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
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 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.
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'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.”
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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 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 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!
Salomon S-race Classic boot Fischer Carbonlite Twin Skin ski
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