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Busy Times Ahead for ‘Nato Ski’ Maker in Finland


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KSF Sport plans to hire new workers and will be able to offer employees year-round work due to a spike in demand.

An order from Nato for thousands of pairs of cross country skis means that Finnish ski manufacturer KSF Sport will need to begin hiring new workers, according to the company’s CEO, Harri Kirvesniemi.

The firm, based in Eastern Finland’s municipality of Kitee, recently landed a major contract valued at around three million euros from the Nato Support and Procurement Organisation.

The initial order of 8,200 pairs of skis will be used by troops at the Kainuu and Jäger Brigades. The all-white skis with special quick-release metal bindings are wider than many cross country skis available to the public, and the end of each ski is reinforced with aluminium for protection during transport.

Kirvesniemi said that securing the deal was proof of the company’s abilities. The North Karelian company’s CEO is also a former world champion and six-time Olympic medalist**.**

“It’s great proof that our team has been able to build a ski that works. A ski like that would never have been built without a competent team,” he explained, adding that the deal is also good news from a financial perspective.

Busy summer ahead

“This deal will double our annual turnover,” he said, noting that the company can now guarantee its workers year-round employment.

The company will likely need around five more employees on its factory floor, giving the region a bit of an employment boost.

The Nato deal might even develop further, if other alliance countries with snowy conditions end up ordering skis for their troops.

KSF is set to begin full scale production of the Nato skis in May, and the company has bought new equipment to make them.

“Nato skis are easy to produce, as there is only one model,” Kirvesniemi said, noting their best selling ski line varies in size and rigidity so that there are actually 15 different models.

Previously, KSF staff members would take summer vacations at the same time, but now the facility will be so busy that the company is considering switching to two work shifts and also the possibility of staggering time off in the summer, so production can continue.

The firm is also planning to offer a very similar civilian version of the Nato skis, possibly as soon as this autumn, Kirvesniemi said.

Source: YLE

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