Ski Racing 2010-2011 Buyer’s Guide
ALTENMARKT, AUSTRIA — In Atomic race team manager Rudi Huber’s
office, there’s a poster that reads, “How it feels to be No. 1,” and lists the
company’s stars from last season. Even in the face of some stiff competition (see “Advantage, Head” on page 25), Atomic insists it is on top — and
intends to stay there.
Indeed, Atomic has won 14 of the last 15 overall men’s crystal globes.
And its illustrious history continues to provide sparkle: Ghiradelli, Kjus,
Deneriaz, Dorfmeister, Knauss and Maier then the present racers like
Walchhofer, Raich, Hirscher, Janka and Albrecht. All have worked hard to
keep the brand, even through the lean years, at the top.
These days, testing is a year-round, continuous process for Atomic
— glacier, indoor, Southern Hemisphere, winter. Benni Raich and Marcel
Hirscher have already been testing, Huber says. Others, including Carlo
Janka, are much more laid back; once they have found their skis, all they
wants to do is train.
Meanwhile, Huber is also focused in retaining star racers and attracting
new ones. This past summer, Huber brought in France’s Sandrine Au-bert to strengthen the technical team and the experienced Chemmy Alcott
from Great Britain in the speed disciplines. With Lara Gut returning to the
World Cup as well this season, Huber is adamant that the new line up will
show that they can “make skis for females as well!”
The story of Doubledeck is only just beginning, Huber feels. The technology, introduced in the GS ski, is working its way through the speed skis
and also the slalom skis. Huber, who grew up surrounded by all things
Atomic (he even went to school with the founder’s daughters) insists that
racing is Atomic and Atomic is racing.
“We still see racing as a business,” says Huber. “We do not see it as a
hobby. Racing is a very important marketing tool for Atomic; Atomic is a
hardcore racing brand. Our target is clear: we want to be No. 1. In the
future we want to keep fighting for this position, but before we spend the
money we have to earn it.”
Huber ends the conversation by explaining the philosophy behind the all-
pronged attack on ski racing. “This was the reason that we always had the
overall winners in the past,” he says. “The best racers focused on the best
equipment…. To have the overall winner on the men’s side, the individual
person, this has marketing value. You can sell the globes; you can sell the
medals on the advertising and on the promotion.” — Neil McQuoid
Atomic RT Ti
The Race Tech Ti is the foundation of Atomic’s race boot lineup. Featuring the new RS 7000
buckles, Team ASY Pro Liner, 55-mm Dual Strap and PU grindable boot board, this boot line
was developed and tested to deliver uncompromised performance in every race condition, says
Atomic. This is the boot of choice for many of Atomic’s elite World Cup, masters and junior competitors.
Head Raptor 70
This is a brand new boot to the Head racing line for the 2010-2011
season, designed for the junior racer. It features a 30-mm velcro
strap and micro adjusting alloy buckles.