Curious about the ski industry's latest inventions, innovations and novelties? Check out this list of some of the most popular ski industry advances, trends and designs for the 2012/2013 ski season.
These goggles are the most cutting-edge specs on the market. Called a "mobile dashboard," the Oakley Airwave is GPS-enabled, tracking your speed, distance, and even height and airtime in the parks, while also allowing for music control, smartphone connectivity, maps and navigation, all right before your eyes. While these goggles will cost you close to $599, they sure do offer a glimpse into the future - literally.
If you aren't willing to shell out nearly $600 - almost as much as a new pair of skis, after all - but still want to try out a cutting-edge pair of goggles, consider investing into photochromic lenses. Photochromic ski goggles darken when the sun comes out, keeping your vision top-notch whether you're cruising in the clouds or surfing the pow on a bluebird day. While more and more brands are releasing photochromic (also called photochromatic) options, Julbo is known for its dependable light-sensitive lenses.
If you're looking for a hat that's fashionable enough to wear around the resort town, but functional enough to stand up to the season's icy temperatures, consider Seirus' new line of Quick Clava® hats. These cute knitted hats have an inner liner that pulls down to serve as a face mask for those cold treks back to the car, or even to the aprés-ski bar. Available for both men and women, the hats come in a variety of styles. Favorites for women include the Mogwai and Delish, both of which channel a classic but cool beanie look. For men, the Encore will appeal to style-conscious (free) skiers, whereas the Plateau offers a dash of rugged western style suitable for any mountain town.
Swing by the terrain park next time you're out on the slopes, and you'll likely see an army of freeskiers and boarders with these cameras fixed upon their helmets. The GoPro is the latest trend to bombard the freestyle community, but it's not just the pros who have embraced it; amateurs, too, are hopping on the band wagon. The camera is known for its high quality and wide lens, so you can capture sweeping shots of all your twists, tumbles and jumps, all from a unique angle.
DPS calls the Wailer a "true game changer" - the "most versatile ski ever built." The Wailer combines full-rocker technology (after all, any company on-board with industry innovation has to keep up with the 'rocker ski revolution' that recently hit the market) with a flexible sidecut, allowing true performance in the deep powder, on the groomers and even in the crud.
You might not expect Columbia - a brand known for its time-tested basics - to be spear-heading the move towards ski gear enhanced by electronic heating mechanisms. Although the company first released its Omni-Heat Electric jacket last year, it has since unveiled heated vests, gloves and even snow boots. For conditions that don't quite require electricity, Columbia also has an Omni-Heat Interchange line, which includes jackets featuring an innovative reflective liner to keep warmth inside the coat.
7. Ramp Skis
Ramp skis are handmade in Park City, Utah, and their high-tech construction methods - vacuum molding, Bamboo wood cores, sidecut flexibility and high quality composites - combine for unbeatable (and eco-friendly) features, such as an expanded "sweet spot," super-smooth turns and improved durability. You can read more about Ramp's cutting-edge technology techniques here. Their skis will cost around $500-$1,000, offering a lot of bang for your buck, cool graphics included.
CWX is paving the way for the next generation of base layers: ones that keep you warm while providing crucial physical support. After all, for nearly $100, these tights better do something more than your grandpa's longjohns. The tights' banded, but flexible, "exoskeleton" offer a boost where you need it most - your knees and quads - while also supporting your lower abs, reducing muscle fatigue and increasing endurance.
Dynastar's new Cham line is pushing the envelope in terms of ski innovation. For example, they call the Cham 127 the "next-generation" of freeride performance. The ski combines rocker technology and 5-point sidecuts for a never-before-seen blend of smooth sailing, easy turning and stability in all types of snow.