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Sneak Peek

Few boots have inspired greater loyalty than the Raichle Flexon. Mohawked superskier Glen Plake was one of many fans who mourned its passing a decade ago. But now the Flexon's back, at least in spirit: Dalbello hired Plake to redesign it, and his creation, the Krypton, leads the pack of midseason launches-including many new skis-arriving in stores now. Here are the highlights.

1 Dalbello Krypton ($750 Pro, $650 Cross) Plake's Krypton, inspired by the Flexon that he and others loved, gives Dalbello a new high-performance offering. The three-piece design stresses deep flex, snug heel-hold and anatomical accuracy. "I told the guys in Italy I wanted it to look like a beautiful Italian girl's leg, not like a big ugly ski boot," says Plake.

2 Elan RIPSTICK ($975 with binding, 109-66-96) Elan's new high-octane frontside carver is built for speed, edge-hold and quickness.

3 Head Monster i.M 77 Chip ($900, 119-77-104) The new Monster updates the i.M 75, adding more surface area without sacrificing edge-grip. Its microchip adjusts torsional rigidity on the fly.

4 Line Prophet 130 ($900, 155-130-148) That's right: 130 mm at the waist. What the hell: Snow is frozen water; might as well ride a waterski.

5 Fischer AMC79 ($1,050 with binding, 116-79-104) Think "all-mountain cross," and you get the gist of Fischer's newest offering: a ski designed to be everything, on hard or soft snow.

6 Atomic LT11 ($799, 105-66-96) The LT11 gives speed lovers a taste of race performance without overpowering them.

JANUARY 2005

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