What a weekend! Last Friday, we attended 2013 Snowsports Industries America trade show and perused every isle gawking at and fiddling with the newest winter gear. SIA is an annual trade show where all of the ski, snowboard, and accessory manufacturers gather in one place to show off next year's latest and greatest to retailers across the country. So, we spent all day Friday going from one booth to another with an occasional work-related meeting.
Some of next years offerings from Smith Optics and Line Skis:
One thing that stood out this year was the amount of backcountry oriented gear at the show. These days, it seems like every manufacturer is making backcountry this and that. While it's exciting to see so many companies making backcountry gear, it's also scary. With this large surge in backcountry offerings, there isn't the same surge in backcountry education.
There are several groups like Friends of Berthoud Pass and numerous AIARE course providers dedicated to teaching avalanche awareness and promoting avalanche education, but ultimately it is up to the user to educate him/herself. The purchase of an Avalung and some Marker Dukes shouldn't invite someone to start exploring the backcountry. Unfortunately, the marketing of many of these new backcountry items (not necessarily those previously mentioned) could lead one to believe as much. Hopefully ideas like Project Zero will be successful in making avalanche education as "cool" to backcountry skiers and snowboarders as the products that go with it.
The SIA show is broken up into two segments. The first part is the two-day show itself and the second is two on-snow demo days at Winter Park where you can try out everything you saw at the show. We
Always fun at the liberty tent
I had a short list of skis that I had seen at the show that I wanted to try and then a number that had been suggested to me by others. Despite the fact that there was no snow, it was without a doubt one of the best days of skiing I've had this year. Who knew that bombing blue runs all day long could be so much fun? I tried a number of different skis over the course of the day and for every ski I didn't have time to try, someone else on the chairlift had and was able to tell me about. I spent most of the day trying out bigger skis and even with the conditions being less than ideal, a couple managed to still wow me. The DPS skis stole the show in my book- especially the Wailer 112RPC, which was impressive to say the least.
Check out the pictures below. The only ski not pictured is the Moment Governor, which I was having so much fun on I forgot to take a picture.
A collection of stories and adventures from the FAMS director and instructors.