SIA 2014 Editor's Picks

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SAM editors cruised the trade show floors of the SIA Snow Show to find new products for both employees and guests.


The 2014 SIA Snow Show in Denver expected close to 20,000 attendees, with more than 520 exhibitors peddling 1,078-plus snowsports brands. SAM scoured the floor in search of the latest and greatest products for resort visitors and employees. Here’s what we found...

 

ICEDOT SENSOR




ICEdot’s brand-new crash sensor can mount onto any helmet. It detects critical head impacts and notifies emergency contacts. A sufficient impact triggers the user’s smartphone to sound an alarm and initiate an emergency countdown. Unless the user stops the countdown, the ICEdot app notifies emergency contacts and sends GPS coordinates of the incident. On-scene, a first responder can SMS-message the helmet’s ID code to ICEdot, and receive the member’s emergency profile. If the cost comes down in the future ($80 wholesale, $149 retail), resorts could equip rental helmet fleets with the sensor to determine when and if a helmet (and customer) has sustained a significant head impact. www.icedot.org

 

GIVING BACK




Trending charitable brands like Eco Vessel and C4 Belts offer fashionable and functional products that inspire a quick retail sale and allow consumers to feel good about their purchase. Eco Vessel’s line of more than a dozen customizable insulated water bottles, mugs, glass vessels and kids products are triple insulated to keep water cold for more than 36 hours or retain heat for eight hours. The company donates 1% of revenues to Water For People. C4 Belts goes one step further: It lets consumers choose among several causes for a 10% donation of the purchase price. C4’s 100-percent-recycled belts and buckles are available in 14 colors and can be custom branded with your resort’s logo. www.c4belts.com, www.ecovessel.com

 

SNOWMULE MAKES IT EASIER




Snowmule’s 15L or 25L backpacks can carry up to two pairs of kids’ skis and three pairs of poles. The backpacks also come equipped with twin, soft lined goggle/sunglass pockets, loops for helmet attachment, front storage compartment, phone pocket, outlet for hydration, and——most convenient of all——retractable towing handles for two children (max 100 lbs. for each handle). The towing handles attach to the pack, leaving hands free to carry yet more stuff. The handles stow in the base pocket when not in use, retract when no longer needed, and can be removed if not needed at all. MSRP: $140, 25L pack; $115, 15L pack. www.snowmule.com

 

HEAD JOY LINE




Head’s Joy line for women introduces an all-new technology to the ski market: Graphene, a thin, light, strong material. Layers of Graphene, only a single atom thick, are both flexible and strong and can enable weight savings of up to 350 grams per ski. It also allows Head to manipulate the geometric profile and weight distribution of the ski, fine-tuning weight and flex distribution to optimize performance depending on a model’s intended use, type of skier, and expected snow conditions. Off-piste models have a solid center and light Graphene tip and tail for more float and better spin; on-piste models have a solid tip and tail and light Graphene center for agility and easy turn initiation. MSRP: $575 to $925. www.headusa.com

 

HEAT IT UP




Heated gloves and socks are popping up and potentially ending the era of heat packs. Hestra’s updated Power Heater Glove and Mitt has an all-in-one button for three levels of heat that can last up to 10 hours. The integrated heating loops are powered by a rechargeable ion battery pack. Seirus adds its waterproof-breathable leather Inferno gloves and mitts to its HeatTouch line, and Celtek introduces the first heated glove and mitt to the snowboard market. MSRP: $250 to $380. Lenz introduces its Heat Socks with a nearly invisible integrated heating pad under the sole, which is also Bluetooth enabled, eliminating the need for a cord. Users regulate the heat control via the Lenz app, which also provides an overview of the current charging status of the battery. www.hestragloves.com, www.seirus.com, www.celtek.com, www.lenzproducts.com

 

FACE MASKS




Face masks continue to be a hot item for quick retail sales. Anon’s new Mig FM goggle comes with a magnetic face mask. Four connection points make sealing it to goggles a snap, and the reinforced perforated O2 vents keep faces fully covered and fog free. MSRP: $140 for goggle and mask combo. BlackStrap face masks continue to be a strong seller at many resorts. Each piece is constructed in the U.S. and the patented performance material——a combination of cashmere, nylon and polyester——is also milled in the U.S. The combination of fabrics prevents freezing and fits every size from kids to adults. With three styles in more than 100 patterns along with custom branding options, BlackStrap can provide a look for every type of customer. MSRP: $28. www.anon­optics.com, www.bsbrand.com

 

THULE CHARIOT




Thule debuted a multi-functional child carrier adaptable to five activities across all four seasons. The Chariot Cougar was built for outdoor adventure seekers who refuse to limit the activities they enjoy with their families. One of the four conversion kits is the Thule Cross Country Skiing kit. The Cougar features adjustable length tow bars, with simple and easy installation of skis. Resorts can now offer another (and exciting) non-skiing activity to families with small children. Cougar Wholesale: $450, MSRP: $750. Ski Kit Wholesale: $172, MSRP: $285. www.thule.com

 

PAKEMS




Pakems provides a soothing reprieve from technical footwear (ski boots, for example). Lightweight and water-resistant, Pakems feature an insulated ripstop fabric and rubber soles for traction. At just 15 ounces, these shoes are the perfect fit after a long day on the slopes. Resorts could offer them to customers so they can unwind in comfort and spend more time at the bar. Available in hightop or low-cut styles and six color choices. MSRP: $60 for low cut, $70 for hightop. www.pakems.com

 

DESIGNED JUST FOR KIDS




Kid graphics are going beyond the basics. Smith Optics just inked a two-season agreement with the well-known video game franchise Angry Birds. The popular characters will appear on goggle headbands and helmets in the juniors’ and kids’ lines. Helmet MSRP: $70-$100, goggle MSRP: $30-$55. Celtek makes a splash with its Bitten by a Lil Mitten line of teeth-baring sharks, tongue-flapping eagles, and smiling gators. Mix and match to form unique pairs, such as the Gator and the Weirdicorn. Waterproof exterior and SuperLoft insulation will keep kids comfortable all day. MSRP: $40. www.smithoptics.com, www.celtek.com

 

BURTON FLEX SLIDER




Burton’s all-new Flex Slide binding is one-of-a-kind. The stretched hinging slider allows the ankle strap to flex and fall fully open. Instructors will spend less time strapping their own feet in and more time helping customers. We’re hoping to see this in Burton’s rental and junior line soon as well, making it easier for everyone to learn. Available on 13 current binding models. MSRP: $240. www.burton.com

 

SEEING IS BELIEVING




Lens technologies are becoming sophisticated. Zeal Optics’ new Automatic lenses employ photochromic technology that automatically adjusts to changing light conditions and blocks 100 percent of UV light. Oakley debuted a three-lens set with a similar aim in the Prizm goggle, available in black, jade and rose. The lenses span the light spectrum and can enhance visibility in any condition. Most novel for viewing purposes, though, is Zeal’s newest HD camera goggle. It includes up­dated lens technology, a 1080P HD videocam and 12MP camera, streamlined button operation for faster on/off/record functions, and an in-goggle viewfinder. Integrated wi-fi capability allows users to connect with their social networks. The new, smaller frame design allows the goggle to fit more people and enables more lens options. MSRP: $499 www.zealoptics.com, www.oakley.com

 

LEKI MICRO




The latest addition to LEKI’s innovative MICRO series is the Tour Stick Vario. For patrollers, instructors, or other on-mountain employees, the pole folds down to just 15.5” (smaller than any other folding pole on the market) and leaves staff hands-free on the job. The upper shaft is made from 100% carbon, with aluminum ferrules for durability and an aluminum lower shaft that guards against edge cuts. Wholesale: $115 MSRP: $199. www.leki.com

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