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How to Be a Ski Industry Innovator

Advice from an MIT engineer who broke into the ski industry.

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In the early ’90s, Ed Crawley, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, was developing vibration controllers for NASA. Shredding around Vermont, he saw a similar need for vibration control in skis. Meanwhile, product developers from K2 were looking for a way to kill the chatter in their newly shaped skis. Their paths crossed and the K2 Four, the first light-up, self-damping ski, was born. Here’s Crawley on how to sell your brilliant idea.

To make a product out of a new technology, develop the idea and learn the market’s needs. At some point, the two cross paths and it clicks.

There is more technology that can be added to ski design. Whenever I ski, I think about the people who made the design and how they developed it.

One of the things we learned from the Olympics last summer is that clothing can relate to performance. That’s one area that people should think more about.

Development doesn’t always have to be rocket science. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that work best. 

For more on innovations in skiing, check out The Future of Skiing���a collection of the brightest people, gear, and ideas revolutionizing our sport.