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The Denver Report

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#1 Brent Amsbury

Brent Amsbury
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Posted 13 February 2011 - 09:23 PM

Every year the ski industry gathers to review the next seasons offering for skis, boots, bindings, clothing and accessories.
We call it SIA. We used to call it Vegas, but since last season we no longer convene in glam capital of the United States, and have been
relegated to the more business oriented city of Denver. Yeah, it's more affiliated with skiing than Las Vegas, but it was fun to step away from
the mountains and the relentless questions of what ski, what boot, which footbed, etc...

For next season, race boots are staying the course with a few exceptions. Fischer is introducing an all new concept of vacuum forming the boot around the foot using a proprietary machine and shell plastic. The shell is heated up to 170F and then cooled under vacuum. Fischer indicates that the boot can be controlled in both width and forward lean.
These boots have been used on the World Cup for some time now with significant success on the feet of Kostelic and Nyman, not to mention numerous others.
Will this be a game changer? Hard to tell right now since Fischer has limited machines, and only a few shops will be able to afford the entry price for this technology.

Atomic has a new race boot in the works, scheduled to be intro'd in 2012. This boot is said to have some very distinct new features, but no details have come to the surface. Atomic has been due for a rework of their race boots for some time now, so I expect that they will not disappoint.

Lange, with an exceptionally successful season introducing their RS line, is returning with all of the year's prior offerings, but will be adding a 140 flex to the line up. Also their junior race boots get a revamp of new features.

Garmont has cleaned up their line up in the race category with the elimination of the race based Shaman, but will still continue the G1 and G2 for 2011/12
with updated feature and a slicker cosmetic.

Tecnica's Inferno returns unchanged after a very strong intro this year.
Nordica continues to forge ahead with Dobermann EDT.
Salomon X3 boots come back with 110 and 120 flex option.
Head, Dalbello, and Rossignol all return unchanged.

Even though the race boot offering has little to discuss, the good news is that manufacturers are not pulling back models and inventory.
Race boots sales are holding their own in North America and with the uptick in the ski industry economy, we will likely see some significant race technology begin to be introduced prior to the next Olympic year.