Skiing gears up for the 21st century
Customized boots, shaped skis make even beginners look good
Web posted on: Friday, February 26, 1999 10:31:26 AM EST
WHISTLER, British Columbia (CNN) -- Whether you ski double black diamonds or the bunny slope, equipment can make the difference in how well you do. As skiers look to push their performance limits, the ski gear is changing to meet the challenge.
If you are looking for good ski equipment you start with the foot. Bad boots make for bad skiing.
A company called Surefoot makes custom-fitted orthodics which stabilize the foot inside the boot for a proper fit.
"Poorly fitting boots are probably the single biggest deterent in skiing," said Surefoot's Bob Shay.
Once your boots fit, you need the right skis.
Shaped skis debuted a few years ago, and are now standard gear on the slopes as more skiers are convinced these skis will get them down the mountain like a pro.
According to Steve Higgins of Olin Skis, the shaped ski "is a little wider in the tip, a little thinner in the waist and a little wider in the tail."
Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street says as skiers drop their knees into a turn, the shaped ski gets them up on the edge and demands they make the turn carve. Even novices look experienced on these skis.
The ski evolution doesn't stop with the shaped ski, there are also ski boards.
Ski boards are short and easy to turn and have become a popular alternative to snowboards. "Total non-skiers can get on these little mini-skis and start skiing within a day," said Senior Editor of Skiing Magazine Helen Olsson.
Whether you decide to ski or ski board, gear for the 21st century is putting an edge on performance and giving everyone a run for their money.
CNN Travel Now Correspondent Stephanie Oswald contributed to this report.