ISPO Ski Awards honor Fischer Vacuum, Blizzard Flipcore

The European Ski Award winners were announced from the ispo tradeshow in Munich the first week of February, with both of the hardgoods awards giving a nod to some radical new technology for the slopes. The winners were the Fischer Soma Vacuum 130, which features the world’s first completely moldable ski shell, as well as the Blizzard Cochise ski, which embraces rocker technology with a reverse cambered core for a completely natural flex.

Bode Skis to 12th with One Pole

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (Gear Institute)-America’s greatest male ski racer ever, four-time World Champion Bode Miller, put up another highlight reel of a run on Wednesday in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championship Super G, finishing the run with only one pole.

Dangerous Counterfeit Climbing Gear Surfaces

It's a manufacturer's worst nightmare: Counterfeit versions of a product exactly theirs flood the market, drying up demand. But Petzl's concern is more serious.

The climbing company has announced it has discovered Chinese-made, knock-off versions of it's popular climbing carabiners and ascenders. The knock-offs fail well before the authentic versions do, putting climbers who think they are using the real thing at serious risk.

The worst part? The fake versions look almost exactly like the real versions, right down to sharing the same batch numbers imprinted in their metal.

EVO Rocker Guide

In 2003, we had one rockered option available - the beloved Volant Spatula; this year we offer over 150 rockered models in our rocker skis and rocker snowboards categories for every level of rider. We've been amped for years on the concept and can't wait for everyone to experience a rockered ride.

This article describes exactly what rocker is and what type is best suited for your riding style or terrain. Tune in as we break it down real simple.

A Cut Above

The first time I trimmed a pair of climbing skins, it took about two hours. If you’ve ever cut a pair, you know why. It’s a delicate process. To cut them to fit the skis perfectly, you have to expose the ski’s edge. Expose too little, and the ski slips around a lot on traverses. Expose too much, and you slip while climbing.  To lop off the perfect amount of skin, you need to go through a very careful process of offsetting the skin on the ski, cutting an edge, repositioning it just so, cutting again, etc. The process can be about as nerve-wracking as surgery, especially if you have a lot of dog hair, and you’re prone to letting the sticky skin flop onto the floor.

Thankfully, Genuine Guide Gear (G3) has a brilliant new tool that makes the process infinitely easier.

Does the Spot 2 tracking beacon really work?

The Spot personal tracking beacon was a revolutionary device for backcountry users—allowing you to transmit your route and ‘I’m OK’ and ‘Need Help’ messages from most places on earth. If you haven’t heard, it’s essentially a GPS that links to a satellite, and sends very simple one-way messages from areas where there is no cell coverage.

JanSport Co-founder, Skip Yowell, Announces Retirement

SAN LEANDRO, CA -- (December 16, 2010) Skip Yowell, JanSport Co-founder and Vice President of Global Public Relations, today announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2010.

Yowell, together with two colleagues, founded JanSport in 1967 in Seattle, Wash., while in search of the perfect hiking pack. What began as a passion for climbing and hiking turned into the #1 selling day pack in the world. Yowell’s innovative ideas did not end there; he is also credited with creating the first dome tent, waist-suspension flexible frame pack, travel pack and the panel-load daypack.

K2 Shane McConkey Ski

Big kudos to K2 for introducing the Shane McConkey Ski, with about 500 unique, numbered pairs all to be sold so that the profits can directly benefit McConkey’s widow and daughter.

In classic K2 style, the Shane will have a topsheet celebrating Shane’s oversized personality, all built on a Pontoon chassis. McConkey introduced the Pontoon design in 2004, built on his revolutionary rocker construction, which effectively changed big mountain skiing forever.

Gear Alert: Black Diamond to Recall Portion of AvaLung Packs

Salt Lake City (The Gear Institute)-Black Diamond Equipment announced on Dec. 14, 2010, that the company is making a voluntary recall of a limited portion of 2010 Black Diamond AvaLung Packs because of a possibility that the intake tubing may crack under cold temperatures.

Gear News: Salomon Introduces Radical V-Shaped Ski

Ogden, Utah (Gear Institute)-Salomon is embarking on a ski area tour to introduce a radical new design in alpine skis. The BBR ski is the latest innovation by Salomon ski designer Bertrand Krafft, (aka: BeBeR) the shaper behind some benchmark designs in skiing, including the X Scream Series and Pocket Rocket.

Sportiva Clicks into AT Binding Market

Boulder, Colo. (Gear Institute)-Footwear and climbing giant Sportiva is jumping into the growing Alpine Touring (AT) binding market with the introduction this winter of the new RT Tech ski binding.

The binding is already available to athletes on the European randonnee ski race circuit, and will hit the U.S. market in mid-December. Weighing in at 175 grams, the retail price has been announced at $700.