Buyer’s Guide 2022 Intro
Look What’s Coming!
With all the gloomy predictions, who would have thought that last winter would prove to be an excellent one for the ski industry. Ontario excepted. Looking for an alternative to sun vacations, parties and mall time, lapsed and avid skiers bought passes and gear, often in record numbers. ULLR spread his wealth fairly evenly; just about everywhere had a good year for snow. Beyond a few isolated outbreaks and shutdowns, most ski resorts in North America operated with few constraints, while we traded time walking a conference centre full of the latest and greatest new products for multi-media Zoom calls.
But that doesn’t mean the ski industry is emerging from the pandemic totally unscathed. With so much uncertainty, many brands reduced the number of new products they’re launching for this winter. And now, shipping and supply chain bottlenecks, created by the pandemic’s economic impacts, are challenging them to make their gear and deliver it on time.
The focus on a few key products means brands have ensured what’s new is actually new. We had the chance to try a lot of it last winter. In fact, there were so many skis to test—more than 40!—host resort Mount Washington on Vancouver Island had to put up with us for an extra day. You can read our All-Mountain and On-Piste ski reviews in this issue, and next issue, reviews from Ski Canada’s Freeride and Backcountry ski test will point you to the powder.
Overall, we found brands continue to fine-tune the construction of skis, looking for the ideal balance between ease of use and performance. That means more complicated core constructions that combine different woods, rubber, metals and carbon in all kinds of configurations and computations. Boots and bindings continue to get easier to use and more dependable. And the apparel industry continues to lead in sustainability.
But the most exciting trend we’re watching is the growth of the sport. Sure we cursed some long, socially distanced lift lines last winter, but we also see the long-term gain. Many ski areas had record season-pass and ticket sales. More customers should mean more investment in new and better ski gear. In other words, we’re already excited about what brands are going to do next.buyers guide, ski equipment, ski gear