This success story began with frustration. Oscar Arvidsson and Andreas Persson worked for the largest sports retailer in Sweden and had to constantly drag ski boots back and forth for binding adjustments.
"Oscar has a degree in mechanical engineering and I studied sports science. We thought that there must be an easier way for this process," says Andreas Persson in an interview with ISPO.com. This is how the company No More Boots was born, which with its SkiClicker sole wants to revolutionize the ski rental business.
So far, rental customers have been trying on their ski boots. If they fit, they have to be taken off again and returned to the staff. The staff now fit the ski boot to the ski binding. Then they pay, the skiers put the ski boot back on and can finally go out onto the slopes.
The innovation developed by two passionate skiers, Persson and Arvidsson, eliminates the need to take off and put on the boots again. The fitting process of the ski boot on the ski binding is carried out by the variable SkiClicker sole. The variable ski sole template is available in sizes Senior and Junior.
Ideally, all rental ski boots have already been measured with a boot analyzer before the season (No More Boots offers a corresponding tool just like other companies) and stored digitally. The exact sole length can be retrieved by simply scanning the barcode and the ski binding can be adjusted in seconds. According to the two inventors, this saves at least 40 percent of the previously usual rental time.
Actually, the new development was originally primarily intended to give customers more time on the piste instead of ski rental. However, the Covid 19 pandemic has given the whole story a completely different dynamic.
"The ski rental company faces the additional challenge of protecting skiers and employees from Covid-19. The use of SkiClicker leads to a more efficient and hygienic workflow, reducing the risk of large crowds of people. In addition, the one-time dispensing of ski boots eliminates the risk of cross-contamination," says Persson.
The new system is also perfect for online bookings where the ski binding is adjusted in advance without using the ski boot. For the ski rental market, which is nervous in times of growing corona numbers, SkiClicker could be an important piece of the puzzle to successfully adapt to the difficult situation.
This is one of the reasons why innovation in the industry has been closely watched. Tommy Eliasson - Alpine and skicross director of the Swedish national team - was one of the investors in the company's latest round of investments in the spring. The number of customers has also been growing steadily since SkiClicker sales began in winter 2018/2019.
In the beginning, it was mainly smaller private shops, especially in Sweden, that took advantage of the innovation. In the meantime, many of the large international dealer purchasing groups such as Intersport, Sport2000 or Skiset have also included the new system in their portfolios.
By the way, the whole success story started at ISPO. Persson: "ISPO is a very important and great platform for us. Here, for example, we met our first distributor Reichmann & Söhne in 2018. ISPO is a great show to meet potential partners and get new inspiration."