Athletes

Last Chair- At the Front of the Line

Growing up in Albany, N.Y., Jason Levinthal had more fun on his snowboard than his skis, so as a college senior he designed skis that looked like his board, Igniting the twin-tip revolution. Line skis, now a Top-10 Manufacturer, soon followed.

SKI › What’s the key to good design?
J.L. › You want innovation that grows the sport. I’ve lived through it. Mountain bikes changed biking. Inline skates changed skating. Wakeboards changed waterskiing. If an innovation allows you to do more, you’re going to inspire more people, and those people are going to push even further. That rejuvenates a sport.

SKI › The Winter X Games’ first skiing event was a slopestyle competition in 1998. You won a bronze medal.
J.L. › It’s hard to imagine now, but there was nothing fresh in skiing then; it was either racing or moguls. And we show up with these wide, super-short twin-tips, doing weird stuff. The media was all over us. It was insane. And the pro athletes were like, that looks cool. That really put Line on the map.

SKI › What’s the next step in gear?
J.L. › We’re in the middle of a big revolution in ski design, resulting in a huge variety of skis. There are too many widths and styles to choose from. It’s crazy. In the next few years, you’ll find a blending of designs, with fewer models. Instead of saying I need this ski for groomers, this one for powder, this one for park, two skis in a quiver will do it all. You have to go to the extreme before you reel it back in. The ski industry will reel it back in.