Monday, 02. November 2015
ISPO Presents The Latest Ski and Snowboard Trends 2015 / 2016
Effective immediately, winter sports enthusiasts will find the latest products at the stores. Our overview of ski and snowboard trends and a selection of our current ISPO AWARD 2015/2016 winners represent what trends and products will shine on and beyond the slopes.
TRENDS SKI HARDWARE
Alpine innovations revolve around fine-tuning and customization of skis, bindings and boots, in particular. The latest developments increase enjoyment as well as ensure safety and reduce effort. The technical advances in the ski industry are not just limited to the premium segment; manufacturers also produce sets for the mid- and lower price segments that promise great satisfaction and enjoyment. Almost all innovations have in common decreased material and construction weight, yet do not compromise in terms of ski performance – rather, they benefit from it. Various manufacturers have fully embraced rocker technology. There will be an increased number of models for all skiers who don’t just ski the groomed slopes but also love powder, preferably with the same ski. Lighter, more stable and sportier – those will be the qualities of the new all-rounders. And at the same time, they will provide the most freedom in terms of handling all types of terrain and snow conditions. One innovation is the durable ‘Carbon Tank Mesh’ weave slated to stiffen yet lower the weight of Atomic skis, making them easier to control even in softer snow. Lost your ski in deep powder? In the future you’ll no longer have to waste time looking for it. SkiTracer, a small attachment mounted to the ski or binding, lets you locate your missing board via smartphone and a special app.
While an increasing number of skiers prefer the backcountry, the majority of skiers still remain on the groomed slopes. Advanced skiers as well as beginners benefit from the latest rocker technology. This technology is applied to the ski tip as well as sometimes at the tail and results in an even more playful, easier and more efficient experience in a variety of snow conditions. The early upward curve of the ski tip shortens the contact length of the edges and decreases friction thus making turn initiation and completion considerably easier. It also simplifies moving from edge to edge, style variations, reaction time, and direction changes, on hard surfaces as well as soft snow.
TRENDS SKI FASHION
Next season’s apparel that looks made just for skiing most likely has much more to offer than simply making you look good on the slopes. The new outfits feature a wide variety of features and looks, and result in benefits that can be enjoyed even for other sports. An increasing number of manufacturers modify their technical jackets and pants, as well as softshell jackets, fleece, turtlenecks and base layers so consumers can wear them even when they are far away from the ski resorts.
While the fashion segment focuses on multi-colors and prints, often tone-in-tone, not “loud”, yet fresh and dominant, the next season’s more athletic styles feature one to a maximum of four colors in clean, fresh and bright shades. Yes to color, from head to toe, including beanie and helmet!
However, the motto is “less is more” and bright colors are often combined with one piece in rather muted shades. Bright orange dominates the spectrum in the snow, in addition to shades of green, dark blues and reds for men. Women enjoy their own feminine color palette, such as light and royal blue, fresh mint, bright pink and deep violet. Innovations revolve around high quality technical materials that hide their functions well – softer, lighter, more breathable. For example, there is a down material that was technically improved in such as a way that it is suitable for use on the slopes but also for the city thanks to its unobtrusive looks. The lightweight, warm outfits, preferably made of ethically sourced down, have very little in common with the Michelin Man look of the past – unless the equipment is needed as protection on extreme alpine ski tours. Beginners as well as ambitious skiers, freeriders and touring fans in particular will enjoy the lower packing dimensions and excellent heat/weight ratio. A definite trend in addition to ultra-light jackets made of down, Primaloft or combinations of both that weigh no more than your average bar of chocolate, are knee-length insulating cover pants, skirts and vests, packaged in small bags or pockets that are ready to be used when needed.
Hybrid outfits continue to be popular. The combination of a number of technical features (hard- with softshell, a variety of stretch fabrics, down, Primaloft, Merino, fleece or knit) utilizes just about every piece of know-how currently on the market. Highlights among the multi-function talents are combinations of down/Primaloft with stretch. Another innovative mix contains Gore-Tex, Windstopper, Polartec, a Schoeller high-tech material, combined with Tyrolean and Merino wool.
TRENDS SNOWBOARD HARDWARE
The freeriding and backcountry trend remains strong. The product selection provided by the manufacturers continues to focus on materials that allow snowboarders to enjoy the best experience beyond the groomed slopes. Those who do not ride off piste usually shred in park and pipe. Boards are becoming lighter without compromising on shock absorption and stability. The snowboards for the 2015/16 season will feature more muted looks than in prior years. Black and earth tones on high-quality surfaces dominate. Color-blocking and loud colors are pretty much a thing of the past. Bindings and boots have improved considerably. Ultra-light, effective shock absorption systems protect joints even under extreme pressure. Cable designs for ratchets and straps has become so advanced that a rider ideally has to adjust his or her system just once to the optimal setting. Quick-connect systems have become second nature; tool-less canting adjustment is convenient.
TRENDS SNOWBOARD WEAR
Snowboard fashions for 2015/16 are dominated by casual looks with high performance. The materials offer optimum features for activities in the cold and snow and are extremely functional. Manufacturers more often focus on eco-friendly materials and production methods. In addition to recycled products wool has begun to play an important role and has started to find its place even among the outerwear layers. Material combination and playful details are in trend. Different fabrics are combined not just to catch the eye. Clever combinations have the best possible characteristics as a result for snowboard wear. Combinations of down and fleece, canvas and corduroy, gabardine wool and Cordura turn into jackets, pants and accessories. Metal accents, rivets, and soft furs accessorize the ladies’ collections, which are feminine yet must not be too kitschy.
Recycling also plays an important role in the production of high-quality snowboard fashions. Beer cans, fishing nets and recyclable EPS from the auto industry are just a few of the products that can be turned into textiles. They are woven in combination with natural textiles, which include more than just wool. Manufacturers are becoming more willing to embrace experimentation. For example, Picture Organic Clothing produces a shockproof external shell for helmets from polylactic acid (PLA) sourced from corn.