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Winter 2020-2021 Gear Preview
Climbers got their “Rocktober” and trail runners hung out in shorts and t-shirts on the trails well into October this year. But if you peeked inside our Canmore location, you would have thought it’s been Winter for a while already. Add some long-awaited snowfall and it's looking like we'll be skiing very soon!
Boxes and pallets are being received everyday. All that carefully curated and long debated backcountry skiing and Winter running equipment is finally ours to feel, flex and touch. Everything looks so exciting so interesting, and for a reason. There are SO many great pieces of equipment out there, no wonder we have a hard time deciding what we’ll be skiing ourselves!
So what’ hot this Winter? Here is the new gear that caught our eye.
Lightweight Skis = High Performance
Long gone are the days when light backcountry skis meant slow speed only. If you are the best skier on the mountain, there are no reasons you couldn’t ski as hard/fast/airborne as you want on backcountry planks. With skis like the Scott Superguides, Majesty Supernovas, Kästle TX, Zag Ubacs and Dynastar M-Tour, there are more skis than ever push the envelope for stability and potential in lightweight packages. Light is the new normal and we’re now seeing skis that offer performance and dampness like their resort counterparts. Side-effects may include excessive speeds, lack of turning, windburn, reduced descent time and increased sense of euphoria.
Fresh European cashmere to better enjoy skinning
We’ve been saying it for years; when it comes to skins, Euros know best! With brands like Pomoca and Contour gaining lots of popularity over the past few years on our side of the pond, heavy, stiff and slow skins aren't cutting it anymore. Skiers are now looking for superior grip, glide, user-friendliness and packability. New skin attachments from Pomoca, a new “smart-glue” skin from Kohla (that had us very impressed when tested it), best keeps getting even better. Wether it is with Pomoca, Kohla, Contour or Colltex, now you can now have it all without making any sacrifice. Care about uphill performance the same way you care about it on the way down!
It’s heating up in the mountaineering category
88 mm underfoot is becoming the new daily driver for those who want to explore further or ski technical terrain. Long thought to be dead in favour of those massive powder-specific boards, mountaineering skis are now an essential part of the Rockies skier’s quiver. After running out of skis last Winter, we almost doubled our selection in the sub-90 mm underfoot category. And don’t expect squirrely and scary sticks. The newest ski constructions finally allow for skis that can do it all, but especially on those big days skiing big terrain. Performance, edgehold, floatation that rivals with much bigger skis, what else could you ask for? And you’ll make it up to the top in no time!
Finally some real “soft” bindings
The same way wide and short skis are hard to come by, lightweight and low release-value bindings didn’t even exist a few seasons ago. If you were a light skier looking for a lightweight and reliable option, you had to accept excessive release values as a necessary evil. Not anymore! Plum now offers the 200-gram Oazo in a “4” (on top of the 6 and the 8 last Winter). Dynafit’s new Superlite 150 and Superlite 175 can both be modified with a softer U-spring that allows a softer vertical release. Along with the Dynafit Rotation 7 released last Winter and the Plum Guide 7, there is a broader than ever selection of race, lean and fully-featured bindings for lightweight skiers and children alike. And wider short skis are finally something that becoming the norm with most brands!