Best Wishes Federico Sbrissa — Dynafit Boot Man

Post by blogger | May 25, 2012      

Federico Sbrissa this past spring in Italy.

Federico 'Fede' Sbrissa this past spring in Italy.

Most of you regular WildSnow readers will recognize the name of Federico Sbrissa. ‘Fede’ managed the Dynafit ski boots line up until recently, when he moved over to Solomon. Perhaps he’ll be helping Solomon make better tech inserts for their boots, but according to sources he’ll be focusing on other types of footwear, trail running shoes and things like that.

Among many other Dynafit projects, Fede supported and pushed the development of the Dynafit Dy.N.A. and subsequently TLT-5 boots. He was instrumental to innovative Dynafit ski boot features many of us enjoy such as the use of Grilamid plastic, low volume lasting, the one-motion ‘Ultra-Lock’ cuff closure system and so much more. In short, Federico and his team of boot developers were what the industry terms “disruptive” to the backcountry skiing boot industry, and things have not been the same since.

I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of interaction with Federico, and call him a friend. Last year he helped out with my Montebelluna boot factory trip, we’ve skied some peaks together, and he’s been a regular commenter here at WildSnow.

One of the things I liked most about Fede was his total disdain for boot modifications. I’d show up at Dynafit press events with my modified Green Machines or TLT-5s, and when we’d first see each other his eyes would immediately track to my feet, to check out what horrible travesty I’d committed to his boots. He’d see hack work such as a missing buckle and just shake his head, frown, then smile and say something like “Americans — they have to modify everything.” I’d laugh and he’d proceed to tell me about what amazing product was in the pipeline — that perhaps I wouldn’t modify?

Fede during our ski of the Tofana, Dolomites, January 2011

Fede during our ski of the Tofana, Dolomites, January 2011

Two favorite stories about Fede:

Federico is known to be particular about food (some sort of Italian thing, I guess). We’d be at these Teutonic diet huts and the dinner buffet might feature something he liked, mainly meat, or perhaps they’d have some stranger dish that he didn’t approve of. One such time I was serving myself next to Fede. I could tell he wasn’t impressed with the selection. “What do you think of the food, Fede?” I asked. “It’s hell,” was his two word reply.

But the best story happened when Fede was introducing the Dy.N.A ski boot in January of 2009. Our bunch of bloggers and journalists were packed into a mountain hut consuming pastries and beers (Dynafit’s trademark press seduction technique), while Fede stood in front going over all the then quite interesting and even amazing features of the boot. But it did look expensive. Finally one ski writer shouted out something like “how much will they cost?” We all knew the boot looked pricey with carbon cuff and so forth, but how expensive?

Fede’s one word answer enunciated with Italian cadence and flair, including hand gesture: “Mille.”

A few gasps and wows followed that, as Dynafit was setting a new price-point for a mass market ski touring boot. I’ll never forget the moment. Thanks Fede and best wishes on your new job.




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15 Responses to “Best Wishes Federico Sbrissa — Dynafit Boot Man”

  1. AndyC May 25th, 2012 8:33 am

    Certainly a loss for Dynafit. I’ve not seen any other mfr employee so willing to engage in discussions and share information on internet discussion groups. I’ve found his discussions very useful, especially in my decision to buy TLT5s and getting the most out of using them. Good Luck, Fede!

  2. Jim Lamb May 25th, 2012 9:14 am

    Enough about his boots, i liked his advice on espresso!

  3. TR May 25th, 2012 11:58 am

    Fede moving on is a huge loss for Dynafit, both professionally and personally. Fortunately, he has left us with some AMAZING game changer boots for the coming season: Vulcan, Mercury, One… Thanks for doing what you do and being who you are – All the best to you Fede!

  4. altis May 25th, 2012 1:08 pm

    Big loss for Dynafit.

    Big gain for s~A~lomon.

  5. Barrows May 25th, 2012 2:08 pm

    Fede was a huge asset to Dynafit, especially with his willingness to communicate directly with customers and follow up on inquiries about boots-now matter how off the beaten path those inquiries might be (like using TLT5s for splitboarding).
    It will likely be impossible for Dynafit to replace him.

    I wish him the best at Salomon.

  6. AJ May 25th, 2012 3:58 pm

    Fede, best of luck

    you leave some big grilamid shoes to fill 🙂

  7. Fede May 26th, 2012 3:58 pm

    Ciao Lou, what a surprise…. thanks for the article… it left me very sad reading it… it´s a big piece of life going away… thanks again and hope to see you soon again…

  8. Lou May 26th, 2012 4:20 pm

    Hi Fede, I’ll bet you continue to make a big mark in the outdoor industry. Sure to see you again. Fun having an excuse to write you up (grin)! And thanks for all the awesome gear designs!

  9. Greg Louie May 26th, 2012 9:40 pm

    Here’s another round of applause for your contributions to the sport, Fede, and for your willingness to constantly explain design considerations and functionality here and elsewhere on the Internet. There are very few people that come to mind when I think of “designers” who’ve improved my life, but you’re one of them. Best of luck at Salomon, and hopefully you can have some input in their alpine touring program . . .

  10. Rob Coppolillo May 26th, 2012 9:46 pm

    Fede–in bocca lupo, grande! Miei piedi ti ringrazianno!!!

  11. omr May 27th, 2012 5:48 pm

    Lou and Fede,

    Have either of you heard of any issues with the Dynafit boot walk/ski mode being coupled with the top buckle? Some folks with bigger calves will sometimes ski with the top buckle loosley latched to avoid the pinch, in which case a Dynafit boot will be left in walk mode. Any work-arounds?

  12. +1 May 30th, 2012 4:18 pm

    tlt5’s with the salomon last would be a dream. i think i could actually learn how to ski properly.

  13. Barrows May 31st, 2012 7:10 pm

    omr: it is very easy to adjust the cuff buckle on the TLT5s to a very loose setting when closed, so you can have a loose (or wide) cuff “setting” in the ski mode.

  14. john July 10th, 2012 9:57 pm

    Looks like Greg Hill just moved to Solomon as well. Something going on? Don’t slack on your Pacific Northwest Vacation. In all seriousness enjoy the Pacific NW snow.

  15. Pagno July 18th, 2012 12:19 pm

    I wish to you Fede very good luck for your new challenge. I think your passion and your mission is up whatever. Thanks for all our success lived together, for our cooperation, your even availability and liking. I’m sure we’ll keep in touch. And I hope to keep up with my new play at your place.

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