Outdoor Retailer Winter Market '06 Trends: Snowshoes

Snowshoe buyers were knee-deep in new products this year -- a definite contrast to last year's light dusting of fresh stuff.
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Snowshoe buyers were knee-deep in new products this year -- a definite contrast to last year's light dusting of fresh stuff. For a detailed breakdown of new snowshoes, check out the article "Go Deep" on page 24 of the 2006 GearTrends® Winter Outdoor magazine -- click here to view.

Following are a few added bits of information we picked up at the trade show….

GV Snowshoes has really ramped up its snowshoes and accessories over the last couple of seasons, and this year it continued to plow forward. Most notably, the company has switched from 6000-series aluminum to Easton Aerolite T7-7075 aluminum on four styles of snowshoes, each available in a range of sizes. The new shoes include the Snow Aerolite ($199-$229), Snow Extreme ($219-$239), Polar Trail ($249-$269) and Cat Trail ($189). With the new aluminum, the shoes are anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent lighter, and also more durable. Throughout the line, snowshoes have been improved with new front and rear aluminum claws that have a coating of non-stick paint to prevent snow and ice buildup.  

Celebrating its 100-year anniversary, Tubbs introduced a package of snowshoeing accessories that consumers can get through a mail-in rebate after they purchase a pair of new Ridgeline snowshoes. The package, worth more than $50, includes a Princeton Tec Aurora Headlamp, the Highgear Adventure Plus Hiking Tool, and the Tubbs "100 Years of Exploration" book.

Participation has grown by leaps and bounds for The Explore Winter Women's Workshops, presented by Atlas Snowshoe Co. Karen Righthand, marketing director for Atlas, told SNEWS® that this winter about 3,000 women attended the 66 workshops held at REI stores in 15 states. She said the program drew 1,737 people the previous year, making this a whopping 73-percent increase in participation. The workshops educate women on all aspects of snowshoeing, including equipment, apparel and footwear, safety in the backcountry, and the basics of reading a map and compass.  

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