The history takes off already in 1981, when the founders Patrik Söderlund and Stefan Cederberg started to make snowboards in their parents’ garage on Frösön outside of Östersund. Patrik and Stefan had picked up the signals of what was going on in the US. Soon they started to experiment with their own creations and tried different methods of manufacturing snowboards. The families’ garages were shortly turned into an inventor’s workshop with a lot of ideas and creativity. Epoxy was smudged on plywood boards and steel egdes were not yet to think of. The only thinkable way to ride the boards was in powder snow.
Hobby becomes business
When snowboarding boomed in the early 90′s, the founders decided to invest more and go all in. After having visited the big manufacturers in the Alps, they realized that their own way of producing was very similar and that their homemade construction had come pretty far. In 1993 Extrem Snowboards of Scandinavia was found and a 20 sqm garage was exchanged for a 800 sqm factory building. At the same time some serious investments in new machinery were made. The growth came quickly and very soon Extrem became one of the largest snowboard brands in Sweden. All boards were developed, tested and handcrafted in Åre.
The first skis
In 1998 the company started to make skis under the same brand, which were the first Swedish manufactured alpine skis in 25 years. The experience from snowboard heavily influenced the new skis. Compared to other brands at that time the Extrem skis were made super fat and the graphical design came from the snowboard world. When the freeriding boom came during the following years, the Extrem skis were right on target.
Ever since the start, the passion for snowboarding and skiing permeated the entire chain of production. All boards and skis produced has been developed and built by hand by people with a passion for riding. The proximity to the mountains in Åre has also made it possible to try new things and always be at the forefront of trends and technology. Having beeing in Norwegian ownership a couple of years, the founders Stefan and Patrik, along with Carl Geijer, Anders Selvehed and Johan Hjelte bought back the factory and the brand Extrem from Norwegian Skigutane in 2011. The business is now run under the name of Åre Skidfabrik (Åre Ski Factory), where Extrem is a wholly owned brand.
With 100 % focus on Extrem the success came quick. In 2012 the Swedish ski magazine Åka Skidor awarded the iconiq ski model Project 100 with a Gold medal; “The best all-mountain ski that Åka Skidor has ever tested, and that says a lot”. Since then our skis have received several test awards every year.
A few years later we pioneered the ski industry when creating the world’s first community-developed ski, Opinion, together with hundreds of dedicated skiers. Communicating directly with our customers turned out to be a success factor and is today one of our unique strengths. In 2016 we created the world’s first community-developed freeride ski for women, Mothertree, together with the female ski network InspireUs. Both these projects have been awarded the international and prestigious ISPO Gold Award. In the winter of 2018/2019 we started developing an all-mountain ski for the youth, since we believe that the next generation deserve as well-develped skis as offered to their parents. The ski, Roots 90, and the unique development process behind it, was awarded the international and prestigious ISPO Award Winner of 20/21.
With a modern factory, a competent team of ski builders, a passion to listen to our customers and turn that into award-winning skis, we are ready for the future.