Monday, February 18, 2013

SIA Trade Show and On-Snow Recap

You'd never know it but there was a huge party here the night before.
How do you make a big ole gong show even bigger? Get your electronic devices to malfunction for about a week straight. That's how it went down for me. Equal parts freeing and frustrating. Not so great for you the reader and I apologize for that. Emergency paper clip surgery got things functioning again, so now I can tell you all about the end of the show. Now that it's been over for a while.

You undoubtedly saw the pics of adidas' new line, if not, I'm sure you can find them. Just not on this site. Interestingly enough, their biggest competitor was absent. Nike decided not to spend the time and money to show up. I have no idea why. This is a tactical error in my book. If you're Nike, why wouldn't you go toe-to-toe with Adidas as they roll out their first year's worth of snow gear? They've got the money. Bobby Meeks was there anyway. Oh and if you've always wanted a track suit-style one-piece snow suit, adidas will be producing that.

Now that's a product I can get behind.
I was happy to see some new snowboard companies entering the mix this year. Deviation out of Portland and Chugach Flyer out of Alaska. The FlaxFlex of Xboards. Weston and OZ representing Colorado. All are in their first few years of production. Turns out this economy is still supportive of new brands. It's great to see and I wish them all the best.

Deviation Snowboards, comin' straight outta Gresham, Oregon
One bit of advice, though, if you're going to show up at the on-snow demo, learn how to set up and tune your boards. When I rode an OZ board, the owner of the company set up my demo. He measured the stance from the inside of the bindings giving me flexibility-testing 25+ inch stance. There's a waste of a run. Upon inspecting the base, I noticed rust spots and general disrepair on the edges. Same story with the Weston board. The edges were almost fully rounded and the base looked and felt like steel wool. Guys, you aren't doing yourselves any favors by not keeping your boards tuned for such a big show. When you only have five or ten boards, it shouldn't be too much work to give them all an edge tune and hot wax before the demo where people might be seeing them for the first time. You know what they say about first impressions.

The other gear I got on included Capita's Totally FK'n Awesome, Never Summer's Cobra, Niche's Story and Slash by Gigi's Straight. Helmets and goggles got in the mix, too. No boots, no bindings. The conditions were pretty mediocre. Hard-ass groomers populated by hard-ass skiers. A couple stashes. Wind. I'll break them all down when I get back. Oh yeah, I'm in Japan!

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