Thanks to EpicSki, I had the opportunity to check out the San Francisco SnowFest. After locating some reasonable parking, my friend and I made our way to Fort Mason's Festival Pavilion to wait on line:
There were a lot of people trying to get into this thing, but the line moved reasonably well. When we left around 3PM, the line was even longer. Anyway, we eventually got to the front.
In case you're curious, we did try those $2 tacos later. There was a line for those, too.
Once inside, we saw the place was huge and chock-full. The Jager-Fraulein was probably a bit chilly.
The most civilized part of the event was likely the Mammoth Beer. Pale Ale and Amber, no charge. We didn't feel bad that we skipped the wine tasting.
It snowed a bit--enough to keep this one kid interested.
Start Haus was in da house. I'm not sure who it was manning the booth, but he gave us good information about skis and boots. This is refreshing in a marketing-heavy trade-show environment. Also kudos to the Lange guy who was pretty nitty-gritty.
Gotta give a plug to Blizzard. Pretty skis and great reviews. Guy didn't even mind much when I tried to topple half the women's skis onto his table. It was nice that there were pairs of skis so we could put them base-to-base and look at rocker and camber profiles. Nordica also has some colorful skis on display.
We briefly poked our noses into the fenced-in retail areas. I personally didn't want to get so close to my fellow man, but then again, I've already got the gear I need.
"Is there a qualified boot fitter in the house?"
I didn't get any pictures, but the Skier's Edge folks were there with their ski simulator exercise equipment. I tried a few of them. I like to think that I already know how to ski, but it took a little practice to get the feel of the Skier's Edge. I can feel how it would get someone in good shape for skiing. My hip abductors are still sore. If I had a spare room in my house and money aplenty, I'd consider a Big Mountain. The QS5 was pretty sweet, but I didn't even dare to ask the price.
Basic summary: a snowsports tradeshow with stickers, alcohol, and caged-in retail. Also, on that day, we got to help High Fives break the world record for most high fives in 24 hours.