The snowboard buying season…what it really looks like

snowboard buying

The countdown is on…ok, it’s almost over.  The SIA (Snowsports Industries of America) SnowShow 2013 is coming up…ok, it has started.  But we aren’t there yet, so we’re still counting down.  This is the premiere show for the snowsports industries.  This is where we will get to see what is new in snowboarding styles, tech and colors, and this is where we choose what to carry next year.

Here is how it works. The show runs from Thursday to Sunday (but Sunday doesn’t really count…more on that shortly).  You make appointments to see the lines you are carrying and you make appointments to see lines you would like to carry.  In some cases you might make appointments to see lines you are thinking about getting rid of… I don’t think we’re there yet.  In the time between appointments you wander around and see all the things that you didn’t even know you might want to carry.

This is our second time attending the show and the first time was a complete whirlwind.  Going in blind and needing vendors for everything from socks, to snowboards, to outerwear, to…well everything was really hard.  Now that we are open and have a lineup that we feel really strongly about, we can go in much more focused.

It will be a day and a half at the show going to meetings and listening to reps explain the new tech, styles, and colorways. After awhile it all starts to blend.  Thankfully we have reinforcements coming with us this year so we are not alone on this trip.  We will have more opinions than just our own which cannot always be trusted.

Back to Sunday…on Sunday everyone packs up their booths and gear and heads to Winter Park for the on-snow demos on Monday and Tuesday.  For two days we get to try everything new and noteworthy and take lots of notes and then we use all of that to try to predict what you, our customers, will want to see in here next year.

snowboard buying

The other facet to snowboard buying is regional rep shows. There are a series of rep shows in New England from December to March, but order deadlines are moving up and by the time the March show rolls around, it’s too late in a lot of cases.  When we get back there is a rep show in Providence.  Basically the February Providence show is a last ditch effort to revisit anything that we need to take a second (or third) look at.  It’s also an opportunity to get last minute questions answered.  And then bam-the orders are due.  The regional reps also have two demo days at Stratton.  Last year the day after we got back from a week in Denver and Winter Park, we were off to Stratton to see what we had missed.  This year, Stratton overlaps with Winter Park so we opted to go to Winter Park and what the heck…we might as well stay for the rest of the week.

There is a shift happening in the industry and it trickles down to all of the retailers.  Vendors are streamlining their offerings making order deadlines earlier every year so production can be started early enough to ensure on time deliveries next fall.  This season is barely in full swing and we now have to jump right over paddleboard season and plan the next snowboard season.

Some of the things on our radar are Now snowboarding’s new models, Gnu’s new C3 “camber dominant, rocker submissive” profile story, new colorways from our outerwear companies and we are scouting a few new lines so we can offer more choices.  Arbor snowboards graphics have taken a major turn and Niche has worked with Michael Sieben again for some super cool new graphics.  This is the grown up version of kids in a candy store!  As always, if there is anything you want us to check out…let us know.  We want to hear from you!


Tags: arbor snowboards, snowboard buying, snowboard gear, what’s new in snowboarding,snowboarding gear preview, next year’s snowboard stuff, next years snowboarding gear, niche’s graphics

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