Nordica production manager Alberto Contento reveals his passion for the crafting of ski boots from Montebelluna, Italy.
Alberto Contento is Production Manager of the International Ski Boots division at Nordica’s headquarters in Giavera, part of Italy’s Montebelluna region. Many of the world’s best ski boots are designed in Montebelluna—it’s a perfect home base for Contento, a former World Cup ski coach who grew up in Italy and travels the world for his trade.
Contento is passionate about ski boots and he truly loves the sport of alpine skiing. “Nordica is a great company to work with,” he says.
“A TEAM OF SKILLED AND PASSIONATE PEOPLE SHARE A COMMITMENT TO MAKE THE BEST PERFORMING, HIGHEST QUALITY PRODUCTS IN SKIING.”
We asked Contento to describe his craft and his passion for boot making.
Q: Alberto, tell us about your career so far in the ski industry.
A: My adventures with Nordica started in 2005. Before that I coached Italian Ski Team athletes for 11 years. I had the opportunity to work directly with World Cup athletes, both male and female, and to experience three Olympic Winter Games (Lillehammer, Nagano, Salt Lake City), seven Ski World Championships, and 11 FIS World Cup seasons. This experience improved my skills, working every day under pressure, travelling worldwide, experiencing many different cultures and influences . The snow is similar worldwide, but people enjoy it in a different way. Through it all, I had always skied on Nordica products. When I was given the opportunity to join its team, it was a dream come true. I started this new adventure with great passion and enthusiasm.
Q: Why is Montebelluna so renowned for the quality of its boots?
A: Montebelluna is a place where many of the world’s ski boots are designed and engineered. The know-how necessary to design this product has roots everywhere in this region—from thorough knowledge of foot anatomy to cutting-edge tool making and technologies. From a logistical standpoint, some of the best slopes are within a short drive of Montebelluna. This greatly facilitates the testing process, which allows us to test, check, and test again until optimal product performance is achieved.
Q: How much of your job is engineering, and how much of it is art?
A: Developing a ski boot is an art, but it requires a scientific process backed by rigorous research and development in order to achieve what skiers need and want. We rely on racers, instructors, shop employees, and our racing and freeride teams. Our Test Team—instructors, ex-athletes, average skiers—is 100 percent focused on new projects. The team’s commitment is to analyze and test every detail of boots that have to meet the needs of the consumer.
The next phase is design and prototyping. Testing begins right at this preliminary stage. Once we are certain a new design is successful, our team of engineers moves on with 3D/CAD computer modelling. Every advance is checked over and over again. Performance, reliability, function, comfort—every aspect of a new boot has to meet the highest standards. Nothing is released for production unless all these requirements are fulfilled.
Q: What is Nordica’s philosophy for building exceptional ski boots?
A: Nordica builds the best performing, highest quality products in skiing. Everything we design starts with the understanding that the final product will perform better, fit more comfortably, and enhance the skiing experience more than any other product on the market. Performance is the first, second, and third criterion for everything we build. Our heritage goes back more than 75 years, and our record of quality innovation speaks for itself. Performance, innovation, and passion for the sport of skiing are part of our DNA .
Q: What is the most important ingredient of building a Nordica boot?
A: Two essential ingredients are passion and features. Passion represents the added value to whatever we do. It enhances the outcome of every activity that we carry out, making it greater than the sum of its parts. As for features, in Nordica ski boots it is imperative a skier finds all the details he or she requires. Afterall, if you have the right tool, you improve your fun!