News & Previews

ISPO 2019 Highlights

Our pick of the best products & graphics coming in 2019/2020

We’re back. We made it. Barely. ISPO, the trade show where snowboarding, beer and schnapps collide. Hard. We were stoked to be a part of it, and to get a sneak preview of what’s hot for 2019/2020.’

“ISPO, the trade show where snowboarding, beer and schnapps collide”

There were a lot of new ideas and concepts flying round this season, and while some of them should probably stay in Munich, a lot of them are sure to make waves through the industry over the coming seasons. A big push this year seemed to be put on sustainability and corporate responsibility, and while at times it felt a bit forced, as though companies were just trying to cash in on the ‘hot ticket’ of the moment you can’t deny the impact that it’s having. Regardless of however skeptical we might be, it’s nice to see brands, both big and small, trying to come together to create a more responsible and ethical environment for our industry.

ISPO 2019 was a biggin’ and we want to give you the highlights (and lowlights) of our trade show trip. 2019 is looking super tight for gear so here’s a few pieces that caught our eyes…

Check out the rest of the brand previews from ISPO 2019

Arcade | Capita | Deeluxe | Drake/Northwave | Dragon | Giro | Gogglesoc | Holden | Jones | K2 | Karakoram | Nitro | NOW | Oakley | Patagonia | POW Gloves | Ride | Smith | Spark R&D | Stance | Telos | ThirtyTwo | Union | Weston | YES

Arcade Leather Belt

Arcade have been combining fashion with function since they started, and new for 2019/2020 they’ve stepped up their game once again with their new leather belt line. Unlike a traditional leather belt, they have stretch fibres that flex as you move hidden next to the buckle. They’ve managed to retain the slightly classier leather look and strength,  and combine it with the comfort and practicality of stretch belts.

“A belt built to adapt to any environment”

Perfect for those occasions when you have to dress up a bit, but don’t want to look like too much of a dick wandering the aisles of Topman trying to grab the first ‘occasion appropriate’ belt you see. It comes in 3 classic colours: black, brown, and tan- so it can fit with pretty much any outfit. Unlike the classic Arcade belts, this one comes in 3 sizes, M(30″-34″), L(34″-38″) and XL (38″-42″). Strap In. Venture Out.

Dragon NFX2 x Blake Paul

Blake Paul’s Siganture NFX2 Goggles 2019-2020

The NFX2 is still one of the best goggles available on the market, despite the debate over cylindrical vs spherical lenses (high-5 cylindrical gang) and proves it year after year with its sales.

“The NFX2 is still one of the best goggles available on the market”

These are looking tighter than ever with Blake Paul‘s signature colour way. Its Swiftlock lens change system is hands down one of the easiest and fastest methods on the market, and can be done in a jiffy with mitts on when the weather starts pulling in. What would be the point in having a boss lens changing system if you didn’t have at least 2 lenses…? That’s where Dragon really win bang-for-your-buck points, with the NFX2 coming with a bonus lens (These come with Lumalens Dark Smoke and Lumalens Rose). Armoured venting along the top of the goggle, super anti fog coating, and triple layer face foam keep the goggle both comfortable and practical. Not to worry if you’ve got a little peanut head and get swamped in a big goggle, as you can scale down to the NFXs.

Jones Hovercraft Split Wmns

The Jones Women’s Hovercraft Snowbaords, split and solid, new for 2019-2020

The Hovercraft is one of the most loved boards for riders the world over, and is an absolute pleasure to ride both on and off piste. The addition of the Hovercraft split to the women’s line is long awaited, and will no doubt have piles of badass backcountry babes frothing for its release. The bamboo topsheet is a double whammy and not only reinforces the board, but also works to soak up some of the chatter from the cruddy snow as you’re riding. She sports a blunted nose profile, followed by a progressive sidecut, and ending in a slight swallow tail, this helps you float through snow easier, offers smoother turn initiation, and keeps your weight centred over the tail of the board.

“Helps you float through snow easier, offers smoother turn initiation, and keeps your weight centred over the tail”

The cambered section underfoot really comes into play on piste, and works with the traction tech to give great edge hold on groomers, and the big old rockered nose keeps you floating in the deep stuff. The women’s Hovercraft split features adjustable tension Karakoram K-clips plus tip and tail hooks, which offer more torsional stiffness across the board than a normal clip. To make your life easier Jones have kindly added notches in the tail for super simple set up of the Quick Tension Tail Clip on your skins. Jones are a committed partner to both POW and 1% for the Planet, and are one of the brands that acknowledge there are necessary evils in the production of snowboards, but are making steps to reduce their footprint (i.e- solely using recycled plastic.) Ladies, get yourselves ready because the Hovercraft is landing.

K2 Medium

K2 Medium Snowboard, Forumla Bindings and Darko Boots 2019-2020

Jake Kuzyk is one of the most exciting riders on the scene right now, his stomper ender for Landline was all-time, and his explosive and vibrant riding style is amazing to watch. Jake needs a board that’s gonna have his back from the sketchy street spots in Winnipeg to big old back country hips in the heart of Austria.

“The addition of the Ollie Bar and the Sintered 4000 base are just the icing on the cake really”

The K2 Medium, designed with a helping hand from the man himself is looking incredible. With a hefty Twin Cambered Baseline, the board is going to be mega poppy, and super nimble on piste, pair that with the Carbon Dark Web underneath the bindings and you’ve got the recipe for a freestyle heavy hitter. The topsheet is K2‘s own ultra-lightweight Inked Glass, which fuses the graphic directly onto the fibreglass to save weight and increase durability. The addition of the Ollie Bar and the Sintered 4000 base are just the icing on the cake really. Now you’re just showing off…

Libtech Orca

Travis Rice‘s Libtech Orca is back for another season. Possibly the most accessible board in Travis’ line, it appeals to a slightly wider audience than some of his more aggressive chargers. It’s been immensely popular since it’s launch, and this is reflected in the fact that they’ve added 2 new sizes for this year. It now comes in a 147, 153, and 159 which does nothing but broaden its reach. The Orca utilises Mervin’s C2x profile, which combines a shorter, milder rocker section between the feet, with longer cambered sections either side out towards the tip and tail. This profile offers the pop and life and aggression you can expect from a cambered board, with the playful, fun, floaty-ness of a rocker.

“The idea here is that this board carries you through the depths of the backcountry”

The directional shape will keep you set back along the board when you’re on the hunt for pow lines, and let you really drive down when you’re wanting to really get low into your carves, and the tighter sidecut will keep you turning on a dime with ease. Occasionally you find with a rocker dominant board it can be a bit washy on piste but with the addition of Lib‘s Magne-traction this board is sure to hold its edge alongside the piste carving machines. It’s all about the short and stubbies nowadays and the super wide waist width should eliminate all worries you have about riding this board shorter than you’re used to. We’re stoked on the Orca and hopefully it’ll keep rolling out in years to come. Rumour has it that come 2025, every man, woman and child will be on a T-Rice snowboard.

NOW Brigada

NOW have been innovators since their launch in 2010, constantly pushing the barriers of what is possible and raising the bar on what is to be expected of a world class snowboard binding and of course they haven’t dropped the ball for next season. Brand new for 2019/2020 is the women’s Brigada binding, a softer flexing freestyle machine, designed for hot laps in the park and razzing around the hill with your crew. Don’t think it’s a one trick pony though- you can stiffen up the ride by swapping out the bushings, (the stiffer the bushing the more responsive the ride) making it crazy versatile.

“Designed for hot laps in the park and razzing around the hill with your crew”

Using NOW’s trademark Skate Tech, it offers riders unparalleled response and control, whilst also being really comfortable. The Asymmetric Sieva ankle strap is super malleable and moulds around your boot, rather than creating pressure points on top of the foot. The baseless design, paired with the hangar and the bushings allow for minimal contact with your board, reducing the amount of energy wasted by flexing the baseplate. The Brigada will transfer all your energy directly onto the boards edge, delivering more response with less effort.

Oakley Line Miner x Kazu Kokubo

Kazu Kokubo’s Signature Line Miner Goggles for 2019-2020

Kazu is the DON. There’s no denying that, and his signature goggle with Oakley is looking super fresh for this year.

“Oakley’s Prizm Torch Iridium lens which offers insane amounts of control over light transmission and ensures maximum contrast and top notch visibility”

The Line Miner is a bit of a heavyweight in its own right, and is a little different to the rest of the Oakley line as it sits closer to the eye than a standard fit goggle and offers a super wide peripheral and downwards vision. Featuring Oakley’s Prizm Torch Iridium lens which offers insane amounts of control over light transmission and ensures maximum contrast and top notch visibility.  The chassis is created using an Injection Moulded Polycarbonate, which is super lightweight, yet still manages to be ultra durable. Slight notches in the frame mean that you can fit these over most prescription eyewear and wear them OTG. Oakley lenses are well known to hit the absolute highest standards of impact protection, so if you’re worried about some skier in the lift queue having a pop at you with his pole, then look no further to keep your pretty little peepers nice and safe.

Ride Psychocandy

The much-awaited Ride Psychocandy was turning heads left, right and centre during ISPO, and it’s pretty easy to see why. For years the girls have been itching to get themselves a taste of the bacon, and now it’s finally time to tuck in. The Psychocandy is designed to ride like the all-time favourite Warpig, a board that prides itself on making other boards its bitch.

“The Psychocandy is designed to ride like the all-time favourite Warpig”

With a directional rocker profile, and a mid-stiff flex the Psychocandy is for sure going to be slaying on groomers no matter the conditions. Ride have turbo-charged her by adding their Tapered Bi-Radical sidecut, Carbon Slimewalls and have chucked a sintered, stone-ground base on there for good measure. High performance meets high fashion with a classic pig-style graphic, underneath which lies their Carbon Array 5 lay-up, and topless topsheet construction. We are stoked to get out hands on Little Miss Piggy, and we’re sure you are too. Strap in and give her a whirl girl.

YES 20/20

The YES 20/20 snowboard was insane when it first was released 3 years ago, and now it’s just gotten a makeover to rival Kimmy K and her cohort. 2 years of r&d have gone into this, and the YES boys were getting us all super pumped for the opportunity to give it a razz around on the hill. The unique shape utilises the Powder Hull profile, which essentially uses concave sections of the board to suck air in under the nose of the board to keep it out of the snow, and shoot snow out the the tail end to keep your weight over the back of the board.

“A freestyle pow-slayer that is gonna rip on piste as well”

Almost unheard of with a more powder specific board, it has a true twin outline- this is gonna be insane for backcountry freestyle. Gone are the days of being limited with your trick choices because of your super directional board. The width of the board helps with the float by increasing the overall surface area of the board, but not lengthways like a traditional powder snowboard. This solves the age-old problem of having a pow board that gets really long and cumbersome. Shout out if you’ve ever managed to get stuck in a tight tree section because your board was too long to whip round quickly.

Yes have improved performance for next season by pulling the concave sections further towards the middle of the board and creating 2 ‘holes’ by removing the wood, which not only reduces weight but tackles the limitations of the shapes that can be created using wood alone. A freestyle pow-slayer that is gonna rip on piste as well? Sign me up.

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