SIA Day One - Team Moose Tech Does Denver

Thursday was the first day of the SIA snowsports trade show in Denver Colorado. Dana, Zoe, and myself woke up early to head down to the Denver Convention Center for some shenanigans. This was the first time any of us had been to Denver (with the exception of the time I spent in the airport last year). We were all very keen on seeing how the Denver SIA show would play out.

Perhaps the polar bear smells food
When we first arrived at the convention center, we were almost frightened by the giant blue polar bear peering into the windows.

The first order of business when we arrived at the convention center was to pick up some badges for Dana and Zoe. I already had my badge since it was delivered to me by mail, but Zoe and Dana registered later so they had to wait in line. When everyone was “badged up”, we decided to go on a quest to find some breakfast before heading out onto the convention floor. This is when we discovered Jason's Deli on 16th Street near California Street, only two blocks away from our hotel. If you're ever visiting Denver, I highly recommend it; the price is right, the food is pretty darn good, and if you're in town for SIA (or any other tradeshow for that matter), it's also really close to the convention center.

Once we were fed, and made a quick stop at Starbucks for some yuppie caffeine, we made our way back to the convention center to get the lay of the land. However, we wound up getting lost -- the signs directing us where to go were clearly not written in Canadian -- and it took us about half an hour to find the entrance. When we finally got inside, we went to the Helly Hansen booth, which had a second level, to get a bird's eye view of the entire convention floor as well as check out what HH has in store for next season.

As we were making our way through the convention area, the McDavid HexPad booth caught our attention. McDavid had focused on sports medicine related products since the early 80s, however, in 2003 they got into the business of making protective gear. I've recently grown tired of bruising my bum on steel rails so I've been particularly interested in protective gear. What McDavid has to offer in the HexPad seems to be the right combination of lightweight and padding which is what really caught our attention. U.S. Snowboarder, Nick Baumgartner, is even getting behind the product and may collaborate with them to develop some protective gear oriented toward snowboarding.

Splitting the Poacher
Ted Lohr, the Atomic Snowboards rep, is showing Dana and I how the Atomic Split board system works.

The next booth we stopped at was the Lorpen socks booth. At this point, many of you are probably thinking: socks?! Eff, this is just like that one christmas. Well I believe socks are an underrated part of the snowboarders arsenal because cold wet feet can ruin even the best day of snowboarding. I'm also a firm believer in the golden rule when buying snowboarding gear: spend more money on whatever is closest to your feet. Socks are about as close to your feet as any equipment can get.

Since the Lorpen booth was in close proximity to the Atomic booth, we decided to head over to there to take a look at their 2011 gear, and to see if we could line up some boards to ride for the on-snow part of the show on Monday and Tuesday. While we were there, Ted Lohr showed us Atomic's split boards. Atomic have a unique system for their splits; the bindings are mounted in a similar way to standard snowboard bindings using four posts screwed into the insert holes. This will make a split board feel a lot more like a normal snowboard because you don't have an extra plate separating you from the board. The other interesting feature about the Atomic splits is that they are all swallow tailed. In skinning configuration, this allows the board to be used as skis, with the normal ski tips, because the tail is set up as the front of the touring skis.

The King of SIA?
The King of Rock 'n Roll brings his Jailhouse Rock to the Burton Booth. I guess Burton just didn't want to completely leave Vegas behind.

In the afternoon we decided to meet up with some people from Sierra Snowboard who were in the Burton booth doing the daily giveaway. I have two comments about the Burton booth: 1) it's huge, and 2) it looks like a casino (complete with blackjack, craps tables, and Elvis impersonators). I guess Burton misses having the SIA tradeshow in Las Vegas but, instead of complaining about it, they decided to bring a little bit of Vegas to Denver.

At the end of the day, we decided to go meet up with Johan of C3 at the Capita booth. This is where Zoe and Dana discovered the effects of altitude on a person's sobriety. They had a few beers with Johan in the booth and it didn't take long for them to start feeling tipsy. This prompted us to play a game with the Union bindings in the booth across the hall: we had to go to the rack and choose what we thought would be the lightest binding, the person who chose the lightest one would be crowned champion and master of the universe. Fortunately for us, there was a scale right there to give us the answer. Zoe won by choosing the Union Trilogy so now everyone must recognize Zoe as the new master of the universe.

The highlight of the day for me was meeting Cholo Burns at the NoBoard booth. Dana and I told him about our NoBoarding Backyard Jib shenanigans and he was all over it. He also offered to loan me a complete NoBoard setup when I go to Alaska in March. Not only will it be loads of fun, but he assures me that everyone there will think I'm hardcore to boot. Cholo is an awesome guy.

All in all, the first day of SIA was a great success. We only really got lost once, got to meet some really cool people, and see some really cool gear that will be available next season. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of shenanigans we can get into on day two.

Winter Matters Bubble

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This work by Marc is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


nice guys hope youre having fun. here we are freezing our ass off with a -33 and with the windshield -45 plus a daily snow fall of around 10 cm every day ... ps if you could bring me back some socks so i can stop freezing my feet off plz.