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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Santa Cruz, CA

    2016 OR, ISPO, SIA - Has gear innovation slowed?

    I wasn't able to attend any of the shows this year, but from poking around the blog and forum coverage there seemed to be a lack of truly new design compared with past years.

    There were a lot of brands jumping into new categories or revamping some of their smaller ones (Arcteryx's AT/climbing boot and Airbag, Dalbello's AT boot, transitions lens goggles), but for the most part it wasn't anything other brands haven't done before.

    All of this actually has me excited, though. I'm a product designer and know full well how difficult and time consuming true innovation can be, especially in markets as established as snow and outdoor. A lot of categories seem primed for a shakeup over the next few years, and I can't wait to see and be a part of that shakeup. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Squamish, BC

    2016 OR, ISPO, SIA - Has gear innovation slowed?

    I think there is a big solid foundation being laid for future innovation. For example, sorta-alpine boots with tech inserts and DIN compatibility seems to be a common trend. This building block will allow binding development to move forward if it's commonplace, since more of the market will have access to compatibility with the complimentary technologies. I can imagine an end space where all (most) alpine bindings have the ability to walk uphill as well. Just one example.

    Another example is the consideration for light weight for Joe-skier non euro. We are still suuuuper early stage here. It's still a common conception that a light ski gives up a lot in terms of stability and skiability (which is more or less true NOW buy doesn't always have to be so). We've just started to care about weight for freeriding, so we need to build that foundation before going forward to real innovation. Just another example.

    I'm a product manager myself as well (not the ski industry though). This is pretty common pattern. I liken it to the evolutionary theory of punctuated equilibrium (look it up).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    verbier, milan, isla de pascua
    Agree. The more solid new (sometimes subterranean) trend is towards lighter gear. Today I've skied 1kg skis with 1.1kg boots and hey, they work, and are so much better to skin and tour.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    "Slash's unique tip and tail shapes are based around the Kickstand design, which is intended to keep the board from falling over when you lean it against a wall or your car." Innovative, not really, but what will be is an actual kickstand for all the bro's on asym boards.

    SIA seemed slow this year, not so much in innovation but in attendance and overall stoke.

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