lets not get too carried away with this whole "race technology" Vs. ski technology in general.
In all honesty there isnt that many variables in ski design:
It is still very possible to make a good ll mountian ski that performs like a race ski without having a race department. You are still testing the EXACT same variables.
Lets face it. Racing is DEAD in N.A.
K2 has the technology to build world class race stock skis, but is smart to wisely invest there $$$ in areas that will create more revenue.
Some good points. How much more could Atomic have spent on R&D if they weren't setting up all those racers retirements?
Atomic can spend big $ on racers because it comes back to them in Europe, where racing is far from dead. Who would K2 recruit to their race skis? Even when Phil was winning world cups there was not a Euro on them.
I raced in Europe in 1972 on k2 fours. The ski had a great reputation, if you could get it. Sort of an underground cult item. If they couldn't crack the racing market in Europe then they sure won't now. Their best bet is with the baggy pants dudes.