SIA Show: Braving the booths on Opening Day

Braving the downtown parking prices, I hit opening of the Snowsports Industries of America show at the Colorado Convention Center. Hordes and hordes of exhibitors were on the main floor of the show, including several local Colorado companies.

While the après-ski show parties haven't really gotten into full swing yet, drink specials are in full effect at many of the  bars on the 16th Street Mall and clubs like Vinyl and the Funky Buddha all weekend. Many of the local resorts have partnered with certain bars to do après-events where they have schwag give-aways and drink specials.

Most of the major brands -- Head, K2, Line, Tecnica, Rossignol, and others -- were represented at big flashy booths. Befitting their faux-rebel image, some of the flashiest booths were from snowboard manufacturers like Burton, who paid tribute to the SIA's former Vegas heritage with a gambling-themed setup. HD helmet-camera manufacturer GoPro displayed several stunning videos, such as


that were shot at Mt. Hood, while getting people fired up for shooting their own rad vids.

Colorado's own Icelantic skis were some of the prettiest of the show, and made me eager to try them at Monday's Winter Park demo day. Look for a story on Icelantic soon. Boulder's Backcountry Access, who will be offering free clinics at next Saturday's Basin Beacon Bowl at Arapahoe Basin, showed their new Avalanche Float Pack, which deploys an airbag to help a skier stay on top of a slide.

Top clothing manufacturers like Arc'Terxy, Obermeyer, Marmot, and Fly Low had bright new outfits that displayed excellent levels of function. Swix and SVST had booths well stocked with ski tuning equipment.

Frankly, given the sheer size of the event, getting together a plan of attack took up half the day. I'll head back Saturday and Sunday to have some reps show me their latest and greatest.

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