It’s snow show time!
This time of year is always exciting…we get to preview all of the cool snowboarding stuff coming out next year! Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love gear so this makes me positively giddy.
I managed to visit Arbor, Flux, Gnu and Lib Tech, NOW, Jones, YES., CandyGrind, Bern, Never Summer, and Salomon. I didn’t get the full rundown of all of these, but at least stopped by to see what needs to go on the demo list for next month.
A couple of big trends seems to be early release boards. Gnu, Arbor, and Never Summer all have them out this year. They are debuting in the men’s lines and are supposed to in both men’s and women’s next season. Also specialty releases that are available in one (or maybe two) sizes only seem prominent.
Some of the highlights were...
-Flux has a boot line. They have had a boot line in Japan and Korea for years. In celebration of their 25th anniversary, they are rebranding it under the Flux name and introducing it to the US. If Flux gives as much attention to their boots as they do to their bindings, it should be a good addition to the US boot market.
-Also for the 25th anniversary, Flux has a commemorative SDR (sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll) series featuring on the XF, DSW, and DS and graphics from Van Halen and Metallica’s Master of Puppets.
-Flux is also introducing FooTon, snow shedding footbeds that provide an ideal combination of cushioning and board feel. Beer buckles give you more leverage when cranking down and a bottle opener, because you never know. New waffle straps are a curiosity. People already talk about how the honeycomb straps are so comfy you can’t even feel them. Can’t wait to see what the waffles are like. Flux has a new snow surf oriented SR model with urethane highbacks for super tweaky fun and a cork footbed for comfort and dampening all day long.
-Arbor is adding a women’s binding that is the equivalent of the men’s Hemlock.
-This year’s Arbor early release Terrapin is back as a full part of the line for next year. This is Brian Iguchi’s powslayer. The Cosa Nostra and Shreddy Kruger have merged and Cosa Nostra is the one that emerges.
-Jones is adding several boards to the line. The Dream Catcher is the women’s equivalent of the very popular, price point Explorer. It is supposed to be an easy-riding, midflex, all-mountain board. It will be available in a solid and a split. (I was so excited I forgot to take a picture)
-They have also changed up the core of the Twin Sister for improved torsional response. As the “one that got away” for me in 2014 and 2015, the torsional stiffness was what I didn't like about this year’s model. Can’t wait to see what the new one feels like!
-The new Jones’ Mind Expander and Lone Wolf are surf shapes designed by surf shaper Chris Christenson.
-Gnu Girls is adding the Hyper Kyarve, an early release on the men’s side this year, and back for a full season in 2017/2018.
-Also on the Gnu Girs' side, Jamie Anderson wanted a short, wide powder board, and she shall have it in The Free Spirit. (it wasn't at the show, hopefully it's at the demos)
-The Super Powered Air Machine (SPAM) is an Airblaster colab so you know it has to be weird and wild. It is coming to both the men’s and women’s lines.
-The Gnu Zoid used to be EC2...now, not only has Gnu renamed their profiles, but it goes from EC2 to C2X- the "aggressive perfect" profile formerly known as XC2. It is still available in both men's and women's, in one size only, and purchased regular or goofy.
-The Cold Brew is new to line this year. In a departure from typical Lib, it features a photo by Tim Zimmerman and comes in at $459…a new price point for Lib Tech.
-The Double Dip is some weirdo double directional board. Is that like a double negative- the two directionals cancel each other out? Not sure.
-Some of their boards are also rocking a new, bombproof top sheet with throwback flowers.
-The Ejack is a new Camber 3 pro-model.
-YES. Is introducing the Libre. It sounds like a more accessible version of the TDF and Standard designed for “full-resort freestyle”.
These are just a few of the cool things coming. The demo list is already ½ dozen items long. It’s always good to have a list of “must sees” while leaving room for other cool things you come across. Here’s hoping we have some great weather this year.