It used to be that the toughest hurdle to finding the perfect helmet was fit. Gauging from what’s on display at the huge Snow Industries America (SIA) trade show in Denver, tomorrow’s helmets will be getting even more complex as safety awareness in the backcountry (and freeride) country gets respect.
I wander the halls of the Colorado Convention Center aimlessly wondering where do I start? I’ve attended the Snowsports Industries of America show three times in Denver and countless other times when it was in Las Vegas. but for the first time in, I think, forever, we both (the Show and I) have lost focus.
More than 18,000 snow industry professionals are converging on Denver, Colorado’s Convention Center Jan. 29-Feb. 1 to hype the enthusiasm for winter sports and forecast trends for 2016.
Skiers suffer. We endure countless indignities just to engage in the activity that allows us to say the hallowed words, “I’m a skier.”
While major ski brands continue fighting fiercely to differentiate themselves, there’s one theme that pops up at some point in every company’s presentation of a 2016 collection: lighter is better. That's the key preview from RealSkiers.com.
If you tear the universe down into its most essential components, all you have left is light and vibration. The tiny squiggles of energy that are the foundation of the quantum world are the essence of emanation, infinitesimal moments of spin, the fractals that make up the circle of life.
There are several important similarities between skiing and golf: both are essentially balance sports, success at both depends on managing the mind/body relationship and both require expensive equipment.
What a wonderful time to be a skier. No matter where or how you like to slide, there is a ski made just for you; the ski market has never displayed so much diversity in shapes and baselines, from hourglass carvers to battleship-wide smear-sticks. About the only shapes not currently available are the ancestral dimensions of long and skinny.
A bedrock principle of marketing is to draw public attention to your product’s differentiating feature that delivers a performance, comfort or convenience advantage over the competition. To reach the widest audience, the communication has to be compressed to the point where the “elevator pitch” better not take more than one floor to spit out.
If skiing is in your blood, at this time of year you can’t wait to get back on snow. With each passing day, the itch to step into a gravity stream begs ever more urgently to be scratched. On the motivation front, you’re more than ready to go.
A customer of my generation was perched on the boot bench at Bobo's enduring a somewhat frustrating fitting session - his first in many years - when he opined aloud that it didn’t seem like boots had changed much since last he’d shopped for them.
At this time last week, I was sitting in a classroom listening to a passionately yet soberly delivered series of seminars on advanced boot fitting techniques. Even though most of the information covered familiar terrain, the value of the bits that were new coupled with the merits of revisiting fundamentals made for the most interesting two days of the new season.
Now is the time. Not to go skiing, but to prepare for frolics to come. Most skiers wait until the last possible moment to rediscover that the boots that caused so much distress last season are still lurking in the back of the hall closet. No time like the present to pull them out, slap them on and wonder, “Is this the best I can do?”
The defining trait of an “all-mountain” ski is versatility, a talent for adapting to any condition from brittle hardpack to tracked-up trees to fluffy freshies. The ideal all-terrain ski is ready for whatever is on the mountain’s menu that morning.