What’s Hot for Winter 2006
Want to experience a spectacular season while making all of your friends jealous of your exceptionally good taste? Check this stuff out.by Peter Barrett and Jackie Baker
Attention gear freaks and gram counters, the world’s lightest snowboard is here. Barely two seasons after releasing the unbelievably svelte T6, Burton unleashes yet another featherweight wonder—the Vapor snowboard. Riding the Vapor is like driving a Lotus; you instantly feel the added response, ease of turning, and breakneck acceleration. No matter how light your current board is, switching to the Vapor is like upgrading from a 1987 Bronco—you’ll experience a completely different world of handling and performance. The Vapor advances the T6’s technology and loses a full pound in the process—that’s right, the Vapor drops one pound from the T6. What the Vapor doesn’t lose is Burton’s legendary do-anything ride quality. This nearly weightless board packs in Burton’s top-of-the-line WFO base, Multizone EGD wood core and Carbon I-Beam technology. The Vapor barely tips the scales, but packs tons of versatility. While the deck may be light, the price tag is heavy. One intangible benefit of riding such a board is the attention you get in the lift line. People notice the rider with the $900 board strapped to their feet. When you hit the hill on the Vapor, they’ll assume you’re other ride is a gold-plated Escalade, you have leather Prada outerwear back at the crib, and you flow the Benjamins like water from a spring.
Progression in the ski industry tends to be one-dimensional. Skis get fatter and that’s about it. Twintips don’t get twinnier, shaped skis are hard-pressed to get shapier, and core materials still belong to two major food groups—wood or foam. The fatter skis get, the fewer people they appeal to. How many people can ski a Prophet 130 every day and truly enjoy it? Try not to think about the lucky Alaskan heli-guides who can. This season, Atomic stepped forward with a revolutionary new concept. They’re selling their Triplets in sets of three. These pipe, park, and urban assault skis each arrive with a different graphic and are made to be interchanged. Put a core shot in the black ski? Drop it off at the shop, have them move your binding over to the green ski, and never miss a day of shredding. Most seasons come to an abrupt halt when the horror of a broken ski shatters dreams—but if you have a set of Triplets, just toss that lame duck in the garage, mount the spare and get back out there. Atomic proves that innovation doesn’t have to come from adding millimeters to a ski’s girth. If nothing else, more skiers will be able to log more days on the hill this winter, and that should make everyone smile.
Arc’teryx takes yet another step away from the outerwear herd as they improve their already exceptional technology. Arc’teryx created the Stingray jacket by applying their own WaterTight zippers, the waterproof guarantee of Gore-Tex®, and the security of Recco to the newest softshell fabric. They constructed the Stingray using Arc’teryx’s renowned welding and lamination processes. What you get is a jacket that is warmer, drier, and more durable than any shell you’ve worn before. It’s safer too. The inclusion of a Recco reflector, meticulously applied to the right sleeve, adds a level of safety not found in ordinary jackets. The Recco passive location system is fast gaining popularity among ski patrols, search–and-rescue units the world over. The Recco reflector returns an signal emitted by a Recco detector, so that properly-equipped personnel can locate you. Arc’teryx designed all of the Stingray’s incredible features to make heli and resort riders more comfortable. Since these riders usually travel in packs, Arc’teryx blessed the Stingray with some of the most eye-pleasing colors ever introduced to the wild. To identify yourself as the alpha animal, select the coat that works best for you; Rhino Blue if you’re a charger, Gunmetal for those that ‘chute’ first and ask questions later, or Cricket or Kangaroo if you’re a tree-hugging’ herbivore.
Listen up backcountry techweenies! In their never-ending quest to fuse high-quality optics with state-of-the-art technology, Oakley created the revolutionary RAZRWIRE sunglasses. These slick shades combine Oakley’s patented distortion-free XYZ Optics with Motorola wireless Bluetooth technology. You need a cell phone that’s Bluetooth Handsfree or Headset compatible to make this work. Once you’re dialed in, you can answer your phone from the RAZRWIRE, and if your phone supports Voice Dial, you can place outgoing calls through the RAZRWIRE without ever touching your phone. Store your cell in your pocket or backpack and never again deal with tossing your gloves and unzipping your jacket to get to it. Since the RAZRWIRE works up to 33 feet away from your cell phone, you can simultaneously (and frantically) pack the car on a powder day while making arrangements with your posse without slowing down or juggling your board, boots and phone. The RAZRWIRE has already been released, and our limited stock arrives any day now. Be sure to reserve your pair right away, and be the envy of everyone who missed out.