Every year the best in the snow sports industry descend upon Denver and the latest in trends, fashion and technology are revealed. The Snowsports Industry Association, more commonly know as S.I.A.; is the fuel behind the driving force of the show. After taking over the Denver Convention Center they open their doors to vendors, retailers and press from around the world; granting exclusive access and the first viewing of next year’s product lines and a sneak peak at the technology that may or may not have reached the public market. This tantalizing temptation is unfortunately not open to the public; you must be a retailer, vendor or press to attend. Over 80% of the upcoming seasons buying power resonates with the trends that arise during S.I.A.
SIA runs the course of six days, the first four being held in the Convention Center to showcase all hard and soft goods. The final two days are on-snow demo days featuring Alpine, Snowboard and Nordic for testing at Copper Mountain. The best part of this show is that amount of local talent and design that is being showcased. In this arena of world-class vendors Colorado brands are pushing the limits of technology and style. If you love buying local, killer equipment and gear these are the top ten local brands to watch.
1. Backcountry Access – Boulder, CO: The BCA Float Airbags are the first of their kind, both affordable and reusable. Designed to keep you near the surface in an avalanche and minimize evacuation time.
2. Zeal Optics – Boulder, CO: Zeal Optics has eliminated the need to reach into your pocket and fumble with your phone for that epic shot. They put a hi tech camera right into the frame of your lens, you see what the picture will be, literally.
3. Faction Skis – Breckenridge, CO: Faction Skis started in 2006 and their new line of rocketed backcountry beasts were earning high marks thru the show and during the on-snow portion of demos, definitely one of my personal favorites.
4. Venture Snowboards – Denver, CO: Venture Snowboards were born in the rugged terrain of Silverton, Colorado and their flawless spilt board designs are made to explore and thrive in the backcountry.
5. FlyLow Gear – Denver CO: FlyLow is outwear that simply won’t quit. Since their inception they have made calculated tweaks to ensure the highest quality and ultimate wind and waterproofing. These guys get better every year.
6. CandyGrind – Eastlake, CO: Finally glove with style and function. CandyGrind combines the best in technology with fashion and trends that will catch your eye and keep your hands happy.
7. Dynafit – Boulder, CO: Dynafit is forging the trail in touring bindings for skis. Lightweight technical genius is the only way to describe their amazing products. You will definitely beat your friends up the mountain with these on your feet.
8. Fat-ypus Skis – Denver, CO: Fat-ypus Skis offer a range from Park to all mountain ski but its their Powder skis that really shine. They look like a snowboard on each foot, and feel like you are wearing rockers monster trucks.
9. Akinz – Fort Collins, CO: Handmade, one of a kind beanies; its time to stop matching all of your friends.
10. Phunkshun Wear – Silverthorne, CO: Protect that beautiful face of yours with these amazing face masks. The sun is harsh in the winter, your goggle tan will eventually arrive, but a goggle burn is never cute.