What’s New at Fanatics for 2017

New brands, products, and industry trends

I have it on good authority from several reliable sources, which will remain confidential, that we are going to get snow this year. After witnessing last year there seems to be nowhere to go but up, and I know all us die hard skiers are hungry to get our first turns in. In the meantime here’s an appetizer to tide you over until that first chair ride.

New Brands and Products

We are excited to announce that Ski Fanatics will now be offering ski boots from Dalbello. Dalbello has been around for quite some time, but in recent years has made a huge push to make themselves a leader in today’s ski boot market. They offer a huge selection; from traditional four buckle over lap boots of the all mountain or race variety, to three piece cabrio-style boots of the freeride and park variety. Dynalink technology in their cabrio boots provides powerful performance that is second to none. When Dalbello merged with Marker/Volkl early last year the decision to carry their boots was a no brainer, and we look forward to a great relationship with another great brand!

In case you hadn’t noticed, AT (alpine touring) is the fastest growing segment in the ski industry. We’ve carried AT bindings (Marker Duke/Baron) and boots (Tecnica Cochise, Lange XT, K2 Pinnacle) for a number of years, however, there has been a surge of customers looking for lighter gear with better uphill performance. This year we decided to dive into that segment by adding pin bindings and compatible boots to our inventory. The Look HM 12 binding and the Lange XT FreeTour 110 are currently in stock and ready to rip. I got a chance to test the Lange XT FreeTour 110 and 130 last spring and I must say it was a shocking experience. They were bar none the lightest boots I’ve ever had on my feet. The fit is fantastic, and they perform amazingly. I had to keep ducking the guys from Lange, waiving and smiling, but not getting so close that I could reasonably hear them say “HEY JOHN! We need those boots back for other people to test!”

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Trends

Aside from the explosion of AT over the last few years, the industry seems to be coming back to earth a bit  as far as ski shapes. More specifically we are seeing narrower waist widths prominently featured in manufacturers’ line ups. This year we brought in the Rossi Hero Elite ST  which is a hard snow, high speed, carving machine; easily the best narrow waisted, consumer oriented ski I tested last year. Make no mistake, the Hero ST is not for the faint of heart. It’s not a full on World Cup ski, but it is damn close. If you’re not looking for a stripped down World Cup ski, but also don’t want some fatty mothership that only behaves when we get dumped on, you’re in luck.

The sweet spot for all mountain, east coast, waist widths is anywhere between 80-100mm depending on what you’re looking for and what kind of terrain you ski. This year we see most companies targeting the 80-90mm range with new offerings like the K2 Pinnacle 88Nordica NRGY 85Icelantic Sabre 89, and Line Supernatural 86, for men; and the Volkl KenjaK2 Alluvit 88, and Icelantic Oracle 88, for women. These are skis that will go anywhere and do anything; groomers, steeps, glades, soft snow, hard snow…you name it.

 

So let’s all remain steadfast in our commitment to predicting a big snow year because we can and because it’s fun to think about after the leaves stop falling and those first flakes start sticking to the ground.

See you soon!

John