Historically a test purely for ski brands, SIGB (Snowsport Industries Great Britain)’s Slide On Snow opened their on snow demo doors to the snowboard fraternity for the first time in 2019. Naturally, SOURCE headed along to test the waters. Report and imagery by Harry Mitchell Thompson.
Despite its late February time slot, the 20+ degree temperature and bright blue skies made for a very summery feel. The test took place in Pila, Italy for 2019 with event organisers moving to Italy from recent previous editions in Austria. It was a return to Pila where the show had run for a number of years consecutively before and despite the intense heat, the pistes were in great shape for testing.
Looking through a snowboard lens, exhibiting brands were: Academy, Black Diamond, Capita, Deeluxe, Dragon, Endeavor, GoPro, K2, Nidecker, Never Summer, Oakley, Ortovox, Ride, Salomon, SIMS, Union and West.
As a first edition all snowboard brands asked set their expectations low for the week, and notable brands such as Capita, Deeluxe and Union (Jonathan Rogers, Riders Lounge) were pleasantly surprised with the volume of products tested. With outerwear buying deadlines earlier in the season, Slide On Snow remains relevant for snowboard hardgoods and goggle brands as many close their orders for these categories towards the middle/end of March. It’s worth noting that brands including DC Snowboards and Salomon Snowboards had already completed their orders before the start of this show. As the show falls six weeks after the Rock On Snow Pro and five weeks after Shops 1st Try, those retailers already set on next season’s buy used the event and good weather to film their online product review videos.
The SIGB’s inclusion of snowboard brands at the test is a move they didn’t take lightly and it was refreshing to hear the association’s President, Matt Woodruffe reiterate the importance of snowboarding’s inclusion at the event during an open forum on the Wednesday evening. On two occasions during the open forum discussion, ski brand distributors referred to the event as the “ski test”, and each time Woodruffe corrected them to ‘snow test’, a smart move to ensure the snowboarding community felt welcome.
It looks like the show will return to Pila for 2020 where an increase in purely snowboard retailers and more snowboard brands would show a good forward movement for the SIGB’s on snow demo.