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On a recent team trip to Engelberg ski resort in Switzerland at the end of last season, we discovered a magical place full of surprises.  Epic snow conditions, incredible off-piste terrain, highly alcoholic cheese fondue, an über cool lodge to rest our heads and drink warming gluvine, and to top this all off – the coolest ski gear we have ever seen and the main reason for this blog post – POC.

POC is a Swedish brand, which has just recorded the highest growth rate in the Swedish sports industry, growing 110% during 2008/09 in a contracting market.  Being introduced to POC by hoards of young, hip and rich Swedish snowriders who come and stamp their mark on Engelberg each year, we’re not surprised.

This isn’t any ordinary ski gear.  POC has worked with the European Space Agency (ESA) to bring space technology into their innovative ski products.  The result is some of the most advanced and unique protective gear available, with space material and technology integrated for enhanced performance.  Not only is this the safest gear on the market and could probably see you comfortably to the Moon and back, it’s also ultra stylish with futuristic design – think Apple for the mountains.

POC Racing Helmets
We’re most excited by the Lobe ski goggles, Poc’s newest eyewear product (pictured below). Their frameless and spherical design creates more peripheral vision than other goggles – optimising your field of view.  Made of a clever polycarbonate blend, the lens is brilliantly anti-scratch and anti-fog, ensuring a crystal clean view all the time.  No more steaming up excuses!  The inspiration for these super goggles comes both from the Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerents (who puts his windows outside the facades), and also from astronaut Neil Armstrong.

POC Lobes_Black

To give their POC gear a good outing testing its safety and style to the max, Swedish skiers and snowboarders have found the best playground to do it in – Engelberg – and they don’t come to sample the piste.  They come armed with the fattest skis known to man to sample the secret powder stash hidden away off-piste in this relatively unknown resort in the Swiss Alps, braving the avalanche prone faces and icy glacier to get their fix.  Official reviews of Engelberg say it’s not the best place for beginners due to the variety of challenging runs, but with most people off-piste on their fat skis and dressed head to toe in POC, you’ll have the piste all to yourselves to show off your skinny skis and old-school outfit!

Fat Skis 2009

We think we have unveiled a secret the Swedes have been keeping from us for a while – their super hot ski gear and a very special mountain resort.  We are certainly planning a weekend trip back to Engelberg (pictured below) next season – it’s only a hop, skip and a jump away on the Eurostar, followed by a rickety old train winding its way up the beautiful mountain at the other end.  We can’t recommend it highly enough, and the need to be fully kitted out before you go!



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