- NSCF Newsbeat September 2018 ♦
- J Skis highlights 2018-19 limited edition artwork in video series ♦
- Why Trump’s Tariffs Could Be Bad For Skiers ♦
- How We Determine the Best Skis of the Year ♦
- The 13 Best Skis of the Year ♦
By Jo Simpson on Sep 23, 2018 04:45 pm
United introducing nonstop service to Mammoth. United Airlines said it will begin flying daily, seasonal service from Denver International Airport to Mammoth Lakes, California, starting Dec. 19. More. Inntopia/Denver Business Journal
Largest Ski Area Expansion in Over 15 Years” for Eastern United States. Hunter Mountain Ski Area will become the third-largest ski area in New York State from next season with the installation of a major new lift and the opening of associated new terrain in what is being dubbed the Hunter North project. More. Inntopia/InTheSnow
More Than 30 New Runs as Arapahoe Basin CO Ski Area Grows in Size by Almost Half. Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, one of the world’s highest altitude ski area with a season that typically runs from October to June will add 34 new runs over 468 acres for ability levels from intermediate through expert to its Beavers and The Steep Gullies area this winter. More. InTheSnow
Ski Areas Are Investing Millions in Upgrades This Summer. It’s out with the old and in with the new for many North American ski areas and resorts this summer, with 10 of the most notable ski destinations undergoing infrastructure changes. More. Inntopia/Powder
New Owners Making Improvements to Pine Mountain, Mich. An anonymous buyer recently purchased Pine Mountain Ski & Golf Resort in Iron Mountain, Mich., and has already begun making improvements to the year-round resort while business operations continue uninterrupted. More. SAM
Colorado resorts become leaders of sustainability in the ski industry. After Vail Resorts made a very epic, and public, promise last year, its flagship mountain is the first resort in the United States–and more impressively, the first mountain resort in the world–to earn the “sustainable destination” certification. More. Intopia/Freeskier
Ikon Adds Solitude, Brighton and Taos. The Ikon Pass has added Solitude Mountain Resort, following Alterra’s closing on this acquisition earlier this month, and added neighboring Brighton Resort as an Ikon partner. This brings Ikon’s five Utah connections—Solitude as a full unlimited access member, and Deer Valley, Alta/Snowbird and Brighton as limited-access partner areas, with five to seven days of access at each. More. SAM
Alterra to Acquire Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington. Less than three weeks after Vail Resorts closed on its acquisition of Stevens Pass in Washington, Alterra Mountain Company has entered into an agreement to purchase Crystal Mountain Resort. More. SAM
Two Classic Ski Areas, Chamonix and Garmisch Partenkirchen, see Cable-Cars Destroyed within 36 Hours. Chamonix in France and Garmisch Partenkirchen in Germany have both suffered accidents this week that saw lifts valued at tens of millions on Euros destroyed. More. InTheSnow
Old Farmer’s Almanac Winter Weather Forecast 2019: United States. Winter is nearing, and the Old Farmer’s Almanacs’ (not to be confused the Farmer’s Almanac) has just released their long-range winter weather forecast for the 2018/19 season. More. Inntopia/Snowboarding
Disney’s “Frozen” Computer Model for Snow Leads to 1st Ever 3D Model of Avalanche. Drawing on the fact that the snow in an avalanche can behave like both a solid and a fluid, a researcher has managed to simulate a snow slab avalanche with unrivaled precision, with the help of researchers used by The Walt Disney Company for the movie Frozen. More. Snowbrains
August 30, 2018
by Erin Spong
J Skis founder, Jason Levinthal, started J Skis on the foundation of collaboration. Since the brand’s inception, Levinthal has partnered with engineers, skiers and artists to produce the most unique set of sticks for the ski community, and the 2018-19 offerings are no different. Below you will find this year’s limited edition artwork for The Metal, The Masterblaster, The Max, The Vacation and The Friend. Each pair are hand-signed and numbered by J himself to ensure you’re getting truly one-of-a-kind planks.
While driving across the United States with his wife, UK artist Luke Dixon was inspired by the wildlife in America’s National Parks for his Wolf Walk design. Originally created for Dixon’s clothing brand, Bearhug, this is the first time the design will be on a ski, featured on The Metal. Only 400 pairs are available in this design.
Athens, Georgia-based tattoo artist David Hale returns for a second collaboration with J skis on The Masterblaster River design. The design’s powerful yet smooth, infinite flow mimics the feeling of taking The Masterblaster on buttery groomers and fresh, untouched pow. Only 400 pairs are available in this design.
The Arcade design for The Max is inspired by the hard-core gamers of the ’80s. No headsets with microphones or bluetooth controllers to play this game, just a pair of hands and a joystick is all you need. J Skis is only making 200 pairs of this design, so get your hands on them while you still can.
Back by popular demand with a revamp in design is The Vacation’s Brotherhood II. Sticking with last year’s legendary theme, the evolution in design has Giray Dadali, aka “Ahmet’s Brother,” and his friends, aka “The Brotherhood,” flipping the script and chasing the yellow jackets off the hill—for good. Only 400 pairs are available in this design.
For Ryan Schmies, designing skis is the perfect blend of passion and profession. The Wisconsin-born artist earned his first claim to fame when he designed K2’s Public Enemywhen he was still in college. Since then, Schmies has made a name for himself as an artist in Washington, designing hundreds of skis and other products for ski brands in his 20-plus-year career. Growing up skiing on a small hill named Cascade and now tearing up the Cascade Range in Washington, Cascade only made sense for this design on The Friend.
Posted from FreeSkier
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A new round of tariffs could put some winter sports brands in deep financial trouble
September 6, 2018 By Clare Menzel
PHOTO: David Reddick
For more than 80 years, Hestra has been crafting leather gloves and mittens to keep skiers’ hands warm and responsive out on the hill. If you’ve ever gulped at the price tag and ponied up anyway, you know you pay for what you get. But in coming months, consumers might see a 25 percent increase in retail cost–not because the brand is upgrading their product, but because gloves made in China and sold in the United States could be subject to an increased tariff proposed by the Trump administration on a long list of consumer goods. Those products include ski gloves and mittens, safety helmets, sports bags, and knit hats–critical items in any skier’s gear closet.
The goal of this 25 percent tariff hike is not necessarily aimed at forcing manufacturing state-side. Rather, it’s part of a gamble by the Trump administration to pressure the Chinese government into discontinuing certain policies and practices seen as restricting U.S. commerce. After two rounds of punitive tariffs, levied earlier this year by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, Beijing has made some concessions, such as lowering investment restrictions, but it has also imposed its own retaliatory tariffs. And Chinese officials have been clear they intend to punch back in kind, should this third round of tariffs get the green light. This round of levies targets products with a combined annual trade value of $200 billion, a substantial portion of Chinese imports to the states.
“With even a slight increase in prices, the economic viability of our industry is in jeopardy and the impacts will be felt across our local communities and tourist-dependent resort towns, as well as by individual consumers in the United States.” –Nick Sargent, SIA President
The list of products subject to this proposed tariff is 110 pages long. Skis and hardgoods will not be affected by this round of tariffs, simply since they’re not listed. This is not to say they aren’t affected by other tariffs, or will never be. Lighthizer contends that analysts selected each item after determining that a supplemental duty imposition wouldn’t have detrimental effects on small- or medium-sized businesses and consumers. But they must have overlooked the $73 billion winter sports industry, which generated $779 million in consumer sales of gloves, helmets, sports bags, and hats between August and March 2018, according to the Snowsports Industries America (SIA). SIA has advocated for the removal of these winter sports goods from the tariff list, testifying to the threat it poses to brands, recreationalists, and mountain towns.
“Our economic vitality depends on tight margins throughout our supply chain and selling our products at a fair price each season,” Nick Sargent, SIA President told a USTR committee in Washington, D.C., during an August 27 hearing on the proposed tariffs. “With even a slight increase in prices, the economic viability of our industry is in jeopardy and the impacts will be felt across our local communities and tourist-dependent resort towns, as well as by individual consumers in the United States. A 25 percent, or even 10 percent, increase in price on those products would certainly challenge even the most determined participant.”
Hestra has its roots in hand-hewn leather goods, but in the modern era, the company owns and relies on four overseas factories–its two biggest are in China–to keep up with production. If these new tariffs are approved, Hestra USA President Dino Dardano says the brand’s long-term approach will be to shift the bulk of production for the American market into its factories in Hungary and Vietnam, but a move of that magnitude will take a minimum of three years.
“Realistically, a five percent increase over five years would have given us an opportunity to address this [exiting China] with some intelligence and methodology,” Dardano told POWDER. “But now we have a gun to our heads, and we’re really scrambling.”
If the tariffs are approved this fall, the short-term challenges are even more daunting. Dardano says that sales to outdoors shops for the 2018-2019 season were inked last February, based on current prices. With these sales already set, the company would have to absorb the 25 percent duty increase in order to bring those products into the U.S., something Dardano says is neither feasible nor reasonable because it exceeds Hestra’s profit line. “That would put us out of business,” he says. Hestra’s plan is to air freight everything out of its China factories before the tariff is passed, basically rushing to beat the buzzer.
“It’s going to dramatically affect U.S. consumers. It’s not only gloves; it’s helmets and backpacks–the cost of participation is going to escalate. We’re already challenged in getting more people to experience skiing and get on snow. It’s a very expensive investment to begin with.” –Dino Dardano, Hestra USA
Ultimately, Dardano says Hestra’s hands are tied, and that the cost of this tariff would have to be passed down to customers. One of their most popular gloves, the Heli, which currently retails for $145, would be bumped up to $181.
“It’s going to dramatically affect U.S. consumers,” Dardano says. “It’s not only gloves; it’s helmets and backpacks–the cost of participation is going to escalate. We’re already challenged in getting more people to experience skiing and get on snow. It’s a very expensive investment to begin with.”
In addition to the looming business challenges, it seems like Dardano is deeply frustrated with the lack of transparency in the process.
“Why ski gloves? Why knit hats? It’s beyond me,” he says. “This is my personal opinion, but Trump is trying to get China to the table to address much bigger issues. Now we’re a chip in that big game… [the tariffs] are a negotiation tool. We got sucked in.”
Dardano, Sargent, and others in the industry hope that the United States Trade Representative will take note of their testimonies and move to exempt winter sports goods from the proposed tariff. If the Trump administration ignores these cries, heritage outdoors brands like Hestra may become casualties in the president’s trade war.
Posted from Powder Magazine
The 33 skiers in The Powder union have a diverse range of favorites when it comes to skis
August 20, 2018 By Matt Hansen
Lyndsay Craig. Red Mountain, British Columbia. PHOTO: David Reddick
The Powder Union–consisting of 20 men and 13 women–skied bell to bell for four days. They plundered powder in tight trees and chutes, toured out of bounds, and used proper avalanche protocol to descend consequential lines. They crushed bumps in gullies and bombed hot laps on the oldest race hill in Western Canada.
The clouds rolled in, the snow came down in waves, and visibility all but vanished. With fresh snow falling all week long at Red Mountain, British Columbia, the skiing in any direction was as good as you could ask for. But while deciding our options atop Grey Mountain–one of three forested peaks that make up the 4,200 acres of intricate, steep terrain at Red–we lucked out with local beta.
Related Story: Meet the Skiers on the Powder Union
Posted from Powder Magazine
These skis received the highest marks across the board from skiers with a host of different backgrounds
August 20, 2018 By Powder Magazine
Wiley Miller. Retallack Lodge, British Columbia. PHOTO: David Reddick
With fresh snow falling all week long over the 4,200 acres of intricate, steep terrain at Red Mountain, British Columbia, 30 ski companies gathered to showcase their top skis for 2019 before the 33 skiers who make up the Powder Union. With zero influence from attending brands, the Union spent a collective 1,500 hours determining the 13 best Skis of the Year found in the 2019 Buyer’s Guide.
Posted From Powder Magazine
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