After spending two days at the SIA (Snowsports Industries of America) snowshow and another two days testing all of the new gear, it’s official…we’re overwhelmed. But there is no time for that because now all of our orders are due so it’s time for us to get down to business.
Some of the highlights for me were
- i.N.i Cooperative
- Arbor Snowboards
- Bonfire Apparel
- Jones Snowboards
- Goggle Grip
- Krochet Kids
The new i.N.i line kills it! It’s a real shame that they don’t make women’s snowboard clothes. I scored one of their jackets which is way too big, but still AWESOME! This line is incredibly well thought out. From the heat-mapped insides to the multitude of storage options, this stuff is first class. Add in their efforts to use recycled and renewable resources whenever possible and a better price point this year and there’s really nowhere else you need to look for men’s outerwear
Arbor Snowboards did it again this year. They have toned down many of their graphics for 2014, but there is nothing tame about their boards! Everything they do just works. More detail in the testing recap.
The Bonfire Apparel line has some really great outerwear for men, women and kids. Their styles are classic, but fresh and they offer a great set of features from boa holes in their pant legs to hand-warmer pockets in the wrists and necks of their jackets. This is a classy line with style and good pricing.
Jones Snowboards has made some changes to their line this year. They have stiffened up many of their boards a bit and there are some noteworthy additions. The Ultracraft splitboard is off the hook! It weighs 5.5 lbs!!! There’s a lot of carbon in this puppy. It is not a board for the faint of heart. They have also added a new board with a completely new profile. The Aviator is an expert freestyle and all-mountain carving board. It boasts 3D Power Camber-positive camber without the hangups due to a bevel in the base from the contact points to the ends of the board. They have also added a women’s version of the Hovercraft.
Goggle Grip is one of those gadgety things that is a great concept…if it works. It consists of two adhesive clips that attach to your helmet. The goggle strap runs through them and your goggles will stay firmly on your head or helmet no matter what you do. No more twisted goggles hanging off the back of your head after you take a spill. We put them on before we headed out to Winter Park and then we proceeded to put them through their paces for the whole week. They held up to a nasty head meets ground event, many a tree run and just plain old riding. They handled it all. They work!
Krochet Kids is a really cool company off the snowboard track. It was started by three high school guys who crocheted together. That’s right…crocheting guys…love it! They teach women in Peru and Uganda how to crochet and they provide a channel for the wares to be sold. They are a non-profit organization empowering people in these poverty stricken areas to provide for themselves and their families. They are helping to break the poverty cycle by teaching them skills. Their hats, scarves, bags and more are beautiful. Each one is signed by the woman who made it. You can even write a note to the woman who made your item. Great concept, great products!
Those are just some of the standout products to me. There are some other noteworthy things that we saw at SIA. While we are not normally starstruck, we were really excited to meet Jeremy Jones, DCP and Bjorn Leines. Jeremy is a fellow New Englander and it was fun talking to him about some of the best places to splitboard in NH and VT. DCP was having a great time showing his YES line, but took a moment out to say “hi” to us and shake our hands. And Bjorn popped in while we were checking out CELTEK. He is a super nice guy who was very gracious with his time.
Aratik was a new company to the show. They make a small handrail trainer. It helps with balance, learning to ride rails and boxes and there is a dome attachment you can put on it to help you spin in both directions. It can be used inside or out and with your own board, boots, and bindings. You can see/read more about Aratik from our friends at Geeks of Shred.
Backcountry Experience returned this year. It is a showcase for all things backcountry. Many of the companies had their splitboards, backpacks, avalanche gear and more on display here. It is a great place to see a wide range of backcountry items in one place. They also feature seminars and meet-and-greets there.
We saw a lot of stuff that we love, a lot of stuff that we didn’t, and even some that we very much wanted to love. Most of the people that we met were very generous with their time and the vibe at the show this year seemed much more laid back than last year. The On-Snow demos were amped like I remember. But who wouldn’t be amped getting to try out all the great stuff for the upcoming season. It was a great week we spent in Colorado. Now that we have seen and tried it all, it’s back to business…now we have to order it all!