18 Top Ski And Ride Products From SIA

The SnowSports Industries America Snow Show 2015 is a massive collection of ski and snowboard gear and apparel that fills the Colorado Convention Center to the walls. I spent two days hunting for the coolest products for skiers, riders and other snow sports enthusiasts in the coming year. These are some that really caught my eye:

Exceptional Powder Surfing — When Jeremy Jones uses the words “mind altering experience,” you take note. That’s how he described riding the surfy Storm Chaser, which he designed in collaboration with surfboard shaper Chris Christenson. It’s intended for deep pow, but Jones said it rides great on groomers. I’d like to see for myself! ($600; Fall 2015)

Line Goes Backcountry — Line has finally introduced a touring ski, and it is based off its incredibly popular Sick Day model. The Line Sick Day Tourist is a lighter weight version of the award winning chassis, coming in at just 3,340 grams per pair. At 135-102-120, it’s an all around backcountry charger that should take whatever conditions arise. Line also offers its Snake Skins Climbing Skins to accompany the ski for the uphill, for an extra fee of course. ($800; Fall 2015)

Luxe Helmet — Sweet Protection is well known for whitewater helmets. With snow models like the Grimnir, it’s a good chance they’ll be well known on the slopes soon, too. The Grimnir is chock full of tech like MIPS, carbon fiber reinfoced polymer and “impact shields” on the front and back, but the short version is that it’s designed to take a beating from any angle and protect your head. It is the only helmet on the market certified to work even if it strikes an attached POV camera. Sweet Protection also has a line of less expensive models — this one’s the cream. ($450; Fall 2015)

One For The Hunt — I shot an elk this year while wearing snowshoes. The entire hunt was through deep powder. While snowshoes worked, it would be nice to have an alternative; now Surface Skis offers one for hunting snowy landscapes with the Ambush, a 145cm ski that can be strapped onto boots. It has fish scales for traction. The price is not yet set, but the company is aiming for under $500 including bindings. (Fall 2015)

Waxy Boot Laces — A simple product that will make your life better if you wear heavy boots. Waxd Laces are infused with 100% beeswax, so they won’t freeze, stay tied and can be easily adjusted with varying pressure at each eyelet. They’re made from 550 mil paracord, so you know they’ll last. ($18; Available online now)

Instant Adjust Goggles — Zeal claims its Automatic+P lens is the fastest photochromatic lens on the market. It adjusts to changing light condition, ranging from 33% to 18% visible light transfer in a matter of seconds. It takes a little longer — about a minute — to lighten. The polarization of this lens will really make the blue sky pop and reduces glare. (Forecast model, pictured, $240. Automatic+P lens $150 alone; Fall 2015)

‘Graphene’ Ski — Graphene is a cutting edge material stronger than steel and harder than diamond. It’s also a b*tch to manufacture. Head has figured it out and uses the spaceage material in its new Monster line, which also has Titanal metal incorporated in the construction. The four models vary in waist width from 83mm to 108mm for everything from hard pack carving to powder turns. ($800, Fall 2015)

Ultimate Backcountry Helmet — Salomon hit the backcountry hard this year, introducing several products in its MTN series. The MTN LAB Helmet is a home run. It weighs under 300 grams, yet exceeds safety standards for both alpine skiing and climbing. A unique construction also acts to counteract the rotational forces encountered in oblique impacts. Add a super comfy merino liner (we’ve tried it) and head lamp holders and there’s a lot to like. Look for a full review soon. ($200; Fall 2015)

USA Made Merino Balaclava — The PhunkShun Convertible Ballerclava is a great looking piece of headwear, and it’s manufactured in Colorado. The merino headwear can be worn over the head or flipped down as a gaiter. ($45; Fall 2015)

Massive ROM The Atomic Backland Carbon Light is a backcountry touring boot with a remarkable 74º range of motion. That’s more than your ankle. It has adjustable forward lean, moldable liner and boot, and it weighs in at a respectable 1040 grams. ($1,000; Fall 2015)

‘Wailing’ Backcountry Skis — DPS introduced an exceptional Tour line of backcountry skis for 2015, and I had a chance to get an early ride on the Wailer 112RP2 Tour1 in the backcountry of Utah. Not surprisingly, the high-end ride — one of the lighter wide skis on the market — ripped on the downhills and was competent on the skin track. ($1000; Fall 2015)

Steel Toe Mountain Boot — Designed with groundbreaking snowboarder Travis Rice, The Travis boots by DC are waterproof, insulated and have a steel toe for kicking trailers, splitting wood or whatever else you might have to do outdoors in the winter. They also have a side-entry waterproof zipper and look quite cool. ($200, Fall 2015)

Affordable, Cylindrical, Interchangeable — The Spy Ace has an easy-to-use lens change system and comes with two quality cylindrical lenses. But what sets these apart is high quality at a reasonable price. ($110-$130; Fall 2015)

Lighted Kid’s Helmet — The K2 Entity helmet for boys and girls has a light on the back that can strobe or remain constant — for vigilant parents who can’t seem to locate their child on the mountain. As a bonus, it is dual certified for bike and snow sports use. ($70; Fall 2015)

‘Soft Edge’ Snowboard The base of snowboards by Gilson are designed with two noticeable ridges running the length of the bottom, giving it a wavy feel when running your hand from side to side. The company claims that this creates a “soft” edge for mellow carves, plus the standard hard edge when laid over into the turn. We haven’t tested it, but it’s an interesting design worth noting. (Available online now; $348 – $489)

Electric Defog Goggles We got a peek at the A-Bom goggle in September. It’s now coming to market for Fall 2015. The A-Bom is an electric goggle that uses a small battery to heat a thin conductive film sandwiched between goggle lenses. This is intended to defog goggles or melt snow an ice. ($250; Fall 2015)

These last two below are kind of nuts, but I love ‘em anyway.

Insanely Shiny Helmet — I’m not sure how FUNCTIONAL this hemet will prove to be, but it sure is FUN! Made by Electric, the Mashman Helmet combined with the Mashman Shield creates the most storm-trooper, Robocop, way out there look I’ve seen in a ski helmet. And yeah, you can see through the chromed face shield. Crazy. (Helmet $170, Shield $50; Fall 2015)

High-Tech Onesie — The Holden Powder Surf Suit is a waterproof, breathable jumpsuit that will keep the elements at bay while you’re playing in the deep powder. While probably not the most practical all-around design, it’s fun to see a company bringing back a onesie, and this one looks pretty sweet. Fully waterproof/breathable construction in black or blue denim with glow-in-the-dark accents. ($600, Fall 2015)

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Managing Editor Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in Denver, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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