SnowSports Industries America’s 62nd annual snow sport expo is underway at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver with over 950 brands showing off the greatest and latest coming to the market for the 2016-17 winter season.
Local Mikey Elstad, of Vail, was at the convention on Thursday checking out the trends and gear coming out next season.
“I love it down here,” Elstad said. “It’s cool to get into the industry and get in with the highest people in the industry and see the stoke for next year.”
The brands represented at the four-day event range from big names such as Burton, Oakley and K2 to shops with roots in Colorado’s mountains.
Liberty Skis, with its warehouse in Avon, has a booth set up showing off new skis with flashy designs created by Shannon Kennedy. Dan Coppa, the warehouse manager, started setting up the booth Monday.
“I’ve been coming to SIA for five years, and every year it’s something new out of the big guys. But every year, we bring something new to the table that we’re stoked on.”
Liberty is proudly upgrading its Helix all-mountain skis with the Origin 106, which features a little rocker in the tip and tail.
“It’s your Vail all-mountain ski,” Coppa said. “It’s for the guy that lives in Colorado and needs one ski to do it all.”
The Origin 96 is another new all-mountain ski that is aggressive on groomers, Coppa said.
Being a smaller company among the giants can be difficult, but Coppa said Liberty wants to “compete” and that the annual expo is a great place to reach out to other industry members, as well as the ski and snowboard population.
“We’re a Vail company,” Coppa said. “We just want people to see the new stuff. I think a lot of people in the valley are going to be stoked on these new Origins.”
MADE BY WOMEN FOR WOMEN
SKEA Limited started in Vail but has since moved to Denver. The brand features clothing designed by women who ski, for other women who ski and was at a booth near the entrance of the convention center.
“It’s a really great way for us to connect with our buyers and just really show off our collection as a whole,” said Makayla Cappel, vice president of marketing and sales.
Next year’s collection focuses on boosting the feminine figure as well as creating different lines that blend well together, Cappel said.
The city-wear line is “upbeat and moto-inspired,” Cappel said, while the hologram line provides a “wow factor” with its shiny exterior.
The company traditionally known for ski wear, is pushing its new city-wear products in 2016-17.
“We’re really excited about this coming collection,” Cappel said. “We’re super diverse.”
Hunter Schleper was at the SnowSports Industries America Snow Show on behalf of Buzz’s Boards, searching for gear for the Vail shop next year.
“There’s definitely a bunch of new cool products from all of the companies,” Schleper said. “K2 is coming out with some pretty cool new skis that are game changing.”
The SIA Snow Show runs through Sunday, and then the on-snow demos move to Copper Mountain Monday and Tuesday.
“Everyone’s already here for the show and then they can go right up to the mountains after and try next year’s gear,” Schleper said.