Every year the ski and snowboard industry descends on Denver for the annual SIA Snow Show. 956 brands from around the world join retailers, resorts and press to debut innovations and new styles for the Fall 2016 winter season. We got an insider peak at the Colorado brands that are pushing the envelope and charging into the future of ski and snowboard gear. These are the companies to watch and covet for next level gear; here are the top 7 local lookouts for Fall 2016:
1. SubQ Designs
Coming in at number one is SubQ Designs and these Colorado boys mean business. SubQ Designs is the official winner of the 2016 Outside Magazine Gear of the Show Award at Outdoor Retailer. The Fall 2016 Jackson Jacket went through a major overhaul from the original prototype. Miltary inspired design and durability have gone into every inch of the new Jackson Jacket it’s, “sleeker, sexier, more breathable and a lighter overall system,” states Wes Worthington. “The Jackson Jacket eliminates the need for a back pack.” The SubQ Jackson Jacket is fully ABS compatible and weighs in at only 8lbs. 11 oz. with jacket, vest and the complete ABS airbag system. The Jackson Jacket defines its own lightweight class.
No matter the activity you chose as your go-to winter hobby a quality pair of socks is crucial to your enjoyment and success. Smartwool is debuting the PHD Ski & Slopestyle Collection for Fall 2016. These socks are indestructalwool and contain their revolutionary 4 stage construction system. These socks are engineered to be the “best fitting sock to date,” says Jody Carlson from Smartwool. Comfort meets durability in the Conrad Anker signature sock, “The Mountaineer.” This sock was the crowd favorite at SIA, displaying Conrad’s signature anchor and field approved by this incredible athlete. Find “The Mountaineer” and the rest of the indestructawool F16 Smartwool PHD Collection at your local vendor.
3. RMU Skis
For the Ladies:
RMU loves the ladies. They love the ladies so much, that they didn’t just “shrink it and pink it,” says Derek Parron. When it came to designing a new ski for winter 2016, they innovated. The Junia 95 is the answer to the Apostle in the men’s line. RMU moved the center line up on the Junia and added early rise to the tall to give you the float that you desire on powder days and complete control on bluebird groomer weekends.
Artist on the Rise:
Colorado native Cameron is bringing the wild to life. Featured at the RMU booth throughout SIA, Cameron is 303 Magazine’s artist on the rise. Combining her passion for the outdoors with her artistic talent, Cameron’s wild skulls are truly Colorado masterpieces. Discover her art here.
For the Boys:
The Apostle 105 has been Rocky Mountain Underground’s number one selling ski and the selection of 13 top outdoor editor’s picks, but in winter 2016 RMU is expanding on their success to debut the Apostle 98. The first thing you’ll notice is the tip rocker. The Apostle 98 is designed to convey the float of the 105 with the 98 underfoot, effectively building the ultimate all mountain ski. RMU got this inspirational idea from the hull of a boat to create their innovative “Dynamic Early Rise.” The Apostle 98 is “indestructible, playful, my one ski quiver.” –Derek Parrron
Founded in 2011 in Silverthorne, Colorado Phunkshun has been keeping your pretty face protected from the elements for over 5 years. Phunkshun creates a completely Denver based product from start to finish, sourcing all of their fabrics from the USA, except for their merino wool. “All the happiest sheep live in Australia,” exclaims Wendy Jonon and who could argue with her? In Fall 2016 Phunkshun gets even greener. Every Phunkshun mask will be created from 10 to 15 plastic water bottles. Breaking the plastic down transferring the plastic to pellets and weaving these into fabric allows Phunkshun to bring you the 1st 100% recyclable face mask. All of this environmental goodness has not gone unnoticed, Phunkshun has been awarded the Colorado Environmental Leadership Award-Bronze and the Certifiably Green Denver Award. This next level green production will hopefully earn them the gold.
Boulder based backcountry gurus BCA have done it again. As the most trusted name in backcountry tools we have come to expect the best from BCA and they never disappoint. The Backcountry Access gear for winter 2016 is sleek and powerful, with color choices galore. This year at SIA Backcountry Access participated in the SIA Backcountry Experience. The BCA team is committed to education and the Know Before You Go program, encouraging everyone at every level to get educated on avalanche danger. Be safe, party hard, don’t forget your BCA Beacon and stay classy Colorado.
6. Zeal Optics
Upgrade your spec game with Zeal Optics Automatic Plus lens. This new lens is photocromatic and polarized with an 18-33% VLT rating. VLT or visible light transmission determines the amount of sun and harmful rays that can permeate the lens to affect your eyes and vision. The Zeal Optics Automatic Plus will cover all your days from bluebird to winter storms it is the #1 lens of winter 2016.
7. Never Summer Industries
2016 is the year to play with shapes. Never Summer Industries is leading the charge into the counter culture of snowboards, creating awe-inspiring shapes that are bound for snowboard shops in winter 2016. The new shapes of Never Summer winter 2016 line proves that funky boards are no longer just for powder hounds. The new 2016 A-Symmetrical Funslinger is the go-to lightweight freestyle board that can hang in the park and float in the side country. This board features augmented camber underfoot to give you more control while maintaining rocker throughout the tip and tail to allow float when you find that hidden pow stash. The Funslinger has a blunt tip and tail to give you a wide platform to give you extra ollie power and playfulness.