Buyer’s Guide 2019 gear intro

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What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen at the show?”

This question is the ski show equivalent of “How’s the weather?” When your job description includes keeping up with every new development in ski equipment, and you’ve seen the latest from 30 brands in less than 48 hours, the standard small-talk opener is a hard question to answer.

That was especially true last January in Denver. For the first time, the annual SIA Snow Show combined with Winter Market Outdoor Retailer to bring new gear from ski, snowboard and more self-propelled outdoor-related companies under one roof. This makes sense. Resort and backcountry skiing used to be different sports, but they continue to converge and influence each other more than ever.

Throughout the following pages you’ll read lots of reference to backcountry gear. But, unlike in years past, Ski Canada’s Buyer’s Guide 2019 includes no backcountry-specific product. It’s part of a redesign of our gear coverage. This issue has all the resort-focused stuff: Frontside, All-Mountain and Freeride equipment, trends and reviews. Next month, Fall 2018, we’re running a backcountry gear guide feature with previews of the latest products and on-slope reviews of skis specific to earning your own turns.

Another change this year: we’ve combined our Buyer’s Guide with on-slope ski reviews, the results are in your hands. In the past we presented them separately, sometimes in different issues. Now, when we highlight the technology in a new model of ski, you can read our review of how it preformed on-snow at the same time—no flipping pages or waiting for the next issue to arrive. We hope this new format makes it easier for you to find your next pair of skis and get you excited for the winter ahead.

As for the coolest thing coming out this winter? I’m still no closer to a single answer. Normally gear development is progressive and slow, but this year there are some pretty amazing new products that push everything from goggles to bindings to new places. Every time I come up with an answer, I remember something else.

As you dig through the following pages—and next month’s Backcountry Buyer’s Guide—I think you’ll know what I mean. But if you do have a favourite, or questions about anything you see and read here, please let me know by emailing And keep up on all that’s new and interesting in ski gear and the industry in general by following Ryan Reports at

by RYAN STUART in Buyer’s Guide 2019 issue

Ryan Stuart
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