Just thought I might comment on the recent report on Fischer skis and boots, since I've been on Fischer skis for the last 13 years and was somewhat of a test pilot on the new Centrix boots last year. Although I am a Fischer/Swix(FSX) ambassador I'll try to give you an unbiased summary of my experience.
The skis are pretty easy, after all they are Fischers! I think if anyone reads the promo stuff they'll pretty much get it. Light, fast, durable, etc. The smartest thing a skier from the Midwest can do is go with soft to medium flexes. Those stiff skis might perform better in real hard pack or icy conditions, but we are skiing on new and generally softer snow all winter.
In addition, a skier's overall strength is a big factor. We have very few athletes who can truly have their skiing complimented by a stiffer ski (yours truly included!). My motto has always been "better soft in hard conditions than too stiff in soft conditions". World Cuppers are skiing on much firmer trail conditions not to mention their strength and fitness levels are on a completely different level.
Regarding the Centrix boots: This was really exciting last year!! Although I have not yet skied on my 2005/6 new boots, the changes are only going to enhance what I believe to be the new boot standard. Unless you've tried these boots, it's hard to describe. Basically the support goes from the foot bed upward as opposed from the calf downward. I especially feel the benefit of this on hill climbs. When I first tried these boots a year ago August, I was rather anxious, especially on roller skis. The transition to Centrix was quick and painless. They actually feel quite liberating compared to the traditional skating boot. I was really excited about the additional benefits of the liberating flexibility of Centrix once the snow came.
The Classic Centrix boot is without question the most stable classic boot out there. Skiing downhills on classic skis never felt so good. I've actually skated with this boot on several occasions and you've basically got the same dynamics of the Skate boot construction working for you. An extra bar on the boot to accommodate the pilot binding would make them the perfect pursuit boot (skate/classic).
Other things I like: Very durable. I've roller skied nearly two seasons and snow skied one season on them. They look and feel nearly new. Pretty light weight. Repel water very well until you've gone over the top. They are more airtight but don't drain well!! This is also somewhat of a factor in the summer if its really hot and your feet get sweaty. They're warm and puncture resistant.
The absolute bottom line in choosing any boot has got to be comfort!! Centrix, in my opinion, has a distinct performance edge, but that said, if it doesn't fit right you've compromised any advantage you might have gained. For me they fit and felt great. Apparently, some of the changes for the '06 boots addressed comfort issues. Like most boots, these probably won't fit everybody. Other changes are pretty much addressed in the original article. They were very responsive to input and made necessary adjustments.
See ya soon!