The giant snowsports gear fest that is the SnowSports Industries America Show (better known as “SIA”) kicks off in Denver today. The GearJunkie staff is on the scene to scour the floor for worthy products, free beer, and news from the world of all things snow and sliding downhill fast. Take a trip through the doors of the Colorado Convention Center with us here below for a highlights tour of a few items that have caught our eyes already. —Sean McCoy
Bolle Osmoz — We’re stoked to see this new helmet/goggle combo from Bolle. The integrated design looks extremely well engineered. Bolle claims the system works for a “full range of face and head shapes.” (Melonheads included, we think.) Interchangeable lenses keep the helmet/goggle relevant anytime from sunny days to night runs under resort lights. The combo hits the market for fall 2013 at $199.99.
Scarpa Freedom SL — Created with big-mountain ski pioneer Chris Davenport, the new Freedom SL boots offer a high-performance, flexible, and lightweight freeride experience for the feet. The goal of the boot was to make a light model that performs to alpine standards but with the flex and cuff range of an AT boot. It was three years in development by the SCARPA R&D team, the company cites, with input by Davenport all along the way. Available in men’s and women’s models this fall at $769.
Light Bohrd — Ever looked at a snowboard and thought, “Ya know what this thing needs? Lights!” Well, me neither, but fortunately someone more creative came up with this idea because it sounds super fun. Light Bohrd will introduce the world’s first “illuminated graphics technology” for the board sports industry at SIA. Its motion-sensitive illuminated graphics create glowing pictures and logos on the board. What a trip!
The Cham HM 107 — Made by Dynastar, this looks like to be a versatile, light ski for the powder rider who wants performance in all conditions. A paulownia wood core reduces weight without sacrificing performance, the company touts. The 22m-radius, 137/107/122 ski was given an Editor’s Choice Award from Backcountry Magazine, and it looks like a exhilarating ride from our first view. It will cost $800 when released in fall 2013.
BEARTek — These gloves enable a wearer to control their Bluetooth devices by touching a finger to a thumb. According to BEARTek, the gloves “change the game” by putting control at your fingertips while you leave the phone in your pocket. How does it work? Pair your Bluetooth phone or iPod, then simply touch your thumb to one of several finger points on the glove to execute a command such as Answer the Phone, Play Music, Pause, Fast Forward, etc. We wonder what the thumb-on-pointer “OK” sign does to your device?
Osbe United —They’ve been in Europe for more than 20 years. But the Italian designed and manufactured Osbe helmets (with built-in visor!) have been in the U.S. market for just three years. The integrated lens/helmet design eliminates the need for goggles. They feature a UV-protected, anti-fog lens and allow a skier or rider to wear prescription glasses underneath. The Osbe United model is new for the winter 2013 season and costs between $299 and $325 depending on graphics and features.
DPS Spoon — DPS has an unusual creature with its Spoon. A carbon fiber, convex tip means it is shaped to push snow away from the skier like the prow of a boat cutting through water, equaling less face shots. That is combined with a single-radius underfoot rocker that helps make for a floaty ski in the deep white. The Spoon requires very little up-and-down movement in deep powder, providing “incredibly fast carving,” the brand cites. The Spoon is the most elaborate R&D project in the company’s history, with four prototypes made before market release to dial in the shape for ultimate deep-snow action. High price for the high-altitude fun. $1,349.
Line 2013-14 Sick Day 125 — So, does anyone actually call in sick when they’re sick anymore? I mean, unless I’m suffering from food poisoning, I’d rather save those precious days for powder. Back on track… The Sick Day 125 from Line is a killer-looking powder stick that can handle terrain from crud to groomers to deep fluff with aplomb. The company sells the Sick Day as its “most playful, floatiest ski for surfing powder while still maintaining control on firm snow.” Sounds like a good “sick” excuse to me! Retails for about the price of a monthly health insurance premium at $940.
—Sean McCoy is a contributing editor. He will report from SIA throughout the week.