So how does a kid from a little town in New York end up becoming a global product manager for one of the largest ski and boot manufacturers in the world, and living in Austria? And why does he believe that his study of philosophy played a critical role in getting him there, and in carrying out his day-to-day responsibilities?
We talk to Matt Manser (Instagram: @onenerdykid) about his background, his studies in philosophy, bootfitting, and the design decisions behind the development of the Atomic Hawx Ultra and Hawx Ultra XTD boots.
TOPICS & TIMES:
- Where do you currently live, and what is your title at Atomic? (1:35)
- Background: where did you grow up & when did you start skiing? (4:13)
- College: discovering philosophy (9:03)
- Why study philosophy & logic? (11:48)
- Philosophy, bootfitting, and bootfitting for Doug Coombs and other athletes (23:40)
- Matt’s job: taking a boot from concept to finished product (36:42)
- What do you consider to be the three main aspects of making a great ski boot? (39:51)
- Managing the different expectations of skiers in different parts of the world (44:26)
- Trivia Question: Guess which company sells the most World Cup race boots? (47:23)
- On the Atomic Hawx Ultra — developing a lightweight alpine boot (51:45)
- Why it’s so difficult to build lightweight ski boots with a progressive flex (55:10)
- Marcel Hirscher: what it’s like working with one of the greatest ski racers of all time (1:06:26)
- On the different intentions behind the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 120 vs. XTD 130 (1:11:33)