After four years of MacGyvering his own solutions, tearing boots apart and frankstitching pieces together, Hoji met Fritz Barthel, the inventor of the Low Tech pin binding, at a Dynafit event in Switzerland. It was 2013. Hoji had finally found a kindred spirit. “I told him, I have this idea. Fritz was immediately interested.”
Barthel invited him to come to Austria, to his basement workshop, where they could try and make a prototype for Hoji to test.
That, says Hoji, was the beginning.
“He has so much experience and still so much passion. He loves sitting down with an idea and drawing and thinking and problem-solving and then going, let’s make it, let’s try it. I think we feed off of each other. And he loves skiing pow. So it’s perfect.”
With Barthel as his mentor and collaborator, Hoji built four prototypes over four years, doing all his skiing and filming in his own prototypes. Version four became the blueprint for the newly released Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour Ski Touring Boot. Hjorleifson continues to work with them on coming versions.
He engineered his solution. The pieces have finally come together.
“If everything goes well, this could be a huge opportunity to become involved in the continued improvement of equipment. This boot project has been my biggest motivation for four years. That, and skiing powder. Whch is my other major motivation. Skiing powder any chance I can get.”
His phone buzzes. Fritz Barthel, mentor, collaborator, DIY genius, has just texted Hoji a picture, of himself, out skiing pow.