The top five locally made snowboards at the SIA Snow Show (plus a couple of sweet pairs of skis)
We sifted through a mess of 893 snow sports brands representing at the SIA Snow Show to find the Colorado companies we love most, then asked them to show off their best boards for the 2011/2012 season. Click through for a fast-forward look at the boards locavores will be craving next season (listed by the companies' proximity to Denver), followed by three very cool pairs of skis.
Photo by Sarah Austin Never Summer Snowboards co-founder Tim Canaday shows off his 2011/2012 line at the SIA Snow Show
1 & 2. Never Summer. Any discussion of what's happening with Colorado ski and snowboard companies has to begin with Never Summer. Why? The Never Summer factory on Colorado Avenue, just north of I-70, manufactures its own snowboards as well as skis and boards for three of the other companies on this list (Icelantic, Fat-ypus, and High Society Freeride). Never Summer has been taking the lead as innovators, recently nabbing a patent on the rocker-camber design that has helped sales skyrocket over the last few years. Never Summer also has a deeper line than any other Colorado company, manufactures more boards, and will be celebrating their 20th anniversary next season.
Check out the 20th anniversary edition Heritage board and fly the Colorado flags on the topsheet and base of this big-mountain freestyle board every time you ride, in the name of local pride, or try the new Proto CT all-mountain twin tip, suggests Never Summer's Tim Canaday, who has been making boards with his brother Tracey since they were in high school. Both boards are part of Never Summer's Carbonium Series, adding carbonium laminates to the new NS SuperLight wood cores: Tinkering with board design is the Canaday brothers' specialty. "Either of these boards will serve you well on any mountain in Colorado," says Tim Canaday. "I don't know of any rider in Colorado who rides exclusively in the park and doesn't need their board to handle just as well on the rest of the mountain. The Proto CT is really our answer for these riders, combining the best of our SL all-mountain board and our popular Evo pipe and park board."
Photo by Sarah Austin Never Summer's 20th anniversary edition Heritage, left, and new Proto CT freestyle boards