2016-17 winter: Looking at next year’s ski-snowboard gear
DENVER — The SnowSports Industries America Snow Show in Denver is like being a kid in a candy shop all over again.
The annual tradeshow featured all of next year’s styles, equipment and the newest gadgets and gear hitting the market, from Soul Pole’s bamboo ski poles to “top secret” lens technology at VonZipper.
Here’s a look at some of what the 2016-17 ski and snowboard season will have to offer, as seen this past weekend at the show:
Rodin is a combination downhill ski and snowboard system, which allows for three separate modes of on-snow activity — skiing, snowboarding and touring — that can easily be converted back and forth from one mode to the another in moments without tools.
“It’s not a splitboard at all. My target was resort skiing,” said Rick Bulan, the creator of the innovative board-ski. “You decide to downhill ski or snowboard, you decide on the mountain, no tools.”
The idea came out of necessity, Bulan said. His son wanted to ski with him, but being a snowboarder, he’d have to take the time and effort to go to the car and switch the gear.
“So I came up with this, which allows me to change on the mountain,” Bulan said. “It does turn a lot of heads when I’m walking around a resort.”
The unique gap in the Rodin makes it a legitimate downhill ski setup, and it doesn’t get snow caught up in it when snowboarding, Bulan said.
For more information, visit http://www.rodinltd.com.
‘LIGHTEST AIRBAG ON THE MARKET’
Heading to the backcountry? Mammut will release its best airbag system yet in 2016-17, the Ultralight 20L.
“They’re now 30 percent lighter with 30 percent less volume,” said Nick Chambers, of Momentum Media. “We’re now offering what is the lightest airbag pack on the market, which weighs 4 pounds, 3 ounces.”
The pack is bare bone, and the inflation system is neatly integrated into the backpack, leaving plenty of room for other equipment. It is ideal for lightweight touring.
The deployment handle is height-adjustable, the airbag balloon is bright orange to increase visibility and the carrying harness of the airbag system is now more comfortable and fits a wider range of body-types.
For more information, visit http://www.mammut.ch/airbags.
Oakley will be breaking into the helmet scene next season.
The line will feature new releases MOD 3 and MOD 5 helmets, as well as a Factory Pilot collection and Alpine Camo collection.
Oakley boasts that all of its goggles will fit with any of the helmets, which are both decorative and functional.
The Alpine Camo collection features the MultiCam Alpine design, created with a cluster of camouflage patterns designed to help United States special forces hide in winter environments.
SECURE SKIS, BOARDS IN THE CAR
The SeatRack is a great way to secure skis and snowboards inside of a car, as the adapter slides right into the passenger-side headrests.
The company is a few weeks old and touts a product that prevents damage to the interior of a car and the precious cargo.
Installation and removal take less than a minute, and the SeatRack prevents diminished fuel economy and wind noise generated by traditional roof racks.
If you’re not cruising in an SUV with a rack on top and all of your friends, then the SeatRack is ideal.
For more information, visit http://www.seat-rack.com.
Adventure SnowSports Simulators was demonstrating snowboard lessons on a treadmill-like surface. The simulator helps ski and snowboard instructors offer instruction and conditioning year-round.
Since the cold weather aspect of skiing and snowboarding discourages some, the simulator provides lessons in a warm, dry and controlled environment.
The simulator is portable so an instructor can come to a student, or the student can come to him or her.
For more information, visit http://www.adventuresnowsportssimulators.com.
STAY DRY, STAY WARM
DryGuy is helping take the pains of skiing and snowboarding away.
Thanks to the Warm & Charge, gone are the days of pulling out an iPhone or a GoPro only for it to freeze before getting the money shot. The Warm & Charge provides five hours of warmth, and it also has a USB port to alternatively provide two full charges.
“I got so frustrated because I would do three warmup runs on the groomers,” said Chris Primavera, of DryGuy, “and then I’d go back to Blue Sky and find a great little powder patch and the GoPro dies.”
DryGuy also showed off a fine-tuned Force Dry DX, which dries everything from wet shoes, gloves and boots in one to two hours. The Force Dry DX is quiet and easy to use. The company also is releasing a Travel Dry DX, which is perfect for wet gear on the go.
For more information, visit http://www.dryguy.com.
Under Armour had on display slick new uniforms for on-mountain employees, including ski patrol and lift operators. While a spokesperson said they have a deal with almost 20 ski resorts, Vail Resorts mountains were not among them.
GoPro couldn’t release specifics of what’s on the way, but talks of a drone and new software for the action cameras is in the works.
Ross Leonhart is a reporter for the Vail Daily, a sister paper of the Sierra Sun-North Lake Tahoe Bonanza based in Vail, Colo.