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Live from the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo: Flying bodies and emptying wallets

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See more photos from the Expo on the slideshow page.

The first day of the 18th annual Denver Ski and Snowboard Expo got off to a raging start at the Colorado Convention Center. Walking into the venue, a dizzying array of resorts offered last-minute deals on lift tickets, lodging, and season passes, while people flew through the air and wallets emptied.

Intrawest resorts Winter Park, Copper, and Steamboat were selling the Super Pass on site. Loveland and Arapahoe Basin both had discounted 4-packs for $109, and Echo Mountain was offering their season pass for $169, the last weekend it will be so deeply discounted. In addition to the Colorado resorts, Jackson Hole and Taos, New Mexico were both in the buidling. Several Canadian heli-ski outfits were also at the Expo.

The Flying Ace All Stars gave an impressive exhibition of aerial maneuvers (photos below), stirring parental fears and inspiring the next generation of Jackasses.

In the retail area, shoppers took in the latest in ski design.

"Some of the new cool things that are happening out there are full body rocker stuff and progressive sidecuts," Alan Nolting, ski buyer for Specialty Sports, told On the Edge. "The versatility of them, and how fun they are on snow, people are really excited about them.

"On the boot side of things, something that has been pretty intuitive is from Salomon, and that's the Custom Shell, where it allows you to heat and mold the shell, and that's been very popular."

Snowboarders, meanwhile, are looking for products for powder and the park.

"The hottest trend right now is definitely reverse-cambered snowboards," said Erik Johnson, snowboard buyer for Specialty Sports. "Whether it's freestyle, freeride, park, or powder, that's definitely the buzzword right now. It makes the board easier to ride, and the edges don't have a tendency to dig into the snow."

Female riders also had plenty to choose from at the Expo.

"Most of them are specifically designed for women now; they're not just a paint job," said Johnson. "The sidecuts, the flex patterns, are all designed on the center of a gravity on a woman being different from a man's."

The Expo continues on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.



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