Skis 1999: Getting in Shapes

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We've listened to you. We've skied with you. And we know your little secret: A lot of you aren't having as much fun on the slopes as you could. How are we sure? Because one of our recent reader surveys revealed that 98 percent of you have heard of shaped skis, but only 25 percent of you own a pair. Here's our conclusion: Either three in four of you are Calvinists (fun being strictly off limits), or you still need a little convincing.

We're guessing it's the latter. So here goes: We swear on a stack of SKI Magazines that the best of this year's shaped skis will give you a eureka experience, take you into more terrain, help you improve and let you have more fun faster than you ever have before. All for less than the price of one courtside seat at a Lakers game. And while the thought of watching overpaid jillionaires miss foul shots, choke their coaches and run around in their underpants for three hours is appealing, we offer another option. Buy just one pair of skis that's right for you (read on and we'll point you to them), and your favorite mountain will open its arms to you for years to come. Tough decision, right?

As for all of you experts out there who are skeptical (like we were) about adopting cheater technology, know this: All of our testers, including Olympians, world champions and top PSIA instructors, swear by shapes. They ought to: These are astounding skis. Check them out.