Skis, apparel and digital tech. These are the products to get excited about in 2016/17.
The ski industry has made some serious headway over the last decade. Equipment is becoming stronger, lighter and faster and we’re seeing ski apparel made to cope with any weather condition imaginable. More recently, digital technology has made its way onto the slopes, with apps that tell you have many runs you’ve done, goggles that show you how fast you’re going and cameras to capture every angle and every faceshot.
There are a number of innovative new products being released to the market in the lead up to the 2016/17 winter season. Here are five of our favourites.
This Eric Pollard-designed ski makes use of a shape that is quickly becoming commonplace in snowboarding – the swallow tail. It’s an odd-looking result, but one that will no doubt inspire a freeride movement that is constantly looking for ways to make skiing more playful and fun.
According to Pollard, “the swallow tail allows the ski to have both more effective edge when you need it, and less tail – in the form of a cutout – when you don’t need it. Creating a tail shape like a swallow gives these skis a very unique feel because it changes the torsional rigidity.”
“Admittedly, it’s not for everyone, but there are people who are going to fall in love with this ski.”
A former Kickstarter project, the SunGod Revolts – a fully customisable pair of goggles – are now in production. With interchangeable lens, strap and frame, this is a piece of kit that will satisfy both those who are hard on their equipment and those who like to mix up their style.
Revolts come with six different lens tints, all of which make use of SunGods’ 4KO®snow lens technology, which enhances contrast and optimises clarity in all conditions. Most importantly, they look great and are half the price of some of the more established brands on the market.
Mammut Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0
If given a choice between safety and performance in the backcountry, we would always prioritise the former. But as airbags become an essential part of a serious backcountry skier’s arsenal, Mammut have rightly seen an opportunity to get the best of both worlds.
Mammut’s Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0 weighs just 1,510 g (18 l pack & airbag) and just 500 g without the airbag. At this weight, it is competitive against any pack on the market – with or without an airbag – and will be hugely attractive for skiers looking for that extra advantage.
In a ski industry that’s obsessed with making everything lighter, we’re tipping this product to be very popular in 2016/17.
Another product for the skiers who choose to hike over taking a chairlift (and these days, it seems there are quite a few). The Scala is a climbing skin produced by the ever-reliable G3, but with one major difference from the company’s very popular older models.
The front of the skin is made with urethane scales, which are designed to reduce friction and enable a better glide. The part of the skin that requires more traction – underfoot and down to the tail of the ski – is made with the more common nylon hair.
The product will be available to the public later this year, and it would be fair to say that the jury is still out on just how much difference the scales make. But early reviews have been positive, and we are certainly intrigued to find out more.
Carv turned plenty of heads earlier this year when it smashed its Kickstarter funding goal, raising more than 275,000 USD.
Launched as a digital ski instructor, the wearable unit tracks movements and collects data through sensors that are placed in the skier’s boots, which then feed through to the Carv app in real time. Skiers receive intelligent feedback and advice on-screen, through headphones or via heads-up displays.
The technology has applications for skiers of all abilities, and is groundbreaking enough that it has caught the attention of the U.S. ski team, with whom the Carv team is now working closely.
Did we miss anything major? Let us know in the comments or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.