Short and Shorter: Skis 2001-02

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Here's the industry dilemma for 2001-2002: Most guys in America still think a 190 is a short ski. Meanwhile, ski makers from K2 to Salomon to Atomic to Rossignol are building both race and all-mountain skis in which the recommended length for men is between 167 and 182cm. The good news is that these new shorties are amazingly stable for their size. The unanswered question is: What is the industry planning to do to educate American men about the benefits of such short boards?

Other key trends in skis for 2001-2002:

Proliferating systems. Following Salomon's introduction of the Pilot last year (with many more Pilot models on tap this year), Atomic, Völkl/Marker, and Head are introducing new integrated ski-binding systems.

Evolving twin-tips. A new type of ski has emerged in this category-the freeride twin-tip for big-mountain new-school skiing. Essentially it's a fat ski with a turned-up tail. And more and more companies are putting twin tips on their recreational skis.And that's only the beginning. From higher-performing women's skis to more powerful three-dimensional shapes, it's turning out to be another year of incredible innovation in skis.