Developing the 2018 Roxa RX3 with Glen Plake
How’s it going? It’s Glen Plake. We’re at the Stratton Mountain trade fair, and we’re testing new skis and new boots and everything else. This fair is really cool because we make all this new stuff and it’s everybody’s chance to go try it out and not just look at the piece of paper we hold in our hands and all that.
I will give you some nitty-gritty about a new product that I’m excited about, Roxa ski boots. I’ve been with Roxa for three years and had the pleasure of being a part of the design process that gave us the RX3. Designing ski boots is really, really cool. It doesn’t happen very often. It’s a really unique opportunity, and I take it really seriously.
Ski boots over the years have developed very little. Skis have changed. Ski areas have changed. Cars have changed. Ski boots really haven’t changed very much. There’s a bunch of different reasons why, but I think it’s time for a change a little bit, so to speak, or at least some innovation. They change the color. They add this, they add that, but in general the ski boot really hasn’t progressed very far.
Now here comes the RX. First of all, it’s lighter than any ski boot that you’ve put on in recent years. Ski boot innovation kind of stopped in the early ’80s. I guess just everybody said “This works”, so everybody started copying it. If we go back into the ’70s, it was a really, really innovative time. Ski boots were made different shapes, forms, sizes, weights, everything. It was really cool actually. I hope to bring some of that back to the forefront with the RX3.
I said it’s probably the lightest ski boot you’ve ever put in your hands, certainly in recent years. The boot was designed specifically to be injected with grilamid, which is a light plastic. Not just a light plastic, but it’s also a very strong plastic and very thin diameter, thin wall thicknesses. We were able to make the boot smaller in general, overall size. I’m a 27-5 and my overall boot size is down a centimeter and a half. It just shows you how much compact the boot is.
Of course you do lock mode on this one, full flexing. I think it’s important to be able to see how soft we can make a boot flex before we stiffen them up. This boot is full flexing mechanically. It’s easy to stiffen a boot. You just slam rivets on the side of it, and it’s a stiff boot. To make a soft boot is very difficult. I worked really, really hard on that.
It’s like a mountain bike suspension. If we’re out riding around with my buddies, no big deal, I want it all hard and fast and I want really high spring rates. If I’m just cruising around, I’d like to have a boot a little softer, a little more comfortable to ride in. Flex to me is more about how much movement I have, not whether it’s harder stiff or softer stiff.
I’m really excited, RX3 by Roxa. We’ve got a women’s boot, of course. We have a lockdown boot with no lock mechanism. One thing that’s interesting, it’s actually a proprietary patent. Roxa injects tech bindings into all our boots if we need to. That’s a cool feature too.
The tech binding’s growing. People wanted to be able to do a little ski tour or switch skis but just to keep the same boots. Put them on your feet. Don’t worry about the specs. Just put them on your feet and go skiing. I think you’ll like them.