Jan 19 2013

Outdoor Retailer Show – Winter 2013

It’s that time of year again when all the companies gather to show off next years wares. What I’m aware of already will be posted over the next week in semi-daily installments. With any luck I’ll squeeze in some updates of relevant items that I unearth at the show.

In a nutshell interest in backcountry skiing continues to grow. All the major alpine ski companies are now offering products aimed at earning your turns, whether that is through an easy out-of-bounds detour from the lifts or a more committing week long traverse. This is reflected not only in lighter weight skis with skin notches in the tails and rocker in the nose, but also in nearly every alpine company now gearing up to provide boots with a walk mode and an AT binding with their brand on it.

From the core backcountry companies, the push is to appeal to the unconverted with beefier boots, burlier bindings, and fatter skis. The lines between freeriding and riding for free aren’t getting clearer, they’re getting fuzzier which only confirms that backcountry skiing isn’t a fringe part of the ski culture, it emanates from the roots of it.

In case that wasn’t evidence enough, consider that there will be at least a dozen brands of airbag packs for next year plus all the assorted gadgetry like GPS, altimeter watches, headlamps, adjustable ski poles and walkie talkies. About the only product category that isn’t exploding with innovation is climbing skins. With any luck there’s a surprise waiting in the corridors of this year’s Outdoor Retailer show going on from January 22-26. Check back for more details starting Monday the 21st.

© 2013

  • teletilyouresmelly

    what’s the concensus on interest in tele?

  • gulfofslides

    It’s all about marketing strategy for increased revenues from a shrinking market. With ski areas restricting uphill activity and global warming reducing snowpack, skiers are fooling themselves that alpine touring can survive in the US. Should I say “wishful thinking” ? A growing market with a shrinking environment cannot sustain itself w/o the business model changing. Tail wagging the Dog ?

  • BenKadas

    No one cares that you tele ;)

    So Smelly, when you gonna score some TTS? Word on the street is Mark is getting ready to release a proprietary toe piece and cartridges, it’s gonna be sweet!

    Two seasons running TTS, powerful, lightweight, durable, releasable,, not going back, nope.

    Speaking of which…Dostie, did Mark exhibit his new stuff?

  • teletilyouresmelly

    Ben- I’ve gone NTN- I care more about step in/fully operable brakes/release than weight.  When you say you have release- have you had good releases with the TTS?

  • BenKadas

    I have had very good releases with TTS, not only when catching an edge, but also in thick snow, all places where I want my skis to come off. The TTS release is as good or better than 7TM or Bryce’s plate release system. I wouldn’t expect Mark to advertise the release because it would certainly increase his liability, but they really release and for me going on age fifty, that is as important as how they ski. There’s nothing wrong with step in, if you want the convenience, but TTS is so much lighter and such a joy to ski, that for earn your turns skiing, TTS is as good as it gets. FYI, the new toes are ready.

  • teletilyouresmelly

    good to know- will keep in mind for the future