The company was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1950 by aeronautical engineer Howard Head, after he took a ski trip and was astonished to see his skis were made of wood in an era when metals and plastics was replacing wood in many product designs. Head worked at the Glenn L. Martin Company where they used a form of aluminum and plastic laminate to build the fuselages of aircraft, and he felt the same material would make an ideal ski. After two years of constantly breaking skis, by the winter of 1950 they had a design that not only stayed together, but made turning dramatically easier.
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The Head Standard would rapidly grow in sales through the 1950s, until it and other Head designs were capturing over 50% of the US market during the 1960s, making them the leading ski manufacturer in the U.S. and U.K.. Head resisted the change to fibreglass construction and was known for interfering in day-to-day operations. In 1967, Howard Head hired Harold Seigle as company president, and became the Chairman of the Board and CEO. Bored of the results, in 1969 Head sold the company to AMF in 1969, and took up tennis. He later bought a controlling interest in Prince Sports.
The company is currently headquartered in Kennelbach, Austria and Amsterdam, Netherlands.