2013 Handbook Everything You Need To Know For A Successful Show
Where Snowboarding Meets Industry Travel Tips | Product Picks | Buyerâ€™s Beta | Industry Insiders Pat Milbery. Denver, CO Photo: Chris Faronea
Letter from the editor
january 30–february 1, sourcing snow Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO January 31–February 3, SIA SNOW SHOW Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO photo: Lewis
FEBRUARY 4–5, on-snow demo/ski-ride fest Winter Park Resort, CO
Mixing it up with the entire snowboard industry laid out in front of you.
Lighting The Fuse I go to a lot of trade shows. Covering six sports, my calendar is besieged twice a year for more than a month with an unending parade of convention centers, dinners, high fives, and product, product, and more product. From the global to the regional, TransWorld Business has the opportunity to traverse the globe with an eye to what’s new, evolving, emerging, and exciting. Shows are always a great place to keep your finger on the proverbial pulse of the industry, but there is one show I begin itching for annually as soon as the weather begins to crisp. I’ve been coming to SIA since the last millennium, but I always look forward to it with a sort of professional grom-on-Christmas anticipation. Without fail, the annual pilgrimage brings together old friends and memories, fires up the idea factory, and reignites memories of why we do what we do, all while unfailingly opening our eyes to new products, concepts, and trends. While that’s enough to keep me coming back, it’s not what makes me almost giddy about putting in 18-hour days for a week—no, that’s from what plays out after the show. Think back to your last chemistry class. Mixing most chemicals results in no reaction whatsoever, but add just the right catalyst
and you get powerful results. My favorite experiments were the ones you could tweak to create unexpected results, and I got in a lot of trouble for blowing shit up. The snowboarding world is full of incredibly creative minds, and while many of them mix sparingly, spending nearly a week under one roof and on one mountain ignites conversations, creativity, and collaborations that burn brightly throughout the year. I always leave with a new perspective and pantheon of projects to put into play, emerging with a better understanding of where I need to direct my energy. I can’t wait to see where my head’s at in March—let’s see what we can blow up. See you in Colorado!
Mike Lewis Editor in Chief TransWorld Business email@example.com
09 Trends, Products, And Picks Don’t have time to interview 130 brands and thousands of shops? That’s okay, we did.
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
Hotels & Travel siasnowshow.com/hotels
Show Schedule & Overview
13 Locals Only homegrown crop of brands.
This year’s crop of freshmen SIA shred brands.
Catching up with Colorado’s
the SIA Board’s boarders.
Dropping in to the Mile-High City.
Think of the following pages as your personal guide to the 2013 SIA Snow Show and the snowboard industry. From travel information, to trends, to buying tips, this book has your back. To start your journey to this year’s show, we’ve cooked up a personal travel guide for shreds coming to SIA. Here are some links to help get the ball rolling:
Lore, legends, and outlooks from
06 Getting Denver Done
Everything You Need To Know For The Show
Contents 04 Meet The Board
16 Show’s Over. Let’s go ride Winter Park locals’ guide and expert demo tips. 19 Party in the Back Now that we’re done with the business in the front…
Show News, Videos & Photos siasnowshow.com/shownews
The Show Guide Travel Prep For The Mile-High Madness 1
Ongoing SIA Sourcing Show: All new vendor-to-vendor show: Mile High Ballroom. Starts Wednesday, January 30.
Air SIA has partnered with WorldTek to help you get the lowest rates on airfare to and from Denver. WorldTek: (800) 257-8343 Ground While downtown Denver is fairly compact, with so many parties, dinners, and events, it’s good to have a lock on getting around. Here’s what you need to know: If it’s warm, you can rent public bikes at the B-cycle stations. They’re cheap, fun, and the city’s flat. Visit Denver is even offering 25% coupons. denver.bcycle.com SUPERSHUTTLE: SuperShuttle is offering discounted rides
ber three into your brain (or phone) for late-night service:
to/from the airport for attendees. Save $8 round-trip when
(303) 333-3333 metrotaxidenver.com.
you mention “SIA13.” Book online at
The SIA Planner: Events & Happenings
Backcountry Experience: A dedicated, in-show backcountry space to educate buyers, media, and the industry. RECLAIM Project. Hosted by 686, Malakye, and SIA: On the show floor. Schmoozapalooza: Malakye-hosted job fair behind registration.
METRO TAXI: Metro Taxi is a great option to and from
hertz.com or 1-800-654-2240 and tell them CV#04G00004
Daily Beer Grab: Grab a brew on your way out of the show: 5:30 p.m., CSCUSA Court & Lounge.
the airport and anywhere around town. Plug the num-
sent you to lock in rates as low as $19/day.
WEDNESDAY, January 30
HERTZ: Need your own wheels? SIA has negotiated some
killer deals with all Hertz Denver locations. Book at
Where To Stay
Room rates have dropped more than 20% since the show came to Denver in ’10, but hotels are filling up fast. Go to siasnowshow.com/hotels to lock in rates as low as $114/night (for all you players, the Ritz has discount rooms, too) at one of 13 SIA-partner hotels.
Data Seminar: SIA Director of Research Kelly Davis discusses the state of the snowboard market. Time TBD. Snow Fashion & Trends Show: Colorado Convention Center. Doors at 6:30. Be prepared to get down.
and Friday. For more info, head to visitdenver.com/sia. The Mile High SnowFest is also making an encore appearance to wel-
SIA/SOS Hockey Shootout: Hosted by Never Summer. Foothills Ice Arena. Time TBD.
come attendees to town with some great deals at area bars and restaurants. Get the beta at milehighsnowfest.com.
THURSDAY, January 31
VISIT DENVER is bringing back the Denver Deals program, including seriously discounted Nuggets tickets on Wednesday
After four days of incessant talk of snowboarding, and feasting your eyes on the hottest new shapes, it’s time to get out there and
Stylesight F/W ’14 Color & Megatrends: Noon and 4:00 p.m. For a full lineup of seminars, visit siasnowshow.com/seminars.
take advantage of why you’re in this industry. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of the On-Snow, and be sure to
FRIDAY, february 1
check out more on Winter Park and demo tips on pages 16–18.
Snowboard Rental Seminar: Increasing Participation and Revenue. Hosted by TransWorld Business and SAM: Rental World, 11:00 a.m.
On-Snow Demo Travel Tips
Step 1: Register. Sign up for the On-Snow when you
1-800-359-7503 or homejamestransportation.com.
register for the Snow Show. Be sure and choose the “Winter
Step 4: Get a room. SIA has exclusive room rates in Winter
Park” option—Devil’s Thumb has a great name but only boasts
Park starting at just $102 a night. Mention “SIA 2013” when
cross-country terrain and festivities.
you book at (866) 239-3989.
STEP 2: Get your badge. Pick up your separate On-Snow
Step 5: Get some extra days on snow. Through a partnership
badge before leaving Denver’s Colorado Convention Center.
with Colorado Ski Country USA, all buyers get three free lift
Step 3: Get your ass up there. SIA is providing free shuttle buses
tickets, and all attendees get three two-for-one vouchers, valid
to and from Winter Park Resort. For additional options back to
around the state for five days following the show. Check out a
Denver or the airport, contact Home James Transportation at
list of participating resorts at siasnowshow.com/skiride.
”We have a lot of fun on the showroom floor, but when we’ve got a new technology, the on-snow demos are where the real excitement is. For me, it’s more about spending time with the people who buy and sell our products, getting on the chairlift with them, and having fun doing what we do.” Clark Gundlach, SVP & General Manager, Quiksilver Wintersports
SIA Retailers & Reps Of The Year: 6:00 p.m. CSCUSA Food Court/Lounge. TransWorld SNOWboarding Riders’ Poll Awards: 7:00 p.m. The Fillmore. SATURDAY, February 2 OIWC Keynote Address by Donna Carpenter and breakast: 7:00-9:00 a.m. SUNDAY, February 3
App-Tastic We love trade show apps, but our fickle thumbs usually delete them as soon as the show wraps. However, the new combined SIA and Snow Show app is a year-rounder as it packs everything you need for the show, with a heaping helping of reports, contact info, news and more. But wait, there’s more. Download now and you’ll also get:
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
• Exhibitor listings,
info, events, and
• Floor plans with new mapping that actually works in the hall! • Access to crucial SIA research reports.
SIA Board of Directors Pancake Breakfast: Free flapjacks! 8:00–9:30 a.m.
• Show and Demo
• SIA social links, industry news, and Industry Planner calendar. • The SIA Industry
• A guide to Denver
eats and drinks.
MONDAY, February 4 Download the 2013 App:
On-Snow Demo Party: 7:00 p.m.—?, Sunspot Lodge—top of Winter Park. Office Booyz & Girlz: Winter Park. Uphill/Downhill Challenge: Winter Park.
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
meet the board
Roots: Snowboarding’s Evolution At SIA
SIA’s Past, Present, And Future In Snowboarding Lore, Legends, And Outlooks From The SIA Board’s Boarders By Mike Lewis
When most people hear “SIA” they immediately think of the trade show, but SnowSports Industries America is much more than that. As a not-for-profit trade organization, it is run by its members and Board of Directors, of whom a third are from core snowboard brands with well over 100 years of collective industry experience. The SIA Board meets regularly to steer the organization’s goals, like increasing participation; services, like in-depth research data; and, yes, its trade show, to ensure SIA meets the needs of brands and retailers today and in years to come. We caught up with the snowboarders in the driver’s seat at SIA to hear more about SIA’s role in the past, present, and future of your sport from your behind-the-scenes ambassadors.
Meet The Board Tim Petrick Chair, Global Sales & Marketing President, K2 Sports Cindi Busenhart First Vice Chair, President, Sessions
Jared Bevens Category Director, Actions Sports Footwear & Equipment, Vans
Bob Gundram Second Vice Chair, President, C3 Worldwide
Dan Sullivan Director of Sales, Rome Snowboards
Clark Gundlach Third Vice Chair, SVP/GM Wintersports, Quiksilver
Sasha Dietschi-Cooper Vice President, North American Sales, Burton Snowboards
1960 1954 SIA is founded.
Mike West Founder, 686; President/CEO, Westlife Distribution
The first Ski Industry America trade show is held.
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
SIA’s trade show hosts its first snowboard exhibitor—Avalanche Snowboards.
Cindi Busenhart “For the first 10 years or so, Sessions had crazy booths from a carnival-themed booth to an Alice in Wonderland-themed booth. Then our team thought no one took our technical outerwear seriously, so we went all corporate. The snowboard side of the show has been much like our booths—starting out super organic and relaxed. Now it’s no longer a new sport—it’s a strategic business with informed consumers and industry professionals. Our goal [is] to balance the original energy and spirit of the snowboard atmosphere with the professionalism of this developed market.” Bob Gundram “I was attending prior to snowboarding even being a part of the show—then it grew to the whole North Hall in Las Vegas. Those were crazy, hectic, go-all-day-andall-night times. The business still got done even before Red Bull somehow.” Mike West “From the crazy days when there were over 300 snowboarding brands in the Vegas North Hall, to the fallout in the late ’90s, to the rise at Mandalay, and finally the move to Denver, snowboarding will always have its own quirky and crazy vibe at SIA. We need to always keep things fresh, new, affordable, and moving forward to keep the attention of the next generation of young brands and retailers.” Dan Sullivan “The first year the ‘Snowboard Hall’ was created in Las Vegas, if you had some graphics, an order form, and access to a foreign retailer you were an instantly successful snowboard brand. There were so many small companies it was crazy. Obviously, the energy this created was awesome and set the bar for all future shows. There are fewer snowboard companies now, but still plenty of them flying the flag of the rebellious early days. You still never know what you are going to encounter in the snowboard zone.”
SIA’s Role In Snowboarding Today Mike West “One of the biggest areas we’re trying to constantly improve is how SIA communicates all the great things that are absolutely free to members. SIA has probably
First snowboarder joins SIA’s Board of Directors: Jake Burton, Burton Snowboards.
78 snowboard brands exhibit at SIA.
the most comprehensive data available as far as who is participating in snowboarding and what’s selling in stores.” Tim Petrick “In addition to participation initiatives like Bring a Friend, Learn to Ski, and Snowboard Month, SIA supports World Snowboard Day, has a snowboard committee, and a snowboard section on our consumer website—snowlink.com. SIA has all retailers listed on the snowlink. com website and they have developed a retailer-to-consumer marketing guide to help retailers shape their messages to the consumer. SIA also has a governPhoto: Lewis ment affairs program that was successful in eliminating tariffs over 20 percent on snowboard boots to help keep prices down.” years. The guy reading a piece in Popular Science about new snowboarding technology, or the [airplane] passenCindi Busenhart ger reading about snowboarding in Hemispheres—get“The SIA team is always looking for ways to better supting snowboarding in front of the general population is a port the sport of snowboarding and retailers, such as huge challenge and an important way for us to increase [offering] amazing reports. I am a huge supporter of participation.” Kelly Davis, the research director of SIA. She is a statistics analysis machine. She can tell you what moves the Jared Bevens meters. If retailers haven’t used the reports SIA offers, “To be successful in today’s environment, both brands they should! Those reports will assist in the success of and retailers need to be equipped with the tools that their buys and leave less to their magic ball.” allow them to analyze their business and make smart, fact-based decisions. It’s a continually and rapidly evolvClark Gundlach ing marketplace and you need to adapt your business to “I’m often amazed by the many benefits of SIA mem- those changes in order to survive. Creativity, passion, bership. Members can use SIA as a resource in their and love for the sport, combined with disciplined busilogistics, travel, insurance, marketing/PR, sourcing, ness practices is a potent combination.” raw materials, and human resources. SIA also provides insightful and up-to-date market intelligence and salesperformance reporting. No other global snowsports marketplace has the detail and scope of industry reporting that SIA can provide. My advice: Visit snowsports. org and spend a few minutes navigating through all that SIA offers as a benefit of membership.” Sasha Dietschi-Cooper Bob Gundram “There are a number of extremely important deci“The show is a great opportunity to see the products pre- sions ahead for the board that will have a significant sented in the true light that the manufactures intended. impact on the future our industry. SIA has a responAll colorways are available to see from outerwear and sibility to continue to make investments now that set accessories companies, all graphics are available to the stage for increased awareness and participation see from hardgoods companies. Sales reps, marketing in winter sports in the future. My goal is to be a posipersonnel, sales management, product designers, and tive voice for change and progress in the industry and company owners are all in one place and they are all to reflect Burton’s commitment to increasing awarethere to work with the retailers. It’s a great opportunity ness and lowering barriers of entry to snowboarding and every retailer should take full advantage of it.” for all generations of participants.”
Building A Whiter, Brighter Tomorrow
Dan Sullivan “Denver has aided in the show being open and promoted to third-party press. The stories that are generated from the press have increased immensely over the last three
Morrow Snowboards co-founder Neil Morrow joins the SIA board. 5
Clark Gundlach “The membership of the SIA Board of Directors is designed to provide a voice from all segments of the industry. Our collective voice resonates loud and
Jake Burton named chairman of the SIA Board of Directors.
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
SIA moves its trade show to Denver after 37 year in Las Vegas, launches the On-Snow Demo.
clear for what’s in the best interest of the sport, our retailers, and the snowboard brand community. It’s also our responsibility as board members to work together as a team to direct the strategic decisions towards what’s best for the entire SIA membership.” Dan Sullivan “Every decision we make needs to, in some way, positively impact the sustainability of snowboarding. SIA board meetings cover a wide spectrum of topics directly related to snowboarding’s big picture such as trade shows, production, shipping, sales data, marketing, and the list goes on. All these topics come back to ‘how can we smartly work together as an industry to get more people sliding on snow, and how can we best compete against the myriad ways consumers are being marketed to to spend their recreation dollars?’” Cindi Busenhart “I joined the SIA Board because [it] has always been comprised of visionary directors and diverse, influential leaders that I respect. The SIA team is always looking for ways to better support the sport of snowboarding and the retailers. We are all striving for better awareness.” Mike West “There are a few initiatives that stick out. First is the challenge to stay relevant—SIA’s dedicated marketing and sales team, including SIA President David Ingemie, is always on the road getting important face time with retailers, brands, associations, and customers that make up the shred world. Second is the political side of things—SIA has greatly helped in Washington to overcome harsh duties and taxes that would have affected all snowboard goods. Our third goal is to keep it simple and concentrate on making the show the number-one trade show in snowboarding with fresh ideas and the ability to embrace the odd and independent. Finally, and probably most relevant for all of us, is to keep things affordable. Hotel rates have dropped and booth space fees have not gone up for exhibitors in seven years.” Tim Petrick “SIA has been active in helping bring together the different stakeholders—retailers, resorts, and vendors—who can help drive more participation. There is still lots of work to do, but we are heading in the right direction. Beyond working to help increase participation, we also need to have a coherent buy/ sell cycle that works for retailers and their vendors.”
193 snowboard 927 brands brands exhibit. exhibit at the SIA Snow Show.
Denver Skate Park
Commons Park EW
Confluence Park ST . Y N
2. Root Down From its home in a converted 1950s garage, Root Down offers excellent cocktails and plenty of dishes with locally sourced ingredients. “It’s a great brunch place with really good drinks,” offers Never Summer sales rep and team and media manager Micah Cook. “My wife loves it.” That’s a solid stamp of approval. 3. Pete’s Kitchen In the midst of enjoying the nightlife on Colfax, you just might get hungry. Luckily, Pete’s is open 24 hours and serves breakfast all day. Grab a stool at this classic diner and enjoy some of the best breakfast in town.
4. Tom’s Home Cookin’ Thanks to Tom’s Home Cookin,’ you can enjoy staples like fried chicken, sweat tea, collard greens, and cobbler without traveling south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Sam Schuman, owner of 303
Boards, is quick to claim Tom’s as his favorite spot for Southern comfort food. Just remember, Tom’s only takes cash. 5. Tocabe For dinner, try something different. Heed the advice of DBO, district manager for BC Surf And Sport, and hit up Tocabe. The restaurant offers authentic American-Indian cuisine with a modern twist. And, as David “DBO” Baker notes, they have “amazing fry bread tacos.” 6. Appaloosa Grill For some local flavor, “make sure you go to Appaloosa Grill on 16th Street. It’s delicious,” pro shred Ian Smith offers. “They support local farmers and have live music every night. The price is good, and it’s worth checking out.” Comida Mexicana Denver has no shortage of top-notch Mexican restaurants. As Cook offers, “Go down to Benny’s (7.)—one of my favorite Mexican joints.” Schuman recommends La Abeja, while DBO suggests Santiago’s (8.) for “the best green chile in Denver. Start mild or half-and-half—the hot takes fools down.” TS Boardshop owner Kendra Rostvedt reveals, “El Diablo (9.) is probably one of my favorite restaurants.” In addition to excellent food, El
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
10. Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza “Marco’s Pizza is a solid go-to spot downtown,” pro shred Ryan Cruze suggests. “They have a strong selection of cold beer on tap, a great lunch special, and the best coal-fired pizza in town.”
11. The Dive Inn Set sail for The Dive Inn. As DBO explains, “The Dive Inn has a boat where you can sit and drink with your homeys in the middle of the bar. It also has tons of bar games and activities.” 12. The 1Up The 1Up allows you to tap into your inner child while still getting your drink on—and even 40 ounces at a time. The iconic bar offers 45 classic arcade games, life-sized Jenga, and—as Smith is quick to point out—Skee-Ball for only a quarter. 13. Shag Lounge While at SIA, be sure to make your way to the Shag Lounge. As a classic industry hangout, it’s the perfect place to mix business with pleasure. Club Love “As for clubs, check out Beta (14.) and the Church (15.),” Smith offers. “These clubs can be a blast if you feel like getting wild.” Beta has an especially strong reputation for solid sound.
Ninth Street Historic Park
1. Snooze If you swing by Snooze on the weekends, don’t be alarmed by the line. Instead, grab a cup of free coffee by the door and relax knowing that good things are worth a wait. When it’s time to sit down, consider the pancake of the day or Juan’s breakfast tacos.
P RIA RA AU AURARIA CAMPUS
SPORTS AUTHORITY FIELD AT MILE HIGH
COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER
SANTA FE DRIVE
W. COLFAX AVE.
ART DISTRICT ON SANTA FE
Alternate Adventures Catch a Game
When it’s time to escape the trade floor, be sure to catch a game. “All of the major sporting attractions take place in downtown Denver,” Satellite co-owner Raul Pinto explains. “And all within walking distance from the major hotels.” There are even discount tickets available Wednesday and Friday during the show.
Entertainment for the Ears
From laid-back shows to ear-bleeding noise, Denver’s got you covered. Standout venues include The Bluebird, Larimer Lounge, The Ogden, Hi-Dive, The Meadowlark Bar, The Fillmore, and Summit Music Hall. “Summit Music Hall is a great new venue on 19th and Blake,” Cruze says. “It may be in LoDo, which has the reputation of being more like a downtown frat-house party, but this place offers something different. They have been hosting a majority of this season’s snowboard video premieres and setting a different tone for the crowd in the area.” To see what’s on tap for shows, Rostvedt recommends picking up a copy of the Westword, Denver’s free arts and entertainment publication.
A trip to Denver wouldn’t be complete without touring some of its signature breweries. Paik recommends visiting the Wynkoop Brewery for its “great beer and great food.” Other favorites include the Denver Beer Co., Strange Brewing Company, Great Divide, Black Shirt Brewing Co., Breckenridge Brewery, and Dry Dock Brewing.
Exploring the Outdoors
When it’s time for SIA, Denver might be blanketed under snow or enjoying balmy temperatures. Either way, bring some hiking boots. “Make sure you at least head to the foothills for great hikes,” Schuman offers. “One of the most beautiful places to visit—that is close by—is Red Rocks Amphitheater,” suggests CandyGrind co-founder Brandi Paik. “It’s open daily, there are lots of hiking trails, and the scenery just can’t be missed.”
If the snow is deep and the foothills are out of the question, explore Denver’s urban offerings. A stroll down the 16th Street Mall reveals plenty of bizarre attractions and opportunities for people watching. Paik suggests, “Grab a coffee at the Starbucks
ELITCH GARDENS THEME & WATER PARK
For nearly 2,000 years, travelers from around the globe have encountered a familiar platitude: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. With that kind of longevity, we assumed there must be some validity to the statement. We caught up with the local shreds who have the Mile-High City on lock, to have you dialed like an insider the minute you step off the plane. Diablo offers award-winning margaritas and the city’s largest list of tequilas.
by Michael Sudmeier
Dining, Drinking, And More
Dropping In To The Mile-High City
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“If you stick around town for the first Friday of the month, there is always a huge art festival on Santa Fe Street,” Smith offers. “There are street vendors and wonderful art from all kinds of people. South Santa Fe has tons of art galleries and if that is your thing, it is worth going to hang at that end of town any day.”
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Center. “Also, the library downtown is amazing and in the middle of the Museum District,” DBO adds. Consider visiting the Denver Zoo and the Downtown Aquarium as well.
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For a mellow evening, enjoy a movie. “Check out The Mayan Movie Theatre on Broadway,” Smith suggests. “This place is a small, speakeasy theater, and you can order beer while watching a movie.”
E. COLFAX AVE.
Civic Center Park
Keep an Eye on the Mountains With all of its breweries and legendary nightlife, Denver can be disorienting. Fortunately, it’s easy to get back your bearings. “As a general rule of thumb,” DBO provides, “the mountains are to the west.”
GOLDEN TRIANGLE MUSEUM DISTRICT
in REI and take a walk along the river. The view of Denver is awesome.”
If you’re braving the streets, “Park Avenue and 15th Street will both get you pretty much anywhere,” Schuman notes. A few simple tips will also keep you out of trouble. “Stay away from I-25 in the city from seven to nine in the morning and four to six p.m. weekdays—it gets plugged up,” Cook offers. Lastly, “Don’t turn down 16th Street—it’s a huge fine,” Smith warns. “There are also lots of one-way streets, so be aware.”
Pony Up to Public Transport
If you’re looking to snag some tunes—be it new albums or rare LPs—Schuman recommends hitting up Wax Trax! Records and Twist & Shout. To score a good read, be sure to explore Tattered Cover next to Twist & Shout. As DBO adds, both are “worth a dig, as you can always find something amazing at those shops.”
“If you want to get around easily without bringing a car into the budget, Denver B-cycle is one of many great public transportation options, along with the Light Rail and plenty of taxi services,” Cruze offers. To keep things simple and capitalize on these resources, Pinto recommends staying in Denver proper. He notes, “Denver is one of the better US cities from a transit standpoint and is very centralized.”
Tunes and Texts
“All the museums downtown are worth a day’s adventure,” DBO mentions. Consider hitting up the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Denver Art Museum, and the History Colorado
If you do get lost, you’re never far from help. “Most people in Denver are friendly, so don’t be shy to ask for directions,” Smith offers. “I still do this every time I’m in the city.”
Casa Bonita: The Whole Enchilada—And Then Some For nearly 40 years, Casa Bonita (16.) has enchanted patrons with everything but its food. In addition to staples like enchiladas, tacos, and sopapillas, the Mexican restaurant offers stimuli seldom seen outside of hallucinations and Hollywood sets. While enjoying dinner, patrons can watch flame jugglers or witness cliff divers leap from a waterfall into pools of crystalblue water. A gunfight, an escaped gorilla, strolling mariachis, or a piñata festival might accompany a meal. As if these spectacles aren’t spellbinding enough, Casa Bonita offers magic shows on the weekends. To commemorate their evening, visitors can choose to get their portrait drawn by a caricature artist or recreate historic saloon photos. Nearly a million people flock to Casa Bonita each year and South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone grew up visiting the restaurant. Consequently, they’ve featured Casa Bonita in a number of episodes, and even named the building that houses South Park Studios after the restaurant, and it should be on your short list for post-show dinners.
Get Your Shred On “Pack stuff for a trip to the mountains. Why come to the Rockies if you are just going to hang in the city? It seems silly that I need to remind people, but go snowboarding. There are a ton of resorts. If you’re a hot dogger, go to one of the five mega mountain parks or ride a more local resort like Monarch or Eldora. And if you’re too cool for groomers, go get bucked at Silverton and ride the real Rocky Mountains.” Raul Pinto, Co-owner, Satellite and Installation
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
Break the Fast “Hit up the Butcher Block Café on Washington Avenue in North Denver—hands down the best breakfast spot in Denver. The food has heart, the restaurant has character, the prices are great, and the people there get to know you by your name. You will most likely catch the owner, Mickey, in the kitchen, but he always finds time to make his rounds and greet his guests.” Brandi Paik, Co-founder, CandyGrind Be Prepared “There’s so much variation in the weather. It could be dumping snow one day and the next day you’re able to skate at the skatepark.” Kendra Rostvedt, Owner, TS Board Shop Come Thirsty “Be ready to drink!!!” Sam Schuman, Owner, 303 Boards Soak It Up “Denver is the best city hands down. You have everything you need in one place to have fun, play hard, and eat well.” Micah Cook, Team Manager and Sales Rep, Never Summer Media Live Like a Local “El Camino—in the Highlands neighborhood at 32nd and Lowell—has a great community atmosphere. They have some killer margaritas, and taco Tuesday is always good. Every Sunday is Noche de Industry, honoring the hard-working local shreds with video and drink specials. Also, this season they are organizing a Shred Bus to get all the Denver folks up to different ski resorts throughout the winter—with breakfast burritos and beers for those going.” Ryan Cruze, Pro Shred Drop In “Denver has an amazing skatepark on 20th and I-25. There are also tons of world-class parks in the surrounding areas. Lafayette, Broomfield, Arvada, Aurora, and many other suburbs of Denver have phenomenal skateparks.”Ian Smith, Pro Shred and Founder, nowsnowboarding.com Acclimate “Acclimate to the altitude. I always thought it was just a myth, or something you told people from out of town town, but it proves true. The altitude will work you if you’re not paying attention.” David “DBO” Baker, District Manager, B.C. Surf and Sport
So Fresh And So Clean This Year’s Batch Of SIA Rookies Are New To The Show But Not The Scene By Michael Sudmeier
For specialty retailers, new brands often serve as the breadcrumbs that lead customers inside their doors. Customers expect retailers to not only provide a reliable arsenal of brands, but also to act as curators who showcase up-and-coming companies. To find these companies, retailers could travel across the globe, scour summer camps, pore over magazines, and poke around the Internet. Or they could take a stroll through the Snow Show. This year’s show offers an impressive collection of new exhibitors, ranging from start-ups run by a few friends, to publicly traded corporations making their debut in the shred industry. From boots to base layers, SIA’s new exhibitors are cooking up fresh goods. But don’t let their SIA status confuse them as rookies. These brands offer substantial experience in addition to solid collections.
Photo: Darrel Mathes/HOWL
Howl Last year, Darrell Mathes and Nima Jalali quietly debuted their new glove company, Howl. During its soft launch, the brand landed in 50 key accounts and 22 countries. Howl’s initial success can largely be attributed to its founders’ experience as pro shreds and Jalali’s work as a co-founder of both Ashbury and Videograss. Yet, it is also rooted in offering products that resonate with riders. “We want to build a consistent line of timeless gloves,” Mathes offers. “Our company revolves around the team that we have put together, and we create our product for them. We want to be the brand that recognizes the difference in each snowboarder, highlight that, and bring it to a bigger audience.” With riders like LNP, Jed Anderson, Desiree Melancon, and Jake Kuzyk, Howl seems well equipped to recognize these differences and tap into the creativity of its riders. Picture Organic For Picture, SIA provides a means to introduce the brand’s outerwear and streetwear to a new market. The French company focuses on organic and recycled materials, as well as construction techniques with reduced environmental impacts. Since its debut in 2008, Picture has gained a substantial following throughout Europe and has more than doubled sales every year. According to Picture Co-founder Julien Durant, “SIA is our first chance to share Picture with the US market. Our goal is to show everybody that Picture is doing something different—something new and worth supporting. Picture offers not just fresh designs and technical products, 8
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
Buying for next season takes a mix of experience, insight, study, and luck—kind of like hitting booters similar to this one Jake Kuzyk is eyeing in the Whistler backcountry.
“Customers expect retailers to not only provide a reliable arsenal of brands, but also to act as curators who showcase up-and-coming companies.” but also a strong commitment to the environment.” Denver-based Sales Guys will handle the brand’s North American sales and distribution. adidas Snowboarding At SIA, adidas will formally debut its snowboard collection. This season served as a soft release for the brand’s snow line, which was based around Jake Blauvelt’s signature après boot. Next year’s line, however, will include snowboard boots, outerwear, and base layers. In addition to Blauvelt, the brand’s team includes heavy hitters like Kazu Kokubo, Eric Jackson, Helen Schettini, Forest Bailey, and Keegan Valaika. According to Global
Brand Marketing Manager Jess Weinstein, SIA provides retailers with “an opportunity to get in with our brand on the ground floor. With the momentum we have in skate and the interest that it has generated in the snow community, we hope to create strong partnerships with the select group of retailers we work with in our first season.” 2XU With a strong foundation in the endurance sports community, 2XU is focusing on educating retailers about its performance base layers. Since its inception seven years ago, the Australian-based company has
been refining its compression apparel through research partnerships with The Australian Institute of Sport and The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. The brand is also making a strong commitment to snowsports. Recently, 2XU initiated eight-year partnerships with the US Ski Team, US Snowboarding, and US Freeskiing. “The beauty of 2XU compression is that it is applicable to every discipline of sport,” offers snowboard industry veteran and 2XU Director of Brand and Sports Marketing Johnny West. “Performance compression is one of the top emerging categories across all channels and can offer our retail partners a year-round revenue stream, not just a seasonal bump in business.” BlackStrap From its headquarters in Bend, Oregon, BlackStrap has quietly pioneered new technology for its products. SIA provides an opportunity for the company to share its headwear and patented facemasks, which often blend polyester, cashmere, and nylon. By crafting its products in the United States, BlackStrap is able to collaborate with retailers and resorts to provide custom goods that bear their branding. “I see many customers looking for exactly what we provide: the highest standards in comfort, function, and quality at a pricepoint that lets the customer leave with some extra coin to spend elsewhere,” Media and Brand Manager Jim Sanco states. Sales Guys will be aiding BlackStrap with its sales and distribution. As Sales Guys Founder Marty Carrigan states, “BlackStrap offers something fresh that will sell through and help retailers build loyalty among their customers.” Saga Outerwear SIA also provides Saga with an opportunity to connect with a new audience. Since 2005, the brand has concentrated on crafting premium outerwear and interacting directly with its customers. “In the past, we have focused on a 100-percent direct-sales model,” Co-founder Sean Harkins explains. “This season is the first year that Saga can be found in retail locations around the globe. By attending SIA, we are hoping to expand the brand even deeper into brick-andmortar [locations].” To do this, Saga hopes to leverage the strong following it has developed among snowboarders and freeskiers. According to Harkins, “We look forward to showcasing not only our newest products, but also the brand itself.”
By Michael Sudmeier
To better understand what the 2013/2014 shred season has in store, we intended to rely on cryptic prophecies. Unfortunately, we had to abandon this approach due to a recent strike among soothsayers. Left with little alternative, we rolled up our sleeves and dived head first into data. We interviewed 130 brands and dozens of retailers to identify emerging product and market trends. After examining 600 pages of interviews and sacrificing our eyesight to spreadsheets, we’ve distilled our findings to just a few pages. And although the Mayan calendar expires in 2012, we still intend to be shredding next season. Restraint And Refinement In much of North America, last year’s snowfall was measured in inches—not feet. And with warmer-than-usual temperatures, a lackluster winter led to lackluster sales and grandiose inventories. Yet the surplus of product left at retail is serving as a catalyst for change. “Everyone from brands to shops has re-evaluated what is important and necessary for their business,” Niche Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tim MacKenzie offers. “I think the last year will really show who is adapting and who will survive this evolution.” As part of this evolution, brands are tightening their collections and streamlining their stories. “A good overall collection isn’t enough anymore,” K2 Sales Manager Eric Hutchison reveals. “All your models need to be strong individually because more and more dealers are just buying the home run models from the brands they carry.” This shift has helped usher in an era of incremental improvement. Consequently, some of the most impressive products for next year are refined classics rather than gamechanging goods. After all, explains Vice President of Anon and Burton Hardgoods Scott Barbieri, “Customers are looking for authenticity, durability, and value—stuff that works.” Nailing The Niche Although participation dipped more than seven percent last season, growth continues to occur in certain market segments. For Warren Currie, owner of The Easy Rider in Edmonton, Alberta, one of last year’s highlights was “the huge growth in backcountry gear.” The industry has also witnessed an increasing demand for children’s gear, premium women’s products, and decks designed for deep pow. In addition, a number of brands and retailers are increasing their emphasis on rentals and premium demo products. As part of their efforts to address emerging niches, brands are focusing heavily on discipline-driven designs. 9
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
“The snowboard industry has been very focused on creating hardgoods that are specific to one type of terrain and riding style,” Nitro Marketing Manager Knut Eliassen offers. This is especially true with boards and boots, where brands have enjoyed solid sales with niche products like those built for splitboarding or urban riding. Shapes And Synergy From blunt-nosed street decks to reverse sidecut pow surfers, brands are debuting an impressive range of shapes. “Board shaping continues to be an ongoing story and is something visual that consumers can actually relate to and understand,” Ride US Sales and Marketing Manager Shawn Penrod offers. As part of this trend, explains Capita Product Development and US Marketing Manager Sean Tedore, “Standard nose and tail shapes have been replaced by models that have their own unique identity.” Yet board shapes are just part of the story. Manufacturers are continuing to tinker with camber profiles. This has led to a slight revival in cambered decks, as well as an increase in hybrid profiles that emphasize camber. And although camber profiles continue to garner significant attention, the conversation surrounding board
Building boards is a labor of love in the Rockies. Venture Production Technician Andrew Parker gears up for another winter of romance.
Outerwear Evolution There’s “a split in the appearance of outerwear—either it is wild style, brightly colored, and an obvious snowboard jacket, or it is understated and streetinspired,” Bonfire Design Director Kate Darnall reveals. On the wild side, brands are using rich, saturated colors, color blocking, and simple prints. For more subtle collections, brands are finding inspiration in workwear, woodsmen, and vintage outdoor equipment, leading to collections that blend textured fabrics with technical features. Despite these disparate approaches, most brands have renewed their focus on fit. Relaxed, slim fits continue to dominate the market, but many brands are offering a range of silhouettes— especially for females. The growing interest in backcountry riding is also informing fit and function across garment collections. Brands are debuting longer jackets, articulated cuts, and fabrics that stretch and emphasize breathability. And although the backwoods and the backcountry continue to inspire collections, the influence of the streets is as strong as ever. As Volcom North American Sales Director Brad Alband notes, “Dual purpose pieces are taking over the sales floor.” Riders are depending on technical streetwear like flannels, hoodies, and lightweight jackets both on the snow and around town. Moving Forward Although Mother Nature will always have the final say over sales, the industry is adapting to her whims. This is leading to both stronger partnerships and efforts to expand participation. Citing a desire to grow pre-existing accounts rather than open new doors, many companies are working to support retailers through better terms, tighter lines, and enhanced customer engagement. To share the stoke and get new riders addicted, brands and retailers are also partnering with nonprofits, offering products that ease the learning curve, and supporting learn-to-shred events. Despite uncertain times, many brands and retailers are optimistic. As Owner Operator Co-founder Steven Kimura puts it, “There are lots of opportunities for innovators with the right moves.”
Photo: Scott dw smith
2013/2014 Snowboard Market And Trend Report
technology is evolving. Manufacturers are placing a greater emphasis on how board shape, symmetry, camber stories, core profiling, and composite layups interact to influence board performance. Consequently, boards are being promoted on the sales floor not on the basis of their camber, but on their intended purpose.
The Goods At A Glance 2013/14 Snowboard Gear And Market Cheat Sheet By Michael Sudmeier
Method To The Radness To understand what’s on tap for next year’s gear, you could turn to Magic 8 Balls, fortune cookies, and Ouija boards… or you could take a peek at our cheat sheets. Stemming from a comprehensive, data-driven analysis, these notes identify key trends in the shred industry. We interviewed 130 brands, reached out to dozens of retailers, combed through 600 pages of responses, and examined countless product images to identify emerging trends. Thanks to these simple notes, you can get a solid sense of what to look for at SIA—without turning to psychics and spreadsheets.
Shape Stories Whether enhancing float in powder, maximizing pressability on rails, or just looking good, board shapes are enjoying greater attention. Rounded tips and tails are the new old school. Nailing The Niche Manufacturers are tapping into new niches, resulting in increased offerings of pow surfers, premium ladies’ boards, and decks for little rippers. These niche products also include cambered decks, which are experiencing a slight uptick in demand. Skate Technology For street-driven jib sticks, brands are appropriating technology from skate decks. Look for stacked, wood-ply cores, and sidewalls. The Whole Enchilada Brands are continuing to emphasize how symmetry, shapes, camber stories, core profiles, and composite layups interact to influence board performance. Consequently, brands and retailers can de-emphasize camber stories on the sales floor in favor of focusing on a board’s intended purpose. 10
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
A New Paradigm Brands and retailers are diversifying their boot offerings to emphasize discipline-driven designs instead of products simply based around flex and price tiers. Don’t Call It A Comeback Classic lacing is enjoying a steady resurgence. Nonetheless, zonal lacing—and a combination of closure options—continue to dominate the market. Seam Welding By using new fabrics and welding (rather than sewing) seams, brands are creating lighter boots that flex more naturally. In addition to shedding weight, these boots shed production costs and maximize margins. Street-Driven Style When it comes to boots, expect aesthetics informed by skate shoes. But there’s more at work here than steez—these boots often have low-profile soles that offer enhanced board feel as well.
Relentless Refinement Consider this the year of incremental improvements. Brands are reducing the footprint of baseplates, expanding canting options, and refining their straps. The objectives: decrease weight, improve comfort, and enhance board feel. Focus On The Flex Highback flex and support are basking under greater attention as brands turn to new materials and construction techniques to drive innovation.
A Cache Of Compartments Coffin-like board bags are being replaced with designs built around carefully considered compartments. These pockets aim to keep things organized and protected, while also allowing wet gear a chance to breathe. Emphasizing The Overhead When it comes to luggage and travel packs, riders are demanding products that fit in the overhead compartment. Yet many of these bags are capable of expanding their volume once the plane lands. For riders who prefer to travel sans bags, board bags have also been streamlined to allow for easy shipping.
Rad Pads Brands are refining the padding systems found in their helmets. Customizable pads offer four-season flexibility, as well as the option to wear goggles and a beanie beneath brain buckets. The Certification Story Consumers are closely examining helmet certifications, seeking out lids that offer stamps of approval for a range of sports.
Countless Cuts Although relaxed, slim fits continue to dominate the market, many brands are offering collections with a range of silhouettes. Among these diverse cuts, expect longer jackets and a refined approach to women’s fit. Built For The Backcountry Inspired by life outside the access gates, brands are focusing more on articulated fits, as well as pockets and vents that don’t interfere with packs. They are also turning to technical fabrics that stretch and offer enhanced temperature control, especially with regards to breathability. Double Duty To maximize value and meet the demand for technical streetwear, brands are placing an emphasis on clothing that can handle shred and après sessions equally well.
Premium Performance, Premium Price Quick-release interchangeable lenses? Oversized frameless designs? Polarized and photochromic lenses that adjust their tint in response to changing light conditions? Yep, riders are shelling out cash for premium optics and brands are bringing it. Nerding Out Increasingly, brands are developing goggles that blur the boundaries between high-end optics and consumer electronics. These goggles rock GPS and Bluetooth technology, as well as heads-up displays that can provide information like speed, altitude, temperature, and resort trail maps. Some of these goggles even sport POV cameras. Classic Comebacks Perhaps as a backlash to these other trends, some brands are offering a healthy dose of classic designs that rely on cylindrical lenses. But don’t be deceived by their simple appearance—many of these goggles are packing high-end optical performance.
The Classics Continue Brands continue to draw inspiration for their collections from work wear, vintage outdoor equipment, and lumberjacks. This yields outerwear with an emphasis on subtle style and collections built around textured fabrics like denim, twill, tweed, and canvas. Anticipate interesting trims. Providing Pop On the other end of the spectrum, brands are packing a punch with rich, saturated colors, simple prints, and color blocking. Brace yourself for colors like acid green, chili red, and sapphire blue, as well as prints based around floral, ethnic, tie-dye, and fictitious animal patterns.
Beyond The Products Enhanced Engagement Brands are leveraging social media campaigns, team films, and in-store events to expand their footprint, increase communication with customers, and direct riders to specialty retailers. Lean And Mean In the wake of last year’s lackluster snowfall and conservative orders, brands are tightening their forecasting and production. As part of this process—and to ensure on-time shipment—manufacturers continue to move up order deadlines. Premium Demo Programs Brands, retailers, and resorts are focusing on premium demo equipment. This provides new opportunities for sharing the stoke, a sales funnel for future customers, and a means for riders to try niche products like splitboards and pow surfers prior to purchase. 11
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
Organic Growth Organic growth is a common refrain among brands looking to expand their product lines—and incentives— amongst pre-existing retail accounts. Reduced Impacts Whether reassessing production and logistics, repurposing ingredients, or tapping into recycled and responsibly sourced materials, brands are working to reduce their environmental impact. According to many of these brands, building products that last is the best way to reduce their impact. Promoting Participation From partnerships with nonprofits to gear for grommets, brands are investing in programs that share their love of shred with new crowds.
Must-See new gear
Awarding Innovation…And Relentless Refinement By Michael Sudmeier
Our Editors’ Picks honor excellence in design and innovation. We researched thousands of new products to find those that stood out from the crowd. While some of these goods harness game-changing technology, many represent the refinement of proven ideas. When examining next year’s crop of products, it can be easy to gravitate toward shiny objects and the latest novelty. While some of these foot that bill, many of the most impressive products are the result of a commitment to continual refinement. K2 Ender
Salomon Josh Dirksen Collection
Despite its name, the Ender is just
Josh Dirksen knows a lot about riding pow. Salomon knows a lot
the beginning. Through its Endo
about making boards. With powers combined, they’ve devel-
construction, K2 is reimagining how
oped a quiver of decks designed for going deep. Many of
boots are built and how they per-
these boards, which include splits and solids, rock Salomon’s
form. In place of stitch lines and
new Backseat Camber, offering extra floatation. Along with
flex panels, the Ender uses a ure-
Salomon’s legendary Sick Stick, the collection includes the
thane endoskeleton to provide a
all-mountain Rancho and the Derby, a deck built for laying
consistent flex and fit throughout
down crisp turns on super deep days.
the boot’s life. The boot rocks a Boa CONDA closure, which
tightens around the liner to lock ankles in place, and marries the
Originally designed to meet the needs of urban explor-
classic good looks and proven
ers, Volcom’s Hand Rails & Shit collection can be appreciated by anyone. As technical
performance of traditional
streetwear, these jackets, flannels, and hoodies are built for life on the snow and in the streets.
laces. Raise some hell in
With features like longer cuts and Volcom’s signature 2-Way Cuffs and Zip-Tech, these gar-
this freestyle fiend.
ments ensure riders stay warm, dry, and looking good.
Arbor Draft Nick Visconti Edition Made of responsibly sourced Eucalyptus
ter, it sports Arbor’s new Wood Power Walls,
Burl wood, the Arbor Draft’s topsheet
which rely on six stacked plies of maple. Like the
reduces weight while providing pop. The
skate decks that serve as their inspira-
Draft’s parabolic rocker creates a playful
tion, these sidewalls can take a beat-
ride, and its Grip Tech sidecut increases
ing, absorb bad vibes, and provide
control. To make a killer deck even bet-
a snappy return.
Gnu Beauty Designed to be a female freerider’s best friend, this directional deck sports MagneTraction and C3 BTX. With a long nose and slight rocker—or Banana Tech—between the feet, the board provides float in pow and a playful freestyle feel. Thanks to camber in the rest of its profile, the Beauty also offers stability and a crisp ride. The deck’s looks are compliments of a collab with Pendleton. Through its recent proj-
Oakley Airwave The Oakley Airwave fuses con-
paired with the ability to screen
sumer electronics with high-end
and answer calls and control
optics. The result is a lovechild
your tunes. To adapt to chang-
worth embracing. Providing a
ing light conditions, the Airwave
range of information through
features Switchlock for rapid
a heads-up display that riders
lens swaps. Despite all of these
control via remote, data such as
features, the goggle still enables
location, altitude, speed, tem-
you to do simple things—like see
perature, and jump analytics are
ects with Mervin and Bonfire, the iconic brand continues to build a strong presence in the shred scene. Blankets have never looked better.
Burton Genesis Since its debut, the Genesis has made riders drool and their feet smile. Nonetheless, Burton has continued to refine it— making a great binding even better. The Kickback Hammock features an inner and outer highback that are separated by a spring, offering a plush yet responsive ride. Burton’s new
tion, featuring limited edition, handnumbered outerwear for men and women. To minimize impact on the environment, these garments use upcycled, recycled, and renewable materials. The collection will only be
toxic materials traditionally used in straps. A
available through a select group of
minimalistic, cored-out baseplate and hinged
retailers that have backed Airblaster
disc shed weight and maximize board flex and
since its early days. Needless to
powerful performance, your Cadillac has arrived.
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
resurrecting the Sasquatch collec-
Hammockstrap adds to the comfort without the
feel. If you’re looking for laidback luxury with
Airblaster Sasquatch For its 10th anniversary, Airblaster is
say, Sasquatch sightings are worth celebrating.
meet the locals
The Centennial State’s Homegrown Shred Brands By Michael Sudmeier
Colorado has a reputation for changing lives. Each year, riders escape America’s flatlands for the kickers of Summit County, the atmosphere of Aspen, or the steeps of the San Juans. For many of these riders, a season in the mountains soon becomes a lifetime. Yet the state inspires more than dirtbag dreams and John Denver lyrics; it also provides a backdrop for a bumper crop of shred brands. Whether making boards or crocheting beanies, these companies are proud to call Colorado home. From its workshop in Silverton, Venture Snowboards crafts freeride decks and splitboards. “For a snowboard manufacturer there is no greater benefit than being located right in the mountains,” Venture Co-founder Lisa Branner explains. “There’s no disconnect from the environment our products are designed for, and we have an ideal testing laboratory right out our front door. That really makes a difference in the quality and performance of our boards.” A number of other Colorado snowboard manufacturers, such as Unity, Oz, Nightmare, and Never Summer, reap similar benefits. “We are in one of the best areas in the world to R and D and produce snowboards,” Never Summer Snow Sales Manager Mike Gagliardi offers. “With the factory in Denver, we can come up with an idea on Monday, have a prototype built, and ride it by Thursday or Friday. The conditions and consistency of accessible snow here—even in a thin season like last year—is a huge advantage for us.” Yet for Colorado brands, the benefits of their location transcend research and development. At Never Summer, “It’s our heritage,” Gagliardi explains. “The principles of the company and much of our staff spent their youth riding places like Berthoud and Loveland Pass before we were welcome on lifts.” For the founders of MHM, a Denver-based backpack company, there’s no place like the Centennial State. “For us, it’s all we know. We were born in Colorado, went to college in Colorado, and do not plan on leaving,” MHM Vice President and Brand Manager Casey Lorenzen says. “We have traveled all over the world, and there is nothing like coming home to the best state in the Union.” 13
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
CandyGrind Founder Austin Paik shares an innovative strain of Colorado-bred design at his company’s Denver headquarters. Photo: Lewis
Fortunately for brands based in Colorado, many riders share this sentiment. The abundance of resorts and riders in the state ensures companies are “able to promote our product without flooding one mountain,” FireHouse
Product and Team Manager Ian Winters notes. The Dillon-based brand offers both cut-and-sew apparel and a collection of beanies crocheted by hand. One of FireHouse’s best selling items is a crocheted beanie that proudly rocks the Colorado flag. Like FireHouse, a number of Colorado companies showcase the flag in their branding and on their products. These goods tend to find a warm reception throughout the state. Colorado’s concentration of dedicated riders also provides brands with significant support—both in their backyard and beyond. It’s tough to travel far in the state without seeing an array of stickers from homegrown brands like Never Summer and CandyGrind. By sponsoring park crews, music events, and a slew of local riders, CandyGrind has developed a loyal following throughout the state for its clothing and accessories. According to cofounder Austin Paik, the Denver-based company “started by building products for ourselves and our like-minded friends.” Paik explains that the local support and enthusiasm for CandyGrind “further strengthened our confidence in sharing our products.” Brands often find that their Colorado roots provide credibility and aid in expanding beyond the state. CandyGrind, for example, now has more than 250 retailers scattered across the globe. According to Gagliardi, Never Summer is “lucky to have an amazingly strong and dedicated following out here, but the kicker is so many people come from across the country and the world to ride the mountains of Colorado.” By focusing on its backyard, Never Summer ensures that visitors to the state encounter the company at demos and “witness the locals’ strong dedication to the brand.” Often, these visitors head home and share their enthusiasm for the company. Venture also credits much of its success to riders throughout the state. “The word of mouth that’s grown out of our Colorado following is incredible,” Branner offers. “Those riders are the foundation on which Venture is built and are responsible for fueling much of our growth in other parts of the country and world.” Unity Founder Pete Wurster also notes that a thirst for American-made products has helped Colorado companies like his. Plain and simple, Wurster offers, “Building boards in Colorado helps us with our international business.” Doing business within the Centennial State is not without its challenges. For Venture, powder days are a mixed blessing, as the passes into and out of Silverton occasionally close during the winter. For CandyGrind, logistics stemming from imports can be challenging in a landlocked state. According to Paik, however, “We use it to our advantage in planning and running things ahead of the game.” Nonetheless, brands view Colorado as the perfect place for building a business. “We have found the business climate to be very supportive, and there are lots of resources available to help small businesses and entrepreneurs grow and thrive,” Branner states. Lorenzen adds, “There is a great community feel where companies want to see other local companies succeed. We wouldn’t want to do this anywhere else.” And although the sense of community is enticing, Colorado brands have another thing going for them. As Lorenzen reveals, “There is nothing better than being able to dip out of work on pow days.”
snow industry data
By The Numbers: 2011/12 Snowboard Season Summary
Average Prices Prices from 2011/12 and their changes from ‘10/11
Lessons From The Winter That Barely Was
*Note: Ethnic breakdowns were not tabulated prior to the 2009/10 season. $29,140,689 $26,300,701 -9.75%
states with most snowboarders 2011/2012
Snowboard.....................$290.37 (-$17.52) Total Start Up Cost........$917.60 (-$24.40) *Average prices rose $58.74 last season from the winter of ’‘09/10.
Skis vs. Boards
(units sold In All Channels) 600,000
$29,582,146 $25,752,844 -12.94%
$4 67 ,5 88 ,8 90
$4 89 ,6 01 ,6 01
$4 70 ,5 23 ,18 9
3 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12
TOTAL 2011/12 SNOWSPORTS SALES
While hardgood sales dipped only slightly from ‘10/11’s strong showing, outerwear took it in the shorts last year due to unusually warm temperatures, leaving a ton of inventory in shops and warehouses.
Snowboards Boots Bindings Jackets Pants Accessories
TOTAL 2011/12 SNOWBOARD PRODUCT SALES
$122,818,178.77 $74,154,293.58 $65,735,937.57 $104,570,416.00 $70,542,288.00 $4,729,910.00
0.50% -2.60% -2.10% -12.60% -11.61% -2.98%
Sales By Channel $64,495,986 $58,637,479 -9.08% US Total $191,949,744 $182,320,086 -5.02%
Last year’s sales were amazing, posting double-digit growth. Too bad that was only for the Internet channel. Specialty saw declining dollars and units, while chains took the brunt of dollars by channel last year’s declines, shedding nearly units by channel 30% of their unit sales. all difference from previous year
It was a season to celebrate the little things, and the growth in hard good sales in the West, shred’s largest stronghold, was definitely worth celebrating, following several years of declines in the region. Despite being the largest region, the West wasn’t able to buoy the country at large, as the other regions dipped nearly 10% with the South taking it the worst.
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
Sales of snowboards dipped 7% last year while skis were off just .5%.
Specialty Shop Hard good Sales By Region
$4 87 ,6 15 ,9 41
$5 08 ,5 54 ,6 54
7, 57 9, 00 0
There has been a lot said about snowboarding’s “stalling” growth following last season’s numbers; however, much of last year’s decline can be attributed to back-to-back record seasons—one good, one not so good. Last year’s participation numbers were actually 2% higher than the five-year average of 7.44 million. Rising numbers of women and minority riders are helping out and something to celebrate.
$68,730,923 $71,629,062 4.22%
WOMEN 35% / MINORITIES 33%
WOMEN 34% / MINORITIES 36%
depth look at exactly how the snowfall, or lack thereof, and consumers’ response to the economy, impacted sales and inventories coming into this season. At the end of the day, last season was rough, but there were rays of sunshine including increased sales in snowboarding’s largest region, the West, and growing participation amongst women and minorities. Additionally, nearly all participation and sales stats were above their five-year averages. While we’re all praying for a long, deep winter, the fact is that every season’s precipitation is out of our control and something to be approached with a mantra of “plan for the worst, and hope for the best.” Those who are heading into the season with a good sense of where we are will best be able to forge ahead and break trail for where we’re going.
Total Sales In All Channels
8, 19 6, 00 0 7,4 21 ,0 00
WOMEN 30% / MINORITIES 23%
7,1 59 ,0 00
6, 84 1,0 00
Snowboard Pants.........$113.28 ($0.22)
While we’re sick to death of focusing on and discussing last season and the perfect shit storm of climate and economy, like all history, there are lessons to be gleaned from the rearview mirror. Riding an emotional (and economic) high from the winter of 2009/10, one of the best on record for snowfall, last season was especially difficult on the snowboard industry after having just recently gotten through a perilous time precipitated by overproduction and a long, slow economic recovery. Last season saw snowfall totals tipped to the other end of history’s scales, driving slower sales and marking a return to high inventory levels, especially on the soft goods side of the equation. We sat down with SIA’s research team to take an in-
Snowboard Top.............$130.56 (-$5.37)
By Mike Lewis
Weekend Lift Ticket.......$82.07
-13.9% internet 692,777
dollars by channel units by channel difference from previous year
1.5% 1,805,688 -6.9% 2,993,092
-4.2% $304,001,998 $285,100,125 -16.4% -6.2% -19.9% 4.8% $94,602,228 $79,084,390 -7.3% 1,704,741 -13.9% 864,748
12.2% $98,832,065 2008/2009 14.1% 542,365 2010/2011
1,612,457 692,777 $73,380,697
-5.4% -19.9% -15.4%
1,704,741 $86,767,539 745,986
-2.4% $109,108,068 -16.6%2009/2010 582,018 2011/2012
-27.9% 10.4% 7.3%
Following a strong uptick in ’10/11, retailers saw margins dip last season across all categories. However, looking at five-year averages, hardgoods beat them by nearly 1% and bindings were up 1.5%.
Sales Performance Dashboard Sell-through on hardgoods fell to a five-year low following hitting the opposite end of the spectrum in 2010/11. Margins were also off more than a full percent from the previous season, but were still above the five-year average of just over 34%.
46.8% 40.2% 39.9%
Average Margins For All Snowboard Gear
0.37 0.36 43.3000
Units in inventory March 31
Compared to 2010/2011
One strong note of caution is the amount of inventory in the pipeline following last season, which will most likely translate into higher carryover sales this winter as well as further declining margins for retailers that can’t clear it out quickly.
Compared to 2008/2009
73% of boards sold in ’11/12 were reverse or hybrid camber
% FEMALE SNOWBOARDERS
ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 17 All data provided by: sia
200,000 BINDINGS BOOTS PANTS
8 days Down from 11.7 in ‘10/11 (Alpine Ski: 7.4)
The Next Generation
up 10% from ’10/11.
Compared 2010/2011 to 2010/2011 2011/2012
Compared to 2008/2009
Snowboard equipment inventories
Although carryover sales declined sharply, it wasn’t enough to keep gear sales at full pop throughout the season which led to a decline in margins from ‘10/11’s strong showing.
Compared to 2010/2011
Carryover sales continued to decline last season as production was more closely aligned with demand, helping margins despite a less than stellar winter.
Snowboard carryover sales
riders by gender
Following three years of steadily declining inventories, the bubble is back with a vengeance that is leading to a bit of a hangover from last year. Back stock is up in all categories and rose a combined total of 34%. Outerwear has a particularly strong backlog. Here’s hoping manufacturers were extremely mindful in their production.
SIA provides the most reliable, relevant, and current information possible about the snow sports market. SIA collects data directly from consumers, suppliers, retailers, and independent research firms. SIA triangulates data from multiple sources to provide members and research subscribers with a robust view of the snow sports marketplace that includes aggregate results along with the ability to drill down to granular detail. For example, Retail Audit subscribers can see top line data, drill down to the SKU level, and examine various measures at the product level. Intelligence Report readers get participation data, retail sales, economic impact, retail store distribution, and detailed analysis by snow sport category. For more information on research, membership, or to purchase reports, visit snowsports.org or contact SIA Director of Resarch Kelly Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
The Power Of Pow Making The Most Of The SIA On-Snow Demo + Ski-Ride Fest By Jamie Magyar
After all of the deals have been done, sales have been sold, meetings have been met, and it feels like no amount of Dr. Scholl’s is ample enough to ease the pains in those aching feet, we understand how it’s tempting to fly the proverbial coop as SIA comes to a close. After all, we’re all busy, industry professionals who, once we make it to all of our appointments, need to jump right back into the daily grind, right? Wrong.
Demos allow us to tweak the product lineup and make the decisions on those companies that we are on the fence with. Just because something looks good and has a great story behind it, the most important factor is ensuring that the consumer will be on a board in knowing that the product’s performance is comparable to what they are getting for their dollar. Joe Palaia, Buckman’s Snowboard Clothing and Equipment Buyer.
While the official dates of this year’s SIA Snow Show are January 31 to February 3, 2013, the On-Snow Demo + Ski-Ride Fest will be going down after the show on February 4–5 at Winter Park Resort. And after four days of talking, thinking, buying, and selling all things snow-product related, we can’t think of a better way to wrap up the show than by getting up on the hill and doing what we all love most: riding. We’re all unbelievably fortunate to be able to do business in an industry that revolves around the sports that we love, and the On-Snow Demo provides those of us who work in the industry the opportunity to practice what we preach and test drive all that new gear. Oh, and maybe do a little business on the side. Buckman’s Snowboard Clothing and Equipment Buyer Joe Palaia, who makes the trek from Pennsylvania out to Colorado for SIA every year, sees the On-Snow Demo as a valuable way to stay caught up with industry. “As buyers, we have an idea of the direction of the industry based on the demand for certain brands,” Palaia explains. “However, there are those brands and models that keep things interesting. Demos often highlight the ‘what’s in/cool’ technology about our sport, and demos keep the industry technology evolving because of our feedback.” The On-Snow Demo + Ski-Ride Fest embodies the saying, “Work Hard, Play Hard,” encouraging SIA attendees to leave room in their travel itineraries to head to the hills and engage in a little play after a few jam-packed days of work. The ease of Winter Park lying just 90 minutes west of Denver marks a convenience that Palaia says keeps him returning every year. “For me, it’s silly to pass-up the On-Snow when I’m already out there for the trade show anyway, especially when SIA pays for the transportation up to Winter Park,” Palaia says. “It’s too cheap to pass up.” In addition to paying for transportation from Denver to Winter Park, the 10-dollar On-Snow registration fee covers lift tickets for two days, breakfast and lunches, Monday’s Après Ski-Ride Happy Hour, and equipment rentals. “With the support of Winter Park, the manufacturers and the retailers, SIA and WWSRA are able to offer a level of hospitality that rarely occurs at an on-snow demo, starting with affordable rooms, free transportation, free lunch, and free lift tickets all provided by SIA and Winter Park and ending with dinners, parties, and drinks provided by the manufacturers,” Western Winter Sports Representatives Association (WWSRA) Director Cami Garrison says. While much of this year’s On-Snow Demo’s itin-
Winter Park At A Glance City Elevation: 9,100 feet Peak Resort Elevation: 12,060 feet Average Annual Snowfall: 350 inches Ben Berberich slaying Winter Park’s Rail Yard, as all of Colorado’s Fraser Valley bears witness. Photo: Wellhausen
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
Total Skiable Acres: 3,081 Year-Round Population: 865
Letter from the editor of personal knowledge of the product and how certain products ride together. Winter Park has less of a scene so there are less distractions. There are still plenty of bros at Winter Park, but when you look back off the lift you can really see how tight the industry is and who is really participating and riding—it’s what separates the real riders from all the fakers.” Although it’d be easy to write an onslaught of pages on the benefits of attending the On-Snow Demo + Ski-Ride Fest, Palaia succinctly sums it up in five words that we’ll leave you with: “Convenience, savings, and great snow!” We’ll see you on the hill.
Bars + Restaurants Brandt Wisenbaker, coowner of Denver’s Emage snow and skate shop, gears up to put another kit to the test at the 2012 SIA On-Snow. Photo: Lewis
erary will be consistent with years past, there are a few changes in store for this year’s event. Whereas in previous years, all of the boot companies were spread out in two locations, this year they will be centered in one location. Another major change in store for this year’s event is the format of Monday evening’s activities. In the past, SIA has held a barbeque atop Winter Park at the Sunspot Lodge that required an additional fee. This year however, the fee is our favorite: FREE. “This year we are changing Monday night up and making it more of a ‘party’ instead of a dinner,” SIA Director of Trade Show Debbie Des Roches says. “One of the SIA Board Members, Billy Treacy from Giro, will be performing with his band, The Willbillys and of course, free beer will be served. Last year, Billy, did an impromptu set at the dinner and it was definitely enjoyed by all attendees.” Free beer, live music, and cheap lift tickets are not the only draws of heading up to Winter Park
den in secret stashes need look no further than Mary Jane. Although Mary Jane falls under the umbrella of Winter Park, in a way, she is her own separate entity, composed entirely of intermediate, advanced, and expert runs, few of which are groomed. Mary Jane also provides a variety of tree riding, from narrow gaps in the trees to open, gladed meadows, allowing for serious speed and freedom while shredding. With this much terrain and gear available, time is of the essence for making the most of the two days at Winter Park. “Get there early, and if you are packing your personal equipment, take one run with your own setup first—this will warm you up and get the cobwebs out of the legs before you get on unfamiliar equipment,” Never Summer Sales Manager Mike Gagliardi advises on getting the most out of the On-Snow. “It also helps set a baseline from which you can evaluate the other products you try. Getting to the hill at 10 or 11 just clips into your testing time, and coming in cold can make that first
Local Pro, Winter Park Team Rider, And Cover Boy Pat Milbery’s Favorite Runs: Forever Eva, Perry’s, and Outhouse are all great tree glades that offer steep, challenging terrain that is more “big-mountian style.” For all-around board testing, Cramner and Hughes are both great because they are mellow, wide open, and have a variety of different types of terrain packed into one run including rollers, banked sections, and awesome faces that are super fun to shred.
to attend the On-Snow Demo. A favorite resort of Colorado natives, Winter Park has a variety of terrain for attendees to demo next year’s product on. The mountain itself is one aspect that Garrison says makes it a perfect fit for the On-Snow demo. “From my perspective, what makes Winter Park successful is the size and scope of it.” Indeed, Winter Park is lacking neither in size nor scope. With more than 3,000 acres of terrain ranging from groomers to some of the state’s best tree riding, the resort has a little something for everyone. While Winter Park has an abundance of groomers, its glade riding is where the resort truly shines. Off-piste terrain comprises more than one third of Winter Park’s scope, and as such, it is simply too abundant to pass up. Those looking to demo next season’s goods on pillows of powder hid17
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
board ride like crap even if it is the new hotness.” C3 Worldwide Sales Manager Johan Malkoski suggests you start your pre-game routine even earlier than the day of and plan your On-Snow strategy throughout the trade show. “Make a list before the demo of the decks you want to ride. Buy yourself some DDC Field Notes and carry that with you to take notes about what you liked and didn’t like about the ride. Make notes on who this deck would be best suited for.” Strong shops understand the importance of demos to truly put products through their paces, and while strategies vary, the fact that they come prepared does not (see more shop demo tips on page 18). “It is really important that you ride the product you are selling,” Satellite Boardshop Co-owner Raul Pinto sums up. “If you don’t ride it, you are lying and shortchanging the customer based on your lack
For a hearty pre- or post-riding meal: Look no further than the Back Bowl Soup Company. Located in the village of the resort, the Back Bowl Soup Company is a local’s favorite that features delicious homemade soup, sandwiches, and cheap beer to feed post-shred appetites. A brightyellow cabin with white trim, Back Bowl is open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and offers an array of breakfast foods in addition to their menu of soups and sandwiches. For a midday brew or two: Feeling like a midday cocktail or beer? Winter Park’s own Derailer Bar sits at the base of Winter Park near the Gemini Express Lift. A two-level bar that offers pub-style food in addition to a variety of drink specials, the Derailer Bar overlooks a groomer that is notorious for end-of-the-day spills, providing ample entertainment from first chair ’til 6:00 p.m. For a night out: The Winter Park Pub, or simply “The Pub” as it is better known, sits on the town of Winter Park’s main street and offers good food and good beer from 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. on weekdays. Frequented by locals and tourists alike, The Pub is the perfect place to visit for a night on the town, offering occasional live music and an always laid-back atmosphere. Freestyles Sports Bar, located beneath The Sushi Bar in downtown Winter Park, is much more than its name leads on. A strictly 21-and-over bar, Freestyles doesn’t offer any food, but rather a plethora of drink specials and games, from shuffleboard to foosball, to play while you indulge and reminisce about your days on the slopes ’til last call around 2:00 a.m.
people I respect and talk with them about the gear I’m trying out.” Ben Clarke Owner, People Skate and Snowboard Keego Harbor, Michigan Get Outside Your Comfort Zone “I make sure all the guys I have demoing gear try stuff they don’t normally ride. Sticking with the gear that you usually ride doesn’t do much for you, so I make sure that we are trying something new every run.” Rob Asselin Owner, Civil Greenwich, Rhode Island Keep It Consistent
photo: courtesy sia
“If you’re testing snowboards, use your own bindings. Tape the discs to the baseplates—this secures your stance and your disc screws as well as gives you a consistent platform to judge decks on. If you’re testing bindings, ride your own board. See above.”
Making The Most Of On-Snow Demos
“Figure out which tent has beer and hamburgers—be there around noon. And also remember that you’re getting paid to test snowboards—not a bad life, eh?” Johan Malkoski Sales Manager, C3 Worldwide
Top Retailers And Reps Share Their Secrets
Day 1=Boards, Day 2=Bindings
The On-Snow Demo is always a good time, but showing up on game day with a solid strategy is a sure-fire way to make it not only fun, but profitable in the long run.
By Jamie Magyar
Heading up to Winter Park for SIA’s post-trade show On-Snow Demo and Ski-Ride Fest, it’s easy to let the excitement of getting on the hill keep you on your own gear or tried and true carryover product favorites. While being stoked on finally riding after four long days of talking about it is far from a bad thing, heading into the Demo with a fine-tuned strategy of how to most effectively test gear gives you the tools you’ll need to make informed buying decisions and get the most out of the experience. We caught up with some of the industry’s most insightful retailers and sales gurus for their tips on how to make the most of their time on snow and ensure that next season’s sell-through is made that much better by making some turns with their bros in Winter Park on February 4 and 5. Selectively Target Product And Seek The Stoke “On-snow demos are very important to our buying process, and a lot of retailers we talk to tend to under value them. [At demos], the first thing we do is target brands we are considering bringing in, or dropping, and making sure that they are a priority for testing first. Then, we make a point to test out new models or models we are potentially missing the boat on from the brands we always carry. We try to bring at least a couple of our shop employees so that we get a few different riding styles in the mix. It’s usually fairly obvious, based on personal reactions and stoke level, what [product’s] making the cut and what isn’t.” Sean Robinson Co-Owner, Emage Network Denver, Colorado
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
Double Check Your Specs “Make sure the setup is right for you before you head to the lift. It happens every demo, and to even the most experienced tech in a rush, but sometimes a regular rider is set up goofy, or the bindings are set up with the wrong angles or width, or a strap is not tight enough. Make sure you’re dialed in proper before you wind up on top of the hill.” Mike Gagliardi Sales Manager, Never Summer Snowboards Plan Your Test And Test Your Plan…For The Most Part “You should have a list of what is critical to check out and stick to it. Make notes so you have some kind of memory cutting through the end-ofday PBRs. If there’s any time at the
end of the day, check out something not on your list that you’ve been hearing buzz about or a brand you’ve been thinking about giving a shot. It’s always good to check out something that isn’t a shop constant, even if it’s not on the buy list. You might find a new stick that ends up being in high demand.” Mike Gagliardi Trust Your Gut…And Head “The best tool I have when it comes to demoing gear is my brain—I remember which boards really make an impact. If it doesn’t make an impact, I don’t buy it. I also try not to be concerned with how well-marketed a board is going to be. Just because it may market well doesn’t mean it’s a solid board. I think one of the most important things to me actually is just getting up to the mountains for the On-Snow and being able to ride with
“My strategy for demoing new product is trying all boards one day and all bindings the next. Since a lot of time can be spent waiting in line at the On-Snow Demo, [this] really cuts set-up time and allows for more time riding.” Steve Reaves Owner, Bird’s Eye Board Shop Brooklyn, New York Bring The Right People And Gear, Test All The Products “Always bring a female to demo the women-specific models. Ski shops, bring a snowboarder to try the snowboards. This can be overlooked when booking your group travel. Also, don’t forget to pack properly including lotion, lip balm, and sunscreen. The Colorado elevation and dry air will take a crack at your face, fast! “I also like to recommend testing out pricepoint models too. You should know how well they ride for all ability levels—your customers!” Nichole Nemmers Sales Rep, Mervin Manufacturing, Quiksilver, Sun Bum
Letter from the editor
Ruby Hill is the only free, urban snowboard park in the country and is a huge draw for new, local snowboarders. Photo: Dave Watson, watsonphoto.com
Ruby Hill sions. Fortunately, Musco donated lights the following year. In 2009, Christy Sports began offering free rental equipment. Throughout the years, organizations like SOS Outreach have also aided Ruby Hill in facilitating free programs that teach the basics of skiing and snowboarding. Yet Ruby Hill has also faced challenges. In its short history, the park has failed to open twice due to especially warm winters. Nonetheless, Ruby Hill has worked to eliminate the traditional barriers and expenses associated with getting on the snow. Juan Alberto De la Roca can attest to this. In addition to being the president of Equipo Roca, a firm that provides insights into the intersections of marketing and culture, he has volunteered at Ruby Hill since its inception. “Ruby Hill is valuable because it aids in the introduction of the snowsports lifestyle,” De la Roca explains. “It’s amazing how many kids have never been on the mountain.” Volunteers like De la Roca handle the park’s daily operations. A typical night involves shoveling and raking, ensuring boxes and rails are safely installed, promoting the free rentals, and soliciting visitor surveys. In exchange for their ongoing assistance, volunteers receive a season pass to Winter Park. Once a week, personnel
Bringing The Park To The City Ruby Hill Rail Yard Introduces Snowsports To A New Generation By Michael Sudmeier
For most kids, getting to ride requires a range of variables to fall perfectly in place. Before they can make a single turn, these riders often need to procure equipment, find transportation to their local ski area, and purchase lift tickets. After adding the expenses associated with these challenges, hitting the slopes is anything but simple. In Denver, however, going riding requires nothing more than a walk to the park. Since 2007, Winter Park and the city of Denver have collaborated to create a terrain park within the city. Each winter, the Ruby Hill Rail Yard attracts more than 6,000 skiers and snowboarders. Free of charge, they can rent equipment and hone their skills on an acre of terrain filled with rails and boxes. Thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers, this urban terrain park is kept in pristine condition. Yet for these volunteers, Ruby Hill’s success is measured not by the features they install, but by the smiles and opportunities they help create. After facilitating numerous rail jams at high schools and colleges, Bob Holme, Winter Park’s youth marketing manager and terrain park operations manager, recognized the feasibility and value of bringing a terrain park to the city. In 2006, Holme and Winter Park—which is owned by the city of Denver—proposed creating a terrain park within the city. Within a few minutes of discussing this idea with staff from Denver 19
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
from the resort groom Ruby Hill using a snowcat kept on the premises. According to volunteers, Ruby Hill is capable of changing lives. Brian Phipps, SOS Outreach’s regional program director for the Front Range, recalls how the park impacted one young girl. After visiting Ruby Hill with her school and receiving free lessons through the Jibbin’ 4 Kids program, Phipps explains, “She loved it so much that she came on following weekends to continue teaching herself how to ride the boxes. She had been self-motivated and confident enough to keep coming back and really learn the sport.” For Phipps, the experience summarizes what Ruby Hill is all about: encouraging youth to cultivate new skills and build their self-esteem. For De la Roca, Ruby Hill also provides an opportunity to share his excitement for snowboarding and encourage others to participate. “The best memories for me are the moments when I get to use my Spanish,” he explains. “Being able to tell the park’s story and my experience in snowboarding in a culturally relevant manner brings me a great deal of satisfaction, mostly because there aren’t a lot of resources to inform Hispanics about snowsports.” In addition to making plenty of kids smile, Ruby Hill has served as a model for other communities. Holme has assisted cities like Lansing, Michigan, in developing their own terrain parks. Thanks to these urban offerings, snowsports are gradually becoming more accessible across the nation. And, as Holme notes, these parks are creating “an awesome vibe. You’ll have somebody on a 50-dollar Target setup next to a kid on a thousand-dollar setup. Both could be trying the same trick and cheering each other on.”
Parks and Recreation, Holme had full support from city officials. As he explains, “They really started seeing it as an asset that we could bring into the park system and provide to some of the underserved communities.” The city also found value in reaching a younger demographic through the park system. After examining numerous sites, the group chose Ruby Hill, a park located in a predominately Hispanic community. The group hoped that this location would create opportunities to ski and snowboard among children and families who may not otherwise have them. When the mercury dropped in January 2007, Winter Park fired up snow guns and blanketed the hill with Getting there: Ruby Hill Rail Yard is located between West Florida and several feet of snow. Jewell Avenues and between South Platte River Drive and Quivas Street Thanks to a million about six miles south of the Convention Center at Ruby Hill Park. gallons of snowmaking, six rails, a program that offered free lessons, and a crew of committed volunteers, the Ruby Hill Rail Yard attracted more than 3,000 visitors in its inaugural year. “After the first year, we learned a lot,” explains Holme. Visitors and the police would often park their cars and aim their headlights at the rails, allowing for night ses-
A day at the park. Photo: Dave Watson, watsonphoto.com
the pour tour
There’s more than one way to quench your thirst after a long day on the trade-show floor. Denver Beer Co. has brews for days.
Quenching A Mile-High Thirst By Michael Sudmeier
If you head to SIA, you’re going to get thirsty. Between the arid climate inside the Colorado Convention Center and drooling over next year’s gear, you’ll need to wet your whistle. And although doctors and a handful of pro riders suggest doing this with water, you might want to quench your thirst at some of Denver’s signature breweries instead. Among those who ply their trade with water, hops, barley, and yeast, there’s a common refrain: Colorado’s Front Range is the Napa Valley of craft beers. “Colorado has a certain frontier, do-ityourself mentality that certainly extends to the popularity of craft beer,” Hanna Laney of Great Divide Brewing Company explains. In a state filled with opportunities for outdoor adventures, Laney notes, “It seems fitting that the population would appreciate a product that is handcrafted, rugged, and a labor of love.” The same environment that affords an abundance of recre20 The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
ational opportunities also provides the ingredients essential for quality beer. “First and foremost, it’s the water. Denver—and Colorado—is blessed with phenomenal water for brewing. Beer is up to 97 percent water, so the best way to make truly great beer is to start with truly great water,” Strange Brewing Company Head Brewer Tim Myers offers. “Living in a state where you can grow all the ingredients in beer definitely helps propagate industry appreciation,” Laney adds. “If you’re buying your malt, hops, and other ingredients from Colorado sources, I think there is sort of a hometown pride aspect.” Across America, people are embracing a proliferation of breweries with open arms and open mouths. To a degree, they have Colorado to thank. The state has served as both a catalyst and Swipe down to continue
After a late night at these breweries, all you need to remember is the number 3 or 7. The two most plentiful cab companies are Yellow at (303) 777-7777 and Metro at (303) 333-3333.
Photo: Art Heffron, artheffronphotography.com
A Guide To Denver’s Breweries
blueprint for this growth. “Our ‘religion’ started here, so the area is filled with believers who support craft beer,” Marty Jones of Wynkoop Brewery says. Michelle DeLange, co-founder of Dry Dock Brewing, adds that Colorado is home to “a lot of great breweries that started in the ’90s and paved the way for those of us who started our breweries in the last five to 10 years.” Jones also credits Boulder resident Charlie Papazian for fueling the growth of breweries and the appreciation for them. Originally a nuclear engineer, Papazian wrote the seminal text for home brewers, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. “Charlie doubles as the Moses of the movement, thanks to the book,” Jones states. Papazian also founded the Association of Brewers (now part of the Brewers Association) and The Great American Beer Festival. Hosted by the Brewers Association, the annual three-day festival brings together visitors from around the world to sample more than 2,000 American beers. The history behind Colorado’s breweries is rich, but so too is the taste. When you ask brewers to describe what’s on tap, be prepared to salivate over the adjectives and ingredients—not to mention the beer. At Great Divide, “Our flagship is our Titan IPA—a piney, citrusy, balanced India pale ale that clocks in around seven percent ABV [alcohol by volume],” Laney states. For Strange Brewing Company, Cherry Kriek is one of its most popular beers. “We like to say this beer has so many Montmorency pie cherries in it, even its foamy head is red.” At the Denver Beer Co., you’re likely to find visitors nursing pints of Graham Cracker Porter. For Denver’s brewers, their work is rewarding. “We get to
engage people’s senses through sight, smell, touch, and taste,” Branden Miller, co-founder of Black Shirt Brewing Co., explains. “I am not aware of another art form that allows for such interaction.” Miller and his brother and sister-in-law spent two years building their brewery by hand before opening it this fall. They spent even longer perfecting their Red Ale, the brewery’s specialty. Brewers are quick to offer suggestions for getting the most out of a visit. At Strange Brewing Company, Myers suggests, “Start with a taster flight so you can explore each of the 10 craft brews we have on tap. If you find a favorite, order a pint, then ask the bartender for a tour of the brewhouse.” DeLange also encourages Dry Dock’s visitors to start with a sampler. “Experiment. Try something that you may not normally think you would like, because you never know, you might enjoy it.” Like those from a number of breweries in Denver, a sampler at Dry Dock tends to be loaded with an abundance of award-winning beer. Patrick Crawford, co-founder of the Denver Beer Co., also recommends taking advantage of seasonal beers. In addition to Graham Cracker Porter, the brewery showcases a number of stouts and other porters in January. As Crawford notes, “Winter’s a good time to sit by a fire and sip on a high-alcohol beer.” When the snow starts to fall, the brewery often throws parties in its beer garden. “If it’s snowing, we offer discounted beers if you drink them outside in your ski and snowboard gear.” There’s never been a better time to pray for snow.
Denver Beer Co.
Dry Dock Brewing
1695 Platte Street
15120 East Hampden
1634 18th Street
2201 Arapahoe Street
3719 Walnut Street
Denver, CO 80202
1330 Zuni Street
Denver, CO 80202
Denver, CO 80205
Denver, CO 80205
Denver, CO 80204
Aurora, CO 80014
Sip On This:
Sip On This:
Sip On This:
Sip On This:
Le Bruit du Diable
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
Sip On This:
Sip On This: Rail Yard Ale
Teeing Up Lucky ’13
While we come to Denver to take care of business, the stories that stick around for years to come usually happen during the, ahem, “networking opportunities.” SIA brings the industry together to talk the talk in its booths and walk the walk at the endless parties, in the show’s aisles, and on the hill for the On-Snow Demo. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, SIA is worth a thousand legends. Here’s a look back at a few from ’12 that we’ll be rehashing in ’13.
01. NOW’s Alex Warburton and JF Pelchat outside the hall.
02. Burton’s Anne-Marie Dacyshyn, Donna Carpenter, and Lauren Offenberg. 03. Salty Peaks Owner Dennis Nazari checking out one of Lib Tech’s new Waterboards. 04. Terry Kidwell, his smaller Chuckbuddie version, and the toy’s founder, Rasmus Ostergaard. 05. Jones Snowboards’ Chad Perrin and Jeremy Jones—horns and shakas all day.
06. TransWorld’s Rob Campbell and Frends’ Sean Lake duke it out at the 686 X Skullcandy Lights Out event. 07. RED/anon VP Of Product Jeff Gilberti, Sales Manager Christian Connolly, and Brand Manager Randy Torcom. 08. Cal Surf’s Scott Oreschnick and Tyson Crockett walking the floor. 09. A packed house for the first Winter On The Rocks concert. Photo: Nass
10. Brain Farm’s Jared Slater and Travis Rice at the TWSNOW Riders’ Poll Awards. 11. Danny Kass and Eric Jackson front and center at the Riders’ Poll. 12. Dragon Global Brand Manager Rick Irons and National Sales Manager Mike Montemurro. 13. Shannon “Shayboarder” Johnson getting a Craig Kelly memorial tat in the Arnette booth.
14. Royal Board Shop Owner Ryan Robertson and Manager Stephen Craig road-tripped down from Calgary for the show. 15. Sector 9 made its first trip to SIA in Denver. Co-founders Steve Lake and EG Fratantaro on the scene.
16. Mervin Sales Rep Ryan Davis with one of Lib Tech’s new snowskates. 17. DC Public Relations Maria Boschetti, Zumiez Marketing Director Stuart Martin, DC Marketing Director Of Action Sports Brian Cassaro, and DC Sales Manager Dave Kozak.
18. Malakye Founder Chad Mihalick and Podium Rep Seamus Santoro, aka Golden Voice, judging the Office Booyz contest. 19. Never Summer Sales Manager Mike “Gags” Gagliardi admiring his trophy and Big Man Fundies for Oldest Office Boy.
submit your event photos: email@example.com
The Guide: 2013 SIA Snow SHow
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