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Montebelluna, Italy, June 19–Lange skis boots, named for its creator, Bob Lange,remembered him today on the news of his death at age 74. The ski industry legend died last Thursday, in his home in Boulder, CO.
In 1963, Bob Lange, the owner of a company manufacturing polyurethane products in Dubuque, Iowa, created the first plastic molded ski boot, which became one of the mostsignificant turning points in skiing history. What started in a laboratoryand was scarcely more than a handcrafted reality soon became the worldwidestandard in ski boots. The product was quickly embraced by the world racingcommunity.
Lange ski boots have since become the number one boot in skiing, earningmore Olympic Gold Medals (22) and more World Cup victories (over 500) thanany other ski boot brand. Lange athletes garnered 60% of all 1999/2000 WorldCup points.
Laurent Boix Vives purchased Lange in 1978 from The Garcia Company, who hadpurchased it from Bob Lange in 1973. The Lange brand was an individualholding of Mr. Boix Vives until he merged it into the Rossignol Group in1989.
“I have always had a warm respect for Bob Lange as an entrepreneur. He wasa great leader in our industry, a man who was a revolutionary, and changedski boot technology forever,” stated Laurent Boix Vives.
Bob was well known and respected throughout the international ski industry,and was a member of the U.S.A.’s SIA Board of Directors from 1970 – 1972.One of his last visits to the SIA Las Vegas show was in 1994 where hepersonally congratulated Lange athletes, Tommy Moe and Picabo Street, ontheir respective Olympic Gold and Silver medal performances.