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Bob Lange

Hall of Fame Class of 2000

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Bob Lange was well-known and respected throughout the international ski industry. One of his last visits to the SIA (Snowsports Industries of America) was a Las Vegas show in 1994 where he personally congratulated Lange Athletes, Tommy Moe and Picabo Street, on their respective Olympic gold and silver medal performances.

Mid-20th century was a period of rapid technical improvement in ski equipment. Skis, poles and bindings set new benchmarks. Boots also needed upgrading from the low-cut leather construction so long in use.

In 1948, Robert B. Lange reinforced a pair of boots custom-made by Peter Limmer, internationally known boot maker, with some fiberglass-reinforced polyester resin left over from a boat hull. It was the first recorded use of a plastic in a boot. He started with vacuum-molded ABS sheet and made 750 the first year. Many discouragements and months later, he switched to polyurethane and finally a successful Lange boot was born.

That black boot marked the jump from the early soft leather boot to one that really bound ski and leg. It deserves historical note. Bob Lange deserves recognition for it.

Sadly, Bob passed away in June of 2000 at the age of 74.

Bob Lange was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 2000.

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