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The Beginning/ Der Anfang
It was the year 2008 and Kevin Höchtl, a competitive Nordic racer for Team Rossignol, was over in Austria competing in OPA/ Continental Cup races in an effort to improve experience racing in Europe and lower his overall FIS points. While in Austria, his good friend Florian Weinmayer a Tiroler Ski Verband Coach, introduced Kevin to the owner of HWK Ski Wax, Reinhard Kronbichler. The connection with Reinhard was strong and was reinforced with Karl and Kevin’s roots in the Tirol region. Our father, Karl Jr., was born and raised in Kufstein Austria, which is only minutes away from Ebbs, the home base for HWK Skiwachs. It turned out that both Reinhard and our father had some common connections in the Kufstein/ Ebbs region. After a long conversation Reinhard asked Kevin if he was interested in bringing HWK to the US. At the time with a full racing career, Kevin stated that he was not in a position to do so but would contact Reinhard when he was ready.
At the same time that Kevin was racing full time, Karl the III, Kevin’s brother was coaching Nordic at the elite level for Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. Kevin brought samples of HWK wax back from Austria so that the SSCV team could test this “secret wax” from Austria. The results were impressive from the start as HWK won its first test and was used at the State Ski Championships with great results. The ensuing years had Karl and Kevin buying HWK to use on Kevin’s skis for Super Tour races in the US and Karl and Daniel Weiland continued to buy more and more HWK via parent’s trips to Austria for the SSCV team. The quality and performance of the HWK wax line was clearly evident, Karl and Kevin started talking about bringing HWK to the US market.
Fast forward to 2012, Karl and Kevin Höchtl, after much discussion, decided to go ahead and bring HWK to the US. With a letter crafted in German, an email was sent to Reinhard with our intentions to be the US importer and distributor of HWK. The response was quick. We were given the go ahead and our price list the following day. This set into motion the steps necessary to create our business: HWK Skiwax Vail LLC. A week later, February 1st 2012, we were licensed, had our bank account, and had our first shipment ordered. HWK was on its way to the US!
It has always been a dream of ours to own our own business and to also work with an Austrian company. When the opportunity arose, we jumped at it and have not looked back. Austrian quality is well recognized and we were excited to share this company, from our Dad’s hometown, with competitive winter athletes here in North America We are based out of Vail, Colorado which is the epicenter of alpine ski racing in North America.
AUSTRIA- Ebbs, Tirol
HWK Skiwachs-Service was founded in 1989 by Analytische Chemie. Hannelore and Werner Kube were two fluorine chemists that also had a passion for fast skis. The HWK name comes from their initials. Reinhard Kronbichler was the first salesman for HWK. He would take the wax to large Citizen Nordic races in a suitcase and sell the wax out of his car. Fast forward to 2005 and the Kube family was ready to sell and Reinhard was ready to take over. Reinhard changed the factory location to Ebbs, Austria. HWK-Kronbichler GmbH just recently built a state of the art headquarters to accommodate the growth of the company. The new facility is run entirely on Solar and Geo-thermal energy sources.
One thing that really attracted us to HWK was their quest to always use the best materials and purest base products to create their product line. They also make everything by hand in small batches. The wax has to be really good to compete on the World Cup. Quality control and consistency are the basis for this to happen. HWK waxes are also tested rigorously. The development of new or test (VP) waxes is a continuous process. HWK has proven itself on the World Cup Circuits of Nordic, Nordic Combined, Biathlon, Alpine, Skier Cross and Snowboarding.
Kevin and I, along with the team in Austria want you to know that you can absolutely trust HWK products for your training and racing. We understand the wax line and can help you succeed in any condition and type of competition. Free Android and Apple APPS are available to help you select the wax combination for the day. The website www.hwk-skiwax.us is also available with full product descriptions to help guide you to success. If the HWK wax line can be trusted by the Ski Federations of Austria, Germany, the US Nordic Ski teams, and the Biathlon teams of Austria, Germany Sweden, Norway, and the United States, we hope you can trust it too.
Please observe all safety measures while waxing:
- Wax in a well-ventilated area.
- Use a respirator when waxing.
- Use a particulate mask when scraping/brushing/roto-brushing.
- NO SMOKING while waxing.
- Please observe recommended iron temperatures (No smoke).
- HWK wax is not poisonous but should not be consumed.
- Please keep away from small children.
- Please re-use or recycle the containers.