SIA 2013

SAM Magazine—Denver, Feb. 5, 2013—Nearly 19,000 attendees representing 80 percent of the buying power in the snowsports industry descended on the Colorado Convention Center from January 31-February 3. More than 900 brands showcased their latest innovations and hottest products for the 2013-14. Attendees packed up and headed to to the On-Snow Demo Feb. 4-5, hosted in conjunction with the Western Winter Sports Reps Association's Rocky Mountain Demo and in partnership with the Cross Country Ski Areas Association at Winter Park and the Nordic Demo at Devil's Thumb Ranch.

SAM was at the show in force, too. The magazine co-sponsored the Rental World exhibit, where on day two of the show SAM Magazine hosted a pair of workshops, gathering power panels from the across the industry to discuss the next generation of rental equipment and trends.

“You Always Remember Your First Time. But Was it Any Good?” Transworld Business editor Mike Lewis led a panel discussion with Burton’s Jeff Boliba, Scott Anfang of AASI, and Sam Wagner of Tahoe Dave’s. The group addressed a variety of issues that affect first-timers: the right gear, the right coach, and the right environment on the hill. Specific issues ranged from the importance of proper-fitting boots and user-friendly boards (flat camber, rocker, and concave bases) to encouraging kids to take up riding at a young age—with the proper gear and instruction.

In the seminar, “New Progression Gear: Fast Track to Parallel,” SAM editor Rick Kahl directed a discussion on rocker technology in rental gear, which speeds the learning process. Rocker helps beginners build core skills from day one, and helps them continue to advance their skills more quickly. It also generates more revenue for rental shops. Rossignol’s Tait Wardlaw, Head’s Andrew Couperthwait, and Elan/Alpina’s Bill Irwin, joined briefly by Aspen instructor Georgie Bremner, described how the new gear’s improved performance refocuses rental technology on the end-user’s experience, away from issues such as system-setup speed and ease of adjustment.

Here's a look at some sights from the show.