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September 1999, Week 3

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Subject:
From:
"John Crowley, Jr." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Mon, 20 Sep 1999 19:57:15 -0400
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TEXT/PLAIN
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TEXT/PLAIN (57 lines)
On Sun, 27 Jun 1999, John Crowley, Jr. wrote:
>
> 3) Lange, a member of Group Rossignol (which owns/manages Rossi, Dynastar
> and Lange) has finally, after many years, allowed Rossignol to use their
> race boot molds to make boots.  The sticking point has been an Italian
> v. French sort of issue, apparently.  Rossignol is a French company and
> virtually all ski boots in the world are produced in several factories (no
> matter the company) in one small town in Italy, named Montebelluna (sp?).
> Interestingly, back in the early 90's, I was told by an exec at
> Rollerblade (a Minnesota company) that lots of their shells for their
> skates were made there, too.  Anyway, sometime soon, and maybe only on
> World Cup racers in the beginning, Rossignol will have their name
> emblazoned on a bright yellow boot that is actually a Lange.  The Lange
> race boots are very distinctive in shape (it "follows" foot shape more
> closely than others) and are known for their excellent performance in the
> world of ski racing.
>

Now for the follow-up.  I was able to check out this boot in early July at
Mount Hood.  The one I checked out belonged to a world class racer.  From
a distance, I suppose I might not have noticed the difference, as I'm not
a Lange or Rossi boot expert.  However, when I looked the "Rossignol"
over, it certainly seemed like a Lange -- complete with the holes in the
shell for the national team logos.  The only thing not Lange-like was its
color (bright Rossignol yellow) and a messy paint-by-numbers black stripe
or two to make it appear like something it was not.

In the past couple of weeks I've heard:

1) that the Italians at Lange went ballistic when they heard about this
boot being used by athletes.  So much so that Rossignol has decided to end
the experient.  The Lange chiefs even wanted to know if Rossi had "stolen"
molds for the rest of the boot line and were going to cannabalize their
sales on through the line.

2) that the pigments used by whoever made this "Rossignol" race boot (to
make it yellow)...  made the boot too stiff.  In other words, it flexed
"like a cinder block."

3) that, apparently, not so cinder block-like that it will prevent some US
Team athletes from trying to switch to Lange (the real ones) from
Rossignol boots.  They must think it skied great (even too stiff), anyway.

(Note: this does not mean that all yellow boots are too stiff; just that
this one was for those using this particular boot...)

And somewhat related to all this - I remember reading something,
somewhere... about how Montebelluna is producing fewer boots for the
worldwide ski market than it used to.  The manufacturers there have been
laying off boot makers in recent years because boots for lower ability
levels can be made cheaper in Eastern Europe.

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