The 2017 SIA Snow Show in Denver hosted thousands of veteran and new brands alike, showcasing their latest product lines for the 2017-18 season.
SAM scoured the show floor searching for the latest and greatest that caught our eye. The top trend this year was accessories, accessories, accessories! There is nothing too small or simple that can help make our customer’s experience easier or more enjoyable, or the life of a resort employee more efficient. At the same time, hardgood and softgood brands are continuing to expand their offerings and sustainable efforts. We’ve included our top 11 picks here, and listed wholesale and MSRP prices when available.
Crescent Moon Eva, the all-foam snowshoe
Crescent is breaking the mold on snowshoes with the Eva. Remarkably light, with a rocker shape and no rotational hinge, the all-foam sports snowshoe is the love child of a running shoe and a snow tire. The patent-pending design, seven years in the making, uses dual-density EVA soles (the lightest among all kinds of outsoles) to form a rocker-shaped platform, with tire-tread-like lugs for traction. With a simple hook and loop system of straps, the snowshoe goes on easily, and is secure and comfortable beyond any intuitive expectations. Without the aluminum of a traditional snowshoe, the Eva eliminates any intimidation customers might feel from the more techie setups currently available. It’s also a perfect rental item for the non-skiing resort guest. Wholesale: $90; MSRP: $159.
Hand Out Gloves
Hand Out has developed a line of gloves and mittens that quickly zip open so your hands can do all the things hands do—use your phone, adjust equipment, fidget with kids clothing, or simply dump excess heat. From an operations perspective, these gloves and mitts could be the answer for many snowmakers and kids’ instructors alike. The line features Pro, Sport, and Lightweight models, with a range of materials from 100 percent neoprene and DWR nylon to leather. www.handoutgloves.com
Sh*t That I knit
Christina Fagan started a personal blog during college about her knitting creations, and a few years later turned her passion for knitting into a thriving accessory business. STIK is a Boston-based knitwear line with a social impact. The yarn, a soft, high-end merino wool, is produced in Peru. Her knitters are mothers and other women who knit from home in Peru. The boutique company’s accessories are far from the usual mass-produced, high profit margin hats that come from China, but the higher price (wholesale: $62, MSRP: $125) is due to fair play for the Peruvian knitters and the cost of high-end materials, including raccoon-fur pom poms. (Faux-fur poms are available as well). For the socially-conscious buyer who wants to make a statement, these hats will do just that. www.shitthatiknit.com
Everyone knows smartphone batteries hate cold weather. Therma Phone, new to the SIA show this year, has a simple solution to keep phones and other electronics working under extreme weather conditions: a heat-reflective, insulated soft case and heat packs that keep portable devices warm. The Therma-Phone Mobile Phone Survival Kit can extend battery life up to five times with the case alone, and up to 10 times with the heat packs—even in sub-zero temperatures. Users can place the Kit in an outside pocket for easy access without draining the battery. Made in Vermont. www.therma-phone.com MSRP: $40
After a surfing trip left Bart Lipski stranded, he saw a need for a better way to communicate off the grid. To fill the need, he founded Elevety and developed two wearable, waterproof communication devices, one aimed at off-the-grid professionals, and one for on-grid customers. For pros, the Hearshot facilitates off-grid communication with other Hearshot devices. The patented Omni-Speak technology uses a digital algorithm to isolate only voices for transmission, so background noise isn’t picked up. It allows up to 12 users to communicate within a range of 1,000 yards. There’s no need for mobile phones or networks. Projected to launch in 2018, the Hearshot is currently being tested and used by select patrol crews for avalanche work and backcountry rescues. For consumers, the Domio is a transferable, mobile phone-enabled device that attaches to a helmet. The device uses micro-vibration technology, similar to technology used for the hearing-impaired, to turn the helmet into a 360-degree music hall, allowing the user to listen to music or take calls while remaining fully aware of the surroundings. Domio retail pricing: Units are $129 and $49 for the mic, or $159 for the bundle. If retailers buy 24 they get a free countertop kiosk and 28 they get a free standing kiosk. www.elevety.com
Chaos Zoofy Hat
New to the kids’ softgoods market is a style we’ve seen before, but never for the wee ones: the Chaos Zoofy hat has fleece lining, animated face and horns, and 24-inch-long silky faux fur arms. Available in blue, brown, black, and gold. MSRP: $69. www.chaoshats.com
Never Summer Rental Boards
Never Summer’s line of high-end rental snowboards features a soft, easy-riding twin tip suited for first-day riders, as well as intermediates looking for a board that will take them to the next level. The details: sintered black base, P Tex sidewalls, and Never Summer’s patented, forgiving, Original Rocker Camber Profile—which makes it easier to go edge to edge, while reducing drag in the flat areas. Sizes: 143cm to 158cm. The 110 Shredder kid’s board is also available for rental programs. www.neversummer.com
Nikita Mondrana One-piece
One-piece outerwear suits are not exactly a brand-new idea, but more brands are picking up the style and making a statement with fabrics and colors. For Nikita’s women’s suit, that statement can be both flirty and functional, without being overly tight or form-fitting. The brand has revived its ladies one-piece with some reengineered features. Functional accents include leg and arm vents, 20K waterproofness and 10K breathability. The suit is made of waxed blue canvas; panels of colorful geometric prints and patterns add style. Wholesale: $165, MSRP: $330.
Rossignol Star Wars Junior Skis
Rossignol’s new Disney-licensed skis feature characters from Disney’s Star Wars and Frozen movies, including Darth Vader, BB8, Elsa, and Anna and friends. The skis themselves are the real deal, too, with an integrated ski-specific autoturn rocker profile and junior ski construction that makes them easy to stand on and engage the turn. MSRP: $300. www.rossignol.com
Natural and U.S.-made, First Aid is a power-packed salve formula that helps aid the body’s own healing abilities, replacing up to 20 first aid products. A defense for cuts, dry skin, scrapes, blisters, chafing, insect bites and more, it is made from 100 percent natural products. Unlike most first aid products, it has no petroleum ingredients, which can be harmful to the health of both people and the environment. The full product line includes more than 20 salves that provide remedies for everything from dry skin to pain relief, and includes formulas for babies and pets. Green Goo’s founders are dedicated to making organic products more available and affordable, while educating the world on sustainable business and healthcare items. Wholesale: $2.25 and up. www.greengoo.com
Another new supplier to debut at SIA this year, Wully specializes in offering total customization of long sleeve merino wool shirts and neck gaiters for any brand, resort, or team. It uses a proprietary printing method using water-based inks to print on multiple locations and to print a logo (yours) on the inside label. Pieces are made from 100 percent Australian merino wool with 30+ UV protection, comfort shape retention, and excellent moisture management. New clients can receive a five percent discount on their first custom order. Wholesale: $10 to $32.50, including customized branding. www.wullyproducts.com