Ah, the vaunted halls of ISPO in Munich, where each year the wintersports and outdoor industries gather to see, be seen, imbibe copious amounts of Munich’s famous beer, then get alcohol- and drug-tested by overzealous traffic police on the way to the Expo the next morning.
We were out on the floor as well, dodging electric skateboards and running fitness robots to scope the latest in gear trends for the coming season. Here’s a glimpse of what we saw.
ALPINA are integrating fabrics like tweed, corduroy and denim into their helmet lineup next year for a more rugged look. They’ve also got a new freeride-oriented helmet, the Maroi, that should please powderhounds with its simple, low-profile shape and EPS airstream venting.
Alpina's Maroi helmet and Arris goggle in the "Casual Chic" look.
BLACK DIAMOND are debuting two new avalanche transceivers, the Guide BT (€400) and the Recon BT (€300). The Guide BT features a 60-meter circular range and mark and scan function for multiple burials, while both beacons include Bluetooth capability, linking with an app on your phone to manage settings, update software and access 90 different training scenarios.
On the ski front, BD have incorporated a new carbon-fiber layer for increased dampness across their Helio touring-ski lineup. The range runs from the big-boy Helio 116 (116mm underfoot) to the new Helio 76, designed for the speed ski mountaineers and fitness freaks.
The Guide BT avalanche transceiver from Black Diamond.
Black Diamond's Helio ski line.
Black crows is back with the 4th generation of their original big-mountain ski, the corvus, which is flat underfoot, reverse-camber and titanal-plated for power and liveliness in all terrain.
For the ski-touring crowd black crows has an updated 96mm-underfoot model, the camox freebird, that’s been made lighter and livelier, while the new solis 100mm-waist ski caters specifically to steep skiers.
Some of black crows' 2019 line-up, including the new corvus.
DPS are launching an innovative new ski base-treatment called Phantom that’s been designed to replace ski waxing altogether with a one-time application that permeates the base material and improves glide for the life of the ski. Since most of us are too lazy to wax our skis regularly anyway, the Phantom treatment is a simple fix to keep you moving fast, without leaving polluting wax residue behind in the snow.
On the ski front, DPS have updated their celebrated Lotus 124 powder ski with a new tip shape and changes to the rocker profile, while a new frontside ski line called Cassiar aims to fill the space between freeride-oriented and piste-oriented all-mountain skis.
The new Phantom base treatment from DPS.
DPS sticks with its simple color scheme for 2019.
DRAGON continue their signature series of goggles with top pros, including Jossi Wells and Chris Benchetler, while the new PXV goggle features a spherically curved Panotech lens for uninhibited peripheral vision. They’ve also got a fresh collaboration goggle design with Faction Skis and Japanese artist Kengo Kimura.
The new Dragon PXV goggle.
DYNASTAR hasn’t made big moves in the freeride or freestyle markets in a while, but their Richard Permin pro model, the Proto, as well as their Legend ski line, continue to be a favorite for hard-charging skiers.
The Proto, Slicer and Legend from Dynastar.
FACTION have upgraded their flagship Candide 4.0 ski to 5.0, featuring a 122mm waist, to top off their best-selling Candide Thovex signature series. They’re also debuting a brand-new, more all-mountain focused line called Prodigy with graphics designed by Munich street muralist SatOne.
Faction's Candide Thovex signature line with the addition of the 5.0 (right).
Faction's new Prodigy line with art by SatOne.
FULL TILT return with their celebrated lineup of freestyle-oriented boots like the Drop Kick, Tom Wallisch Pro and B&E Pro, as well as a new touring boot, the Ascendant, weighing in at 1700g per boot.
Full Tilt's new Ascendant touring boot.
Full Tilt's classic Drop Kick freestyle boot keeps it simple.
K2 have re-engineered their Wayback line of touring skis to reduce weight and improve downhill performance, and continue their celebrated Factory Team line of asymmetrical powder-munching platforms like the Catamaran and Marksman.
The 2019 K2 Factory Team lineup.
LINE have a brand-new swallowtail “carving” ski, the Sakana, from the mind of Eric Pollard, a narrower twist on EP’s current swallowtail powder ski, the Pescado. There’s also a brand-new women’s line called Pandora, and the Chronic has been re-designed as a stiffer, more all-mountain platform.
The new Sakana from Line.
The Chronic has been completely redesigned.
LOOK have added a splash of color to their Pivot bindings, trusted by park skiers the world over.
Look's new looks.
LANGE have developed one of the beefiest boots in the touring category, the XTFree, which maxes out an unofficial 140 flex. Apparently Richard Permin requested a stiffer touring boot after breaking his ankle in Japan, and this is what he got.
The powerful XTFree downhill-minded touring boot from Lange.
MARKER have added a new lightweight touring binding called the alPINist (pin, get it?) to complement their groundbreaking Kingpin model. The Alpinist turns to Dynafit-style heel retention for Marker fans looking to slim down the weight of their touring kit even more than before.
Marker's new Alpinist binding.
MAJESTY Skis out of Poland have an attractive line-up of skis for the freestyle, freeride and touring market. Their “Wooden” line goes back to the roots with wood cores and topsheets to match, the Carbon series injects more power into the equation, and the Freeski and Ladies Freeski lines cover the rest of the bases. They’ve also got some fresh-looking hoodies and softgoods as well as a goggle line.
Majesty's "Wooden" ski line.
Majesty's freeski line.
MAMMUT have added a bright “rescue orange” color scheme across all of its snow-safety products after studies demonstrated that the color acts as a psychological stimulant to recalling and performing rescue procedures. Their Airbag 3.0 has been made lighter, and the new Spindrift 14L backpack shows off an experimental new approach to touring bags, making more storage space accessible in an inverted T-shape design.
Mammut goes orange.
Mammut's 3.0 Airbag system has been made lighter.
A new spin on a touring backpack: the 14L Spindrift from Mammut (left).
NORRØNA continue to provide stylish and functional solutions for the touring and freeride crowds with their Lofoten and Tamok outerwear lines—including a limited-edition Tamok camouflage run.
The Tamok jacket in camo.
ROSSIGNOL continue their successful 7 Series freeride line, and the Scratch freestyle ski lives on as well. On an unrelated note, they’ve also got Star Wars and Frozen-themed junior skis.
Rossignol's 7Series freeride skis.
Rossignol's park line-up, including the venerable Scratch (left).
SCOTT are launching a brand-new electronic avalanche airbag technology in their Backcountry Patrol AP 30 backpack featuring supercapacitors to solve battery-related complications. The result is a lighter, more reliable airbag system that’s guaranteed for over half a million recharges. They’ve also got a new touring boot, the S1, with an innovative ski/walk-mode mechanism located on the tongue of the boot.
Scott's new Patrol AP30 backpack with Alpride E1 electric airbag system.
The S1 Carbon touring boot with ski/walk mode mechanism on the front of the boot.
The 2019 Scrapper freeride ski line from Scott.
SMITH debut a new magnetic lens-fixation system in its I/O Mag goggle as well as a new frameless model called Skyline. Their signature athlete collabs include models for Bobby Brown, Markus Eder and Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, as well as a candy-colored look for Gus Kenworthy. Meanwhile, Smith’s popular helmet line-up returns with Koroyd technology and optional MIPS integration.
Smith's signature goggle collection with their freeski pros.
The Gus Kenworthy model.
SWEET PROTECTION won an award at ISPO for its Switcher helmet, which includes 22 vents that can be opened or closed at the turn of a dial, has audio integration with an Outdoor Tech collab, and sports a look that appeals to today’s freeride market.
The Switcher helmet from Sweet Protection.
THE NORTH FACE continue to diversify their outerwear offering with lines ranging from the Pro Project collection for mountain professionals to the New Backcountry line that’s influenced by the urban freestyle scene.
2019 collection from The North Face.
Fresh looks on 2019 The North Face backpacks.
VÖLKL slimmed down their “big, fat freeski” line from three skis to one—dropping the “1” and “3” models and keeping the “2,” which has been renamed the Revolt 124. The old Wall, now known as the Revolt 87, remains unchanged as Völkl’s flagship cambered park ski. Meanwhile in the touring sector, they’ve got a somewhat ridiculous lineup of light and lighter skis in all shapes, sizes and price points designed to satisfy the diverse needs of the growing backcountry market.
Völkl's 2019 freestyle and backcountry freestyle lineup.
Touring skis for days.