From February 17 to 19, approximately 60 reps showing nearly 120 lines set up shop in the recently revamped Chair Two area of Mammoth Mountain Resort in California. This was a new location for the show and the addition of two high-speed quads–Stump Alley and Gold Rush–gave retailers access to more terrain for some quick demo action. High winds and variable snow conditions made for an interesting event to say the least.

According to Mary Shoshone of the Mammoth Mountain marketing department, the decision to relocate the show was made jointly between the Western Winter Sports Reps Association and the mountain. “A lot of the reps I talked to loved the new location,” Shoshone says. “They’ve been asking to have it in that area for years.”

There were some complaints, but most of those were directed at Mother Nature. She served up some brutal winds the first two days, lifting tents and scattering product around the show. But after a few good gusts, most of the presenters figured out ingenious ways of tying down their booths. Spare tires, buckets of snow, or anything heavy helped keep the show going.

High winds on the second day threatened to shut down the mountain, but as any Californian knows, you can’t predict what the weather is going to do next. After a bitter morning, the gales mellowed out to a mere 30 miles per hour or so, allowing lifts to reopen. The conditions did allow for a perfect opportunity to test out some new apparel from either Rip Curl or Mission Six.

Excellent grooming and a few inches of new snow made for a beautiful wrap-up on Friday. But even with the show ending at noon on the last day, a few manufacturers were seen sneaking out of their booths for a morning “clinic.”

Though there were rumors that this year’s show seemed poorly attended, according to Shoshone a total of 300 shop employees drove in from all over Southern California to test the new goods. Retailers like Surfride, in both Oceanside and Solana Beach, took this event very seriously, bringing up eighteen employees. Liberty Board Shop in Brea had a total of eight staff members on the snow. Shoshone says these numbers were very close to last years’.–Robyn Hakes