Wednesday, January 27, 2016

SIA and More

Oh boy! I definitely haven't been the most prolific writer, well, ever. But recently, I've been feeling especially slow. Thank you for your patience. At times I feel like I'm losing my mind and the words are going with it. I'm sure it's temporary. Just gotta get back on the horse. What better way to remount the steed than the good ole snowsports industry tradeshow, SIA? 

Right now you might be thinking to yourself, "But you weren't that prolific after last year's SIA, what's new this year?" Well, I'm glad I'm telepathic enough to hear you ask yourself that question, so I can provide the answer. Perhaps because of last year's shortcomings, I feel I owe it to you (and to myself) to produce more this year. It's what I should have done last year anyway. It wasn't snowing enough to ride as much last year, so why didn't I write more? I had the material. I had the time. I just got lazy. Sometimes that inertia is hard to overcome. But here I am.

In a stroke of  'better late than never,' here's a brief wrap up of 2015's SIA.
  • GoPro accessories everywhere. More sticks and mounts than a polo match.
  • Burton didn't have a booth, they had their own venue. Seriously. They held down a three-level warehouse/rave venue for the week and ran shuttles back and forth to the convention center. They're doing the same this year.
  • Mervin didn't have a booth, they had a suite next door at the Hyatt. That one was weird. Not GNU weird, just strange. It was a two-bedroom hotel suite casually decorated in Lib Tech and GNU boards, bindings and clothes. They have a small booth this year.
  • Skullcandy didn't have a booth, they just ran the show at the Hyatt bar. DJs and banners included. Same deal this year.
  • Highlights from the on-snow demo were the Nitro Quiver MTN - a charging, all-mountain ripper - and the GNU Zoid - a directional, asymmetrical charging ripper. Also, I was a fan of the Electric EG3.5 goggles. It may be personal preference, but they fit my face well and the tupperware-like press-and-seal was intuitive, quick and confidence inspiring.
  • A lowlight from the on-snow was the Lib Tech DUH - two edges per side (one inner, one outer), so different I probably should have ridden it more to truly understand what was going on, but with the time I gave it, it seemed like a big swing and miss.
  • Airblaster and Celtek (two companies that gave me walk-in meetings after I didn't schedule appointments with them) knocked it out of the park. Both of these rider-run companies are crushing the big dogs. 
Now I'm off to the current SIA show. Look for a little something from me on YoBeat in a few days. Until then, check out this bib roundup I did for Transworld (remember what I said about Airblaster?). Drop any requests you have for SIA in the comments.