OnTheSnow chats to Alpine Activity Manager for Salomon GB, Eric Davies, and Salomon Snowboard Manager, Bert Conneely, to find out about their 2013 ski and snowboard line.
Want to know what trends will storm the slopes this winter or what's tipped to be best-sellers? We have the inside track.
OnTheSnow: Tell me a bit about the process of designing Salomon skis/snowboards - how do you choose what will work best?
Eric: We have a group of skiers, engineers, designers and shapers called the Salomon Mountain Collective. They meet, ski and discuss what is needed (and missing from equipment today) to push the limits and to ski better in all aspects and areas of the mountain environment.
Bert: We have the snowboard design office in Annecy France, they come up with the ideas, they then have the prototype boards made and the designers take it on the hill for on snow evaluation, if it passes their testing procedure it is then given to Salomon team riders and a select bunch or internal and external snowboarders for further evaluation.
OnTheSnow: Any new trends in Salomon's hard/soft goods this year?
Eric: It’s all about “Hike & Ride” with more Quest boots featuring the Quest Max 360 deg lower shell customisation. Equally important is the arrival of the new Salomon Guardian binding, a landmark product, once every 10 years such a product comes along. Both the Quest boots and Guardian bindings along with one of our new Rocker skis will enable you to hike further into where the best snow lies, but more importantly will give you the best ski control and snow feel ever experienced when skiing back down, no matter what the conditions.
Bert: Lots of new binding technology, from Salomon we have the new Shadow fit bindings which are a major evolution of the successful Relay bindings – basically we are making the binding become part of the rider with greater comfort, shock absorption and a natural flex, it's all about bringing the feeling of freedom experienced by surfers and skaters to snowboarding without any loss of board control.
Video: Salomon Guardian live event:
OnTheSnow: What do you think will be Salomon's best sellers in this year's ski/snowboard line?
Eric: Boots X Max and Quest Max 360 custom shell boots are the best fitting performance boots on the market and available for all. Guardian bindings on Salomon Rocker skis will also be best sellers. For the Piste lovers who like adventure with slope side powder and testing the off piste conditions, the Enduro ski range are rock solid for carved turns, they will float up in soft snow yet still punch through the crud And why? Reference ski equipment for the long term future is being launched by Salomon this season – it’s time to change your old ski kit and ski better – fact.
Bert: Synapse boots as they are the seasonaires and hardcore riders long lasting option; Savage boots as the price and performance is superb; Shadowfit bindings as they really do make snowboarding more fun; Rythm bindings as they ride great for not a great deal of money; Villain and Sabotage Snowboards as they are full of the latest technology and are really fun to ride in.
OnTheSnow: Is there anything Salomon is particularly proud of in its 2013 line?
Eric: Salomon Helmets featuring Custom Air fit Goggles with 20 percent more vision and our back protection all help the skier when that unexpected tumble or collision takes place. Both have exploded onto the GB market in the last few years, turning it into a £1M+ business, but equally important skiers and snowboarders are better protected to enjoy their ride.
Bert: It would have to be the Shadowfit bindings as they are pushing things forward, we are also pretty stoked on our new lacing systems.
Video: Salomon Shadowfit bindings
OnTheSnow: Where do you see skis/snowboards in 10 years? Any trends that will really take hold in the future?
Eric: Having skied for more than 40 years and shared in many of the Salomon innovations, I’m a big fan of the BBR 10.0 and 8.9 skis as they are for me the one ski for the whole mountain in any condition.
Bert: I ride snowboards as they are great practice for when hover boards finally get invented.
Read OnTheSnow's 2013 Salomon Ski Reviews