Top 10 things I learned at the SIA tradeshow in Denver, CO this year:
1. Loaded is making snowboards! That evil genius company known for making longboards is now cranking out snowboards. The Alergnon is a brand new board from Loaded that has been years in the making. This board has a full length bamboo core that goes all the way to the sidewall and is made in the USA.
2. Never Summer has become a heavy hitter and offers a full line of snowboards. Enter the Funslinger, a new jib board that can throw down with the big park rats. Never Summer has really come into their own; the home town company had the busiest booth at SIA and Denver and their Demo tent was jammed packed all day at Copper. It seems this awesome company is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
3. Camo outerwear is trending again this season. Camo never really seems to go out of style. The two companies with the best camo prints were iNi and Sugapoint.
4. You don’t loose by going green. iNi has great outerwear that uses recycled material and doesn’t carry a premium price. Not only is this company conscious about the materials they use but they pay close attention to every small detail!
5. Arbor – they aren’t just for old men. One of my buddies said this with a big grin after we demoed several boards over the course of a few hours. He was spot on too; they have new graphics, new shapes, and a new culture. Arbor is making a full line of killer boards for shredders of all ages and disciplines.
6. Flow is the new hard goods champion! Two years ago I would have thought I was crazy for saying this but I have come to the conclusion that Flow is my new favorite all around company that makes boards, boots, and bindings. For the traditional two strap guys, I’m sure your muttering under your breathe and scoffing at this. I would have been too but don’t knock it until you try the hybrid strap. Crank that sucker down and what you will notice is that you no longer have a pressure point on your ankle and things just got a lot more comfortable without loosing response. Same goes for traditional lace guys, it’s time try BOA, it’s gotten a lot better over the years. Last but not least, the Maverick was top 3 in best boards I demoed last year at SIA. Flow is legit, period.
7. Taking a year off was good for Vans. After a one year hiatus to move into a new factory, Vans has come back stronger than ever with some great boots! Innovative technology like The Reach Around cuff strap and Internal Tongue Stiffeners not only caught my attention but they worked magnificently without any drawbacks or pressure points.
8. Rome has cranked it up another notch. I’ve always like rome boards but after the demo this year it’s clear they have taken all of their hard good to a new level. The Artifact Rocker and 390 Boss were in my top three for both categories.
9. Sugapoint and Yobs are the new kids on the block. Sugapoint is the high styling Lexus version offering great tech. Yobs is the Toyota version that offers the best bang for your buck! Best of all since they are still new to the scene, and thesnowbro.com is keeping you on the inside lane, you aren’t as likely to spot someone else on the hill wearing that same jacket.
10. Switch it up, the change is good for you. As you get older your style and preferences change, it’s ok to move on from your previous favorites. Try new brands and new technology, when you find something new that blows your mind its like a light bulb goes off in your head. Or maybe it’s going back to old shapes, places or friends that you haven’t shredded with in years that sparks that lightbulb for you. Either way I believe that change is good for people, it’s a lesson that I enjoy relearning now and again. So, I’ve decided I am going all in and getting some BOA’s next; I need a full rocker board in my quiver again; going back home to ride in CO and spending time with old friends and family is good for my soul.