Soon the only place you'll be able to find a pair of traditional skis will be at a yard sale. So-called shaped skis--a.k.a. parabolic, side-cut cyber--have revolutionized the sport, making the trip downhill easier and safer. Not since metal and fiber glass replaced wood have skiers gained so much from an improvement in equipment. The industry badly needs the boost. The number of skiers and ski-resort visits has been flat for a decade, while the number of skis sold has fallen 40%. Meanwhile, snowboarding has blossomed.

This season shaped skis account for more than 80% of the alpine skis being sold....

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