There are still a few details from the tradeshow that I have not posted because I have been busy getting the fourth issue of the season ready for the printer, but I thought I would grab a moment this morning to share a couple items.
First, Voile unveiled new graphics for their Insane and Asylum models as well as a new rockered ski called the Drifter. It was not that long ago when the Insane made most of the other skis out there look narrow. Now, the other skis out there are starting to make the Insane (100mm underfoot) begin to look on the narrow side! Pretty crazy. I am still a firm believer that 90-100mm underfoot is ideal for general softsnow touring. The Insane stioll makes a hell of a powder ski.
Word from Wally (Voile founder) is that the Drifter is an all new experience. He actually compared skiing it to snowboarding. I have yet to ski any of the big fat rockered boards in really nice deep snow, but they do offer an incredible amount of stability and (obviously) flotation.
In other interesting news, Backcountry Access showed a new airbag avalanche pack. There is a fair bit of talk about avalanche survival these days (didn't the talk used to be about avalanche avoidance?). Anyway, on the subject of avalanche survival, the Avalung has been making headlines and there is a lot of talk about airbag packs. Many experts tout the airbag pack as one of the better options when it comes to survival. The packs help create a buffer around your head and neck that helps protect against trauma, and it also helps create an air pocket as it deflates after burial - not to mention that the pack is designed to help avoid burial alltogether.
BCA's pack was still in the develpment stages and I neglected to take a photo, but it looks promising. BCA also showed a new shovel/probe and shovel/saw system. The shovel is available with either a probe or a snow-saw option and stows neatly into the shaft. The idea is not new, but the execution of the idea is cleaner and more solid than past versions.