Setting up at the Korua snowboard test in La Clusaz. Photo: Sam McMahon
Testing snowboard gear is fun, obviously – but that doesn’t stop it from being a major undertaking that runs all season long, visiting several resorts in pursuit of the best snowboards, bindings, goggles and more.
It’s worth it, though – trade shows are all well and good for seeing what new, fresh ideas have come along, but nothing beats real-world testing.
“Trade shows are all well and good for seeing what new, fresh ideas have come along, but nothing beats real-world testing”
It all begins in La Clusaz, France, home of mentalist skier Candide Thovex. For this week it’s all about the snowboards, though, as dozens of brands roll into town for Avant Premier to give us a first look at what’s in store for 2017/18.
Bitterly cold but blessed with overnight dumps, we got a first-class look at how the new steeds handled both bulletproof piste and fluffy pow. After that it was straight into Shops 1st Try, a similar setup in the Austrian resort of Skijuwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau with more than 70 brands in attendance.
Later in the season we joined the Burton Step On test event, and headed to the Bataleon Lodge to try the latest in Triple Base Tech design. We also checked out the Vans Snow Days in Les Arcs, and returned to La Clusaz to see what Korua Shapes had lined up for their third season.