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Russian Invasion of Ukraine Disrupts Ski Manufacture

A significant proportion of the skis sold worldwide each year are manufactured in western Ukraine. They are mostly made in factories around Mukachevo. Most are still open but retailers have been told to expect some delays. The area remains under Ukrainian control.

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Most ski, snowboard and boot factories in Ukraine closed as the war began on February 24th.

They then re-opened once the Russian attack stalled.

The main ski factory in Mukachevo is a 50-acre facility owned and run by the Austrian company, Fischer Sports.

It was closed for nearly a month and a half after the Russian invasion.

It makes more than half of the company’s products, plus skis & snowboards for several other brands.

The facility was built in 1944 and purchased by Fischer in 1985.

The factory began making skis in that part of Ukraine as skis were originally made from wood and the area was covered by dense forests.

More recently it has been used as production costs are cheaper than western Europe with transportation and export relatively simple.

The Fischer factory is reported to produce more than 50% of all skis and snowboards sold in Europe each year, according to German business news site, BNE Intellinews.

It is a mass producer of cross-country skis.

Fischer skis. Image © PlanetSKI

Fischer skis. Image © PlanetSKI

Technica has a facility in the area.

A significant portion of the Fisher factory was destroyed by a fire in 2020, but the facility was back in production again before the war.

We reported on the fire at the time on PlanetSKI:

After the blaze Fischer moved some of its production to Austria and that is a move that could be repeated if problems persist.

Most high-end skis are produced in the company’s home country and many beginner skis are made in China.

Rossignol has a factory outside Lviv and it has remained closed during the conflict.

The factory is near a military base that trains foreign fighters and it was the target of a Russian missile strike in early March.

Although the factory was unscathed the missile attack destroyed other infrastructure around it.

Ski & snowboard retailers have been warned to expect some disruption to supplies this coming winter, but the exact situation remains unclear.

It comes as Russia implies it has expanded its military objectives.

The Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, in an interview with Russian state media said its military aim is no longer “only” the east.

He indicated Moscow’s strategy had changed after the West confirmed it was supplying Ukrainian forces with longer-range weapons.

Russia would now have to push Ukrainian forces further from the front line to ensure its own security, he said.

 

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