ISPO Diaries: Ski Special

We?re just home from a flying visit to the world’s biggest sports trade show, ISPO, in Munich. It’s an absolutely massive show with halls upon halls stacked with gear from most of your favourite brands alongside exciting new names and some truly weird and wonderful stuff that you?re likely never to see or hear from again in your life. Above all though, ISPO is a perfect opportunity to get a sneak peak at what goodies are coming our way in Winter ?17/?18. 

Of course, it?d be pretty rude of us not to share a few things with you, shredfans! So, in this series of ISPO diaries we’ll give you a whistle-stop tour of the bits and bobs that we got excited about out in Germany, from the worlds of ski, snowboard, touring, backcountry, outerwear, apparel and accessories.

Let’s get started with the skis?

Black Crows

Black Crows was one of the stands with the most buzz in whole show and it’s easy to see why. Their simple geometric branding and bold colour choice is always on point and their show stand was no different ? creating the perfect backdrop to their awesome range of skis.

Black Crows at ISPO

We were joined by BC rider, ski designer and all round good guy Julien Regnier for a look at the collection, which includes their new offering, The Daemon. With classic Black Crows graphics and a whole lot of rocker, the new ski is aimed firmly at fans of the hugely popular Volkl Mantra.

Black Crows Daemon Preview

Giving you a meaty 99mm under foot and full reverse camber profile, the Daemons are hard-charging, crud-smashing, all-mountain weapons that will fly in the soft stuff. But, providing you can get the hang of the technique, Julien tells us they?re great fun on a firm piste too.

Black Crows never fail to disappoint, and if the stats add up to a ride that’s anything like the Mantra, this should be one very good ski. We can?t wait to give it a try.

DPS

We love DPS skis. They look great and they ride even better. Of course, you get a choice of cores across the range, but they?re probably best known for their hugely popular carbon fibre constructions.

DPS at ISPO

DPS have been huge fans of carbon since day one, and their carbon fibre sandwich construction never fails to deliver lightweight agility and torsional stiffness by the bucket load. The big news for ?17/?18 is that the brilliant Pure3 core system is being replaced with the brand new Alchemist. 

DPS Alchemist Preview

?Why on earth would they do that!?? I hear you cry. Well, the Alchemist core looks to improve on the already awesome Pure3 with some top-secret proprietary damping technology. 

The aim is to soften the ride and reduce chatter, giving you all the benefits of carbon with a smoother feel. Given how good the Pure3 core is without it, if this unique new damping delivers on its promises then it could be a real game-changer. Stay tuned!

Line

You can talk all day about carbon fibre this and core construction that, but there are some skis and boards that just stop you in your tracks for looking downright SICK. The Line Tigersnake is one of those.

Line Tigerskin Preview

The award-winning lightweight and affordable Tigersnake gets a facelift for ?17/?18 and, if you ask us, Line have nailed it with this one. 

Faction

The Faction stand gave us one of those great opportunities to see inside the skis at the individual layers that make up their construction. It’s always cool to take a look under the hood and see that all the stuff that you?re told is in there actually is!

Faction Prime

Most notable was the new Prime series, which was a real eye-opener. The brief for Faction’s chief designer when creating the Prime was to build a no-expense-spared, high-performance, lightweight big mountain ski to satisfy the desires of FWT athlete Sam Anthamatten. And what a ski they made! 

It’s literally chock full of as much technology as they could squeeze in there, which will be reflected in the price ? so don?t expect them to come cheap. But, as an experiment to see just how good a big-mountain ski can be if you don?t compromise on anything, the Prime series has got us pretty excited.

Armada

It’s been a tremendous season for Armada on the ski front, with their ?16/?17 collection proving massive in terms of hype and sales. It certainly looks like that success will continue into next season if the look of their new Trace and Tracer ranges are anything to go by.

Armada Tracer

Sharing the same construction, each range will offer girls and guys respectively the choice of a big-mountain, lightweight freeride, all-mountain and ultra-light touring option.

Armada Trace

Needless to say, they look awesome. The men’s Tracer 98 is a particular highlight, with semi-transparent top sheet detail. But it’s the whole women’s Trace range that really catches the eye as one of the best-looking chicks? offerings in the whole show.

K2

A highlight of the K2 stand was the brand new Catamaran. The Cat will replace the Pettitor and will remain Sean’s preferred ski despite it no longer carrying his name. Apparently that’s all to do with the timing of contract negotiations, and we now know the Canadian ripper will be staying with K2 for the foreseeable.

K2 Catamaran

Looking right at home in Munich with its German-flag-like colour scheme, the Catamaran has been getting in-the-know shredders hot under the collar for some time now. Using a clever asymmetrical sidecut and lighter construction, the Cat will give you amazing powder performance with the sort of piste carving and manoeuvrability that you?d expect from a far narrower ski. 

We can?t wait to try them out!

Boards are up next?

We could really go on all day about stuff we were stoked on at ISPO, but we’ll keep it short and sweet. Up next, we’ll move from two planks to one and look at what’s fresh in the world of snowboarding.