Anja Pärson is one of the world's most successful ski racers of all time. Her main merits include an Olympic gold, seven World Championship gold medals and winning the overall World Cup title twice.
1981 in Tarnaby, Sweden
BEST GLOVE TIP
“External seams provide a perfect and close pole grip, both while racing and freeriding. And leather is by far the best material for gloves.”
“Anja Lands On Her Hands”
Anja Pärson knows more than most about what the hands can be exposed to during a ski race. She is one of the few skiers that has succeeded in everything from the slalom to the downhill. Success at the 2007 World Championships in Åre, Sweden went down in history, as she became the first skier to win world championship gold medals in all five disciplines. Her hands have had encounters with both the slalom gates and the rock hard slopes of the downhill.
Take for example the violent crash she had in the downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. “There was coarse, wet snow on the slopes. It felt kind of like running your hands through coarse salt - but at 120 km/h”, says Anja. This is one of the difficulties in making gloves for downhill racing. They should be tight and smooth with little wind resistance, but when accidents happen, they should provide essentially the same protection as a pair of motorcycle gloves. “After the crash, my gloves were pretty worn on the fingers, but had not been punctured. I could have used them again.”
Hestra has cooperated with the Swedish National Ski Team since 1975 and the Norwegian National Ski Team since 1981. Athletes and trainers give us valuable information and we develop materials and designs in collaboration with them. In the disciplines of super G, giant slalom and slalom - Anja Pärson skis in our Vertical Cut Comp-model, which was introduced back in 1985.
The current model has built-in protection across the knuckles featuring ‘intelligent molecules’ that lock together and absorb the force when impacted. “Even in the gates, the hands are exposed. We attack the gates hard, and we must have a good pole grip – the gloves cannot be clumsy.”
In addition to all of the days competing and training, Anja is still able to do a lot of ‘regular’ skiing as well. We have therefore developed a freeride glove model together with her, the Anja Pärson Pro Model. Like the Vertical Cut Comp-model Anja's glove features external seams. It is also made of soft, supple aniline cowhide leather. “Leather is a natural choice for me in terms of gloves,” says Anja.