At the Slide Actionsport Tradeshow, the Ski Club found out about the latest 2019/20 Ski gear before ISPO.

Before the large scale ISPO trade show in Munich, the Snowsport industries of Great Britain (SIGB) hold a showcase event called Slide, where a lot of manufacturers talk about new products to retailers, press and partners. It is a great chance to get a sneak peek of what is to be released in the 2019/20 season.

From Atomic to K2, the top-selling brands were in full force at the Slide ski industry event in Telford. Whether it’s boot technology or ski design we have the latest kit news from the event.

Here is a round up of what’s to come next season:

As with last year the free-tour category continues to grow but as an extension of the all-mountain category. Where a few years ago if you said you had one do-it-all ski you might only talk about alpine skiing, we are now getting to the stage where one setup will handle resort riding, off piste, but also touring.

K2 

K2’s stand was teaming with fresh produce, but the biggest story for the Canadian big hitters was their new Mind Bender range of skis and boots. Replacing the Pinnacle range, the Mind Benders pick up where its predecessor left off but aims much higher.

With a whopping 12 new models of the ski, 6 for men and 6 for women, the Mind Bender skis are designed to accommodate how the guys and gals at K2 HQ ride. The skis which vary in width are all designed as “go anywhere, shred everything and have a sick time doing it” skis. The range caters for all kinds of freeride skiers, from 50:50 piste to off-piste riders right through to powder hungry tourers. Constructions and geometry vary according to model, meaning that although all 12 skis share a name, each member of the family has its own personality. With a clean, mature look harking back to iconic K2 graphics of yesteryear, these skis certainly look the part and we can’t wait to see if they ski as smart as they look!

In tandem to the new skis, K2s new line of Mind Bender boots have the same objective as of their namesake skis, have as much fun as possible all over the mountain. The lightweight boots are touring ready an available in a range of flexes to suit all abilities, don’t let the low weight fool you though, these boots were made for chargin’. Colourways coordinate with the new planks and have the same clean finish, a definite hit at the show.

Line

While most of Line’s range have just received a graphic update (all of the skis still look amazing), the major story for the cult brand in 2020 is the new 3D spoon-shaped tips, designed and shaped by Eric Pollard. We imagine that this will only add to the company’s signature surfy characteristics in the deepest powder, the jury is out on the performance benefits but a talking point for sure, we are intrigued to try a set!

Lines’ sister company Full tilt have made some minor updates to their Ascendant and Descendent boots, with the latter getting a walk mode to help big mountain chargers bootpack to those hard to reach powder stashes.

Black Crows

The standout change for Black Crows is the new impressive graphics added to most of their ski range. Designer Yorgo Tloupas studied and lived in England for a period of time and has used traditional English pinstripe suits as the inspiration for the new ski graphics.

The popular Orb ski has had a structure revamp with an added H-shaped double titanal plate to make the ski stiffer to tackle most snow conditions, as well as this the turning radius has gone up from 18 to 21 to encourage longer arced turns. Similar structural changes have also been updated on the sister ski Orb Birdie too.

In addition to the Orb, there are new updates to the Camox, Camox Birdie, Ferox Freebird and Navis Freebird to watch out for in 2020.

Atomic

  

The main news from Atomic is that they have added new technology to their Backland skis and boots. ‘Horizon’ tech is used at the tips of the skis to give a 3D profile, this has made the ski 10% wider at the top to help it float through deep snow conditions.

Backland boots have been reduced in weight by 1kg to help with performance uphill. This is mainly because the boots have no tongue shell and have been replaced by the new BOA fit system. The BOA fit system replaces traditional buckles with a twist mechanism that tightens the shell, allowing skiers to tweak the tightness of the boot more freely.

Armada 

Armada has teamed up with Tim Jacobus, the artist behind the Goosebumps book series, to design the artwork for a selection of their skis. The gothic designs are in line with previous skis in the Armada range and Jacobus’ imagination really stands out on the top sheets.

The main ski that has updated technology is the Tracer which has a Karuba core to give it a lightweight construction to glide off-piste. In addition to the Karuba core, there is an adaptive mesh that adds stiffness underfoot to add power through the turn, it also reduces chatter through bumpy terrain. 

Bolle

Bolle has continued to develop lens technology for their ski goggles with the new Phantom+ range. The light adaptive lens technology now has a semi polarized film option that reduces distracting glare whilst getting enough light transmission to notice ice from snow. Also new for 2019/20 season will be the Northstar, Laika and Maddox goggle designs.

Two new helmets have been announced for 2020, the V-line Carbon and Mute. The V line Carbon has a 3-position photochromic visor to adapt to any light condition. The new product also has a Fidlock magnetic buckle and Bolle’s Click-to-fit-system to adjust your helmet to fit perfectly to the shape of your head.

The Mute is freestyle legend David Wise’s signature helmet. The freestyle inspired helmet is made with an ABS construction to help resist against high impacts. An airflow extractor ensures great air circulation whilst trying to push the limits in the park. A chin bar is also available to attach for slalom skiing if needed for racing.

Dynafit

After collaborating with one of the household names in freeriding, Eric Hjorleifson, or HOJI for short, and launching his signature boot last season, Dynafit has returned with an updated version. Building on many of the popular features of the original, the HOJI 3.0 features a burly walk mode which can be switched from ski to walk without the need to lift your trousers up. The lever also loosens cables that hold the cuff in place as it moves to walk mode, removing the need to loosen the top buckles for your ascent.

Head

Head’s range of KORE range all but sold out in the UK this season, proving that they are incredibly popular natively. In response to the popularity with both men and women, Head has launched a new women’s range, the KORE W, featuring all of the graphene goodness that the KORE range originally built its reputation on.

Scarpa 

For many, the Maestrale is the ski touring boot. Along with the female-specific Gea, the iconic boot consistently tops sales lists with the silhouette a staple on skin tracks across the globe.

The standard Maestrale underwent an update last season with the construction switching from PBACS to Grillamid, and a high-performance liner filling the new shell. However, after customer feedback, the liner remains but the shell construction has reverted to PBACS, yielding a mellower and more accessible boot that suits a wider range of ski tourers who like to ride hard, but not all of the time. Easy clip Dynafit Inserts are now gone from Scarpa's free-tour boots and replaced with standard Dynafit “inserts” to ensure the boots’ compatibility with the new generation of free-tour bindings like the Salomon Shift and the Marker Kingpin.

The new Maestrale XT, designed in collaboration with freeskiing icon Chris Davenport is a big boy back country charging boot. Flex ratings of 140+ are commonplace on downhill race courses, but not so much in the backcountry. This stiff boot with a burly new walk system serves a very specific type of freerider, the type who doesn’t slow down for anything and charges all day every day. This boot is certainly not a calm boot on the decent but at only 50g heavier than the Maestrale RS, it’s not going to hold you back on the ascent either.

One thing that we noted was the absence of the popular Freedom freeride boot in the Scarpa line up. Now lacking an out and out freeride boot, Paul from Mountain Boot Co, who represent Scarpa in the UK dropped a couple of hints about the void being filled sometime soon. Watch this space…

Tecnica 

The Tecnica Low Volume ski boot range has a completely new design for next season. A new asymmetric shell design has been shaped to gain a better transition to the inside edge when turning. The boot liners have Custom Adaptive Shape (CAS) technology that provides a personal fit to different areas of the foot. Using applied heat, the liner moulds to the foot and there are added customisation areas on the outer lining where you can adjust or shave the material for a comfortable fit.

Blizzard

Blizzard’s Zero-G skis and boots have certainly proven popular in the touring market over this season, and an updated ski should only bolster this moving forward. The new shape and lower weight combine to yield improved performance on the up and down, and with a jazzy new paint job the skis were certainly head turners. We can wait to get a set of these on the skin tracks.

Faction, and their new clothing brand 'FW'

Faction has had quite the year, the Verbier based company have certainly been busy, updating most of their models and launching an entirely new range of skis, called Agent. After the successful launch of their top of the range Prime skis, the Agent wraps many of these high-end features in a slightly more accessible package. The directional skis are lightweight so perfect for touring but with a slightly softer flex pattern than the Prime and Dictators, meaning that the skis shouldn’t prove too much of a handful for those days where you are more a cruiser than a charger. Available in two widths in men’s and women's specific models the skis

In addition to the brand-new range, the faction staple skis have also been refreshed. The Candide line has undergone another face-lift with female-specific skis being added to the range for the first time. Over in the Prodigy range, the 2.0 model has been updated and looks to be a freestyle plaything all over the mountain.

Perhaps slightly overshadowing the launch of their new skis, was Faction’s announcement that they are launching a new snowsport and lifestyle clothing brand, called FW, or Forward. Aimed at both skiers and snowboarders, the brand marries technical fabrics and high performance with clean-cut styles that look at home in the backcountry and on the high street. Upon first inspection, we loved the variety of garments but in particular, we were drawn to the unique colour palette.

Expect to see the clothes on the hill soon, the team have really nailed the collection and we are sure it will prove popular with a range of snowsports lovers.

Marker

Last year the innovative binding company released their new pin binding, the Alpinist. For 2020, the German company has made further steps into the touring market by combining the best bits of its two existing touring bindings, the Alpinist and the Kingpin, to create the Kingpin M-Werks.

The binding is made up of the lightweight toepiece from the Alpinist and a slimmed down version of the DIN certified heel found on the Kingpin. With more and more DIN certified pin bindings coming to market, Marker certainly seems to be keeping in the mix with their latest touring model.