In the 1970s, the Bavarian forest ranger Josef Hohenester made an interesting discovery. He realised that the slain game he often carried on his shoulders helped him stay on the surface of the snow during avalanches – the idea of the avalanche airbag was born.
The keen skier and entrepreneur Peter Aschauer acquired the patent. He founded the company ABS (“Avalanche Balloon Secutem”) Peter Aschauer GmbH and began developing the system.
The first fully functional airbag system was unveiled at the ISPO trade fair.
At the “Ski-Plus Wochen” event, the DAV Summit Club equipped all participating freeriders with ABS® systems – the first breakthrough.
Demonstration of the ABS® avalanche airbag to the press with dummy tests in Disentis/Switzerland.
The Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) agreed to carry out several extensive series of tests.
Unveiling of the first ABS® system with two airbags (TwinBag). The system was also completely redesigned, with a pyrotechnic-pneumatic activation unit replacing the previous Bowden cable. The backpacks were produced by Vaude.
Deuter took over the further development of ABS® backpacks, helping to expand the system’s success.
Dynafit took over the worldwide distribution of ABS® backpacks. Following Dynafit’s acquisition by Salewa, distribution of the backpacks was transferred back to ABS®.
A special backpack was developed for freeriders.
A new material was selected to allow easier folding and housing of the airbag.
Launch of the ABS® zip-on principle. A system in which the storage volume can be changed quickly and easily.
With ABS® Wireless Activation, one member of the group can activate the airbags of all the other members in an emergency.
Backpacks were fitted with the lighter carbon cartridge for the first time, resulting in a weight saving of almost 50 percent.
ABS® entered cooperation agreements with industrial partners who integrated the ABS® system in their backpacks (Inside Partners) or produced zip-ons for the base units (ABS® Compatible Partners).
The Vario Base Unit was fitted with a certified back protector.
Launch of completely updated Zip-ons with improved functionality, more sizes and new design.
ABS is celebrating 30 years of research and innovation. With 50,000 systems produced this season, ABS® remains the market leader in this sector.