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How two friends who wanted to spend more time on skis triggered an avalanche of success through their sportswear.

It’s a steep descent. There are quite literally tonnes of snow – nothing but snow – lying before Henrik Windstedt. Behind it are frozen-over patches of ground, sudden drops, hills and precipitous terrain, unpredictable and dangerous. A short distance in front is a ledge which is just waiting to come up against him. However this geographical obstacle will not bring down the Freeride World Champion who has already overcome hurdles of an entirely different nature. He pushes off, picks up speed and becomes so fast that your eyes can barely keep up. He jumps, every muscle tensed, and glides through the air.

This death-defying downhill run can be watched in a video by Swedish fashion manufacturer Peak Performance, which frequently partners with athletes like Windstedt. Together they maintain an exciting brand image and devote themselves to the development of new functional clothing. The brand’s proximity to winter sport has tradition, as its founders were themselves skiers. One of them was even a former world champion.

The success story began in 1986. As the legendary Ingemar Stenmark achieved his 82nd world cup victory, a group of friends – Stefan Engström, Peter Blom and Christer Mårtensson – were looking for an exciting business idea that would help them spend as much time as possible at their beloved ski village, Åre. They believed in the potential of a range of ski clothing that could be functional and fashionable at the same time. The first few designs, which they dared to test on the slope themselves, enjoyed fantastic resonance. Nevertheless, the three maintained a relaxed approach. There was often a note hanging on their office door saying ‘Out skiing’.

Three decades later, Peak Performance has reached the dimensions of a publicly listed company, making an impact on the international world of sport from its home in Stockholm. The brand name adorns outdoor, running and golf clothing. Recently it has forayed into manufacturing urbanwear that protects against cold, heat, water and wind. The employees’ passion for sport encourages a pleasant atmosphere in the company. ‘We work, win and lose as a team’ is the motto.

Fair play is indeed the rule at all times. The production is sustainable and the timeless clothing highly durable. There’s a repair service in case anything goes wrong. Benefits such as these please not only Henrik Windstedt but also the golfers Lynn Carlsson and Alfie Plant – and, of course, a myriad of ski racers. This year, Peak Performance is the official sponsor of the Freeride World Tour. In this respect you could say it’s been nothing but an ascent.