The 2012 SIA Snow Show took place in Denver last weekend. It's the greatest show on snow...the biggest skiing and snowboarding trade show. All the major snow brands are there and many smaller brands and start up's represent too.
To break it down, The SIA Snow Show is pro skiers and riders, sales execs, retail buyers, models, free food and drinks and bags and bags of swag. It's serious networking and hopefully deal making. Unfortunately SIA's Snow Show is held at exactly the same time as the Winter X Games in Aspen...so AspenSpin was a pretty busy boy. Carmelo and I took the quick drive down to Denver to meet up with sponsors and troll for new ones. We got to see what you'll be riding and wearing on the mountain next Winter.
Our quick visit to Denver for SIA 2012 was fun and exciting. We scored BIG Time. Unofficial totals: t-shirts (12), hats (15), chapsticks (unlimited), sick headphones (2), awesome socks (4), stickers (325).
AspenSpin's 5 Trends for 2012/13
1) COLORS and GRAPHICS: The brighter the better. Both soft goods and hard goods will feature vibrant, bright with colors. Skis and boards will incorporate even more graphical designs than they currently do. Animal prints are here to stay...the more exotic the better (see Shaun White). Cheetah prints, snake-skin prints and more.
2) CROSSOVER: The bad blood between skiers and shredders is over. It's all good as long as you can keep up. Many companies are finally understanding that their styles might appeal to both skiers and riders. Several brands are creating variations on a theme for both two plankers and knuckle draggers. Alpine Touring equipment including split boarding is a segment that is growing quickly.
3) CHANGING of the GUARDS: Some of the smaller, more boutique brands are gaining strength and influencing their HUGE corporate rivals in terms of performance, design and demand. Newer, more adventurous shapes and sick graphics are coming from the little guys. Brands that come to mind, HIGH SOCIETY, ICELANTIC, SKI LOGIC and others. From the majors, I'm digging the new quivers from KASTLE, ROSSIGNOL and VOLKL. I can't wait to try next year's models. *AspenSpin did not participate in the on-snow demo events
4) SILHOUETTES : Skiing is always a fashion statement: Baggy pants are still around, but I'm seeing more and more stylish cuts coming out... even from the American brands. The Euro-style makers continue to lead the way...but everybody is bringing out sleeker and more technical outer gear. We are still partial to KJUS from Norway. Their collection for 2012 /13 looks awesome. Their stuff is performance oriented and stylish. It even makes me look "slender".
MONKEY SEE / MONKEY DO. No new revelations here. It is well known that the snow sports industry is an incestuous community. Everybody knows everybody else. Many of the execs, the reps and designers move from company to company. It's a pretty tight network. From my perspective as a relative outsider who lives in a small mountain town at the end of the road...I don't see very many unique ideas coming out of the inner sanctum. The bigger they are..the more resistant they are to change and risk. It's good to see that independent start-ups are taking more risks...and succeeding. Then everyone jumps on-board.
1) BAGS of SWAG; You don't have to be a big time blogger to get tons of free stuff. Every booth has some promotional item on their counter. It's official, I'm a Swag-hoarder...and I love it.
2) WAFFLES on a STICK. Thanks Vans. It's the Breakfast of Champions.
3) MARQUES SCOTT: The internet-famous dub step animation dancer at the Spyder party.
4) SKI LEGENDS: Meeting and rapping with Glen Plake and Picabo Street...pretty cool.
5) The MODELS: Like any major convention...there were a lot of "booth girls".