Hot on the heels of a seemingly non-stop innovation race over the past 15 years, ski technology is about to hit overdrive once again. Heading into the SIA Snow Show in Denver January 27th-30th, 2011, ski manufacturers are poised to unleash some of the most creative and aggressively inventive products in the history of ski design.
The fact that those introductions match up with a specialty retail market with empty shelves and an open-to-buy focusing on new technology, means that next season’s new generation of boards are guaranteed a healthy buy-in. After seeing and skiing much of the new product, SNEWS WinterSports offers its own pre-show preview of six of the most exciting new boards to check out in Denver, and also at the On-Snow Demo in Winter Park on Jan. 31st and Feb. 1.
The late big mountain skier Arne Backstrom, who died in Peru in June, helped initiate Blizzard's new Flipcore Technology by suggesting that if you wanted to create true reverse camber skis, then "you should build a ski upside down." That simple statement was communicated to Blizzard's engineers, who began building ski cores in an updside down molding process to create a natural flex from tip to tail. Flipcore premieres in the new Free Mountain line here SIA. Arne’s Bodacious -- named after the legendary rodeo bull -- is the widest ski in the model (118mm underfoot), and features Arne’s signature on the tail.
Head Rock 'n' Roll
Mixing in real rock stars with the on-snow variety, Head is working with Brit metal rockers Motörhead to debut a line of new skis that marketing director Andrew Couperthwait refers to as “Not your father's Head Skis!” The series is headlined by the 94mm underfoot Rock ‘n’ Roll, which aims to hit freestyle markets on both coasts with a mix of rocker and sidecut designed to handle everything from heavy crud to bumps.
Nordica’s Ace of Spades (which gives a wink to Motörhead’s top song) returns with a “Pop Rock Camrock”-boosting core for igniting athletes like Peter Olenick to X Games glory. But it's the new off-piste minded Patron that the brand expects to have skiers taking bigger shots in the backcountry. Built with input from pro riders Rory Bushfield and Bene Mayr, the Patron features a High Rise profile for extra float, and a wide profile for all-terrain domination.
Rossignol Super 7
Building on the widespread success of its big mountain designed S7, Rossignol adds an S7 women’s model for next season, as well as the pro rider designed Super 7. What’s so much more super about a ski that’s already renowned for its ease of use and buttery feel in big terrain? Try a new Rossi Spoon Tip for easier steering, as well as two layers of titanium for extra durability and dampness either in the chutes, or on the landings.
Perhaps the most radical looking new ski of all time, the Salomon BBR defies categorization. Built by legendary Salomon ski designer Bertrand Krafft, a.k.a. Béber, he of the game-changing X-Scream and Pocket Rocket skis, the BBR is a frozen wave-riding machine inspired by surf design, with an oversized tip and pintail shape (147/89/110). Billed as “a technology of fun,” the all-mountain ski hits the Show midway through a 40-resort introduction tour designed to get the word out to consumers and retailers hungry for what’s next.
Völkl RTM 84
Replacing the top selling Unlimited line, Völkl’s RTM (Ride the Mountain) is a new line of carving skis aimed directly at the market where most of America’s skis are still sold. . With a shape of 129-84-111 combined with Völkl’s, extended low profile rocker, and a Marker Motion iPT Wide Ride binding set-up, the ski combines a wider shape and deep sidecuts so the skier can move more laterally with less weight shift, as well as improved all-mountain float in windblown and fresh snow conditions, and increased carving performance.
-- Peter Kray
On Oct. 6, 2010, veteran journalist Peter Kray joined the SNEWS team and is now editor of the new SNEWS WinterSports channel. We trust you are enjoying the full offering of WinterSports news. Be sure to email your friends and let them know the best WinterSports news has arrived -- just in time for the winter season. Got WinterSports news? Send your WinterSports news to Kray at email@example.com. Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about posting your own news releases, or for any other questions or comments. We love to hear from our readers!