Top Five Fridays - January 29, 2016 // Ski Industry News
#1: Ted Ligety Tears ACL at World Cup Event in Germany:
Unfortunately there’s some disappointing news from the U.S. Ski Team this week. Ted Ligety, a veteran in the world of competitive ski racing, crashed during a practice run in Germany earlier this week. The result of the crash is a torn ACL, and an early end to Ligety’s season. While he wasn’t exactly pulling in victories at every event, he was remaining competitive. Back on December 12, Ligety finished fourth at a Giant Slalom event in Italy, a week after finishing second at a Super G event at Beaver Creek, Colorado. While season ending injuries are always discouraging, especially those occurring during practice, we wish Ted the best of luck with his recovery and are eager to see him competing again next year!
#2: Rossignol to Discontinue its Binding Program:
Both Unofficial Networks and First Tracks Online are reporting that Rossignol has decided to discontinue its binding program. Fans of the brand shouldn’t hit the panic button too soon though as Rossignol bindings have simply been rebranded Look bindings for years. The result of this discontinuation will ultimately only result in consumers having less cosmetic options when they go to buy their favorite bindings. Still, skeptics wouldn’t be out of line to worry about the direction of the Rossignol brand. After weathering a stretch of down years in the mid 2000’s Rossignol managed to return to profit back in 2010. Now, they’re looking to build on that momentum by continuing to shed perceived dead weight while making a stronger push into the fashion business. Already producers of quality ski wear, Rossignol is setting its sights on pushing into après ski and urban fashions. In our eyes, there’s nothing wrong with this. So long as Rossignol continues to produce the same high caliber, innovative skis that they’ve always made, we could honestly care less about their priorities in the fashion world. Honestly, there’s a damn good chance that whatever new clothing ventures they take on will be of the same high quality approach as their skis. What’s so wrong with that?
#3: The 20th Winter X-Games Are This Weekend!
Freeskiers rejoice- it’s X-Games weekend! Back for its 20th official year and 15th straight year in Aspen, this year’s Winter X-Games promises to be just as exciting as all of its predecessors. This year’s event features the return of a ton of our favorite skiers, including Henrik Harlaut who’s impeccable style and unique take on things is always amazing to watch- even if it doesn’t result in a podium finish. Also worth noting is that this year’s events mark the first time that video games have had their own event. As a part of ESPN’s overall push into the world of E-Gaming, there will be an official Halo competition. That little bit of information feels a bit out of place as, and no disrespect to professional gamers here, playing video games indoors doesn’t seem to have much in common with skiing, snowboarding, or even being outside during the Winter. It seems like a strange alignment to us, but I digress. If you’re interested in seeing TV schedules, lists of competitors, course previews, and just about anything else you could want to know about the event, head over to the official X-Games website.
#4: Blizzard Announces All New Lineup of Frontside Skis:
Those of you in tune with the ski industry (if you’re reading this, you probably qualify) are probably well aware that this is the week of SIA, skiing and snowboarding’s annual winter tradeshow in Denver, CO. As such, it seems appropriate to share some news from one of our favorite ski manufacturers: Blizzard. New for 2017 is a completely new lineup of frontside skis, grouped under the “Quattro” name. In a step that sees Blizzard pulling back on the mid-fat freeski trend, the new line of Quattro skis are aimed at skiers who are set on conquering the frontside of the mountain. The new line doesn’t discriminate either. In total, the Quattro series consists of 16 skis, ranging from unisex and women’s beginner skis, all the way up to super powerful unisex skis with layers of Titanal. But, the good news doesn’t stop here. In addition to announcing the new lineup, Blizzard is also making these skis available almost immediately, with sales starting in February. Here at Ski Essentials, we’re excited to announce that we’ll have a limited quantity of Quattro Ti (metal) skis available soon! Keep an eye out for those, as well as a full recap of Blizzard’s 2017 lineup on Chairlift Chat sometime next week!
#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:
This week, we bring you the absurdity that is the Sildaru siblings. Coming in at just 8 and 13 years old, Henry and his older sister Kelly are already displaying remarkable talent. While Henry likely has another handful of years to progress before he reaches the big leagues, Kelly has already made a name for herself through edits like this one and by winning the Women's Toyota Freeski Slopestyle event at this year's Dew Tour. Now, Kelly looks to double down on her victories as she takes on a crowded field of competitors at this weekend's X-Games event. Best of luck Kelly!