SIA/TWB The Guide

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10 Reasons Not To Miss SIA

Watch SIA’s It Happens Here Preview Video Now

Bode Merrill, Winter Park, CO. PHOTO: Wellhausen

Letter from the editor

Resources Looking for more information on the show, the best deals in town, SIA research, member benefits, and anything else snow sports related? Visit

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The 2012/13 Season Begins January 26 f you’re in the snowboard industry, which there’s a pretty good chance of since you’re reading this, odds are you’ve already got a plane ticket booked to Denver on January 25, you’ve registered for the SIA Snow Show, you’re following the weather to see how the conditions will be for the On-Snow, and you’re flying home on February 1. Good on ya. You’re ahead of the game. If your itinerary doesn’t look like that, don’t sweat it, there’s still a few days left to lock everything in before flights get too pricey. If you wait any longer, you’re blowing it. The fact is, there’s really no excuse for not being in Denver when the 2012 SIA Snow Show kicks off next season. Full Disclosure: As a Boulder-based, Denver native, I may be a bit biased, but Denver is the perfect place for the snowboard industry to come together. Denver has something for everyone and a backstory filled with contradictions and flavor. While it’s known for its snow, it’s blessed with an average 300 days of sun a year. It may be one of the healthiest cities in the country, but it’s also the birthplace of the cheeseburger and the “Drunkest City in America” according to Men’s Health. Joe Tone, a writer for Denver’s Westword, sums it up best in his article “Denver: The manliest, drunkest, businessiest, happiest, safe-sex-having-ist city in America.” (Search that one online. You’ll thank me.) Those juxtapositions are what make it a perfect home for the biggest, baddest snowboard show on the planet. We don’t sell widgets, we sell fun; and while Vegas was certainly a hell of a lot of the latter, our brand of fun is best served cold, in the fresh snow that Colorado delivers just a few miles away. As a snowboarder, my season is dictatd by several pivotal dates. The first, and the best premiere of the year, is the initial snowfall, next is opening day, then the first pow day (in a perfect world, they’re one and the same), and then SIA. It’s always been a highlight for checking out new gear, catching up with friends, and hearing what’s new in our little universe, but the last two years have been a perfect fusion of taking care of the business in the front, the shred in the back, and the party throughout. Whether you’re from Colorado or have never been to the state, the following pages are your ticket to making the most of the SIA Snow Show. We caught up with all the locals for tips on what to do and where to do it, sprinkled in some serious travel tips, sales data, and product trends to help you navigate the show and your next buy. In short, in your hands is your ticket to the future­­­—a little place called the 2012/13 snowboard season—and if used correctly, it will help tee up your best season ever. Here’s to kicking ass in 2012. See you in Denver!

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SIA Snow Show Video

What You Will See At The SIA Show Mike Lewis, Editor in Chief, TransWorld Business,

Contents 4


The Show Guide

It Feels Like The First Time

Getting here and getting ’er done

This year’s crop of SIA rookie shred brands


All Access

Local tips on all things Denver


2012/13 Product Preview Trends, products, and buying strategies


For more on keeping up with SIA go to


Why We’re All Here

The SIA On-Snow Ride Guide


The Planner


You’re guide to everything going on at the show and after hours

An in-depth look at the state of the snowboard market (now with pictures!)

Party in the Back

The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow

The Market Report


Throwing hammers in ’10 & ’11

Top Stories

Don’t Blow It Top 10 Reasons Not To Miss SIA By Mike Lewis

Why Do You Go To The SIA Snow Show? My favorite place to connect with retailers is at their own shop, or better yet, on the hill, but there is something about meeting up at SIA. We’ve got a pretty cool sport that includes a bunch of fun people. Why not get together, do some biz, and have some fun together. Colorado is a solid mountain zone as well, so we all usually get our shred on on some fun terrain on the way home. —Jake Burton, Founder & CEO, Burton Snowboards

While regional shows and reps are a great way to fine-tune your retail buys, they’re no substitute for the benefits of attending a global show like SIA. Here are the biggest reasons to get out from behind the counter and chalk the trip up as a long-term investment in your business: 10. Everything Snow Under One Roof: With nearly 300 snowboard-specific brands exhibiting, you’ll be sure to get the latest and greatest products for next year. 9. It’s All About the Down: Get on the snow at the demo and put potential new products through their paces. 8. Next Level Networking: Where else can you exchange notes with nearly 5,000 other buyers? 7. The Newness: Nearly 60 new snowboard brands are launching at this year’s SIA—cash in on hot trends before they go cold. 6. The Backcountry Experience: The new “Backcountry Experience” section puts all the innovations in this emerging category in one place. Along with the best gear, stop by for presentations by Jeremy Jones and Dean Cummings, beacon searches, prizes, daily happy hours, live music, and short films about POWDER! 5. Industry Analysis: Take advantage of seminars and round tables to get a better understanding of the industry and the trends driving it. (See pg. 18 for the schedule) 4. Complementary Goods: From electronics to longboards, SIA offers a wide array of products that broaden your perspective. 3. Pimp Your Back End: The new Backshop + Rentals + Uniform section offers insights on turning these often underserved aspects of your business into cash cows. 2. Only at SIA: From parties, to presentations, to awards, here’s a look at just a few of this year’s highlights. 1. You’re Blowing It If You Don’t: It’s all about investing in your business—there’s a reason that all of the best retailers and brands are there every year. Catch A Recap Of The 2011 Snow Show Here

RECLAIM Project (Presented by 686, Malakye, & SIA) Shmooza Palooza TransWorld SNOWboarding Riders’ Poll SIA Snow Sports Awards Fashion & Trends Show

I think of SIA as a warm, fleshy, circulated-air news aggregator like the HuffingtonPost but with everything snow sports. News seems to break, or get released, at trade shows. The earlier you get the news, the better you can react and plan your course. Sometimes it’s not news at all, just info you gain from standing in the aisle and talking to other retailers. —John Logic, Owner, Snowboard Connection, Seattle, Washington SIA is important because it allows retailers to easily compare and contrast all the product being offered by the different brands. With the economy driving retail to narrow the offering down to the absolute best-selling gear, it has never been more important for buyers to understand what product is standing out and how brands are differentiating themselves. SIA is THE place to do that. —Bob Carlson, Founder, Arbor Snowboards SIA is always the show Mervin looks forward to and puts the most energy into. All our reps, our entire sales, design, creative staff, and Mike Olson and myself are there setting up, manning the booth, going over the details of new technologies, graphics, and celebrating the fun projects for the year. —Pete Saari, Cofounder/VP of Marketing, Mervin Manufacturing There is no other show in the US that gets all the brands together with our retailers like SIA. It still is the best way to network and get business done, bottom line. And if you don’t go shred Winter Park after the show, you gotta ask yourself, why are you really in this business? —Josh Walker, Marketing Director, Bern Unlimited As an independent small business, we have to make sure our limited resources are properly invested in the highest quality events. The 2012 show will be our 18th show over the 20-year history of 686, and SIA is the premier place to get biz done and rap out with our retailers and industry heads alike. —Mike West, Founder/Creative Director, 686 SIA is the house that built snowboarding. SIA is the only show that provides buyers a place to improve their knowledge of the importance of authentic snowboard brands to their business. On the brand side, SIA gives us the tools to deliver real products that add value and increase sales for our retail base. SIA is a community disguised as a trade show. —Brad Steward, Founder, Bonfire At SIA, we get to meet face-to-face with the shops that are selling our products, get their feedback, as well as share some good times. The show is probably the single biggest gathering of the whole industry under one roof and a great place to see old friends and meet new ones. —Jeremy Jones, Founder, Jones Snowboards The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow


The Show Guide

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Denver Deals

Snow Show Check In

Visit Denver has teamed up with SIA Snow Show for the third year to provide its Denver Deals program. By texting “Denver” plus any keyword (i.e. deals, drinks, bars, beer, dining, restaurants) to the number 63638, you will automatically receive deals and discounts from the city’s top shops, restaurants, and attractions. To learn more go to

SIA is doing things a little different in 2012. Here’s a quick-glance guide to what you need to know to save some time and money. Buyers who registered before January 6 will be mailed credentials. For all other attendees, badges must be picked up on-site at the show. Here are a few more tips:

Getting There

>> Register each person individually and include their e-mail address. >> A confirmation number, sent via e-mail, and valid photo ID are required for on-site badge pickup. >> A new self-service badge printing area will be located on-site at the convention center.


ON-SNOW Options

The SIA Snow Show is working in conjunction with WorldTek to help showgoers make travel arrangements. It’s not too late to secure your flight to DIA; book your travel through WorldTek at 1-800-257-8343.

After four days of cruising the show, take a few days to unwind at Winter Park Resort during SIA’s On-Snow Demo & Ski-Ride Fest. Here are a few important pointers if you’re planning to make the short trek from Denver to Winter Park:

GROUND It’s always nice to have a mode of transportation nailed down before you land. Once in Denver, there are a couple SIA specials to choose from:

>> Register for the demo when you register for the show.

Super Shuttle: Attendees can get between the airport and the show for a discounted price of $19 one way or $36 round-trip. Get the deal online:, or mention “SIA12.”

>> SIA has exclusive room rates in Winter Park starting at $102. Use the code 3GM99Y when making reservations for the following hotels: Fraser Crossing/Founders Pointe, Vintage Hotel, and Zephyr Mountain Lodge.

>> SIA provides complimentary transportation from the convention center. (See pg. 18)

Metro Taxi: With a memorable number— (303) 333-3333— this is a no-brainer for the last minute or last call traveler.

>> Through a partnership with Colorado Ski Country USA, SIA also provides all buyers in attendance with three lift ticket vouchers and show attendees with three two-forone lift ticket vouchers that can be used any of the five days following the show (Jan. 30–Feb. 3, 2012). Find a list of participating resorts here:

Hertz: SIA has negotiated special rental car rates for show attendees. To make a reservation call 1-800-654-2240 or visit To get the special rates, provide the following code: CV#04G00003. Colorado Convention Center Parking: This facility provides on-site parking with direct access to the show—$12 for eight hours. Transportation To Winter Park: Complimentary shuttle transportation is provided from the Convention Center to Winter Park Resort and Devil’s Thumb Ranch. Home James Transportation will also provide additional options. Call 1-800-359-7503/visit

>> Vail is offering an exclusive Snow Show rate for its Epic Pass again this year. Attendees must be at the Show to buy. Find info at

LodginG From boutiques to grand hotels, Denver has an option that fits your traveling style. SIA went an extra step and partnered with 16 hotels to provide room blocks and special rates (limited and subject to availability).


The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow

4 Blocks 2 Blocks 2 Blocks 9 Blocks 1/2 Block 4 Blocks 1/2 Block 1/2 Block 3 Blocks 4 Blocks 5 Blocks 6 Blocks 3 Blocks 3 Blocks 1.3 Miles 6 Blocks

Want to keep all your show information easily accessible from your back pocket? That’s what we thought. Download the new 2012 Show App with this QR code and find the following:


Hotel Distance To Convention Center Comfort Inn Crowne Plaza Curtis Denver Warwick Hotel Embassy Suites Grand Hyatt Denver Hilton Garden Inn Hyatt Regency At Convention Center Magnolia Hotel Marriott City Center Residence Inn City Center Ritz Carlton Denver Sheraton Denver Teatro Hotel TownePlace Suites by Marriott The Westin Denver Downtwon





>> Digital show floor plan and GPS guidance. NEW


What’s New


Show Info

>> Organize schedule information.




>> Access months before and after the show.

My Show

>> Download exhibitor marketing materials. >> Receive show alerts and breaking news. >> Events listing and ranking system.

3 Home





>> Find Downtown Denver bars and restaurants with a Google Maps listing.

Meet The Locals ne of the best perks of being in the snowboard industry is having an extended family of like-minded riders on the scene everywhere in the world. When you’re visiting a new city, or one you haven’t been to in a while, it’s key to plug in with the locals before arriving to find out what’s hopping and make the most of your stay. For this year’s SIA sojourn in the “Gateway to the Rockies,” we caught up with a grip of local industry heads to take the leg work off your plate and get their tips on getting around, getting down, and getting the best deals in town.

Why Denver Rocks: It’s accessible, rideable, and sociable. Denver is super friendly. People here like to party, but Jennifer in a way that’s not Rudolph obnoxious like some Communicaother cities. Most tions Director, Colorado Ski everyone in Denver Country USA is from somewhere else so there’s connections with transplants based on hometowns or sports teams. Of course there’s a lot of beer in this city and beer makes everyone friendly. Getting Around Downtown: Most places are walking distance or a short cab from the Convention Center. If the Sean weather is nice, bring Robinson a skateboard or check VP of Sales, out Denver’s public Emage Network B-Cycle bike system ( The racks are located all over town. Keeping It Classy: I’m more of a chilland-have-a-drinkand-a-conversation guy these days, and my absolute favorite Dave Lehl place in Denver is Photographer The Cruise Room. It’s an exact replica of the bar that was on the Queen Mary back in the 1930s. The decor is Art Deco perfec-

tion, and the drinks are hand crafted like they used to be. If you go, ditch the tall-T and ball cap and try to look like a grown-up. ( On a random note: Not even many Denverites know this, but the cheeseburger was invented here in D-town. You can go check out the tiny monument that’s at the corner of Speer and Firth.( Go To Brunch!: There are so many amazing restaurants to choose from in Denver, but I personally love Megan going out for brunch Whiteside because it ends up Snowboarder being one of the best and most fun meals all week. Snooze is always good, but the lines are usually insane, so try Table 6, Lola, or Rootdown, which has bottomless blood orange mimosas. Can’t go wrong there. Later, head to Linger in the Highlands for some great happy hour and one of the best views of Denver.

Ilya Minkin

Product Manager, Boa Technology

The Big Question: Best late night place to spot a hipster, be in the “scene,” and have a great late night corn dog? Sputnik obviously! (

JG Mazzotta Co-owner, Satellite & Installation

Bring Your Skateboard!: Chances are it’s going to be beautiful out just like the last two years and the Denver park is a mile from the convention center. (

Pregaming: If you’re going to Pepsi Center for an Avalanche or Nuggets Game, tune up before at Braun’s (braunMike, “Gags” it’s right across Gagliardi the street from the Sales Manager, arena and has good Never Summer quick food, plenty of seating on two levels, and a beer menu that leaves little to be desired.

Andrew Heard

Dive In: When I think of Denver, I think of dive bars. There are some great choices right in the heart of downtown.

Best Steak In Town: The Capital Grill. They’ve got banger food, amazing drinks, and it’s always a good time. Brandt Bartender to find Wisenbaker for an amazing food Co-owner, and drink experiEmage Network ence = Matt Graham. ( Make Party Tour: Banjo Billy’s Bus Tour is an old school bus tricked out to look like a traveling hillbilly shack that gives you a 90-minute tour loaded with ghost stories, crime tales, and the history of Denver. (

Marc Vitelli Brand Manager, SIMS & LaMar

Senior Marketing Manager/ Team Manager, SIMS & LaMar

All About The Math: Denver = 300 days of sun a year + eight months of lift accessible shredding + a two beer buzz like nowhere else.

Six Days, One Sentence: Come to Denver, stay at the Curtis Hotel, eat at Vesta Dipping Grill, get drunk at the Yard Dan House, and then Scherman squeeze in a run at Sales Rep, Quiksilver Berthoud Pass on your way to Winter Park.

Marketing Manager, Denver, PBR

Try: Bar Bar (Carioca Cafe at 22nd and Champa), Shag (15th and Champa), Sauced (Larimer and 15th).

Carly Williams

Raul Pinto

Co-owner, Satellite & Installation

Cowboy Up: Bring your gear and quit being a pussy. Come shred Colorado and I will personally show you some lines. And, if you got time, go

horseback riding in Grand Lake just outside Winter Park—yeehaw! Taxi Tips And More: Taxi’s are pretty easy in Denver. For groups, keep your eye out for Ralph with MyFrends Mikey (2myfrends@gmail. Parris com). He’s got a reDJ & Co-owner, ally cool party bus! Community Also, the best quick, Skate & Snow easy, and cheap food is always Illegal Pete’s. The best tip to having “fun” in Denver is to DRINK MAD WATER!

The One-Upper: There is a new hot spot in town, it’s a video arcade parlor called 1up. (the-1up. com) It’s super fun Pat and has tons of clasMilbery sic vintage gaming Pro Shred options which make & Founder, for some incredSo-Gnar ible memories and reflection of the journey through life. Be sure to check out the sweet street art and murals located on Larimer Street. If you’re a PBR drinker, there is a rad local-artist designed PBR mural on 26th and Larimer.

Denver Is The Shit Because...: It is located 327 miles from the geographic center of the US and easy to get to, the altitude helps keep your tab low Nichole and the buzz high, Nemmers and the city is fairly Sales Rep, easy to navigate Quiksilver with the free bus on 16th Street Mall and cabs. The light rail doesn’t do shit—but it will in a year.

The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow




here’s a whole city waiting outside the Colorado Convention Center’s doors and we brought together a crew of 20-plus local industry members to discuss their favorite spots for lounging, dining, getting down, shopping, and catching up on the local scene between appointments. Here’s an insider’s look at the eats, treats, activities, and essentials for making your stay in Denver one to remember.

Restaurants The Denver restaurant scene is vibrant, multifaceted, and much broader than the city’s size and population would suggest. Here are a few standouts amongst the city’s endless options. Use to find what Denver locals recommend for restaurants and bars. Breakfast 1. Mona’s InkMonstr Founder Reed Silberman sums Mona’s up in two words (and then a few more): “Awesome breakfast. They use quality ingredients and the atmosphere is mellow. It’s a very relaxing place to have an amazing meal, [and] the service is top notch as well.” 2. Snooze While Steuben’s tops many people’s lists for the top breakfast in town, it’s only open Sunday mornings, which makes it worthless six a.m.’s a week. Check out Snooze seven days a week to get your morning started. There’s usually a wait, but it’s worth it. Dinner 3. Steuben’s The top spot for our panel is Steuben’s, serving up comfort food that’s easy on the wallet. “[It’s] like going to grandma’s house, but with a big bar right in the middle of the kitchen,” says Volcom Rep Randy Walker. “Sunday brunch is the ticket, Bloodies are the cure.” 4. Sushi Sasa “The best sushi in Colorado, hands down. Not cheap, but well worth every penny. Sushi chef Eiji and bar manager Johnny can give you a full snow report, because they were probably riding that day! If you don’t get a Diablo Roll, you’re blowing it.” –Sean Robinson, Co-owner, Emage Network 5. Lola A classy, yet chill Mexican fusion restaurant with a huge selection of tequila is a must visit according to locals like TransWorld’s own Doug Olsen. Late Night 6. Pete’s Kitchen Open 24 hours with breakfast all day, this Colfax hot spot is the place to be after the bars close and shows end. Satellite Co-owner JG Mazzotta suggests digging into the Greek breakfast burrito. 7. Denver Diner Another of Colfax’s 24-hour diners, expect to see plenty of people you know from the show unwinding and slurring here in the wee hours. Listen to photographer Dave Lehl when he says: “Get the Square Meal and go to bed a happy camper!”


The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow

Venues 8. Larimer Lounge Located right next to the Meadowlark, “the Larimer Lounge is small with a house party feel, great sound, a mellow atmosphere, and rad indie bands and hip-hop acts playing there all the time,” says Pro Shred Pat Milberry. Be sure and try the “Crazy Larry” and plenty of PBRs. 9. The Fillmore The Fillmore will be the place to be on Friday night as TransWorld’s Rider’s Poll invites the whole city to come and celebrate snowboarding’s biggest night. “The Fillmore is a great venue because of the intimate feel and its ability to attract large venue type acts. It also has an extensive history that shows in its character,” says CSCUSA’s Jennifer Rudolph, not to mention multiple bars that keep the lines terse. 10. The Bluebird The Bluebird is a more intimate setting and a great place to see bands, and with the Goosetown Tavern right across the street, there are solid pre-gaming possibilities. “Small enough to get up close and personal, but big enough that you can actually get in,” sums up Robinson.

Snow/Skate Shops Denver has a strong local skate scene and a number of independent skate and snow retailers in close proximity to downtown. If you have time, pop in to one of the following and catch up with what’s going down in the Denver scene.


14. Emage 1620 Platte St.

11. Shag Shag is hands down the hot spot winner for the local shred scene and is sure to go off all week. Olsen nails it as a “retro feeling dive bar with great bartenders and cheap drinks, plus it’s right around the corner from the convention center. Make sure to catch Pantyraid Thursdays or Scumbag Sundays.”

15. TS Boardshop 135 S. Broadway

12. 1up New to the scene, this is the place to be. With vintage arcade games, life-sized Jenga, cheap PBR’s, and “Burlesque Bingo,” it doesn’t get much better than the 1up. 13. Meadowlark “[This is] the best place for a more low-key, intimate atmosphere. [There’s] always some great art on the walls and unique, live musical talent. Plus, it’s right around the corner from Larimer Lounge if you decide you do want to rock out.”–Sean Robinson 16th Street Mall Pub Crawl“There are so many good bars/restaurants that you can get to on the free shuttle. Start on the East end at the new Yard House, which has an incredible happy hour, but don’t get suckered into ordering those Yard House pints of beer. End up at the other end of the strip and go to Tilted Kilt for a late night snack and to watch the X Games and waitresses.” –Dan Scherman, Rep, Quiksilver

16. Satellite If you’re up in Boulder, swing by Satellite: 1538 28th St. Boulder 17. BC Surf & Sport Drop by BC’s Boulder location, or it’s Park Meadow’s Mall store on your way to Winter Park 18. Community Skate & Snow 5515 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada 19. 303 1332 E. Colfax


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THINGS TO DO 21. Skatepark Weighing in at 10,000 square feet, the Denver Skatepark is one of the largest in the nation and kills it as the top choice for things to do in Denver when it’s dry. Pop in to Emage, just down the street, and say what’s up to the crew to get the skinny. 22. Catch A Game The Pepsi Center is right downtown and the Avalanche will be in town Tuesday the 24th, but the Nuggets schedule is up in the air. “Roll down and haggle tickets for cheap from scalpers,” says Robinson. “My tip: Wait ‘til the first quarter/period starts, then get tickets real cheap as scalpers try to unload leftover inventory.”

Scan the QR code to view a full interactive map or visit:

Getting Around 20. Mall Ride “Imagine the 16th Street pedestrian mall being the Vegas strip. It’s the main artery and just about everything is a block or two off 16th. Some choice modes of transport besides walking are the free mall shuttle, it’s than walking but slower than running, and pedicabs.”–Jenn Rudolph Cab It “Cab it when it’s cold out, everything is relatively close together so the cab fares usually aren’t bad, plus you’ll meet some interesting cab drivers.” –Megan Whiteside Skate “Denver’s a small city and this way you don’t have to worry about parking or traffic…But the altitude may sneak up and getcha. Drink plenty of water!”–Pat Milbery Bike “Denver now has rent-a-bikes from B-Cycle, which is a perfect way to get around town. Much cheaper than taxis, and there are stands all over the city where you can return the bike. Great for late night transportation, and it usually ends up being a good time.” –Megan Whiteside

Jump On A Bike Denver is super bike-friendly and if you can score a bike it’s a great way to get around at night and in the day, not to mention the new B-Cycle system. “We have a great system of bike paths along the Platte River that allow you to cruise all over the city,” says Olsen. Rent one and save yourself a ton of time and money searching for parking. See A Show “Denver has a great local music scene. No matter what you’re into, there is guaranteed to be a good band or DJ playing on any given night. Find a local resident and they’ll point you in the right direction,” says Robinson. Or check out the Backbeat section of the Westword, a free local weekly. 23. Shotgun Willie’s Still missing Saphire and Cheetah’s? Head over to Shotgun Willie’s for the dollar ballet and stripper darts. The Diamond Cabaret is also a good option and the home of Burton’s last two parties. West I-70. Go Snowboarding! After all, it’s why we’re all here. The mountains are close and the handrails of the city and Ruby Hill are even closer. 24. The SIA 2012 Snow Show runs January 26–29, 2012, at the Colorado Convention Center.

The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow







Eye of the buyer

Trends & Tips To Guide Your Trade Show Buy Top Shops Share What’s Catching Their Eye By Michael Sudmeier

The Lineup:

Todd Canipe Owner, Vertical Urge Raleigh, North Carolina

Scott Oreschnick Owner, Cal Surf Minneapolis, Minnesota

Herb Grignon Snow Buyer, Eastern Boarder Massachusetts and New Hampshire

Jon Easdon Owner, Blindside Colorado Springs, Colorado

What category’s sales surprised you last year and how? Canipe: This might sound crazy, but boards. We sold a ton of snowboards last year. Other than that, I would say we blew through some novelty categories like face masks and bandana’s faster than we would have ever anticipated. Oreschnick: In softgoods, I sold pants two-to-one over jackets. The great thing about Minnesota is the tow rope parks and tons of great street spots. The negative, as a retailer, is that if you cater to those riders, they’re not going to be buying much in the way of jackets. Easdon: We experienced an insane sell-through on socks. We order a very high quantity of snow socks on prebooks, but we had to go back to our vendors and reorder several times. Definitely a strange category to explode, but it did just that. Gerken: We were blown away by binding sales last year. There was so much energy with Union and Burton—we had a difficult time keeping up with demand. Edukas: Two things really stood out to me. First; GoPro cameras and accessories sales blew my mind! We had a new category that kicked ass like I’ve never seen before. Second, Burton came back strong, really strong, in almost every category. Snowboards, boots, and EST bindings killed it. Lib and Never Summer were dominating two years prior. I always knew Burton would catch up, but I didn’t think it would be this fast. Lib and Never Summer still kill it, but so does Burton. What products have been moving well this season? Canipe: We’ve seen early success in Burton hardgoods across the board—especially boards in the mid-range price category like the Process V-Rocker and Hero.

Grignon: Bindings are always an early season strong seller for us, as well as “limited” boards and some specialty outerwear pieces. Easdon: Technical hoodies seem to be sparking a lot of interest. Lightweight, waterproof pieces are moving well.

Colin Edwards Snowboard & Skate Buyer Park City, Utah

Gerken: We are having a lot of success with Burton Ions, K2 Darkos, and all the Nike boots are selling well. For boards, the Capita Indoor Survival, the Lib Tech Travis Rice Horsepower, and the Burton Custom Flying V Restricteds and Nugs have been selling quickly. On the binding front, we are seeing a lot of demand for Burton, Union, and the K2 Cinch. What’s the new rocker, or is rocker still the new rocker?

Edward M. “Duke” Edukas Owner, Surfside Sports Costa Mesa, California


Canipe: Rocker is still the new rocker. We’re seeing camber/ reverse camber combos performing best, as well as a few, and I stress a few, customers coming back around and looking for a camber board.

The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow

Gerken: The new rocker is “blended rocker.” We have had really good success with boards that have a blended rocker story— whether it be Lib and Gnu’s C2, Capita’s “Freeride FK”, Burton’s “Flying V”, Yes’ CamRock, or whatever—people are digging it. Edwards: Anything but traditional rocker. The majority of our sales are going toward hybrid and flat. Camber is making a comeback too. At SIA, what do you think you’ll be watching closely? Canipe: What I’ll be watching more closely than last year at the upcoming SIA is my budget. Coming off a year like we had last year [in North Carolina,] I think we weren’t cautious enough

In order to ensure our buying direction is correct for Winter ’13, I want to make sure that the industry is healthy at SIA. —Edwards

Oreschnick: So far boots above $200, boards $450–$550, and bindings around $200 have been the best sellers. Adam Gerken Co-Owner, Snowboard Connection Seattle, Washington

Oreschnick: Many of our customers that have ridden rocker are going back to camber boards. So, maybe camber is the new, old thing.

with our buys. That will change this year, no doubt. Having a slower start to the sales season than you anticipated always sobers you up a bit! We’ll also keep an eye on the industry’s ever-shifting stance on rocker options and camber. That could be a big story to watch evolve over the next couple years. Oreschnick: My program has stayed pretty consistent the last few years. I will load up on the brands that offer me the best chance to sell through at a healthy margin while offering a premium product. My guess is I will have more camber boards than I am carrying this year. Grignon: The usual, looking for smaller brands, the next “cool” company, they’re only cool for a year so you have to capitalize on it! Edwards: The overall feel and vibe. Last year was great because everyone had sold through really early in the season. In order to ensure our buying direction is correct for Winter ’13, I want to make sure that the industry is healthy at SIA. Edukas: We will responsibly analyze the reports we generate, just like we’ve done in previous years. Resist overzealous vendors trying to convince us that we’re always going to get as much early-season snow as we did last year, and pray to God that the manufacturer’s don’t start over producing once again.

The trend report modeled after skate trucks, featuring interfacing parts that pivot and customizable bushings to maximize energy transfer and shock absorption. At Eastern Boarder, Snow Buyer Herb Grignon has seen a rising demand for premium boots, offering waterproof and breathable membranes, sophisticated soles, and discipline-specific designs. For optics, frameless technologies, interchangeable lens systems, and new lens materials will inspire consumers to upgrade their goggles. Informed by developments in the outdoor industry, outerwear brands are relying on more technical fabrics and an increased focus on breathability.

Lightening Up

When it comes to hardgoods, evolution continues to be measured in ounces. As Union Team and Marketing Director George Kleckner reveals, “Pretty much every company is working on making lighter weight products.” Burton, for example, will unveil its lightest board ever, the Mystery. On the binding front, brands are slimming down the amount of material used in construction, relying on titanium hardware, and even eliminating traditional forward lean adjusters and all but the sides of highbacks. Boots are using softer foams and slimmer soles to reduce weight and enhance board feel. Laying up the freshness at the Elan Factory—direct from Austria to SIA. PHOTO: Lewis

2012/13 Snowboard Market And Trend Report Your Guide To Navigating Thousands of Products And Hundreds Of Booths By Michael Sudmeier

We originally hired a dart-throwing monkey to better understand the trends and developments shaping the snowboard industry for the 2012/13 season. Unfortunately, his focus failed to move beyond bananas and circus tent technology. So we had to go with Plan B: a comprehensive, data-driven analysis of product offerings and market trends. We interviewed over 140 brands and dozens of retailers to better understand what the future has in store. After pouring over 600 pages of interviews, studying thousands of products, and crafting a few too many spreadsheets, we’ve distilled emerging product and market trends into a few pages. So kick back, slide on the slippers, and rock the reading glasses to better understand what to expect heading into SIA.

The New Value

As consumers arm themselves with information, they are increasingly looking for value over the lowest price possible. Dakine Sales Manager Chico Bukovansky notes, consumers “expect value now more than ever. Not inexpensive product, but value.” Consequently, brands are offering more sophisticated fabrics and technology in their outerwear and infusing boards and bindings with features once limited to their premium offerings. “We are seeing that no matter the retail price of something, if customers can see the value and benefit of the more expensive items, they are purchasing them,” offers Jon Easdon, owner of Blindside in Colorado Springs.

Premium Products Driven by Innovation

The search for value is causing customers to open their wallets and reward innovation. “We are seeing quite a few first-time products to the market and now, more than ever, the items with a legitimate story are selling themselves,” Easdon adds. For boards, these developments include new construction approaches such as Flow’s Augmented Base Technology, which aims to create a smoother ride by placing a layer of silicone between a board’s base and core. New binding brands are challenging paradigms with innovative designs. NOW, for example, has developed a binding

Classic Styling

Brands are moving forward by looking back. For the 2012/13 season, expect softgoods steeped in heritage and informed by classic outerwear, Western wear, workwear, and military fatigues. According to Westbeach Head Designer Laura Bentley, this has yielded “masculine, rustic-looking collections” and slimmer, refined fits. These products often blend classic fabrics—wool, canvas, and denim—with new technology to provide waterproofing and breathability. This classic styling is also shaping boots, where subdued designs take a cue from classic footwear and outdoor gear.

Quietly Going Green

“Companies will throw a blade of grass into a barrel of oil and market that as environmentally friendly,” warns Stepchild Marketing and Design Director Sami Shams. Consequently, brands concerned with minimizing their environmental footprint are reaching beyond bamboo and reassessing their entire operations. Companies are increasing efficiency and reducing waste through innovations in manufacturing and logistics and efforts to keep production close to consumers. On the sales floor, materials continue to serve as tangible evidence of brands’ efforts to reduce their impact. For both boots and outerwear, brands are turning to fabrics and insulations derived from recycled plastic bottles, coffee grounds, and other post-consumer content. Responsibly harvested renewable resources like hemp are being used to craft both soft and hardgoods. Some manufacturers are foregoing fiberglass for basalt and replacing glossy topsheets made from toxic substances with alternatives that use castor beans or digital printing technology. Flip flop bases and wood cores that use finger jointing also aid in reducing impacts.

A New Season and New Opportunities

Whether riders are lapping the bunny hill or dropping lines in Alaska, new products aim to better meet their needs. And increasingly, these products are catering to emerging market segments, such as women, children, freeriders, and splitboarders. With new technology and demographics, retailers have their work cut out for them. Fortunately, brands continue to expand their assistance. From stronger incentives and sales support to increased efforts to engage customers, brands are working to form meaningful partnerships with their retailers. With snow falling and registers ringing, there’s plenty of reasons to smile. The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow


The Goods at a Glance Gearing Up For Dropping Cliffs Notes By Michael Sudmeier

Outerwear Fit Driven By Function—Tailored fits continue to yield pants

that are slimmer and jackets that are longer.

Methodology Overview

To better understand what the future has in store for the industry, we abandoned crystal balls to focus on a comprehensive, data-driven analysis. We interviewed more than 140 brands and dozens of retailers, sifted through 600 pages of responses, examined thousands of product images, and poured over stacks of spreadsheets to identify emerging trends. Thanks to our notes, you can skip the required reading, still attain an A in market research, and head straight to dropping cliffs.

Classic Styling— Classic styling and subdued color palettes are prevalent in outerwear as brands find inspiration in workwear, military garments, and classic outerwear. Tradition With A Twist—To offer both style and protection from the elements, brands are pairing new technology with traditional weaves and fabrics, such as wool, denim, and canvas. Anti-outerwear— Riders are embracing streetwear with technical features, giving birth to an emerging product category that includes sophisticated hoodies, lightweight shells, and button-ups. Technical Fabrics— Brands are taking a cue from the outdoor industry, incorporating advanced technical fabrics into their outerwear and paying greater attention to breathability.

Boards The NeverEnding Camber Story— Camber stories still

dominate discussions on the sales floor. Hybrid cambers are gaining momentum, while cambered boards are making a slight comeback.

Emphasizing Interactions— Brands are placing a greater emphasis on how symmetry, shapes, camber stories, and core profiles interact to influence board performance. Technology With Reduced Impacts— Manufacturers are reducing environmental impacts by replacing fiberglass with basalt, crafting topsheets with castor beans or digital print technology, and using flip-flop bases that minimize waste. 010

The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow

Travel Bags Designed For Durability—Whether through hardshell technology or the use of beefy materials like tarpaulin, brands are crafting bags that can handle years of abuse. Double Duty— Backpacks are being designed with an eye for both the airport and the backcountry. Don’t be surprised to find a toiletry pouch alongside board straps.

Boots Skate-like Designs— Riders are increasingly seeking boots that offer enhanced board feel through softer foams and low-profile soles.

Out-of-the-box Fit— Due in part to the use of softer foams, out of the box fit is more important than ever. Customers want instant gratification on the sales floor. Zonal Lacing—Zonal lacing systems continue offering improved fit and performance by isolating sections of the foot—in particular the forefoot, ankle, and calf. These systems increasingly rely on a blend of closure technologies. High End Kicks— Premium boots are gaining ground on the sales floor. These boots include features like waterproof and breathable membranes, specialized soles, and discipline-specific designs.

Bindings Maximizing Board Feel And Flex—To maximize board feel

and minimize disruptions to flex, manufacturers are using slimmer baseplates and mounting discs that are smaller and capable of hinging.

Slimming Down—Brands continue to trim weight through

lighter hardware, simplified highbacks, and new strap technology.

New Brands, New Bindings—Several brands make their

debut with interchangeable parts, optional highbacks, designs inspired by skate trucks, and step-in technology.

Goggles Oversized, Frameless Lenses—To maximize peripheral vision, goggles are going big and

forgoing frames.

The Latest Lens Technology— Brands are introducing new lens technologies, including new materials for minimizing fogging and lens tints that change in response to shifting light conditions.

Interchangeable Lenses—With minimal hassle, riders can exchange lenses to adapt to changing light conditions. Think of it as quick release technology for eyewear.

Beyond the Products Helmets Four Season Friendly—Thanks to venting innovations and

The Shop Scene—To ensure on-time production and delivery, brands are showing their lines and booking sales sooner.

removable earflaps and liners, companies are offering helmets that can handle numerous sports and all seasons.

Minimal Impacts—Innovative materials, accurate sales forecasts, and streamlined production and logistics are helping brands and retailers reduce their footprint.

Systems Thinking—Goggles and helmets influence each other’s fit and performance. Expect an increased focus on helmets and goggles designed and merchandised through these interactions.

Value—Riders are seeking value-driven products and are prepared to spend more for goods that deliver substance and enduring style.

Multi-impact Designs— Helmets designed to handle multiple, smaller impacts are gaining sales. Due to the absence of certification standards, however, these helmets are likely to remain a smaller segment of the market.

The New Dialogue—Whether it’s educational campaigns, movie premieres, or social media, brands and retailers are looking for new ways to engage and interact with their customers.

The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow


Editor’s Picks

Awarding Innovation Eight Must-See New Products By Michael Sudmeier

ur Editor’s Picks highlight excellence in design and innovation. After researching literally thousands of products debuting at SIA, we are proud to showcase eight that stood out from the crowd. From boards with silicone implants to vests equipped with the ABS system, many of these products reinvent our understanding of equipment. Others, such as guide-driven outerwear, take proven technology to the next level. All of them demand attention.

Flow Maverick ABT It’s time to make an amendment to Sir Mixa-Lot’s assessment that “silicone parts are made for toys.” At SIA, Flow will reveal its Augumented Base Technology (ABT), which places a layer of silicone between a board’s base and core. Located between the inserts, ABT offers a smoother ride by dampening vibrations and allowing the base to move up to two millimeters up or down. Despite these implants, boards like the Maverick ABT are more at ease on the slopes than in the company of plastic surgeons. Deeluxe Velvet Lara With boots like the Velvet Lara, Deeluxe is helping drive two major developments in snowboard footwear: the movement toward softer, skate-influenced boots and the increased focus on women’s feet. This premium boot offers a waterproof, breathable membrane, low-profile sole, and construction technology that fuses the liner to the shell. This approach shaves 1.5 centimeters off of traditional boot lengths and places a rider’s foot eight millimeters closer to her board.

Burton Mystery Brewed in Burlington, the Mystery is the first production model originating from Burton’s in-house prototype shop, Craig’s, and its lightest board ever. The facility opened last year and allows the brand to create new binding parts and boards and test them on the snow within 24 hours. After perfecting new technology at Craig’s, Burton shares these developments with its manufacturing partners around the globe.

The North Face Powder Guide ABS Vest Traditionally, the life-saving ABS system was available only in packs. With the debut of its Powder Guide ABS Vest, TNF brings it to apparel. If caught in an avalanche, a rider can pull a handle to inflate two airbags, offering flotation and visibility. The handle is attached only when you’re riding so you can avoid tram-deployments.


The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow

ContourROAM Point-of-view cameras have taken the industry by storm. Contour’s latest camera, the ContourROAM, blends innovation and affordability. In case riders land in creek beds, the camera can record in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. It also offers a one-touch record switch, the ability to record in HD with three resolutions, and a lens that can rotate 270 degrees. To ensure proper mounting and level shots, the camera shoots a horizontal laser line. Dragon APX Glacier Glass

With Dragon’s APX Glacier Glass, you can explore the backcountry of Alaska or take a journey down Rodeo Drive. Don’t be deceived by the sleek wire frame, these glasses are ready to brave the harshest elements thanks to removable leather side shields, an adjustable silicone nose pad system, and Performance Polar Lens technology. This technology protects the glasses from fogging, scratches, and damage from oil and water. With the Dragon Glacier Glass, you can avoid snow blindness with style.

Volcom GPT Built for abuse, Volcom’s Guide Proven Technology (GPT) allows riders to save a small fortune on duct tape. Featuring the durability of threelayer Gore-Tex and a minimalist design, this series is cut to aid movement and remain functional when constricted under harnesses or heavy packs. Although the inspiration and product testing for the series comes via the guides at Baldface Lodge, you don’t have to hold clients’ hands to benefit from GPT.

NOW IPO NOW is aiming to reinvent binding technology with the IPO. Influenced by skate trucks, the binding forgoes traditional baseplates. Instead, it uses a series of interfacing parts capable of pivoting to maximize energy transfer and vibration dampening. A forged, CNC’d aluminum disc and stamped Alumi-Ring provide a mounting system concealed by a nylon hanger. A stainless steel hollow rivet and washer known as the Kingpin connect the hanger with the mounting system, allowing the binding to float freely on four customizable bushings. After six years of prototyping, the brand feels that NOW is the perfect time to launch.

What’s new

It Feels Like The First Time

The Hit List

This year’s crop of SIA rookie shred brands By Agatha Wasilewska

he “newness “ is why we all come to SIA. Brands toil all year to come up with the most innovative and inspiring products, unveiling them at the SIA Snow Show. While vendors, retailers, and editors alike get stoked to see what products get people talking, the biggest hype is often around the standout brands making their debut at the Snow Show. SIA can be overwhelming with rows and rows of booths and products, making it difficult to track down the newcomers’ products that you need on your shelves. With that in mind, we scoured SIA’s new exhibitor list, which at the time of print included nearly 60 snow and skate longboard-specific brands. While not all of these brands are technically “new” to the scene, they are all new to SIA, giving the 2012 show a vast array of fresh products, categories, and new takes on old favorites. For new binding company Bon Hiver, Founder Brendan Walker states, “SIA will be the formal introduction of our brand and a pivotal opportunity for unveiling our Freebase Binding System. It’ll serve as a great forum for engaging and educating retailers on its revolutionary functionality and helping them understand how we plan to develop a symbiotic partnership.” SIA is the big leagues where you sink or swim—there is no in between. One brand that’s coming out swinging is kidsKNOW Distribution, bringing its collection of snowboard films to the mecca of snow trade shows. Sales and marketing chief Kyle Kennedy sees SIA as the perfect platform to launch kidsKNOW distribution onto the big stage, “This is our first SIA and it is important to treat these films like any other snow product. They are crucial to help promote the athletes and the products that they endorse.” Moving on to boots that are made to stomp, Deeluxe has quietly gained a reputation for crafting premium snow footwear and offering specialty retailers unsurpassed margins, and the brand is moving into a space of its own this year. According to Sales Guys Founder Marty Carrigan, who distributes Deeluxe, “With premium products and margins of 60 percent, Deeluxe is moving on the sales floor and helping retailers thrive.” Perhaps the most exciting aspect in the newbie field is the en-

couraging number of new board companies that are cropping up, and adding solid environmental and socio-economic stories. Lucky Snowboards is incorporating craftsmanship, quality, and performance into its boards while being part of the solution by using eco-friendly materials and making its boards in California. “Our goal is to help snowboarders have a killer time in the snow while protecting and enhancing Mother Earth at the same time,” explains Lucky President Patrick Garrett. Similarly, OZ Snowboards are new on the scene and aiming to make an impression with boards that are hand fabricated in Evergreen, Colorado. The company vows to never manufacture overseas—a bold statement these days. When asked about attending SIA for the first time, OZ Owner Adam Browning says, “We are super stoked—we have an opportunity to display our totally unique board designs to the entire industry. Our goal at OZ Snowboards is to make everyone else better. That includes making our retail partners better because we provide them with innovative boards that fly off the shelves because our cutting edge designs make their buyers better snowboarders.” In addition to the rookies, you’ll also be seeing some veterans coming back to the show, including deeply rooted brands like Endeavor Snowboard Design, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012 at SIA, with the completely redesigned Guerilla Series and much more up its proverbial product sleeve. Longboard skateboards are also making a splash this year with new and returning brands like Dregs, Lib Tech, Freedom Dolly (Mervin), Arbor, Sector 9, and LandYachtz bringing their latest decks and accessories to the table. “We started showing at SIA ten years ago,” says Sector 9 Cofounder EG Fratantaro, whose company pulled out several years back. “We were leery of showing in Denver, but last year we walked the show and it was apparent that we needed to come back. We choose SIA because it’s a great spot to see some of those hard to get to accounts that we don’t see all the time. It’s that quality face time we get with retailers that makes it all worth it. This year we will be showing off fifty different skateboards along with a line of safety gear and sustainable clothing.”

Here is a short list of first-time exhibitors to be on the lookout for while trolling SIA. Bon Hiver: Bon Hiver is bringing an entirely new take on the binding game with its Freebase Binding System Yeah For It Distribution: Releasing Lobster Snowboards, 7/9/13, and Switchback Bindings at SIA, newly formed Yeah For It Distribution will also be showing Bataleon and Sandbox. Endeavor Snowboards: Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this Canadian snowboard company is bringing its boards and Airhole Face Masks to Denver. Deeluxe: This Austrian boot maker is building serious momentum in the backcountry and freestyle realms. Dinosaurs Will Die Snowboards: DWD offers a fresh perspective on boards and snowboarding in general. Voile Splitboard: Voile continues to bring some of the biggest innovations to the split category. voile-usa. com AERIAL7: With amazing graphics and a deep team, Rob Kingwill’s accessory brand is a must-see. Dot Dash: Von Zipper’s new line of introductory price point shades have been seeing strong traffic. Echelon Snowboards: The brainchild of a couple defense-industry engineers, this company packs some serious fire power in its delivery of boards, bindings, and clothing. Cheetah Factory Racing: A simple, yet genius idea, CFR is releasing snowmobile racks for your shred sticks. Lucky Snowboards: Lucky’s goal is incorporating stellar craftsmanship, quality, and performance into its eco-conscious, US-made boards. KidsKNOW Distribution: We all know that kids are in the know, and now they are bringing their collection of snowboard films to the mecca of snow trade shows. OZ Snowboards: Handmade in Colorado and specializing in feather weight designs, OZ boards are constructed with cutting edge tech and green materials. Emerge Snowboards: The New Jersey-based brand offers quality handmade snowboard decks at a price your wallet will love. Slayer Nation: Slayer Nation makes clothing that’s always ready to go. Custom wicking, hella-dry fabric, and rider-inspired cuts create a layering collection that delivers 24/7. Launch Snowboards: The Launch philosophy is simple—pay attention to the essentials of construction and shape—and is grounded in years of research. NOW: A new binding brand from JF Pelchat is giving buyers a first look at its innovative, skate truck-inspired design for the first time at SIA.

SKATE Longboard Brands Bon Hiver Infrared Series

Launch Snowboards Vice

ECHELON Snowboards Ribbons

OZ Snowboards CQ

Lucky Lady Luck

Freedom Dolly (Mervin) Blue Beak

An increasing number of brands will be highlighting longboards at this year’s SIA Snow Show. Here’s a checklist of lines to peep: Sector 9, Dregs, Lib Tech, Freedom Dolly, Arbor, LandYachtz, Never Summer

The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow


THE Snowboard Industry at a glance Grooming The Pipe(line) For a Fresh Season Of Sales

Snowboard participation hit a four-year high and has seen 4% annual growth since SIA began tabulating this data, which has less than a 2% margin of error. Between 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 the core group who participate nine times or more grew from 2,486,000 to 2,783,000, a 12% increase.


country and an unprecedented $3.3 billion in cash pouring into snowsports’ coffers, it started to feel like the old days. For snowboarders, participation reached 00

10 -11 7,4 21 ,0

its highest levels since SIA began tracking stats, riders 7,1 59 ,0

their two-plank brethren), and the sport is becoming 6, 84 1,0

That said, snowboarding accounts for a mere 15% of that $3.3 billion total, and while sales of snowboard gear

Prices from 2010/2011 and their changes from the previous season.



increasingly diverse with more women and minorities getting on board.

average prices


averaged nearly 12 days on the hill (four more than

weekend lift ticket $75.92(+$1.71) Accessories $11.71(-$0.11) snowboard top $135.93(+$6.23) snowboard pants $113.06(+$4.03) boots $151.82(+$11.29) bindings $144.70(+$11.29) snowboard $307.89(+$24.27) total start up cost $941.03(+$58.74)

08- 09

07- 08

rose 4% in dollars from ’09/10, they declined 4% in units. To put that in perspective, skiing saw 9% growth in units and 19% growth in dollars. The number of riders who also ski is now 34%, up from 26% in 2009, and many smart retailers are expanding their offerings to the freeski realm. However, this may be a generational hiccup—

Source: SIA/Physical Activity Council Snow Sports Participation

there are now approximately 2.5 million snowboarders under 18, and just 2.4 million skiers in that age bracket, which bodes well for the future. Speaking of the immediate future, the weather

total sales in all channels

$490 million

While it’s not the ’90s, 2010/11 saw the most cash come through the snowboarding industry in the last three seasons.


looks bright—that is to say gray and snowy for this ,6

$71,830,886 $69,546,851 -3.20%


01 89 ,6

23 ,18



10- 11

08- 09

$57,345,814 $64,570,732 +12.60%

09- 10



Three out of four regions isn’t bad for growth in dollars sold, and the entire east side of the country saw units jump as well. That said, California is still the 800-pound gorilla with nearly 20% of snowboarders residing there, and things don’t look so good for the state’s economy. The Northeast gained serious ground in sales, but we’ll have to watch the aftermath of Hurrican Irene’s impacts on this season’s sales.

Sales via the Internet channel slowed their meteoric growth in ’10/11, climbing to 20% of sales from 19% in ’09/10. However, Internet sales now account for 20% more snowboard hardgoods sales than chain stores.

all channels

dollars by channel


units by channel chain

difference from previous year


The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow chain

500,000 4 3 2

skis vs. boards

sales by channel

all channels

snowboards boots bindings tops bottoms accessories

$141,227,719 $86,958,686 $74,446,339 $109,315,173 $72,926,581 $4,677,103

$26,117,310 $29,603,484 +13.30%

hardgood sales by region


$3.3 billion (TOTAL 2010/11



$27,837,733 $28,526,582 +2.50%

70 ,5


87 ,6


15 ,9

01 ,6


08 ,5




sales events have gone well this year with as much as a


winter—carryover is virtually non-existent, early season


skis snowboards


dollars by channel

While snowboard units continued to

units by channel

decline, difference from ski units are spiking. previous year

07-0 8

08-0 9

09-1 0
































































07-1,744,720 08

08- 09-6.6%





-4.2% -4.2%


1,672,241 09- 10

+3.4% -4.2%































10- 11


Illustration: Luke Callahan

industry. With record-breaking snowfalls across the

snowboard participation

8, 19 6,0 0

Last winter was an amazing time to be in the snow

By Mike Lewis






While the ’09/10 season saw stabilizing margins from previous years’ freefalls, ’10/11 saw healthy jumps of 4% on average across categories and inventory cleared out.

Annualized turn levels returned to ’07/08 levels last season while gross margin ROI and Sell Through were at their highest level in four years.


far from marginal margins


sales performance dashboard








3.0 Turn Annualized





1.5 Gross Margin Return On Investment






63 Outerwear dropped 5% in units sold while dollars climbed 2%.

Percent of boards sold in ‘10/11 that were reverse camber.

+2%($) -5%(#)




Kids’ snowboard apparel sales rose 18% in dollars and 12% in units last season.

Amount of carryover units as a percentage of all hardgoods sold last season – down from 20% in 2008/09.



+18%($) +12%(#)



carryover sales

Amount carryover product brought average prices down by last year. Although the amount of carryover is diminishing, it’s still significant.




Amount of total dollar sales that came from carryover last season, down from 14% in 2008/09.

37.8% 33.0%



11% 10% 17%










Average margin for all hardgoods.

2.5 million vs. 2.4 million

Number of kids under 18 that snowboard versus ski.

units in inventory march 31 300,000


Average number of days snowboarders rode last year—four more than skiers.




Riders who frequented the backcountry last season.

All data provided by: sia

cleaning out the pipeline Inventory levels continued to plummet across all categories and are now more than 40% leaner than they were in 2007/08.


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 or contact SIA Director of Resarch Kelly Davis at

The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow


on snow

Get On Board The SIA On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest by Colin Bane

“The SIA On-Snow Demo at Winter Park is one of the things that really sets the Denver SIA Snow Show apart from when the show was in Las Vegas,” says Dan Sullivan, director of sales at Rome Snowboard Design Syndicate. “Let’s hope that snowboarding in Colorado is reason enough for most anybody in the industry to tack a few days on to their trade show trip, but I do know that some people’s time is extremely limited and I think the key to getting more buyers to the On-Snow event is in how they manage their show time. The old paradigm is to be there right at the bell on Thursday, get to all your appointments in the first day or two, and get in and out as quickly as possible. But if I were a buyer and could only be there for a few days, I’d make all my appointments for Saturday and Sunday when, let’s face it, the show is a lot less hectic and it’s a lot easier to get deals done, and I’d leave at least a day to get to the On-Snow Demo and get some of next season’s boards under my feet.” or the third year in a row, Winter Park Resort will be hosting the SIA On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest, on Monday, January 30, and Tuesday, January 31. More than 100 confirmed vendors will be on-site demoing boards, boots, bindings, helmets, goggles, camcorders, and other gear. “The On-Snow at Winter Park is insane,” sums up C3’s Johan Malkoski. “To be able to sit on a chairlift and chat about snowboarding products, and then rip down the hill on them, to us, is the right way to do business.” Clark Gundlach, executive vice president and general manager of Burton, concurs, and says it’s an excellent opportunity to reconnect with the reason everybody is in the business in the first place: Snowboarding and having fun. “Probably most importantly, after working hard at a trade show for four days, is that it gives you an opportunity to do what we all love to do with the people we love to be with,” Gundlach says. “That’s it in a nutshell: It’s fun! I get to ride with some of the customers that I would never get a chance to otherwise, and it’s also fun because of the parties. For me it’s more about spending some time with the people who buy and sell our products, getting on the chairlift with them, and having fun doing what we do.” In just two years the SIA On-Snow Demo has become the biggest and best opportunity


The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow

for brands and buyers to connect on a national level, says Gundlach, adding value to the trade show for all parties and making it the perfect platform for brands like Burton to launch new products and educate buyers about new technologies and innovations. “We have a lot of fun on the showroom floor, but when we’ve got a new board, boot, or binding technology, the on-snow demos are where the real excitement is,” Gundlach says. “Innovation is our DNA, and every year we bring a lot to the table—we get excited about allowing others to experience those new products with us on the mountain.” The demo is also an unprecedented opportunity for buyers to try boards from brands, big and small, in one place, including some of the biggest names in the industry as well as smaller boutique brands and all of the made-in-Colorado brands national buyers might not otherwise have an opportunity to test drive. As this article was written, the list of confirmed snowboard brands included Arbor, Bataleon, Burton, Capita, Contract, DC, Endeavor, Flow, Forum, Gnu, High Society Freeride, Jones Snowboards, K2, Lib Tech, Never Summer, Niche, Nitro, NOW, OZ, Ride, Rome, Rossignol, Roxy, Salomon, Signal, Smokin’ Snowboards, Spice, Unity, Venture, Voile, and Yes. Buyers who have attended the SIA On-Snow Demo over the last two years say that the opportunity to test boards, boots,

Top: Louif Paradis Is on board. photo: Wellhausen Bottom: Packing it in at the SIA On-Snow. photo: Lewis

bindings, and other equipment as part of the SIA Snow Show has helped them structure their buys for the coming season. “I go into these demos with a very specific test list for my onsnow crew,” says Chris Dixon, regional merchandise manager and lead snowboard buyer for Specialty Sports Venture. Dixon has attended the SIA On-Snow Demo in each of the two years since the SIA Snow Show has been in Colorado and says it has influenced his purchasing plans both times. “Most of the buy was in place after the trade show, so the products we tested were focused on where we had doubts or needed to test two similar products side-by-side,” Dixon adds. “The feedback I get from my testers, coupled with the discussions that we have with the brand representatives, definitely helps shape the buy.” Last year, Denver-based manufacturer Never Summer Industries made the most of the opportunity to launch a new model, the Proto CT, on the occasion of the brand’s 20th anniversary.

Never Summer Sales Manager Mike “Gags” Gagliardi says getting buyers on the board at the SIA On-Snow Demo helped make the board into a best seller for the brand and a sell-through success story for the shops he works with. “The Proto CT was a whole new riding experience, different from any other Never Summer board—the challenge was to get people riding it so it wasn’t just our hyperbole about how new and exciting it was,” Gagliardi says. “Sure enough, the board was a favorite last year: Everyone who had a chance to ride it was super stoked on it. If they hadn’t had those opportunities to take it out, there’s no way we would have sold as many of them as we did.” Like Sullivan and Gundlach, Gagliardi says the best part of the On-Snow is riding with buyers. “The shop buyers who come to Winter Park after the trade show is over are the real deal: These are the core shop guys we want to be doing business with, and most of them really know how to ride,” he says. “They put the boards through their paces too! Last year I got to take laps with different buyers from all across the country, and we were dipping into the trees for some powder stashes, hitting the parks, really showing off what these boards could do. I think for your smarter

“You need to be able to vouch for the product personally. You really have to ride a board to be able to talk to a customer about what’s great about it and how it compares to other boards.”—Brett Hamilton, owner of the Attic Skate Shop in Costa Mesa, California

buyer it does help sculpt the buy and it’s an important part of the equation. They’re obviously going to buy the brands that their customers are asking for, but if they get on a specific board and they like it then they’ll push it because they’ll be able to speak from experience.” That personal experience is key for buyers from smaller shops, like Brett Hamilton, owner of the Attic Skate Shop in Costa Mesa, California.“Bottom line: We need sell-through,” says Hamilton. “When you’re running a small operation and your customers are relying on you to let them know what’s good, you need to be able to vouch for the product personally. You really have to ride a board to be able to talk to a customer about what’s great about it and how it compares to other boards.” Hamilton says buyers who are coming out to Colorado for the SIA Snow Show and skipping the On-Snow Demo might want to consider looking into another line of work. “Snowboarding is what it’s all about, after all,” he says. “For me, the whole thing really charges the batteries. It’s like a giant pep rally, with the energy of all the brands, all the new marketing campaigns, all the friends shaking hands, and everybody getting out there and going snowboarding together. It’s awesome.”

Locals’ Guide: Winter Park Winter Park is expecting between three and four thousand industry VIPs for the OnSnow, and the resort is rolling out the red carpet. “SIA and Winter Park Resort will provide free transportation, free lift tickets, and free rentals to attendees that travel to Winter Park to demo each manufacturer’s newest and hottest gear,” says Winter Park Communications Manager Mistalynn Lee. To make the most of it—and put all that demo gear to its best test—get into the steeps and trees on the Mary Jane side of the mountain in the morning, then head into the Rail Yard terrain parks, suggests Winter Park Team Rider Pat Milbery. “Winter Park is a laid-back resort with a wide variety of terrain and no lift lines to speak of, so you can get a ton of laps in, which is great for a demo day,” Milbery says. “For freeriding, cruisin’, and dipping into the sidecountry, head over to Mary Jane…It’s my favorite part of the mountain. This year the WP park crew and Park Manager Bob Holme have been refocusing all their efforts, and there’s something sick for everybody from the Starter Park and Bouncer for beginners to the Ash Cat, Gangway, and Re-Railer parks for intermediate riders, and the Rail Yard and Dark Territory parks for big, pro-level features that will make you crap your snow pants.” For the after-the-après-party action, Milbery recommends heading to town, about a fiveminute drive from the mountain. “Hernando’s is one of my favorite places. It’s a rad little pizza joint with dollar bills all over the walls and tables, and all the locals love it,” says Milbery. Hernando’s Pizza & Pasta Pub is at 78199 US Highway 40, the main street running through Winter Park. “After that go to Ullr’s Tavern [78415 US Highway 40]. Ullr’s is the jam if you’re looking for some drinks and good music.” Secret Stashes Nichole Nemmers, Sales Rep, Quiksilver: Ride the south end out-of-bounds in Winter Park to the parking lot. At night, the town park is open and has boxes and rails for free—it’s fun to snowskate too. Mike “Gags” Gagliardi, Sales Manager, Never Summer: I’ll probably get lynched for this, but check out the trees between “Boiler” and “Coupler,” between “Brakeman” and “Short Haul,” and on the right side of “Trestle” if you want some good, far off, powder stashes…of course you have to get through the moguls to get to them! For more information visit

Desk Jockey’s Unite: Office Booyz & Girlz Office Booyz & Girlz, an informal contest presented by will be held mid-day on Monday, January 30 in the Re-Railer park, and is the perfect opportunity for desk jockeys to show what they’re made of, or just see one heck of a show. “The pros have big-air jumps in their contests; we have quasi-big-air jumps for the desk-bound destroyers,” says Founder Chad Mihalick. “We’ll also have prizes for things like Best Straight Air, Who Can Eat the Most Donuts?, and we’ll be crowning a Scorpion King and Queen for the day’s best slams. The Office Booyz & Girlz is a good reminder, after all the business deals have gone down and the trade show is over, that our entire industry is ultimately about getting out there and having a blast.”

The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow


the planner SIA 2012 Snow Show By Kepley DePalma

The challenge is not staying busy at SIA’s Snow Show—the abundant selection of activities and events both on- and off-site more than have that covered. The real challenge is planning ahead of time and going into the week with a solid game plan to avoid feeling rushed and overwhelmed. We developed this list to allow you to plan now and enjoy later.


Wednesday, January 25


Friday, January 27


5:00 p.m. Free Happy Hour

on-site events off-site events seminars


Sunday, January 29

CCCUSA Central Lounge & Food Court

10:00 a.m. Snowboard Market Overview Presented by Kelly Davis, Director of Research, SIA

11:00 a.m. Apparel Market Overview Presented by Kelly Davis, Director of Research, SIA

2:00 p.m. The Hottest Trend in Retail Presented by the Leisure Trends Group

8:45 p.m. Charity Shootout Ice Hockey Game, Benefitting SOS Outreach Hosts: Never Summer, 686, Snowboard Colorado Magazine, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Monster Energy Drinks Location: Foothills Ice Arena 2250 S Old Kipling, Lakewood, CO 80215

Thursday, January 26 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. SIA Snow Show 12:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. Color and Megatrends in Snow Sports

Presented by Jeanine Pesce, Stylesight

3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Free beer & music by DJ Zac Hendrix at the Arnette Booth

5:00 p.m. Free Happy Hour

CCCUSA Central Lounge & Food Court

6:00 p.m. SIA Snow Fashion & Trends Show

Mile High Ballroom

9:00 p.m. Industry Boxing Night

Host: 686 Location: Casselman’s Bar and Grill Invite Only Contact information/RSVP:

9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. SIA Snow Show 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Shmooza Palooza

Grand Concourse (Created and produced by

10:30 a.m. Get Paid Faster

Presented by Debbie Golbach and Sa.m.anta Allman, Commercial Credit Reports

11:00 a.m. Is Your Retail Business Social? Presented by Lynn Switanowski, Creative Business Consulting Group

12:00 p.m. I’ve Got a Facebook (Twitter/YouTube/Google+) Audience...Now What?

Presented by Jessica Hamel, Business Development Manager, Votigo Inc.

1:00 p.m. Managing Your Business in the Google Cloud-Tools to Help Your Retail Business Flourish Presented by Lynn Switanowski, Creative Business Consulting Group

1:30 p.m. Business to Business e-Commerce for Suppliers, Reps, And Retailers: New Tools for Quick And Easy Work Flow Presented by Whit Johnson, Principal PlumRiver LLC

6:00 p.m. SIA Snowsports Awards

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Free Pancake Breakfast

6:30 p.m. Icelantic’s Winter On The Rocks

9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. SIA Snow Show

CSCUSA Central Lounge

Location: Red Rocks Amphitheater Tickets:

7:00 p.m. Shoeshine Boot Exhibit & After Party

Host: Nike Music by Justin Benne, DJ mu$a, and special guest Location: Summit Music Hall

8:45 p.m. TransWorld SNOWboarding Riders’ Poll Awards 13

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Location: Fillmore Auditorium Tickets: Invites will be distributed to industry guests and athletes. General Admission tickets will be available through the Fillmore box office or through Live Nation.

Saturday, January 28 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. SIA Snow Show 11:00 a.m. Invest in Merchandising

Presented by Ali Levy, Merchandising Consultant

Atrium Lobby

Winter Park, Colorado

3:00 p.m. Buses depart

Colorado Convention Center to Winter Park & Devil’s Thumb Ranch

Monday, January 30 7:30 a.m. Buses depart

Colorado Convention Center to Winter Park & Devil’s Thumb Ranch

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On-Snow Demo Midday Office Booyz and girlz Re-Railer Park

Tuesday, January 31 7:30 a.m. Buses depart

Colorado Convention Center to Winter Park & Devil’s Thumb Ranch

1:00 p.m. Easy Ways To Improve your Marketing in 30 Minutes or Less

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On-Snow Demo

Presented by Karl Honig, Scott Winborne

3:00-6:00 p.m. Free beer & music by DJ Shortkut

5:30 p.m. Buses depart

3:00-6:00 p.m. Free beer & music by Mike Relm

5:00 p.m. Free Happy Hour

3:00 p.m. How Technology Can Enable Success in the Snow Sports Marketplace

at the Arnette Booth

5:00 p.m. Multi-Generational Marketing: Getting Boomers to Bust Out Their Wallets And Generating Moolah From the Millennials Presented by Lynn Switanowski, Creative Business Consulting Group

Presented by David Melnick, Siquis Limited

at the Arnette Booth

Winter Park and return to Colorado Convention Center

CCCUSA Central Lounge & Food Court

5:00 p.m. Celebrate the RECLAIM designers and their creations Booth #3317

The RECLAIM Project: 686, Malakye, and SIA are bringing back this compelling competition that pits three aspiring designers head-to-head and live on the show floor with the challenge of creating a unique jacket in just three days using only remnants. The winner receives a grip of prizes including an internship with 686.

For more information on parties from the likes of Burton, Oakley, Skullcandy, K2, and more visit for a full calendar of events. 018

The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow

A New Decade For Denver

party in the back

When SIA announced it was transitioning its trade show from Sin City­—a location it had called home for close to four decades—to the Mile High City, it had many in the industry wondering how the new venue would be received. The response was resoundingly positive in 2010, as attendees rallied around Denver, embracing the new location, especially the excuse to spend an extra day or two on the mountain before and after the show. While some had a hard time letting go of the Vegas nightlife (see the Burton booth), the snow industry as a whole has acclimated to Denver with great ease and is settling in for a third year of trade show business and partying. As we take a look back at the last few years of fun, TransWorld Business is gearing up for all that the 2012 show has in store. We’ll see you there!




01. Burton’s Social Media Manager Amanda Wormann and former PR Coordinator Jennie Walker. 02. 686 VP of Marketing Kristin Cusic, SVP of Operations Doug Sumi, and Founder Mike West. 03. Some serious talent: Jake Blauvelt, Eric Jackson, Mads Jonsson, and Danny Davis.



04. The crowd at the 2011 TransWorld SNOWboarding Riders’ Poll Awards. 05. Billabong Marketing Director Enich Harris and TransWorld SNOWboarding and Business Publisher Adam Cozens. 06. The 2010 Burton booth, a.k.a. “What Happens In Vegas…Stays In Denver,” helped usher in a new era with a nod to the old.



07. Cheese quesadilla and the latest issue of TransWorld Business­­—what more could anyone ask for? Neff Founder Shaun Neff agrees. 08. Danny Kass: Grenade mastermind and master accessorizer. 11

09. Mia Troy-Vowell getting in the spirit of things at the 2010 Burton booth.



10. A bird’s-eye view of the Colorado Convention Center. 11. The ever-lovely Danielle Beck and Lora Bodmer in the Roxy booth. 12. Sean Keough and Oren Tanzer at the Quik booth showing off the new 2011 T. Rice line during the daily happy hour. 13. Sessions Founder Joel Gomez, with legends Bob Klein and Terry Kidwell catching up at Skullcandy’s 2011 booth.




14. The Jackson brothers, John and Eric, celebrating John’s Rider of the Year award. 15. Ashton Maxfield getting deadly on Celtek’s Big Buck Hunter setup. 16. The Salomon/Bonfire crew. Former Marketing Manager Rian Rhoe, Founder Brad Steward, and Matt Alberts. 17. Marc Barros, Contour’s cofounder and CEO, showing off the company’s latest innovations. 18. A bustling lobby as SIA goers make their way inside the enormous convention center under the iconic blue bear’s gaze.

16 14


19. Skullcandy Founder Rick Alden and Director of Core Sales and Dealer Stokage Luke Edgar.

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The Guide: 2012 SIA Snow SHow


See You In Denver!

Register Now: si a s n o w s h o w . c o m