What's New in the Ski Industry?

This is the cool stuff

This is the new stuff 

Make your own snow! ($3,000)
Heated ski gloves! (sold out until fall 2006)
Air Force variable tint goggles
Multi function clothing has arrived. Check out the kenpo ipod jacket. Oakley's thump are sunglasses with a built in MP3 player.
Air Boards - these are already on the slopes at some ski resorts
Battery powered "wax" to slow down or speed up skis? Check out Dartmouth College's Ice Research Laboratory report on Ski Friction Control.
Cat skiing and riding at Alta! And Snowboarders are allowed!!!
There's a new resort in Colorado called Silverton. It's near Red Mountain pass in Southwest Colorado. Lift tickets are $25/day. One chairlift. Expert only terrain, beacon, probe and shovel required. 2002 season is guided groups only at $99/day.
New base materials are using composites impregnated into the p-tex to increase strength and durability. Some of the materials are indium, gallium, graphite and ceramics. Another benefit for racers is that snow friction is reduced (i.e. ski go fast).
Avalung has come out with a $100 model. This thing extracts oxygen from the snowpack in case you are buried in an avalanche. The avalung 2 is more like a snorkel, while the original version was  a vest model that you had to wear as the external layer (btw STP has it on sale for $60!)
Burton has introduced a combination snowboard/skateboard called the junkyard
A new snow toy is called the Gravity Cart (at Big Sky, Park City and Vail in 2001-2002). It's a bucket seat sit down thing, with a snowboard under the middle, four little outrigger skis and a claw braking system. (skiing mag - Dec 2001, page 50)
Speaking of new toys - here's the WindSki. It's like windsurfing on snow!
The ASTM has introduced new helmet standards to take effect in the 2001 - 2002 season. These standards will require more protection than the current standard, but will still be less than the current European standard (which Rusty thinks is a good thing). Rusty thought there would be big sales on helmets, but has not seen any. Check out Rusty's tips on helmets (Why wear a helmet, buying a helmet).

American Ski Company has a new Graduated Learning Method methodology that involves short skis. It's a little like the old Graduated Length Method, but it is based on shape ski technology and is focused on the total learning experience that includes a separate lodge for first time skiers. It sounds like a good thing. If you or someone you know has tried this program please send me email describing your experience.

Most people have heard of GoreTex by now. But new fabrics and clothing technologies are being invented all the time. Rusty loves the Outlast in his Boeri helmet. Some ski stores have little demo bottles of the stuff. It's cool. Vphenix (site under construction) has new fabric called Diaplex that is heat activated so that when it is cold, it traps body heat, when you get hot, it lets heat and moisture escape while remaining waterproof.