Gravitational Pull -- Climbers make their voices heard more and more through online forums

Trends: Climbing -- Climbing equipment today evolves more rapidly than it did in the early days of the outdoor industry, with trends in gear swinging like a pendulum between two influential forces -- product innovation and consumer demand.

Climbing equipment design evolves more rapidly than it did in the early days of the outdoor industry, with trends in gear swinging like a pendulum between two influential forces—product innovation and consumer demand. While manufacturers once enjoyed a period of almost carefree innovation, that trend appears to show signs of turning,

with climbers making their voices heard more and more through online forums. In example after example, gear makers seem to be listening...and responding.

In the last handful of years, participation growth allowed climbing gear makers to invest heavily in new product research and design. A prime example was the nearly simultaneous launch of several new models of spring-loaded camming devices (SLCD), all featuring cam technology that was, until then, unheard of and unseen. Products like Omega Pacifi c’s Link Cam, Metolius Mountain Products’ Super Cam and Trango’s Max Cam all burst onto the scene in 2005/06. It was an exciting time, driven by designers who, frankly, just had some really cool ideas.

Michael Lane, sales and marketing director for Omega Pacific, said the second cam revolution was a result of random timing rather than collusion among companies. “It would have taken a collaboration that we’ve never seen in the industry,” he said, chuckling. “Really big ideas seem to come in spurts. It’s the natural ebb and fl ow of the market.”

Gravity exerts its influence on everything, however, and the pendulum has now swung in a new direction with consumer demand seemingly driving the development of SLCD products. In summer 2008, not one of the three cams previously mentioned is available in a full size range. And Metolius has shoved aside the large Super Cam to meet the great consumer demand for the Master Cam. “Hopefully, by spring ’09, we’ll be delivering (the Super Cam), but that’s a wild guess at this point,” said Brooke Sandahl, vice president of Metolius Mountain Products....

Click here to download the magazine Trends PDF from the 2008 SNEWS Summer Outdoor magazine: "Gravitational Pull" -- Climbers make their voices heard more and more through online forums.


Outdoor Industry Members’ Voices Being Heard in Online Forum

Less than a month ago, industry stakeholders joined the conversation surrounding the future size and location of Outdoor Retailer, the growing semi-annual tradeshow for the outdoor industry. Today, more than 2,100 people have logged into a dedicated online forum to view and/or more

Health & Fitness Business '06: SNEWS® Fitness Forum not to miss, plus speakers, golf, SNEWS® Online Java Lounge, and more show news…

With only eight weeks to go, the pace of exhibitors signing up and buyers registering is picking up -- after a bit of a slow start and a few registration computer glitches. Plus, the theme of the second annual SNEWS® Fitness Forum panel discussion for the first morning is shaping more

Outdoor Retailer

How to make your voice heard on the public lands debate

Outdoor Retailer and the Outdoor Industry Association are asking for your input. Outdoor Retailer and the Outdoor Industry Association are asking the industry for help in finding creative ways to express the industry’s support for public lands in Salt Lake City this summer. more

Only 3 days left for your retail voice to be heard

Only three days remain before the 2007 SNEWS® Outdoor Specialty Retailer Survey is closed. Already, we have a record number of responses. If you are a retailer and have not yet taken the survey, you only have a few days left to be sure your voice is counted in the results. more


Comfortable climbers: More rock shoes adding comfort to performance

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and more

Outdoor: Have you heard?

>> Backcountry Access (BCA) has opened a state-of-the-art, avalanche-beacon training site at Loveland Basin ski area. Designed for training avalanche educators and advanced beacon users, the facility is the first of its kind worldwide. Nicknamed "Beacon Basin," the site features more


The 2003 SNEWS Editors' Voice PR Awards

PR … Oh my, the trade can elicit groans and bad jokes from journalists everywhere. Yes, we all have horror stories. But in the glee to share the bad, we sometimes forget the good stuff, the golden PR people out there who make our lives easier while also getting their companies more


Business Solutions Forum: Tips to make sure emails are clear and concise

The Business Solutions column in our Expert Network section is designed to be your personal business advisory sounding board with experts from different business areas available to answer your questions. The format for this, as with other Expert Network sections, will not be more

Keys Backyard pulled into involuntary Ch. 7 bankruptcy

Keys Backyard, the 3-year-old company that was formed when Keys Fitness acquired Image Spa from Icon Fitness in early 2005, is wrapped up in an involuntary Ch.7 bankruptcy liquidation, forced by several creditors. The case, originally filed in late February in the U.S. more