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TOP TRENDS | SKI POLES

Lighten Up BRANDS FOCUS ON WEIGHT REDUCTION, BACKCOUNTRY FEATURES IN 2016-17 POLE LINES WHILE SKI POLES MIGHT NOT GET THE PRESS THEIR CLOSER-TO-SNOW GEAR cousins get, that doesn’t mean they are void of innovation. Adjustability, swing weight, durability and more continue to improve this unsung hero of snow sports. K2 has redesigned its Lockjaw poles with a new, non-slip adjustment mechanism: The T6 6000 series’ aluminum lever and body are now linked together with Teflon bushings to optimize clamp force. The weight has been reduced by 25 percent. K2 also adds its new, ergo-designed Ripcord Grip Strap system to its Men’s Airfoil Carbon and Power 9 Carbon poles, and Women’s Style 9. With a push-button, hinging grip top, the strap separates from the pole when a strong upward force is applied, lessening shoulder, arm LEKI FIN VARIO

Nordic Poles

“Nordic poles are often that last buying decision, but they’re the only Nordic hardgood product that you have to carry the entire way,” says Andrew Gerlach, president of Start. “Swing weight is key. Skiing the Birkie and lifting an extra 3 ounces per stroke equates to lifting an additional 6,500 pounds.” Start’s World Cup Race addresses this with more carbon at a lower price point. Rossignol also employs carbon in its new Carbon 50, an ultra-lightweight, 50-percent air-carbon racing pole with ergonomic cork handle, adjustable ergonomic race strap and large racing basket. Swix Pole debuts its new carbon Swix Triac 2.5, the brand's highest-end offering with third-generation triangular shaft technology resulting in a 3 percent weight reduction and increase in overall stiffness, and 5 percent decrease in overall swing weight thanks to a Carbon Leaf basket. Swix’s Triac Basket System offers three different basket options plus roller ski ferrule as a supplement. Leki improves its Nordic Race series poles with the Fin Vario, an integrated, quick-change, tip/basket system. It works via a connector permanently attached to the pole’s tip, allowing multiple sizes of performance baskets and roller tips to twist on and off. The baskets are held in place through a new exoskeleton design that clicks into place. The company is also banking on its biathlon wares for the masses. “We're seeing more athletes switch over to our Trigger Shark Grip system, which was historically used for biathlon but is now infiltrating other disciplines because of its flexible power transmission and longer poling phase,” says Leki Vice President Greg Wozer.

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SNOW SHOW DAILY 2016 | DAY 1 SIAsnowshow.com

MORE SPECIALIZED CONSTRUCTIONS FOR BACKCOUNTRY/TOURING THAN EVER BEFORE. and wrist injuries. The Power 9 Carbon also features a new carbon web exterior, creating the lightest, most durable and stiffest pole in its line. Line involved athletes in the development of its new Tom Wallischtick pole, a lightweight, durable aluminum offering with a Philips-head screwdriver tip for gear adjustments; and its new adjustable Pollard Carbon, built with design input from Eric Pollard featuring a carbon upper, aluminum lower and Pollard graphics. Rossignol ups its pole presence with its new Touring Pro Foldable Pole, its most specific backcountry offering to date. “Today you’re seeing more specialized constructions and features for the backcountry/touring market than ever before, including longer touring grips, telescopic designs and collapsible shafts,” says brand manager Nick Castagnoli. Banking on bamboo, which it maintains has twice the strength of aluminum, Soul Poles, whose poles are handmade in Park City, Utah, debuts a Soul Lite design inspired by the Japanese Wabi-sabi concept (beauty in imperfection). Available in six colors, its grips, tips and baskets have an asymmetrical plant-based design to look like a bamboo plant and leaf, with interchangeable baskets to complete the package. Backcountry Access continues to tout its carbon-aluminum Scepter line of backcountry poles for 2016-17, the lightest yet in its line. Of particular note is its Scraper Grip, letting climbers easily scrape snow off their topsheets and employ a new utility hook for on-the-fly binding, heel riser or boot buckle adjustments; and a textured upper for added grip when choking up. —Eugene Buchanan

▲ K2 LOCKJAW

▲ START WORLD CUP RACE

▲ SWIX TRIAC 2.5

▲ SOUL POLES LITE

▲ ROSSIGNOL FREERIDE

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SIA Snow Show Day1 2016  

SIA Snow Show Day1 2016