Yesterday we’ve published a press-release by Spine Sports regarding their new boots.
First of all, the Dailyskier.com is a commercial media resource. We spend to produce editorial content and we want to offset our costs. Publishing companies’ press-releases – self-written, as-is but clearly marked as such – is a standard form of any media to earn some money, we hope it is clear for everyone reading this now.
…Which does not mean we’re not curious and don’t want to learn more than what Spine was willing to put into their statement.
We also have a broader assertion to make on the subject – but first what we managed to glean about new boots:
Since time immemorial( I.e. since 2014 when they first hit the market) carbon sole boots were made by mating the said carbon with frontal plate containing a metal bar. Carbon soles, just to remind you, are essentially hand-made product, demanding highly skilled manual labour, while frontal plate is standard and typically produced elsewhere. For quite some time venerable Rottefella, NNN inventor, held a patent & a virtual monopoly on frontal plate production.
Then patents expired, Fischer & Rossignol went their own way with Turnamic and Salomon/Atomic joined the show with Prolink. Alpina and Madshus stayed with Rottefella – as did Spine that came to the true-racing i.e. carbon soled boots market fairly recently.
What seems to remain common across all brands is that the carbon sole was/ is up till now still attached to the frontal plate by means of glue and, occasionally, screws.
It’s then, according to Dmitry Vargin , Spine’s mercurial boss, his designers came up with an idea: let’s integrate that signature NNN bar directly into the carbon sole, in one smooth go instead of previously employed three consecutive processes! Thus was born Ultimate Integral.
What is it good for? Well, in absence of anything resembling independent test lab for top cross country skiing boots we’d have to rely on the inventor’s assessment:
– boots become lighter. Integral Classic boot weighs in the region of 280 grams
– the whole technological process of bonding carbon and plastic plate is now redundant. That, presumably, would make boots somewhat cheaper.
– Spine is pushing individualization with their Custom Fit based on foot 3D scanning and color choosing option. Presumably, the new boots would be even more customizable if not in function then in looks.
OK, now that we’ve you told all we’ve managed to glean before the Ultimate Integral’s premiere at ISPO next week, let us address what we find, perhaps, more important:
…One quick glance at the big wide world outside would tell you that it is standard in almost all of the consumer-oriented industries to first present a concept, perhaps leak a photo or two – and only then to proceed to manufacturing a new item. That’s how it works in everything from auto-industry to gadgets to running shoes. It’s a basic marketing aimed at whetting customers’ appetite.
In cross country skiing everything is upside down. First manufacturers produce beta-versions that they test & fine-tune, then best sponsored athletes get new wares and start winning podiums in/ with them ( for all to see on TV) . And only then, months or even years after, the product appears on the expos and, eventually, in shops. How would you like to be able to buy an IPhone model years after Kylie Jenner was spotted using it, huh?
Spine is breaking that order by going big-world: they present what clearly is an Alpha-version, a prototype before it was extensively tested and run in races.
That approach we openly salute!
By the time they test, fine-tune and get it on the market, there shall be an eager audience, ready and waiting to snap it off the shelves.
Would it work as expected? Well, their Ultimate racing boots get pretty rave reviews from all of those we asked so far – so, we don’t see why not.
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