2018 Gear Pre­view

Ski and ac­ces­sory man­u­fac­tur­ers rolled out the red car­pet on their new lines dis­played at the Out­door Re­tailer Winter Mar­ket (OR) in Salt Lake City, Utah on Jan. 10-12 and at the Snows­ports In­dus­tries Amer­ica (SIA) Show in Den­ver, Colo. from Jan. 26-29. S

SkiTrax - - Contents - by Dalia and Dan Clausen

Salomon

Isaac Wil­son, the com­mer­cial man­ager for Salomon, en­thu­si­as­ti­cally pre­sented the new race-boot line at SIA, stat­ing that Salomon col­lected in­for­ma­tion from elite World Cup rac­ers Alex Harvey and Jessie Dig­gins about their needs in a ski boot, and trans­ferred that in­for­ma­tion to this new boot line. Much of the S-lab car­bon tech­nol­ogy is now found in this boot, in­clud­ing its long car­bon side­walls and full-car­bon sole. It has a for­ward free-flex­ing cuff, but­ter­fly zip­per and dis­as­so­ci­ated lac­ing, and is 50g lighter than its pre­de­ces­sor. The boot is sleek, light and pow­er­ful, no longer re­quir­ing the power strap across the top of the foot. It fea­tures the Prolink sole in­tro­duced by Salomon last year, but is also avail­able with the Pilot-bind­ing sole.

Next sea­son, Salomon will of­fer a racing skin ski. The S-race skin ski is light­weight and mod­eled af­ter its well-known S-lab se­ries. The ski will have Salomon's sig­na­ture Ze­o­lite base and fea­ture an up­graded skin sec­tion. The kick zone will have AT climb­ing-skin tech­nol­ogy's pink skin, wherein the hairs on the ski are shorter and laid in an up­graded braid­ing sys­tem that cre­ates im­proved glid­ing sur­face and con­sis­tent kick, re­sult­ing in a very suc­cess­ful high-end ski.

Salomon also in­tro­duces its S-race line this year, and it in­cludes an ex­tremely high-per­for­mance Clas­sic boot with a low-pro­file sole for su­perb snow feel. Its “skin con­struc­tion” wraps the boot around the foot, giv­ing a snug feel. An easy-toac­cess heel-ad­just­ment strap af­fords fur­ther com­fort cus­tomiza­tion. Car­bon ex­tends around the heel and into the sole for stiff­ness and op­ti­mal power trans­fer. The boot also has dis­so­ci­ated lac­ing and an in­ner sleeve for added com­fort and warmth. It comes in a Vi­tane women's-last ver­sion as well.

Ros­sig­nol

Ros­sig­nol is in­tro­duc­ing their new R-skin Race ski this sea­son. Nordic Di­vi­sion Man­ager Ryan Green, called it “a real-deal race ski.” Out of Ros­sig­nol's X-ium line, it has the ex­cep­tional char­ac­ter­is­tics that this line is known for, of­fer­ing good grip and con­sis­tent kick in al­most all snow con­di­tions. The shorter mo­hair piece en­hances the glide. In­tro­duc­ing skin tech­nol­ogy on higher-per­for­mance skis means more time ski­ing, even in challenging snow con­di­tions, or the abil­ity to go out for a quick evening ski post-work. This is also a good ski to have when trav­el­ling in var­i­ous cli­mates or con­di­tions, such as at an un­usu­ally warm ski race.

Fis­cher

Thomas Drindl, head of Fis­cher's Nordic di­vi­sion, in­tro­duced the Car­bon­lite Twin Skin ski, a new ad­di­tion to its racing line. Team Fis­cher has ap­plied its Twin Skin tech­nol­ogy – 100% mo­hair Twin Skin strips – to its light­est true-race-cam­bered ski, the Car­bon­lite. Drindl stated that not only is this a great train­ing ski, it is also an ex­cel­lent race ski. As well, Fis­cher has re­lo­cated its logo to nearer to the ski's bind­ing for im­proved vis­i­bil­ity when atop the podium. This cos­metic change will be made to its en­tire racing line.

Swix

Swix's Triac 3.0 is an up­dated and ex­cit­ing third gen­er­a­tion of this very suc­cess­ful pole. Cre­ator Svein Ped­er­sen, who was at SIA by way of Nor­way, stated that this ver­sion is at least 13% lighter - as if this prod­uct could get any lighter - and fea­tures their Triac Bas­ket Sys­tem (TBS), an easy-on-off bas­ket sys­tem that re­quires no glue and only a few sec­onds for changes, along with two new, light­weight bas­kets.

The strap ma­te­rial is lighter and con­tours bet­ter to the hand, as Swix elim­i­nated the neo­prene and re­placed it with a flex­i­ble, strong mesh. The straps are in­ter­change­able, de­pend­ing on your wrist size or glove thick­ness. The shaft is still the same car­bon qual­ity, how­ever the multi-colour paint scheme has been elim­i­nated, re­duced to only a sim­ple fin­ish so that the weight of the paint will not im­pact the pole's per­for­mance. The bas­kets now also have an alu­minum spike that sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces the weight of the pole. The new strap po­si­tion­ing and its at­tach­ment to the top of the pole al­low for power trans­fer down the cen­ter of the pole in­stead of from the side of the pole grip. This ex­cit­ing, in­no­va­tive pole is claimed to en­hance any skier's per­for­mance!

Swix is ex­cited to col­lab­o­rate with Jessie Dig­gins, a very suc­cess­ful mem­ber of the U.S. women's Nordic team, on a com­plete line of her sig­na­ture Nordic gloves. The stylish, func­tional col­lec­tion of gloves fea­tures leather palms. Both men's and women's glove op­tions in­clude a very light racing glove, a train­ing glove and a lob­ster-split mitt. All fea­ture Dig­gins' per­sonal motto printed on the palm: “Your Moment, Your Race.”

Tur­namic Bind­ing

In 2010, Fis­cher be­gan de­vel­op­ing its own in­te­grated Nordic bind­ing sys­tem that slides onto a fixed plate. Fis­cher col­lab­o­rated with Ros­sig­nol, and to­gether they have worked to in­tro­duce the new Tur­namic bind­ing sys­tem for next sea­son. This bind­ing is fo­cused on a turn-lock mech­a­nism that is very easy to get in and out of. The slid­ing-plate sys­tem is easy to use, so the skier may set the unit ahead or be­hind the bal­ance point, de­pend­ing on the snow con­di­tions. The new bind­ing and plate set are in two pieces over the wax pocket to of­fer more pre­ci­sion in the kick and flex of the ski, de­liv­er­ing im­proved feel of the wax pocket.

An ad­di­tional ben­e­fit comes in the boot soles, as Ros­sig­nol and Fisher now have the abil­ity to fine-tune their boot lines even fur­ther, as they de­sign, de­velop and pro­duce their en­tire prod­uct “in-house.” The com­pa­nies are both pro­duc­ing an en­tire range of bind­ing and boot sys­tems for ju­niors, tour­ing and racing skiers.

Alpina

Mar­ket­ing Man­ager Ja­son Stadler in­tro­duced Alpina's new RSK racing skate-clas­sic boot for next sea­son. The boot up­per is made of a neo­prene Thin­su­late fab­ric, which is stretch­able, wa­ter-re­sis­tant and of­fers a great deal of warmth. A sim­ple lac­ing sys­tem keeps the boot snug, and a cuff sta­bi­lizer im­proves per­for­mance as well. Spe­cific to Alpina is its heel-grip sta­bi­lizer, which of­fers cus­tom­ized heel fit and com­fort. Alpina boots use the NNN bind­ing sys­tem by Rot­te­fella. Stadler added that the boot of­fers “warmth, per­for­mance and com­fort.”

Atomic

Atomic has in­tro­duced its Red­ster C9 racing-level skin ski af­ter the great suc­cess of its Sk­in­tec line. This is a lighter, more

dy­namic ski than its orig­i­nal Sk­in­tec, but still of­fers the 100% mo­hair strip that pro­vides re­li­able grip/kick. The slightly lower cam­bered “power kick zone” means 100% of your power trans­fers di­rectly to your kick. The ski also fea­tures Atomic's ul­tra­light Nomex core, a more nar­row side­cut and flex­i­ble nar­row ski tip, pro­vid­ing less drag and mak­ing it race-ready! Atomic has also worked with its spon­sored World Cup skiers to de­velop a new Red­ster skate ski, fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful launch of its Red­ster Clas­sic ski last sea­son. Sim­i­lar to the Clas­sic ver­sion and now the light­est skate ski on the mar­ket, its 100% car­bon chas­sis and a nar­row tip re­sult in a ski that of­fers speed and sta­bil­ity all in one! As well, Atomic uses a racing cam­ber and V-shape side­cut to pro­vide ex­plo­sive ac­cel­er­a­tion and power. The up­dated Atomic Red­ster graphic is quite eye-catch­ing as well.

One Way

Sk­i­trax met with One Way USA Pres­i­dent Ge­off Hur­witch who was ex­cited to talk about its new Mag pole. It fea­tures a quick, sim­ple and easy way to get in and out of your poles, while keep­ing your straps on over your gloves. It in­volves a small metal ball on the strap that mag­net­i­cally pulls into the pole and, us­ing one's in­dex fin­ger, quickly re­leases with one snap. This is a great pole for coaches, ski in­struc­tors, par­ents and biath­letes, es­sen­tially any­one who needs to get out of their poles of­ten. Easy, ac­tive and in­tu­itive, this is an ex­cit­ing ad­vance­ment in ski poles.

Mad­shus

Jon Few­ster, cat­e­gory man­ager for Mad­shus Nordic, in­tro­duced the new nanocar­bon skate boot, based on Mad­shus's super-nano boot on which Heidi Weng won the 2017 Tour de Ski. It has a one-piece in­te­grated power base, whereby the same piece of ma­te­rial be­gins at the cuff, ex­tends around the heel, through the sole to the tip of the toe to pro­duce rigid­ity, su­pe­rior power trans­fer and tor­sional con­trol. The rigid ma­te­rial ex­tend­ing from the cuff to the tip of the toe al­lows for con­tin­ued power trans­fer and propul­sion from the ini­ti­a­tion through com­ple­tion of each push-off, es­pe­cially when em­ploy­ing V2 tech­nique. It has a slightly wider last to ac­com­mo­date a greater va­ri­ety of foot shapes and sizes with­out com­pro­mis­ing per­for­mance.

Toko

This year, Toko in­tro­duced a soft wax box, far more stream­lined than the large bright iconic yel­low hard case of the past. The best part of this is that there is no wasted space in its well-laid-out soft flex­i­ble shell. This smaller case still holds all of the nec­es­sary wax­ing items. The top pocket holds items such as klis­ters and hard waxes, which can be stored in the plas­tic con­tain­ers in­cluded.

The larger zip­pered bot­tom pocket can hold a wax iron even while still hot, its in­te­rior pro­tected with a heat-re­sis­tant ma­te­rial. The side pock­ets have enough room for a va­ri­ety of brushes or items such as ski vises. This soft, very prac­ti­cal bag also trav­els well in small spa­ces, such as a car trunk, and can also eas­ily be worn like back­pack.

Toko has also de­vel­oped a new boot bag for this sea­son. The bag can ac­com­mo­date Nordic or alpine boots, is wa­ter­proof and has a bot­tom made of a ma­te­rial that won't crack, even in ex­tremely cold tem­per­a­tures. There are ex­tra pock­ets for items such as sun­glasses and other ac­ces­sories. An at­trac­tive low-pro­file bag, it can be worn as a

back­pack com­fort­ably.

Leki Poles

Leki is in­tro­duc­ing its new Nordic Shark Fin Vario pole sys­tem, where the tip al­lows the in­ter­change of four bas­ket op­tions. The bas­ket sim­ply twists or threads on and off. It also locks or snaps in place, so it won't spin when in use. Four bas­kets for dif­fer­ent snow con­di­tions, as well as a sum­mer roller­ski bas­ket are of­fered. The shaft is made of 100% car­bon and is dou­ble-braided in both a trans­verse and lon­gi­tu­di­nal fash­ion to pro­vide su­pe­rior stiff­ness and sta­bil­ity. This light­weight pole also comes with Leki's World Cup Per­for­mance straps, which en­sure ex­tremely ef­fec­tive power trans­fer. Sales

and Cus­tomer Ser­vice Man­ager Marty Cal­la­han shared that this pole will be of­fered in a fun pink, sim­i­lar to the colour on poles used by many fe­male World Cup Nordic and alpine skiers.

Vauhti

Vauhti now of­fers a light­weight, easyto-use, yet ex­tremely sta­ble wax bench that is trans­portable, com­pact and fits eas­ily into a ski bag or the back of most cars. The ski at­tach­ment and quick-re­lease are part of one sim­ple mech­a­nism that clips on and re­leases eas­ily. This is a great prod­uct for any skier who trav­els, or as a per­ma­nent fix­ture in one's home. This has to be the most sta­ble bench we've seen in a long time, even un­der heavy pres­sure, brush­ing or scrap­ing.

Bjorn Daehlie

Ac­cord­ing to the prin­ci­pals at Bjorn Daehlie, the Spec­trum 3.0 is the favourite jacket of the Nor­we­gian Na­tional cross-coun­try ski team. This light­weight tech­ni­cal jacket has breath­able pan­els, four-way stretch and is wa­ter-re­pel­lant. The sleeves are ar­tic­u­lated with mesh un­der­arm pan­els to fur­ther en­hance the com­fort and aid in body-tem­per­a­ture con­trol. The soft­shell ma­te­rial feels nice against your skin. This jacket could also be used when roller­ski­ing, run­ning or bik­ing. It has two front pock­ets, as well as re­flec­tive de­tails for safety should you be out in the dark. It comes in at­trac­tive colours for both men and women.

For the up­com­ing sea­son, Bob Donker, di­rec­tor of Bjorn Daehlie's in­ter­na­tional sales, in­tro­duced its tour­ing Gatineau jacket. This at­trac­tive, com­fort­able jacket comes in a two-tone colour op­tion. It is made of a soft­shell and rib­stop com­bi­na­tion, with a hood and wind­proof re­in­force­ments around the shoul­der area to help main­tain warmth. The sleeves are ar­tic­u­lated for op­ti­mal move­ment while ski­ing. Its pock­ets are large enough to hold a few per­sonal items se­curely. This is also a good cross­over piece to wear for other out­door ac­tiv­i­ties.

Bjorn Daehlie is also in­tro­duc­ing an ex­cit­ing new prod­uct to its base­layer line called Air­net. Made of 100% merino wool with mesh con­struc­tion, it pro­vides warmth and in­su­la­tion, while re­mov­ing ex­cess heat from the body when nec­es­sary. The quick-dry ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the wool keep the body warm and dry. Ac­cord­ing to Donker, Air­net is ef­fec­tive at keep­ing ath­letes warm, while also main­tain­ing a dry, com­fort­able and odor-free state, even sug­gest­ing prod­uct could be worn for mul­ti­ple days with­out wash­ing if need be due to the ma­te­rial's odor-free prop­er­ties. It is a light, thin base­layer, soft to touch, with­out any tight­ness or re­stric­tion, and a slim fit that leaves you feel­ing as if you are hardly wear­ing a base­layer at all.

Start Skin Care

Start is now of­fer­ing a line of prod­ucts for skin skis, in­clud­ing skin grip, skin-grip fluor spray and skin-grip wipes. Th­ese prod­ucts work best in a -15°C to 5°C tem­per­a­ture range, and lend anti-ic­ing and wa­ter-re­pel­lent prop­er­ties to the skins' mo­hair ma­te­rial. They also help pro­tect the skins from dry­ness dam­age, mak­ing the skis glide bet­ter and turn more eas­ily, thereby en­hanc­ing per­for­mance. Start USA owner Andrew Ger­lach stated th­ese prod­ucts are a must for next sea­son's trend in skin skis.

Au­clair

New for this year from Au­clair is the Gatineau In­te­grated 2-Fin­ger Claw glove. Di­rec­tor, Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Sport Di­vi­sion Pa­trick Mitschuinig ex­plained that the 2-Fin­ger Claw al­lows fin­gers to stay warm with­out com­pro­mis­ing dex­ter­ity. The glove is made of 70g Thin­su­late with a Chamude palm, which keeps you warmer for longer when out in the el­e­ments. The knit cuff fits snugly around the wrist, and will not in­ter­fere with pole straps. The glove comes in a va­ri­ety of at­trac­tive colours.

Buff

Buff is in­tro­duc­ing new head­wear made of thin, seam­less Ther­monet ma­te­rial. Ther­monet is a pri­maloft yarn that is four times warmer than mi­crofi­bre, prov­ing that you don't need bulky ma­te­rial to stay warm. Also ex­cit­ing, this new prod­uct wicks mois­ture away from skin, keep­ing you warm and dry.

This year, Buff is of­fer­ing ad­di­tional op­tions in its merino-wool head­wear line. It will con­tinue to pro­duce its award-win­ning light­weight head­wear made of 100% eco-friendly merino wool, but will also of­fer new mid­weight and heavy­weight merino-wool ver­sions. The mid­weight will have a thicker con­struc­tion, and the heavy­weight will fea­ture dou­ble-lay­ered con­struc­tion. All still of­fer the same soft feel, breatha­bil­ity and odor-re­sis­tance in a va­ri­ety of colour choices.

Honey Stinger

Honey Stinger is pleased to an­nounce the in­tro­duc­tion of the Gluten Free Or­ganic Wild­flower Honey Waf­fle to its line-up. It is sim­i­lar to Stroop­wafel cook­ies from The Nether­lands, but made of or­ganic and nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents. The gluten-free waf­fle is a mix­ture of rice flour, potato flour and tapi­oca starch in­stead of wheat flour. Great to take on long ski ex­cur­sions, bik­ing, hik­ing or any other en­durance ac­tiv­ity, its car­bo­hy­drates and sugar from nat­u­ral and or­ganic honey pro­vide ath­letes with the nu­tri­tion and en­ergy they need. The waf­fle is also de­li­cious as a snack or treat, so you may have to hide the box in the back of your pantry, or be­fore you know it, it will be gone!

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Salomon S-race Clas­sic boot Fis­cher Car­bon­lite Twin Skin ski

Tur­namic bind­ing

Swix Triac 3.0 pole (l) Atomic Red­ster C9 Sk­in­tec ski (r) Rossi's R-skin Race ski

Alpina RSK boot

Jessie Dig­gins Warm Mitt

Mad­shus Nano Car­bon Skate boot

Vauhti wax bench

Toko soft wax box

(left) Leki Shark Fin Vario pole

(right) One Way Premio SLG 8 MAG Point

Start Skin Care line

Bjorn Daehlie Spec­trum jacket

Honey Stinger gluten-free waf­fle

Au­clair In­te­grated 2 Fin­ger Claw glove

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