Snow Market Product Spotlight | Ten Noteworthy Pieces From SIA 2016
Editor’s Note: As a part of our Winter Trend Series, we felt it only necessary to include the top ten products turning heads going into the Winter 2016/17 season. Check out our full roster of top trends here: transworldbusiness.com/trend-series
Classic snowboarding gear is hard to ignore. It's proven and it works. But innovation has to start somewhere before it can take root. Sometimes a new product idea is no more than an experiment. Other times that experiment can completely change the game. Often a certain piece of gear just looks cool. Eccentric board shapes were the dominating trend at this year's show, yet some things are stirring in binding, goggle and boot innovation as well. Here are ten standouts that caught our eye.
1. Oakley Line Miner Goggles with Prizm Inferno
Oakley's new Line Miner goggle has a sleek cylindrical profile but it's the defrost option with the Prizm Inferno accessory that was really turning heads. Modeled off a mix of the radiant heat design found in a car's rear window and defroster, the new Prizm Inferno heater lens option features a small battery powered unit that slips over the strap and heats the inner lens for three minutes at a time to dissipate moisture, ice, snow or sweat that can fog up your goggles.
2. K2 Taro Tamai Snowsurfer Boot
Legendary snowboard shaper Taro Tamai of Gentemstick paired with K2 on the design of their new Snowsurfer boot. Rather than a Sorel in disguise the Snowsurfer has high-end features like a Vibram sole, Boa lacing, neoprene lace and tongue cover, and premium Intuition liner. Drawing on the foot, ankle and leg movement of surfing and skateboarding, the Snowsurfer promotes mobility and feel without sacrificing support for those who dig soulful carves and sweet tweaks.
3. Smith ChromaPop Lenses
Smith brings their widely popular ChromaPop lens technology to goggles. ChromaPop lenses optimize color, increase clarity and produce greater definition. It's like a subtle psychedelic for your eyes. According to Smith "The ChromaPop lenses filter light at two specific wavelengths to eliminate color confusion to your brain providing a sharper, easier and faster visual experience." The crisp polarization these lenses create is addictive. They're releasing three ChromaPop lens tints for 2016/2017 alongside new I/O, Women's I/O and Riot goggles.
4. Capita Kazu Kokubo Pro
Kazu is one of the most talented snowboarders on the planet and for his first Capita pro model he's unleashed a freestyle powder machine. Taking traits from Capita's renowned Charlie Slasher model, the Kazu Pro has a slightly tapered shape (6-10mm depending on size) and nice rockered nose with camber from the front foot to the tail for power and smaller volume that sinks when going forward, but it's not as noticeable when going backward. Capita also unveiled some firsts with this board like new carbon fiber arcs for power, pop and control in the tips; their fastest base to date; and durable, yet reactive Bi-Resin in the fiberglass layup.
5. Bent Metal Bindings
Bent Metal is back with a vengeance. They're releasing three new bindings models—the Logic, Transfer and Solution—that range from soft to stiff in terms of flex and response. All feature a new baseplate design that's composed of multiple layers of material—from foam to carbon fibers—to enhance control, cushioning, power and flex. They're tooled with clean looking straps and highbacks and still feature the classic cube forward lean adjustment.
6. Von Zipper ALT Goggle
Why use a frame at all? That's the reasoning behind Von Zipper's new "All Lens Technology" or ALT goggle. The minimalistic goggle features dual-density foam padding with a soft microfiber material attached directly to the lens itself in lieu of a frame. The strap simply hooks into slits on the sides of the lens. Swapping out lenses is as simple as slipping the strap off and sliding it onto a different lens. Cutting the frame from the equation gives them a minimalistic look and makes them feather light.
7. Arbor Bindings
Arbor has been making some moves lately with the introduction of additional team riders and creative new board models, now they've leapt into binding world with the Cypress and Hemlock models. Both provide power and support with aluminum heel cups and braided cables in the straps, yet the minimal baseplate footprint, generous padding and tiny baseplate discs promote flex. With svelte and contoured straps and highbacks we're eager to strap in.
8. Burton x Danner Boots
Burton partnered up with the legendary Pacific Northwest boot maker, Danner, for the release of this new boot. Inspired by Danner's iconic mountain boots and high-quality craftsmanship, this snowboard boot is finished off with premium leather, laces, eyelets and lace hooks. Burton adds their industry leading boot tech like a 30% recycled Vibram sole, heat reflective foil in the sole, generous cushioning and more.
9. Karakoram Connect Bindings
For riders looking to simplify their quiver from resort to backcountry and solid board to splitboard check out Karakoram's new Connect binding system. Featured on the Prime Connect, Prime Connect RCT and Women's Prime Connect, the system allows you to mount the bindings on any type of board with a 4×4 or standard splitboard mounting pattern with their Quiver Connector plates or splitboard mounting hardware. Not only does it offer split and solid compatibility, the mounting system and binding design enhances drive, control and flex.
10. 686 GLCR Weapon Jacket and Bibs
The folks at 686 have been making quality and innovative outerwear for years and a new partnership with Gore-Tex ups the technical offering. The new GLCR Weapon Smarty 3-in-1 jacket and pant have all the bells and whistles from vents to gaiters, YKK waterproof zippers to Recco rescue chips, taped seams and now legendary Gore-Tex waterproofing and breathability. The best additional feature of the Weapon Jacket and Bib Pant lies in the removable Primaloft insulated pants and vest that come with both.