News and Trends From the Trenches

MORE U-FLEX Former World Cup racer and now Elan President and CEO Primoz Plestenjak made it clear when he told Ski Canada, “We can’t teach people to ski, but we can motivate them and get them the best gear to make it easy for them to enjoy the sport.” His company backs up this promise … More »

He Said, She Said

Heard at the ski trade show last winter “We’re a downhill, go-fast brand.” —Chris Vanderknokke, Head Winter Sports Manager “It’s the consumer that leads where the product is going.” —Virginie Murdison on Atomic’s move into the backcountry “We’re competing with computer gaming. With our built-in heaters, now you can go skiing and not freeze your … More »

What’s Trending

from Buyer’s Guide 2015 He said, she said Overheard at Denver’s  2014 SIA trade show: “If that were a bicycle, it would be a $10,000 frame.” Michael Kay talking about Völkl’s BMT chassis. “Duuuuude. It’s legal now. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Next year they’ll be selling it at Walmart.” Some random guy with beady eyes … More »

All-Mountain Skis

 by Marty McLennan, tech editor, in Buyer’s Guide 2014 issue photo: HENRY GEORGI  All-mountain ladies Fischer’s KOA 80 (122/80/110) is a strong all-round tool for powder and piste ladies. All-mountain rocker combines with sandwich sidewalls, proprietary Air Carbon technology and a 100 per cent wood core for a lively ski that’s both stable and easy … More »

Boots 2014

Upward mobility is the name of this season’s game. by Marty McLennan, Tech Editor, in Buyer’s Guide 2014 issue   All-mountain booty We may have been playing on K2 toys for 50 years, but 2014 marks a huge step forward for the ubiquitous company with its launch into bootmaking. E3 (Energy Efficiency Engineering) is at … More »

How Safe?

Steven Threndyle examines what’s been done to ensure the safety of Ski Cross athletes since the tragic death of Nik Zoricic. Winter 2013 issue  Taking a tragic fall on a dangerous racecourse is not how you want to make a name for yourself on the World Cup circuit. When veteran Canadian Ski Cross competitor Nik … More »

Boots 2013

The continued allure of the sidecountry and the growth of skiing variants have driven engineers back to their drawing boards. As can be expected, keywords include performance, comfort, feel, ease of entrance, weight (low, of course) and flex. Custom technologies like thermoforming have come into their own, no doubt in higher-end liners, but also in shells—with Fischer’s Vacuum system pioneering … More »

Gear News & Trends

Buyer's Guide 2013

Munich’s annual ski industry trade show ISPO is staggeringly massive. Thankfully technical editor Marty McLennan was able to ride between booths with a dedicated transportation attendant (see bikini).       THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE! Freeriding, that is. The slackcountry market keeps heating up, with more of us getting off the lift and hiking for freshies. … More »

These Boots Were Made for Skiing

from Buyer’s Guide 2012 2012 Alpine Boot specifications The ski world is growing up and it all starts with your on-slope connection—those weapons that buckle onto your feet. This season’s trends include extending the toe pocket—and moving lasts north of 100— without loss of performance and, as no small benefit, with added warmth. Manufacturers mitigate … More »

All Mountain 2012

All-Mountain Ski Canada Test 2012 – Expert All Mountain Versatility is the name of the All-Mountain game. These skis must perform everywhere under all conditions. Competition is steep—one of the most contested areas of the ski world. The biggest manufacturers are putting their R&D dollars here, while boutique ski makers tap into the domain. Wider … More »