VAUHTI TECHNOLOGICAL LEADERSHIP SINCE 1912
In the 1910s, Finland’s Eetu Niska was one of the most successful elite skiers. He started experimenting with ski wax development and manufacturing over the course of his racing career and after retirement, opened a ski wax factory in Kattilainen. His ski wax SALAISUUS (“SECRET”) was unbeatable in terms of reputation and performance and in wet conditions, it would almost feel like flying. The Tolsa brothers, Valto and Aulis, were regular visitors at Eetu Niska’s factory. They were keen to learn about wax making and mixing and got to see first-hand how the era’s most popular wax “SALAISUUS” was made.
Eetu Niska let them in on his waxing secrets and under
his mentorship, Aulis Tolsa also became a wax master specializing in exceptional weather conditions. In 1934, Valto Tolsa started the “Valto Tolsa Suksirasvatehdas Oy” ski wax enterprise which ran up until the outbreak of the Second World War. Production stopped and operations never resumed, even after the end of the war. In 1951, his brother Aulis started his own namesake ski wax factory and brought into existence the Vauhti ski wax range.
The Vauhti wax range and operations continued growing between 1951 and 1991. In the 1960s, Vauhti waxes were sold all over the Nordic Countries, and ski wax production grew to 300,000 units per year.
Vauhti developed products in partnership with the best skiers. One of the many top athletes supporting Vauhti was Olympic and World Championship medalist Aki Karvonen. As the years went by and Aulis Tolsa grew older, he offered Aki the opportunity to take over the Vauhti business. The deal closed in 1991 and together with Toivo Turunen, Aki Karvonen founded the company “Vauhti Speed”.
Under Aki Karvonen, large-scale and successful product development began in cooperation with the Finnish state research institute VTT. Vauhti became a significant player in the world of ski racing, with turnover increasing fivefold over the next ten years. Thanks to the Swedish and Russian markets, exports made up almost half of Vauhti’s total sales and the company expanded operations into roller skis, ski poles, and gloves.
Vauhti became a pioneer in liquid ski wax development. In 2002, the company launched the world’s first liquid grip wax which set the tone for Vauhti’s future business plans.
In 2014, the company was taken over by a Finnish family enterprise already established in sporting goods industry wholesales. Vauhti’s entire product range and concept were reinvented, and the objective was set to become a world leader in wax technology. The primary focus was the development of liquid waxes and care products, building off Aki Karvonen’s previous ideas and innovations. The company invested heavily in production technology and facilities. With the adoption of an automatic bottling line and robotics, the Vauhti factory became the world’s most modern ski wax production facility.
The highly respected Esa Puukilainen, Ph.D., was recruited to join the Vauhti Team in the position of Product Development Director. As part of his thesis, Esa Puukilainen’s research focused on the interaction between plastics and water with an application to ski bases. Consequently, he has a unique understanding of chemistry and skiing technology combined with his personal practical experience and a passion for ski racing.
Over the next few years, Vauhti’s liquid waxes gained a significant position of the market and Vauhti became one of the leading and most innovative wax company. The company’s long-term commitment to the development of e.g. fluorine-free waxes resulted in the launch of the new PURE range in 2019. In 2021, Vauhti also developed the 360° ski wax collection composed of products based solely on natural ingredients, including packaging materials and other supplies.
On November 30th 2021, a dramatic fire broke out and destroyed all of Vauhti’s facilities, including the factory which had only been built a few years prior. In the wake of the disaster, plans for a new and improved factory quickly arose, taking into account all the lessons learned from the previous production line. This new factory, located in the Tikkala industrial park in Tohmäjärvi, was completed in the fall of 2022 alongside a product development center, modern storage facilities, and office premises. These new facilities employ all the latest technological innovations guaranteeing efficient, adaptive, and automated ski wax production lines. Sustainability and ecological concerns played a big part in the design and construction of these facilities. The objective was to make Vauhti’s new production site one of the leading techno-chemistry plants in terms of energy efficiency and safety.
Vauhti’s responsible and innovative journey continues!