Already getting geared up for ’99/00 in Crested Butte, Colorado Boarder Owner Seth Weiner was optimistic that he would wrap up the shop’s orders prior to Vegas. He planned on attending the Aspen On-snow in mid February followed by WWSRA Rocky Mountain Snowboard and Ski in Denver on February 16—18. Then, if all went well, he hoped to avoid Las Vegas altogether.
“It seems like most people discount by the end of the Denver show,” explains Weiner. “I think we can get everything done if we sit down the week after the show–if not, we’ll go down to Vegas and buy sunscreen, gaiters, and have some fun.”
By mid February, Weiner hadn’t had much opportunity to check out a wide sampling of next year’s product, but says both K2 and Burton are looking strong. In particular, he highlights noticeable improvements with the K2 Clickers. “The boot is leaps and bounds over what it has been,” he says.
Down in Boulder, Twist Owner Lori Hon planned on visiting the Denver show and Vegas. “Our orders will be turned in at Vegas,” she says confidently.
She is enthusiastic about Burton’s boards and softgoods. Ride also looks promising with its new metallic-colored bindings. She singles out Nitro’s boot program, with its custom-fit liners, as a comforting step forward: “I tried on a few pairs of boots that were too big for me, and there was still no heel lift.”
In Telluride, Colorado, Slopestyle Owner Jackie Schuiling says she would attend four shows before her ordering would be complete. After Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Aspen On-Snow, the pre-Vegas Denver Show, and Vegas itself, Schuiling says her orders should be in. Accessories are one exception and will be done in April.
“Since most companies offer discounts to get orders in early, I’m hoping to have ordering done by Vegas,” she says, “However, since accessory orders have later deadlines, they may be done later.”
Looking at the new gear, Schuiling is impressed with the more technical three-layer outerwear emerging on the scene. She says prices are in line with what she’s paying for outerwear fromsuch brands as The North Face and Marmot, yet the snowboard products are becoming more and more functional. “Finally,” she adds, “there is more of a selection for women. Boards are now offered in a series rather than just one size, like a 151, for females.”
She says helmets are also looking good–in particular Boeri’s new colors and improved aerodynamics. “Spy has also come out with a new goggle made to fit with helmets,” says a satisfied Schuiling.
The staff down at Experience Snowboards in Angel Fire, New Mexico will cover a few miles to attend Aspen On-Snow, Las Vegas, and the post-Vegas Denver Show. Owner Brandon Peterson says the trip to Denver would serve mostly as a follow-up to the bulk of the ordering they will do in Vegas.
“We should have over 90 percent of orders finished by the end of Vegas,” says Peterson, “and then go to Denver to tie up a few loose ends.”
Peterson feels products seem to be steadily improving, although he hasn’t witnessed any startling changes for next year’s goods. “Everything seems to be a refinement,” Peterson says.
Orion Burnham, manager of Powder Tools in Snowbird, Utah concurs with Peterson as far as the appearance of new products. While he does not see any outstanding modifications thus far, he mentions Northwave’s Switch-compatible boot and binding combo as one exception.
As manager of a rather large chain store, Vegas will be the only large-scale show attended by Burnham. Powder Tools (part of Christy Sports) has one major buyer, Chuck Mason, who attends a wide variety of shows and completes the paperwork. Orders, according to Burnham, will be complete by the end of time spent in Veggas.
“We give our input according to local taste,” says Burnham about how they assist in the ordering procedures.