Skiing and snowboarding on the slopes are just two ways to enjoy the snow. Cross-country tracks, tours, and hiking trails offer numerous possibilities every day, and the manufacturers offer the corresponding specialized products. But in addition to pure performance, major brands and small start-ups in the winter of 2018/2019 are also increasingly focusing on environmental aspects – and flexibility.
A prime example of these trends is Fuse3D, the wooden core for snowboards. It was named Product of the Year by the ISPO Award jury because it is both sustainable and flexible. Sustainable because it is produced in an environmentally friendly way, and flexible because it can be used for different board shapes. The Fuse3D technology was developed by snowboard manufacturer Capita MFG and start-up Cime Industries. The jury’s statement: “This development can change the construction of snowboards and skis in the long term.” Among the following products are numerous others that confirm this trend, and for this reason were awarded by the ISPO Award jury or were successful at ISPO Brandnew.
Functional requirements for sports equipment are high. The development of sustainable products requires a scientific foundation – and often completely new approaches to the production and processing of materials. As was the case with the Fuse3D technology, for the production of which a separate machine had to be built. Here are three more products that are convincing with their environmental aspects:
1. MonViso Hemp Edition: Ecological ski design by Grown
The sustainability of the freeride skis MonViso Hemp Edition begins as early as their raw materials. The sandwich construction is made of a 100% hemp fiber composite material. Hemp replaces conventional, non-renewable fibers in skis and reduces the ecological footprint by 47%. Environmentally conscious production goes hand in hand with a highly technical construction method. The manufacturer is Grown, a Swiss company founded in 2007 as an eco-design laboratory for skiers; ETH Zurich was also involved in the development.
2. Phantom Glide: Permanent wax for any snow temperature
Phantom Glide X is a new type of wax that is environmentally friendly and saves the user time and effort. Its positive environmental effect? The wax does not contain any substances harmful to the environment or humans. Its use? As a kind of base coating, the wax is permanent. Once applied to the surface, it ensures perfect gliding at all times. Tuning wax and snow temperature is also no longer necessary according to the manufacturer.
3. Burton Anti Social Splitboard with special geometry for women
The Burton Anti Social Splitboard combines several qualities. Burton emphasizes environmentally friendly production through the use of recycled materials. Above all, however, the board was developed especially for women. The geometry is adapted to the female body in size, weight, and riding characteristics. The camber construction facilitates the ascent and ensures easy gliding in soft snow. Thanks to Split Channel, the binding is quick and easy to install.
Snowshoeing today, skiing tomorrow – or: snowshoeing on the ascent and skiing on the descent. Flexible products reflect the growing opportunities in ski regions – and away from them. But not only that; differing motion sequences and the requirement for clothing to be breathable yet warm pose new challenges for the companies. You can do more on the snow with the following products:
4. Bludan Crossblades: A hybrid of snowshoe and ski
The Austrian manufacturer Bludan has developed a snowshoe that can be used to descend after the ascent has been completed. The skins are converted into gliding surfaces in two steps, and the snowshoe is ready to go downhill. This is made possible by an insert mounted on the underside. In the standard version, the snowshoes can be used with mountaineering boots. With binding systems for hard and soft boots, they can also be used for ski tours, explains Managing Director Armin Wörgötter.
5. Hillstrike REV-17: The snowbike for the slopes, parks, and deep snow
The Snowbike Hillstrike REV-17 has made the bike suitable for the snow. Instead of wheels, the bicycle frame carries bears skis. The grip is ensured by the pedals and the flexibility by the RockShox Recon suspension forks. According to the inventors, however, the steering system is what’s truly extraordinary. This simulates the carving technique and is intended to provide lightness, stability, and easy control. The “Open Races” of the Slovenian start-up give an impression of the performance.
Hillstrike founder Matic Hribar: “Next winter, we aim to break our speed record of 118 km/h in the French Alps.”
6. Dynafit HOJI Pro Tour: Ski touring boot with adjustable upper
In the development of sports products, it’s often a matter of reconciling opposites. This is also true for ski touring boots, which should be flexible on the ascent and stable on the descent. Dynafit aims to offset this contradiction with the HOJI Pro Tour. With just one movement, you can switch between a upper movement of 60° and a template of 11°. For the user, this means a comfortable ascent and an enjoyable descent.
7. Tecnica Forge S: The customized mountaineering boot
Serially manufactured and yet like a made-to-measure shoe – the Italian sports shoe specialist Tecnica has given this flexibility to its Forge S - the first adaptable hiking boot. The adaptation requires a specially developed machine and is carried out exclusively by authorized retailers. The shoe can be adapted to an individual foot anatomy in just 20 minutes: The shoe and footbed are heated and formed by compression on the foot. The cooled shoe keeps its shape.
8. Nola Pants by Mountain Force: Protective shield against the cold
Tight garments and warming properties are difficult to reconcile together. Nola Pants by Mountain Force are meant to change that. The pants are equipped with a breathable, waterproof ceramic membrane. “The membrane is like a protective shield. “Heat is reflected inwards and cold outwards,” explains Mountain Force. In addition, the pants are insulated with wool, which makes them extremely warm. By the way, the wool comes from Swiss Alpine sheep.
9. Templa: Hybrid of style and function
“The jacket is made for snowboarding and skiing, but also works in the city,” explains Anati Rakocz, co-founder of the Templa label. In its flexible form, the hybrid is intended to support and improve an active lifestyle. Waterproof, breathable, and warming, the down jacket withstands even extreme, Alpine winter weather conditions. Details such as the detachable snow guard allow for quick adjustment for everyday use. This amazing concept brought Templa the 2018 ISPO Brandnew Award.
10. Paradise Heat by Helly Hansen: Adjustable jacket heater
A ski jacket that compensates for the temperature change between physical exertion and rest phase – and all this with a heating system that can be adjusted at the touch of a button? Helly Hansen made this vision a reality with the Paradise Heat – and used invisible wires as heat sources. The development work was carried out in cooperation with the Swedish women’s ski team. “The heatable jacket has a performance-enhancing effect,” is how Helly Hansen’s category manager Philipp Tavell sums it up. “The muscles remain ready for action, no matter how long the rest period lasts.” The name of the jacket? Paradise Heat.