It’s always a pleasure to visit Whistler – and to visit it during the Ski and Snowboard Festival is even better.
When you throw into the mix the chance to try next season’s snowboards and bindings – then well, it’s super ridiculously awesome!
I had the privilege of attending 2 out of the 4 days that the snowboard demos were on.
There were plenty of brands on offer. They did skis as well but I’m just going to show the snowboard brands that were there – off the top of my head.
Some were there over both weekends, some just the first weekend and some just the 2nd weekend.
- Never Summer
- Lib Tech
Apologies for any brands I may have missed.
Whistler Demo Day – Day 1
Date: April 9th, 2016
Conditions: Icy at first, then softened up in the afternoon. Not a cloud in the sky!
It was the perfect day – in terms of the weather – except that I forgot my sunscreen! It was a bit icy in the morning but the sun soon softened that up.
On day 1 I focused on Burton, Salomon and Niche snowboards. I have contacts for a number of brands so that I can try gear outside of their demo days – and I had focused on other brands at other demo days at other resorts earlier in the year.
I hadn’t yet tried any 2017 gear from these 3 brands so today was the perfect opportunity.
The Gear I tried on Day 1
I will of course publish all of my reviews for the following items, in addition to other gear I have demoed throughout the year.
On day 1 I got to try the following:
- Burton Family Tree Flight Attendant Snowboard 2017
- Burton Cartel Bindings 2017
- Burton Process Flying V Snowboard 2017
- Burton Genesis Bindings 2017
- Salomon Huck Knife Snowboard 2017 (replacement for the Sabotage)
- Salomon District Bindings 2017
- Salomon Man’s Board 2017
- Salomon Quantum Bindings 2017
- Niche Story Snowboard 2017
- Salomon Alibi Bindings 2017
- Niche Knew 2017
Best Gear of the Day
This was a tough choice because I really enjoyed riding all of the boards on day 1 – all for different reasons – but I enjoyed the Burton Process Flying V with Burton Genesis Bindings and the Niche Story the most.
Those 2 boards can really do it all – and those bindings! – I don’t rate the Genesis as my #1 all-mountain bindings for no reason – at this stage it’s likely they will remain #1 when I update the list for next season.
The Brand Reps
The guys and girls at the Burton tent were super friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. It’s usually the case with reps at these events (but not always so it’s always nice).
The Salomon/Niche rep was just as friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. It was great chatting to him about the different gear from those brands.
Whistler Demo Day – Day 2
Date: April 16th, 2016
Conditions: Some icy spots early, then softened up but still firm conditions, sun and clouds in the morning then light snow in the afternoon.
The focus on my second day was on Ride and K2 mostly and filled in with some others that I hadn’t had the chance to demo earlier in the year.
The Gear I tried on Day 2
On my second day I tried the following:
- Ride Machete GT Snowboard 2017
- Ride Rodeo Bindings 2017
- K2 Joy Driver 2017
- With K2 Lien AT 2017
- K2 Turbo Dream 2017
- Burton Custom X 2017
- Never Summer Proto 2017
- Flux RII Bindings 2017
Best Gear of the Day
This was really a tie between the K2 Joy Driver and the NS Proto – two very different boards but each did what they were supposed to very well.
I still found some icy patches when I was the K2 Joy Driver but it just ripped through them and held an edge beautifully – and when I got some softer stuff I could really open this board out. It does not mess around!
The Proto was awesome for everything, including running it through the park. A much more playful deck than the others I tried that day – and a great, fun way to end the day.
The Brand Reps
Again, the brand reps were all really friendly and fun but also professional. A big thanks to all the reps and everyone who manned the tents.
Thanks to World Ski & Snowboard Festival
A big thanks to the World Ski and Snowboard Festival for putting this event on and giving the opportunity to try out next season’s gear.
Everything was done professionally and everything ran on time (as far as I know as I wasn’t running on time!). I look forward to next year’s event already.