This past week I attended the ISPO Exhibition in Munich, Germany. This show features the latest gear and technology in action sports - with a special focus on the ski and snowboard industry.
It was interesting to see the business trends in sports hardware from a European perspective. Although many of the brands featured at the show were from around the globe, there was definitely a European vibe with the overall design and feel of the products at the conference - which featured a consistent trend in environmental sustainability.
Here are my top picks from the 2017 ISPO Exhibition - all of which were featured as award winners or nominees at the event:
Winner Best Winter Sport Innovation: Anticonf Snowboards Now on KickStarter
The Anticonf Next Core© technology features green materials like cork, bamboo, flax and bio epoxy that replace plastics, resins and metal. Every green material substitute was tested in their Switzerland lab to ensure an increase in performance.
This snowboard might be the first sports product that converted completely to green materials while actually increasing performance.
All Anticonf products are made in Switzerland, further reducing the environmental impact due to local production.
Nominee Best Wearable Product: Carv Ski Instructor
It is easy to get jaded with the many quantified self' products hitting the market that leave you wondering what value they really add - but Carv takes a refreshing step away from simple quantification and towards real skill development.
Carv is a hardware/software combination that collects riding data via a sensor pad under the skier's foot, and delivers personalized ski technique recommendations via a 'digital ski coach'. The device delivers live feedback and recommendations as the skier rides to improve skills faster. The soothing voice commands via headphones might be more comfortable, and far less embarrassing, than a skiing instructor drilling you in front of everyone on the slope!
There's also a very interesting gamification play going on here with the data collection and the challenge-based apps that measure and track specific skills like carving and even performing tricks.
The promises by Carv are huge - and if they can deliver, then this could be the most useful wearable tech on the market.
Winner Best Summer Hardware Product: The Flying Tent
I am not a giant fan of hammocks, but certainly am a fan of not sleeping on the ground! The Flying Tent is a camping tent that hangs from trees or other structures like a hammock. It can also function as a tent on the ground, but why hang out with the bugs and dirt?
The Flying Tent demo at ISPO felt very high quality to the touch and also doubles as rain poncho. Multifunctional use is always a plus for any camper.
The beautiful design and ability to sleep high in the trees might even get me out of the lodge and in the woods for a few nights!
It was exciting to see so many environmentally conscious products featured at Europe's biggest sports hardware show. From digital ski coaches to renewable board sports and flying tents, the future is so bright - you gotta wear goggles!