What is a "Rennböckl"?
A Bock is a simple, non motorised piece of winter sports equipment used for going on snow. It consists of a seat with two grab handles on the site, attached to a wooden board which is sinuously cut.
An iron skid underside or an old alpine ski, cut off in the middle, gets in contact with the snow. The bock can be steered by shifting the weight and is braked with the feet. Today there exist many different types of bocks.
The history of the Rennböckl
Although many believe that the Rennböckl was born in Olang, it is more likely that the bock has been independently invented several times. Worldwide, there exist around 15 patents for the sports equipment named "glider on a skid". The oldest patent, which is similar to the original skid bock from Olang, goes back to 1914 and was registered in Washington, USA. The first patent for the ski bock was registered in 1963, also in the USA. The first European patent was registered in 1929 in the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (Switzerland).
In Olang, the Rennböckl appeared for the first time in 1945 as a cheap alternative to the then quite expensive sleigh: a simple ridable device used by boys and girls living uphill for getting to school more quickly and comfortably. Moreover, the Rennböckl was much more easy to carry than a heavy sleigh when going uphill. The Böckl reached its first climax in the mid 50ies, when Geiselberg organised the first bock competition.
The modern Rennböckl
Today, the Rennböckl is known under many different names: Skibock in Adelboden (Switzerland), Klumper in Tulfes (North Tyrol) and Bockerl in Bavaria. There even exist industrially produced bocks known under the names Flizzer, Balancer, Ski-Bockerl or Skifox.
In the last years, there have been developed further types of bocks, such as double seaters, bocks with suspension or bocks with original Harley Davidson components.
With the coming-up of the carving ski the Böckl has taken a great leap forward in its evolution. Today, the top models consist of a not too long carving ski and an iron or aluminium frame with a leather saddle. These bocks allow you to do extreme narrow curves (such as when skiing with carving skis).
Building a Rennböckl is very cheap. Everybody with a bit of technical ability will be able to build a bock in a few hours. All you need is a ski (that can be cut at any length) and a wooden seat construction to screw onto the ski. And there you have your own ski-bock.
The thirty-two fastest pilots of the qualifying will enter the next round where they will start in 8 groups of four. The two best of these groups will go to the next round and so on, until the four best pilots of the play-off rounds will meet in the final.
There will be participants not only from the Alps but from all over the world. Talks with athletes from Japan, Bulgaria, Finland and Brazil are in full swing.