SIA 2015: Gear Talk
How many times have you heard that you just have to buy a product because it has the latest and greatest technology, maybe they claim it’ll even change your life. It probably won’t, but we wanted to highlight some new tech that caught our attention, that we think has some potential, or maybe was just downright different.
We also discuss the trends for camber profiles, binding upgrades, and more. This year was the year of fine tuning. We saw similar technology on the whole from the last few seasons, with some small tweaks and adjustments across the board. Several companies were using current technology more minimally, such as decreasing amounts of camber, using only rocker at the tip and tail, or more subtle versions of magnetraction. On the whole, most companies were aiming for to create a line of boards for every riding type, less focus on just park or just backcountry, with the exception of Venture snowboards and other backcountry dedicated lines.
Camber profiles. Nothing new or huge here, but the old rocker versus camber debate seems to have been settled for the most part. Most companies were tending toward camber or flat between the feet with some rocker at the tip and tail. It all came down to millimeters at how far the camber reached, whether it was between the binding or outside. But the consensus was that some sort of zero or positive camber is needed in the middle to prevent the loose feel of rocker and to create more snap and responsiveness, with rocker or even base bevel from the contact points outward to be more forgiving and catch free. A few companies offered traditional camber options as well, but few had pure rocker.
Magentraction hasn’t gone away. We saw lots of versions of it, but generally companies have been making more mellow versions. This way you get some extra grip at the contact points, but it’s not too grabby.
Damping. No it’s not called dampening. That seemed to be the big word during SIA for both boards and bindings. We saw increasing amounts of urethane being used to create damping for impact, and to reduce chatter and shock.
Burton. Burton is changing the ladder system with their Double Take Buckle technology, and we’re intrigued since ladders and ratchets have stayed the same for awhile on many bindings. Last year they introduced it on the Escapades, but this year they made some tweaks and added it to the Lexas as well. It’s meant to lock instantly, hold securely, and be catch-free so it doesn’t grab your pants. We’re looking forward to trying these out.
Rome’s new women’s binding, the Katana, highlights all of their latest improvements. Rome is using Underwrap Heel Hoop Technology, in which the heel cup wraps all the way under the binding to give you more leverage and to opitimize how the binding flexes. It’s meant to create a “correct” flex that give you power when you want and be tweakable when you want also.
Instead of just creating easy to change lenses, Zeal is trying to eliminate the need to swap your lens out at all. Their new photochromatic lenses change color as light changes, supposedly taking around a minute to change. Although they aren’t the first company doing this, they’re the first company doing this with polarized lenses. The Luna goggles is made specifically for women this year and comes with this lens option.
Posted by Gabby Rainville on 02/04/15