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Colby West just signed a four-year contract with Austrian ski manufacturer Kastle. West joins a stacked international team of big mountain skiers like Chris Davenport, Hugo Harrison, Griffin Post, Giula Monego, Sasha Schmidt, Lorraine Huber, Karine Falck-Pederson and the recently added Jackie Paaso.
With a company slogan of "heritage runs steep" and a team of big mountain competitors and ski mountaineers, the Kastle brand has primarily shown investment in big mountain skiing. But the addition of three-time Winter X medalist West shows the company is planning to diversity its athlete roster and also its line of skis.
|Kastle has been known for its big-mountain pro team. Until now.|
|Colby West competed in Winter X slopestyle last weekend.|
"Colby is the right addition to our versatile team," says Kastle President Siegfried Rumpfhuber. "He is ideal for us to work with while we expand our offerings into a new arena of skiing for the company." Rumpfhuber added that Kastle and West have the common goal of having a presence at the 2014 Winter Olympics if ski slopestyle and superpipe become Olympic events.
"I couldn't be more excited," West said. "We've been talking for a while and it seemed to line up perfectly. I'm excited to try to go to the Olympics ... and I think Kastle is the brand to help me get there."
In 2007, the Kastle ski brand made a comeback after being absorbed into the Nordica brand in the late 90s. Now under new ownership, Kastle has been developing its ski line at a breakneck pace and continues to add skis meant to attract big mountain and backcountry customers. The park and pipe customer had seemed like an afterthought for Kastle, until now.
Best known for his park segments in movies by Matchstick Productions and his hilarious on screen personality, West joins the team at Kastle not only as an athlete but also to aid in the design and development of a new line of park and pipe skis. West has been skiing on some prototype models in both training and competition, including last week at Winter X Games 15. Graphic design and fine-tuning of the ski line will take place over the next year and a half with the first Kastle park and pipe skis tentatively available in the fall of 2012.
This new sponsorship arrangement signifies the end of West's affiliation with the French ski manufacturer Coreupt, with whom he has had a pro model ski for the past two seasons.