Halti and Kalle Palander joined forces in 1999 when Halti took the young and promising Alpine skier under its wings. The last chapter of the millennium was significant, not only to the 21-year-old skier, but also to Finnish Alpine skiing history – in the 1999 World Championships in Vail, United States, Kalle Palander surprised all by winning the World Championship in the slalom. On that day, the life of the Alpine skier who started his career at home in Tornio took a steep turn towards becoming the king of Finnish Alpine skiing.
After some difficult years at the beginning of the new millennium, our skier rose to the top to stay. He won his first World Cup event in Kitzbühel in January 2003 and, later in the spring, he found himself on top of the leader board of the World Cup in slalom. By the end of the decade, Kalle had won more than ten World Cup slalom events. In the World Championships in Åre in 2007, Kalle had the opportunity to win his second title in slalom, but it was not meant to be. He injured his knee in the giant slalom, meaning that he was forced to struggle with injuries in the following years, but also reaching podium positions whenever he was able to do a clean run.
Kalle Palander has written his name in the history books as an athlete who, after three years riddled with injuries, made a successful comeback in a demanding sport, and continues to be one of the brightest stars in Alpine skiing. In addition to all of the merits Kalle has achieved through perseverance and a strong will, he will be remembered as a true character who does not leave anyone cold and always has a witty comeback for reporters’ questions. Kalle’s positive attitude is also illustrated through his attitude towards life: “Stay happy and keep a good pace – a pessimist is never disappointed!”
Thursday, 20th September 2012, Kalle announced that he is pulling down the curtain on his career. Home crowd had the opportunity to say goodbye to Kalle at Levi 2012.
Kalle not only leaves his mark on Halti by holding on to his ski poles, but he also plays an important part in our product development. Together with our national Alpine team, he tests our collections and gives direct feedback on each season’s outfit.
The clothing used by professionals this season will be developed into the next season's Halti collection. By working in close cooperation with our skiers, we can polish our products into pure diamonds, achieving a level of performance and comfort that means they are as suitable for professional sports as they are in daily exercise.
In addition to Halti’s Kalle Palander collection, Kalle Palander's name is borne by the recently renovated Kalle Palander Store in Ruka where you can find high-quality clothing collections and professional outfits for future Alpine stars, as well as check out Finland’s first ever Crystal Globe trophy on display.