2012-13 Ski Gear Preview for the Dog Days
by Chris Weiss
August has arrived in one of the hottest, driest summers in history, and the winter couldn’t seem further away. But August leads to September, which leads to fall, and then there’s just one season until winter. It’s time to start thinking gear, if you haven’t already. Though the recent Outdoor Retailer Summer Market was focused on hiking, camping, boating and the like, it also had its fair share of winter gear sprinkled in.
H2O Guides Pow Carver
Pro skier and Alaskan guide Dean Cummings swears that his entire line of skis is built up and down for versatile, all-mountain, one-quiver-style skiing. If that’s the case, you could safely say his other skis are powder boards with a side of groomers and the Pow Carver is a carving ski with enough float to soar through pow. All it takes is the naked eye to see that this ski is cut far narrower than H2O’s other boards (95 cm at the waist). It’s designed to slice big, arcing carves yet float through deeper, lighter snow with help from a touch of rocker and added width. The top appears to be a naked core, but it’s actually a graphic rendering of the aspen and ash core below. The Pow Carver is available now for $899 in 164 and 181 sizes.
A tool for serious backcountry skiers and ski mountaineers, the RescYou is a purpose-designed pulley system for crevasse rescue. It equips you with a pre-built 6: 1 pulley that serves in both self and partner rescue. Instead of building a makeshift pulley system, pull out the ResYou; attach it to your climbing harness (self rescue) or an anchor point (rescue of others); and clip the rope into the two clamps. The 6:1 pulley delivers easy, efficient hoisting. The 14-ounce RescYou will hit the market in February for $125.
Rocky S2V Provision
One of the new exhibitors at the show, Rocky is part outerwear company, part survival prepper. Its S2V Provision jacket aims to protect serious adventurers, including backcountry skiers and snowboarders, on multiple levels. A three-layer four-way-stretch shell fabric delivers 20,000mm/20,000g protection, and the Aerotherm insulation underneath adds a layer of warmth to parts of the jacket likely to touch the ground.
What really sets the S2V Provision apart is its integrated survival system, which goes well beyond the included RECCO technology. The jacket comes with a full survival kit designed by Ultimate Survival Technologies. It includes a flashlight, compass, razor saw, medical kit and a survival guide from Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School. A series of pockets in the jacket keeps each element secure and accessible, and a removable fuchsia snow skirt doubles as a rescue signal. The jacket launches this fall for $599.99, and Rocky also offers pants, insulation and other outerwear.
Last winter, Dual Snowboards introduced a new way to shuffle down snow. The company split the snowboard into two individual boards, allowing for more freedom of motion. Snowboarders can now walk freely across flat traverses and invent new tricks in the park. Though the Dual design delivers its biggest advantages (e.g. not being locked in a single piece of wood-cored fiberglass) to beginners, its boards are aimed at all levels of riders.
This season, Dual is working to get its boards into resort rental shops and ski shops around the United States, something that will be crucial for it catching fire as a ski/snowboard alternative. Among the resorts where you can try this new downhill snow sport will be Sugar Bowl, Boreal, Snowbird and Brighton. Dual also plans to set up weekly demos at its home mountains of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit in southern California. A pair retails for $265 and works with standard snowboard bindings.
End the debate about whether or not you should carry a smartphone on the slopes while eliminating hundreds of dollars worth of action cam gear in the process. With the help of a free app, the Mophie Outride transforms your iPhone 4 or 4S into a fully functioning helmet cam. The impact-resistant waterproof case protects your phone while the quick-release mounting system provides easy, flexible mounting. The case includes a wide-angle lens designed specifically for action sports footage. The accompanying Outride app lets you upload and share footage with ease. The Outride will be available in mid September for $129.