I attended the SnowSports Industry Association Trade show this last week in Denver, CO at the Colorado Convention Center. This show is meant for manufacturers to get their items placed in stores for next ski season. So here is a sneak peek at the good and the bad of the show.
- I saw a lot more this year in the way of really creating great apparel for kids. Obermeyer had one of the best kids lines - in particular, I loved the idea that there was two different kids lines in both boys and girls. They had toddler wear as well as teen wear. As a mom of a pre-teen girl (she is still just a girl but wants to seem more adult) I loved the idea that the kids line is modeled after the adults.
- I discovered the one thing that I MUST HAVE. The UClear system. This tiny little set of headphones fits right into your helmet ear flaps (they affix using velcro). With them you can take calls on the mountain (the sound is brilliantly clear), listen to music, or even intercom to one another (you can hook up to 10 people to intercom each other). I love this idea as the last time I was on the slopes my daughter was way up the hill and it would have been nice to just talk to her. *I will do a review of these after I try them myself!
- While not for the kids (as matter of fact they only make men's) there is a new jacket made by Quicksilver that had a pocket in the inside back - that will hold your water bladder and a hole so that you can put your mouth piece right through it. You will not have to mess with getting a separate water backpack. They also had these fun gloves (Travis Rice Collection) that included a squeegee on the thumb to wipe your goggles clear.
- Adidas Outdoor gave me a jacket to test. I must say. It is amazing. This fully down jacket squeezes into a bag that is about the size of a large waterbottle. It is super light AND super warm. I love this as I will definitely be throwing that in my "must need" pile. Plus, they have the most comprehensive kids line of boots from toddler to teen to adult!
- While not a DEAL (which I normally write about) - Nils stands out as having some of the greatest colors (they have an emerald and purple coat that is absolutely a piece of art).
- For those Star Wars fans (I am not), Burton will offer kids Star Wars snowboards this next year.
- Rossignol has a great Experience Center. Where they partner with ski areas to ensure that their rental equipment has the best technologies - so that when people are just trying the sport they will be able to do it on equipment that will make it easier to learn!
- I was really excited as I had arranged an interview with Oakley to talk with Grete Eliassen. When I arrived at the Oakley booth - the PR director asked me to return in a couple hours as she had booked several people at the same time. While she did a good job of explaining their new items and details about them. I was not granted the interview.
- I was really excited to speak with SmartWool. I just love their stuff. I love the fact that they are a Colorado company (and like the company, I grew up in Steamboat!). But when I arrived at the appointed time for a quick tour of the SmartWool booth - the PR gal was either too bored with me or more interested in what she was going to do that night (apparently the concert at Red Rocks was the event du'jour) I felt like I was bothering her and she just simply didn't want to have to show me anything.
Overall, this year I saw a much bigger place for kids/families in the snow gear. Some really fun and innovates ways to take base layers, coats, pants, snowboards (and skis) to the next level or add a twist. Some new things that I had never seen before like the phone/intercom/music playing system that is ready in your ear and sounds like you're standing next to each other.
Among other cool stuff. The guy that now owns Turtle Fur, Richard Sontag once owned Snuggie (and was on Oprah with his son). Turtle fur has some great new items that look more like high end scarf but functions like a neck gator. He was one of the most interesting people just to chat with!
For more details on each of the items listed there is a full review of the 2013/14 offerings on Examiner.com.