The annual snow sports industry trade show known as the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show recently wrapped up at the Denver Conference Center. The show was vibrant, lively and chock full of products for next year’s ski and snowboard season. It’s a combination trade show, educational conference, party and creative energy display. Staffers from manufacturers, importers, retailers, and non-profits decent upon the show each year to confab and determine what YOU will see next fall in shops.
Chatter evolved around climate change and growing participation (both perennial conversations). There was not so much talk about the high cost of participation but that’s another topic.
Emerald Expositions purchased the Snow Show from SnowSports Industries America (SIA) a couple of years ago and created a hybrid show by combining “outdoor” products with ski and snowboard. SIA still has a big presence along with the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), hence the current name. Although “outdoor” companies far outnumbered those in the ski/snowboard categories, the show still featured a wide array of skis, snowboards, boots, bindings, snowshoes, apparel, accessories and all of the sideline gadgets that have the potential to enhance the on-snow experience.
There may not have been any major breakthroughs such as the “parabolic” revolution but next year’s products sport plenty of subtle features. Aerospace technology, dynamic graphics and new shapes are driving the construction of skis and snowboards. Cross-country ski manufacturers and suppliers are jumping on the “reduce your costs” bandwagon by positioning the sport, and the equipment that goes with it, as a more affordable alternative to downhill skiing or snowboarding.
Look for more MIPS protection in helmets for next year. MIPS stands for Milti-directional Impact Protection System as well as better airflow enhancements.
New glove and mitten technology includes microscopic ceramic plates sustainable synthetic leathers and infrared fabric.
More details coming in Part 2.