somewhat of a sophisticated masterpiece, and therefore riding on them takes you to a completely different dimension. At first glance, they may look symmetrical, but in fact, they are asymmetrical. This makes them unique and the skier gains an advantage. Right on the slope, you can change your right ski for your left and enjoy skiing in brand new conditions.
Each ski name consists of five letters: LOTOR, VESNA, FROST, SKADI, DRUID, PERUN, ORKAN. Each model name refers to how the model works. “ORKAN is our largest ski for the biggest and highest riders and is designed to run faster, more aggressively and more efficiently. FROST is designed for both hard and icy conditions, LOTOR is a mischievous ski, as it combines two skis in one pair, DRUID is also a magical ski on a similar principle focused on ski touring. And this is how it continues with other models,” Viktor answers the question about the origin of ski names. And which model is he the most proud of? “I am most proud of LOTOR as it is a concept that is brand new and envied by the big ski producers. But my forever favorite will be PERUN 186 cm with a swallow tail. It’s my first ever model, and I have skied the most on this type of skis.”
On the photo: Ferdinand Hudek, Author Simon Trnka
Slovak skis that have conquered (almost) the whole world
Forest Skis did not stay only in Slovakia. They are becoming more and more popular abroad and record sporting successes. “Our skis have already been skiing on all continents except Antarctica. Several of them are in Japan, Canada or New Zealand, we have customers all over Europe, we also have Australian clients or Russian clients, for example,“ says Viktor. He considers the world champion in Canadian freeride, Ryan Oakden, as the biggest star to use them.
According to ecological principles
Another secret to the success of skis from under the Tatras is that they are made with respect to nature – the basis is wood from European renewable sources and the use of ecological adhesives. A plus in their production is that skis are always made-to-order, reducing the production of excess material. Minimizing traffic pollution is done through direct sales via a website and ambassadors.
“All our skis are inspired by the snow conditions in the Tatras, which are often very changeable and unpredictable. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful mountains in the world is the High Tatras and the most beautiful view of them is from the Low Tatras,” Viktor concludes.
Forest Skis products are among those that make our little Slovakia a proud country. If you also prefer (Czech)-Slovak products to foreign ones, we may have inspired you. If you are unsure and need more information, the guys from Forest Skis will be happy to give you advice.