2020 outlook by Benedikt Germanier: Swissness, innovation, design and craftsmanship

We will remain true to ourselves in 2020. zai follows neither trends nor traditions, uncompromisingly forging its own path. Swiss-made innovation and international know-how result in the Swissness as we understand it: strong innovative power, unique design and traditional craftsmanship. We consistently take our own path in order to create the best products with the best design.

We continue to adhere to innovative design concepts, original material combinations and complex production technology. In this way we are constantly redefining the limits of modern ski production. Based near Zurich, our zai Lab works in close cooperation with universities across Switzerland. We are working on a project in the field of material sciences and applications together with the HRS University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil. For material design, we maintain a close association with a spin-off of ETH Zurich. In addition, zai has access to the largest 3D printer in German-speaking Europe for new developments.

The zai Lab therefore serves as a hub for technology, business and marketing, where people from across Germany, Italy and Switzerland work side by side. It combines strong innovation with a willingness to take risks and an openness to new ideas. zai is a world leader in the use of new and revolutionary materials in ski production. Many of the materials used were developed and patented by zai itself.

We also place great importance on experience and competence in product development, working together with our joint venture partner Blossom Skis from Italy and the Appenzell ski designers from Timbaer, and conducting tests with the former Ski World Cup competitor Franco Cavegn. When it comes to manufacturing a zai ski, the factors of time and effort play a subordinate role. Our focus is on quality, durability and reducing our designs to the essentials. Last year, for example, we were able to launch two new revolutionary ski models: the zai STONE and the zai WOOD. Thanks to 12 years of experience in working with stone, zai has now brought stone to the surface for the first time. In this innovative way, an exceptional level of quality, use and durability has once again been achieved. All this in the sense of the name “zai”, which means “tough” in Rhaeto-Romanic. The models are manufactured in the zai factory in Bergell (Grisons) – in the middle of the imposing mountain world and home of Alberto Giacometti. The location was chosen because of its proximity to the important markets in the Engadine and northern Italy as well as to the joint venture partner Blossom.