Copper Mountain was ground zero for the ski and snowboard world the past few days, with more than a 100 different brands showing of their latest products during the two-day (Feb. 3-4) 2014 SIA On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest.
Getting out on the snow is something the industry always looks forward to after wrapping up the SIA Snow Show (Jan. 30-Feb. 2) at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, and the excellent conditions at Copper made the testing of next season's gear even more enjoyable. A complete list of 2014 alpine, snowboard and Nordic exhibitors is available here.
“The On-Snow Demo is a great opportunity for retailers to get new technology under their feet for a firsthand experience,” said Stephen Craig, general manager of Royal Board Shop in Calgary, AB. “Customers can see the confidence we have in the product, and that comes from on-snow demos.”
“At the On-Snow Demo, retailers and media get on next year’s gear for an intimate one-on-one experience. Plus, being able to test the gear you saw at the Show is a win-win for everyone,” said Casey Raymer of Ride Snowboards.
“The mountain has been phenomenal for demoing, with long, steep and varying terrain. Copper required Demo credentials for Bouncer which helped us get the most out of our demo runs and see how the ski actually performs," said Jon Cook of Ski Prophet.
Along with testing new gear, some of the attendees even participated in the Uphill/Downhill Challenge, an event that raised almost $1,500 for the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Team. Participants went up Bouncer to Solitude station before descending through 17 Glade and back out on Bouncer over to Collage back to the Burning Stones in the Village. COSMIC levels crossed the après finish line after a second lap on the same course.
“This was the best Uphill/Downhill event yet,” said Scarpa CEO Kim Miller, who took the Uphill/Downhill Challenge on the Executive Team with Chris Sword of Dynafit North America and Jonathan Lantz of La Sportiva. “We had more people from different places and the course was awesome.”
The Nordic Demo, located in Copper’s East Village adjacent to the Center Village with the alpine and snowboard demos. The Nordic Demo featured a 5K-loop and well-groomed park for testing plus a full line-up of seminars.
“The terrain was great for testing, a few hills, some flats. It was really great to be able to compare so much equipment side-by-side. Definitely worth coming,” said Adam Jonson of Pioneer Mountaineering.
Gary Flemming of Elan had specific trends in mind as he was working with retailers at the Nordic Demo. “One of the areas we’re most successful is a category we call ‘backyard.’ People are not skiing all-day, but instead they’re going out for that hour of cross country, fitting it in where they can. These skis are a bit shorter and wider so they’re more stable. There’s no wax so they have a grip on the bottom, so it’s simple.”
Since the SIA started hosting the national On-Snow Demo in 2010 it has drawn retailers from around the country. Jeff Proctor who owns Proctor Ski and Snowboard in Nashua, NH has been coming to the On-Snow Demo for the past several years. “I think the main reason to come is that you can ski and try equipment in different conditions,” he said. “You’re always looking to find something that you can really get behind that you feel special about, that will make your store a little different than somebody else’s.”
Plan to connect with the entire snow sports industry again next year at the 2015 SIA Snow Show and Sourcing Snow at the Colorado Convention Center, January 29-February 1, 2015 and On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest, February 2-3, 2015.
For 24/7 updates on all things 2014 Snow Show, check back on SIAsnowshow.com and SIA’s Latest and follow SIA on Twitter and Facebook. Use #SIA14 and #SIA14Demo to join the conversation about the Show.