Like Outdoor Retailer but just for snow-related sports, the SnowSports Industries American Snow Show (SIA) happens every January in Denver, Colorado. It’s a gathering of more than 1,000 brands, small and large, that are making strides to push the boundaries of what is possible on skis and snowboards and in the apparel and accessories that we wear when we ride them.
Walking the floor is a spectacle, with boot-fitting demonstrations, musical acts, giveaways, beer being consumed out of gloves rather than koozies, and more long hair and beards than a late-’90s Phish concert. We walked the floor for a few days before taking off for the on-snow demo at Copper Mountain to shred some fresh powder. These 11 products constitute a selection of the most innovative, most technically advanced and downright awesome ski and snowboard gear that is coming out next winter.
Additional reporting by Jeremy Berger.
G3 Scala Skin
G3’s newest innovation in skins comes in the form of the Scala, which uses technology that appears roughly similar to the Fischer Profoil. But the Scala uses a hybrid construction: At the tip of the ski, a scaled urethane material helps increase glide in deep snow, while the rest of the skin is made of the same nylon used in the brand’s Alpinist climbing skin.
Giro’s Avance helmet is designed specifically for ski racers and the abuse that they take to the head going through gates. Its brow is strategically shaped to deflect the gates and reduce the amount of impact force to your head. It also features a new proprietary MIPS system designed just for the helmet with two separate pieces of foam that move independently of each other.
Based in Bozeman, Montana, Caravan Skis produces only 250 to 300 pairs of skis per year. Their flagship ski is the SB110, but for 2016/17, they are releasing the SB120. With 120mm underfoot, the SB120 is built for deep days in the sidecountry.
The newest innovation from the mind of Eric Pollard, the Line Pescado takes what fish and swallowtails do for surfboards and snowboards and applies it to skis. The fishtail cut at the back allows the tail of the ski to drop, keeping the tip of the ski up and providing for a looser, surfy feel in deep snow.
K2 Taro Tamai Collaboration Boot
Taro Tamai is the legend behind Gentemstick, the Japanese surf-inspired snowboard manufacturer. For 2016/17, Taro teamed up with K2 to develop a snowboard boot that has a soft and comfortable flex, but still provides ultra-high performance. The boot features a low-profile Vibram sole for better feel of the board and the snow.
Salomon Premiere Splitboard
While most splitboards break apart into two sections, Salomon’s Premiere splits into three. This allows you to have two narrower skis for the skintrack, providing more maneuverability. The middle section folds in half and can be easily strapped to the outside of your pack.
Arcade Belts is the brainchild of professional skier Cody Townsend. For next winter, Arcade is expanding its line of adventure-focused belts, including a hydrophobic belt that will dry super quickly if you take it into water, as well as a belt with a unique no-slip closure system that also allows you to adjust it with one hand.
Union Super Force
As part of their Custom House Collection, Union is set to release another iteration of its Super Force. The newest version features a portrait of a gorilla on the highback, which is a solid plastic piece instead of the Force’s standard perforated one.
Capita Kazu Pro
Featuring a pointed tip and tail, Kazu Kokubo’s new Capita pro model promises to charge in all conditions, especially in powder. The NAS drops out of this year’s line, but Kazu and Pat Moore’s new pro model boards are more-than-adequate replacements.
686 Forest Bailey Collection
Straight from the ever-creative mind of Forest Bailey, his new collection offers a fashion-forward look with interesting pocket placements and touches, combined with the best of 686’s modern technology in shell and insulation. The line features a handful of jackets with Forest’s hand-drawn artwork printed on the lining.
Salomon Base Layer
Salomon’s new base layer features 37.5 technology, which works to maintain your body heat at an optimal 37.5 degrees Celsius. It also offers a completely seamless construction wherever possible, which reduces uncomfortable rubbing from stitches.