Winter Park, CO SnowSports Industries Convention
There were around 3,400 people for the on-snow demo at Winter Park Ski Resort Monday, part of the SnowSports Industries America’s (SIA) annual snow show. The show was held for the first time in Denver after a 37 years of wild times in Las Vegas.
A small village was set up at the base of Winter Park. Manufactures, retailers and media in the snowsports industry cruised displays of skis and snowboards, boots, bindings, goggles, helmets, poles, gadgets and just about every other piece of ski gear that somebody needs to enjoy the sport of skiing. There were people out demoing the latest and greatest that the ski industry is bringing out for next year.
What were the hits of the show? What are the can’t live withouts for the ski addicted masses?
Well according to the ski press here are some of the favorites that were at the ski show in both Denver and on the slopes of Winter Park Resort.
Co-founder Jim Satloff launched the firm in 2003 with $30,000 won during an incredibly lucky three-hour run at a Vegas craps table. Today, Avon-based Liberty has a national reputation as a high-performance ski maker. Liberty is the first manufacturer to use bamboo cores in all its lines, offering lighter weight and improved responsiveness.
Prototypes are developed at the Avon headquarters, but most manufacturing takes place in China. Low import duties allow Liberty to sell at competitive prices to retailers, where the skis carry list prices of $529 to $769.
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Is any glove worth $275? Arc’teryx believes the Alpha SV, the first glove made with Gore Pro Shell, fits the bill. The typical Gore-Tex glove has a somewhat bulky, cartoonish-looking baggie sandwiched between the liner and outer shell. Pro Shell is a three-layer, super-breathable product in which the shell, Gore-Tex membrane and liner are laminated into a single piece of fabric. It brings down weight and bulk and improves breathability and durability. It’s Gore’s premium product for jackets, but it’s hard to make into a glove because of all the seam sealing required.
Anyway, the Alpha SV overcomes those issues with clever engineering and design. There’s a waterproof leather layer on the fingers and palm and a removable fleece liner. In all, the glove is lightweight, extremely dextrous and easily the coolest pair of ski and mountaineering gloves I’ve ever seen. As for the price, a lot of pros—helicopter skiing guides and such—will probably wear it. If you use the gloves 100 days a year for 10 years, you’ll end up investing around 28 cents a day on hand warmth. Probably a good deal. For the rest of us, it’s a friggin’ expensive glove.
This innovative Grand Junction outerwear-maker is now making kick-ass headwear and kick-ass jackets with all sorts of shape shifting features, like built-in mittens and facemasks and the ability to transform into a backpack.
Some of the coolest looking skis out there. Based in Breckenridge and making skis for over ten years these skis will definitely get some questions from fellow lift riders. And yes these are also manufactured in China, but man they are really cool looking.
WhoooHoooo! Lets hope the SIA makes it back to Winter Park next year for an encore performance. The two days here were great exposure for Winter Park Resort and it was nice to see the base bustleing with ski industry people.
Chris February 3rd, 2010