After four days of seeing, feeling and experiencing the 2013.14 snow sports technology, innovations and style trends at the 2013 SIA Snow Show, the industry heads to the mountains to put the latest in ski, snowboard and AT/backcountry gear to the test at the SIA On-Snow Demo at Winter Park, Colo., February 4–5 and to the Nordic Demo for cross country and snowshoe, February 4 at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.
“I’m pretty darn impressed with the vendors having so much new product after such a struggling year last year. On the hard goods side, there is a lot of new product out there,” said Tracy Gibbons of Sturtevant's Sports in Tacoma, Wash., who flew in two of her employees who have never been to the Show. She wants them to see the expansiveness of the product at the Show and have them work through her test list at the On-Snow Demo.
“The energy is good because of the snow. Spirits are high, people are happy,” said Kim Walker of Outdoor Divas in Denver, Colo. “I’m very excited about the On-Snow — they got 29 inches in five days!”
The Snow Show and the On-Snow Demo is the one-stop deal for buyer attendees, media and exhibitors. “There is a really good presence at the Show and it is evident that there is a lot of enthusiasm because this year it is snowing and it’s cold,” said Head’s Julia Blumenfeld, sales and marketing coordinator. “I think it’s going to be great to get that enthusiasm out on the slopes at the On-Snow as well. It is such an important part of the Show to feel what our product does.”
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The 2013.14 season will be filled with asymmetrical patterns, diverse textures and bursts of color. The top hue for the next season is muted, earthy and well-suited for an outdoorsman: ochre. It’s a mustard/mellow yellow color that is well paired with other tones and can make a statement on its own.
The urban woodsman appears in outerwear lines across the industry — a look adopted by hipster males who like outdoor authenticity and are seeking the latest athletic-influenced fashion.
The ski-to-street demure prints on neutral colors with color pops will also make female riders and skiers fashion-ready on and off the mountain. Many brands like Patagonia, TREW, Neve, Burton and Arc’Teryx are applying the product fit, technical specifications and style refined in the men’s products to women’s clothing.
“We are bringing fun, feminine style that keeps you warm and makes you look good,” said Krimson Klover’s Rachel Hadley, the marketing manager.
Apparel brands new to the SIA Snow Show like Saga, Coldsmoke, Strafe Outerwear and Dana Stein Everyday Furs also note: “Mélange rules,” said Vincent Leorosnier trend forecaster and sport consultant at Stylesight. Technical and fun, fashionable and functional are defining apparel philosophies in snow sports. For kids’ outerwear, brighter colors like shocking pink dominate.
Female participation in snowboarding is growing significantly for the 18-34 year-old crowd and the industry is taking notice. The new generation of Millenials doesn’t think snowboarding is just for the boys anymore — and there are many more options in apparel and equipment just for these women.
“Hybrid camber rocker snowboards seem to have the biggest draw – they give women riders from beginner to expert a versatile ride for any condition,” commented Richard Leto of Ski Barn in Wayne, NJ.
There were plenty of new snowboard products found on the Show floor designed for heading into the backcountry with boots that have a stiffer flex, hiking or crampon-compatible soles and liners with outsoles to wear around at camp or huts.
In boards, collections have become streamlined in response to last season’s inventory surplus and use a noticeable resurgence in camber and more hybrid profiles. “We think [core profiles] will be one of the biggest new trends shaping the future,” commented Knut Eliassen, marketing manager for Nitro.
Just like snowboarding, there’s a charge into the backcountry for skiers. Whether it’s accessed through a resort, a trailhead or hiking, backcountry was definitely the talk of the Snow Show and the alpine category is responding with more backcountry-focused features that also provide downhill performance. Skis are also about 15-20 percent lighter on average than previous models.
“Consumers are looking for boots and bindings and gear that allow them opportunities. They want the option to go bigger and deeper,” says Aaron Provine of Backcountry.com.
“We’re seeing a fusion of many ski disciplines. Freeriding blending into frontside skiing blending into alpine touring and ski mountaineering,” commented Kurt Hoefler, VP of sales at Rossignol.
And rocker technology continues to be on ski manufacturers’ radar. “Manufacturers have realized that rocker isn’t just for freeride, but when judiciously applied, it can make even a carving ski more versatile. We’ve also seen skis trending towards more girth — 95-115 underfoot where the tip rocker seems to be the sweet spot for most people,” said Tom Winter, VP of marketing at Liberty Skis.
The Nordic industry is predicted to experience exciting product developments with lean snow years propelling innovation. The lines between alpine touring and cross country skiing are blurring, more companies are offering high-performance skate boots and there are increased options in metal edge touring skis for recreational skiers.
Though snow levels are low, optimism is high. “I find this to be an incredible opportunity to try to find compelling reasons for retailers to sign up for my brands and instigate market-share shifts,” said Isaac Wilson, product manager for Salomon Nordic and Atomic. “Here at the Show we have access to some of the most important dollars in the Nordic industry. It is an opportunity to check out what is out there and what is relevant to the marketplace.
Trend for the coming season in helmets include new technologies in multi-impact protection materials, impact-absorption materials taken from body armor, fully integrated goggle-helmet systems and more adjustable fit options.
With brands like Scott, there is a particular focus on junior products and helmets designed to for multiple sports in different seasons.
Additionally, helmets are being designed to work well with other products. “We’re confident the goggle-to-helmet integration story is one trend that will continue to resonate with consumers,” explains U.S. Anon Optics sales manager, Christian Connolly.
Action cams, while they can’t protect, capture a skier or rider’s experience when they are compatible with helmets. It is becoming more and more popular to document and share footage of time spent on the slopes.
As with apparel, the color palette for hats adopted more muted earth tones like olive, moss, taupe, grey and brown. Pops of brighter colors appear with lime, chili, pacific blue and yellow. Brands like Dakine are keeping with the clean and classic cuffed styles and moving toward bonnet shapes with tassels and big poms for women. The biggest hits at SIA were chunky hand-knits, multi-colored marled yarns, plush fleece linings and bandana balaclavas.
For next year, many brands are embracing a simple and classic styling of goggles with cylindrical or flat lenses. These near-frameless goggles have a clean, simplified look but also state of the art technical features such as improved venting features and techy integrations like cameras, Bluetooth connections and adjustable lens tint. For sunglasses a retro style, with mid-size silhouettes and translucent frames are dominating the category.
“Designs are moving toward sleeker, lower-profile dimensions overall,” said Andy McSorely of Oakley.
t has a continued demand for touch-screen technology. Backcountry is also touching this category as consumers need a glove that does more than just keep their hands warm and dry.
“We’ve seen steady growth in our technical glove category. With more skiers/snowboarders traveling in the backcountry, the demand for a glove that can be used with ropes and tools has been a big request in the marketplace,” said Adam Green, Scott Sports.
Seirus’ HeatTouch Gloves takes glove technology even further with “push button warm” with three heat settings that activate battery-powered heat panels that work up to six hours.
Glove companies are also catering to the terrain park crowd with features that are uncomplicated, grips for grabbing, warm in all types of weather and tech-savvy for accessing gadgets.
There were more insulated mid-layers at the Snow Show than ever before. There was also a big emphasis on natural fibers — especially wool in base layers, which are selling very well at retail.
Many companies are developing base/mid-layers that are meant to be worn together as a system and worn on their own as lifestyle pieces. “A quality baselayer is a true lifestyle garment. If you live in the mountains, you use baselayers as a stand-alone garment as well as a first layer,” commented Abe Gilreath of Naklin.
After the Show doors closed this afternoon, attendees packed up and headed off to the On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest hosted in conjunction with the Western Winter Sports Reps Association’s Rocky Mountain Demo and in partnership with Cross Country Ski Areas Association at Winter Park Resort and the Nordic Demo at Devil’s Thumb Ranch. There the industry will get together and demo the gear they’ve just seen at the Show and ski, ride and slide together. The Demo is a great way to wrap up everyone’s Snow Show experience with two days of demos, races, parties and catching up with industry friends.
The Nordic Demo returns to Devil’s Thumb Ranch, with a new one-day demo format on Monday, February 4. Nordic buyers will be greeted with an opening reception and state of the market presentation on Sunday, February 3, plus an après party and events among the beautifully groomed Nordic trails and amazing surroundings of Devil’s Thumb Ranch.
Member-owned, industry-inspired and dedicated exclusively to snow sports, the SIA Snow Show is the industry’s largest annual global gathering. It’s where the most influential and visionary brands connect with leading retailers, resorts and media to unveil innovations, exchange ideas and build solid relationships that shape the industry.
Stay connected to 2013 SIA Snow Show news with the SIA Social Dashboard, with feeds from the SIA Facebook page, SIA’s Latest and @siasnowsports on Twitter. Use #SIA13 to join the Twitter and Instagram dialogues with thousands of snow sports industry professionals at the SIA On-Snow Demo at Winter Park and Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Colo. February4¬–5.
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SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the national not-for-profit, North American member-owned, trade association representing suppliers and service providers of snow sports products with constituents in the retailer, rep and resort communities. Annually producing the SIA Snow Show, the largest snow sports industry trade show, on-snow demo and networking environment globally, SIA delivers invaluable data/research reports including the Snow Sports Market Intelligence Reports, SnowSports RetailTRAKTM and Executive Market Summary. SIA also produces the Supplier Show, Sourcing Snow, at the SIA Snow Show; learn more at siasnowshow.com/sourcing. SIA is dedicated to growing the industry through consumer initiatives and websites, snowlink.com and wintertrails.org, marketing resources, services and collaborative programs to increase participation and move product. Ford is the official partner of the 2013 SIA Snow Show. For more information, visit snowsports.org. SnowSports Industries America, 8377-B Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102-3587 (Washington, DC Area). Phone: 703-556-9020, Fax: 703-821-8276, Email: SIAmail@snowsports.org.
2013 SIA Snow Show Highlights
Inaugural Sourcing Snow Trade Show
Sourcing Snow, SIA’s brand new member-owned trade show dedicated to the supply side of the snow sports industry, was held concurrently with the Snow Show. The Show started off with a luncheon for the 30+ exhibiting brands, their clients and partner companies and ended the first day by hosting a group of top journalists.
SIA’s traditional Opening Ceremony kicked off Day One, where Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, VISIT DENVER and Colorado Ski Country USA representatives rang cowbells to signal the start of the 2013 Snow Show. During the ceremony, the National Ski Patrol was also recognized for the organization’s 75th Anniversary being celebrated during the Show.
Icelantic Winter on the Rocks
The hot ticket of the Show was the sold out 2nd annual Icelantic Winter on the Rocks concert hosted by Icelantic Skis at one of the world’s most iconic outdoor venues-Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Thousands gathered to see the Seattle-based duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis perform along with Neelais, Major Lazer and the Grouch & Eligh.
Snow Fashion & Trends Show
More than a thousand attendees gathered for the annual Snow Fashion & Trends Show presented by Ford on a mountain-lodge inspired runway. Models worked the runway in next season’s hottest snow sports style trends identified by Stylesight in technical skiing, snowboarding, youth and high fashion from 30+ brands.
OIWC Keynote and Awards Presentation
Icelantic Skis’ Annelise Loevlie received the First Ascent Award from Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition along with Pioneering Woman Award Winner Sandy La Rowe, from Amersports. Burton’s Donna Carpenter was the keynote presenter at the well attended OIWC breakfast event sponsored by SIA.
Backcountry Experience/Backcountry Panel
Backcountry Experience (BCE) was the place to check out the latest in backcountry gear, accessories while experts shared their insights on gear, safety practices. BCE panel discussion “The Business of the Backcountry” discussed proactive solutions for the industry to address the critical need for end-consumer education and risk awareness around backcountry travel.
Stylesight’s Fall/Winter ’14 Color and Mega Trends Seminar
Attendees packed in to for one of the Show’s most popular seminars, “Fall/Winter ‘14 Color and Megatrends,” hosted by NYC-based trend forecasters Stylesight, examined what will be hot with consumers in the next season.
The RECLAIM Design Project challenged three talented designers to create an original outerwear garment utilizing reclaimed materials, fabrics, trims and supplies from the 686 production facility. The winning designer, Blair Farrington from Victoria, BC, was awarded the grand prize of a coveted internship at 686 headquarters for his waterproof hoody. The other talented contestants included Becky Donaghy, trained at the Art Institute of Portland, Ore., and Benjamin Landry, who studied industrial design at University of Wisconsin at Stout.
Accolades for Excellence
Industry leaders were honored by their peers including SIA’s U.S. Retailers and Reps and Canadian Reps of the Year Awards. POC Sports was honored by the USAA and SIA with the Doc DesRoches Award presented annually by SIA and the USSA to a national team supplier for innovation in marketing the team's brands and athletes.
Klaus Obermeyer took home the SIA Industry Achievement Award, Colorado Senator Mark Udall was recognized by SIA, National Ski Areas Association, Choose Outdoors and Meier Skis for promoting sustainable treatment of the beetle-kill wood in the Western United States. Skiing Business awarded shops, sales reps and brands for their support of the industry while TransWorld SNOWboarding Riders’ Poll Awards gathered some of the bi
ggest names in snowboarding under one roof to celebrate the individual progression and style in both riding and filmmaking.