Black Diamond 21/22 Snow Safety Preview

Black Diamond 21/22 Snow Safety Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Snow Safety 21/22 Retail Buyer’s Guide
Brand:  Black Diamond
Interviewee: Christian Lehmann, Head of Marketing Europe

What are the major trends in the snow safety market for FW21/22?
In Snow Safety we orient ourselves rather towards highest technological developments, user-friendliness, precision and easy handling than “trends” as such. Black Diamond has set a new standard by introducing Bluetooth compatible products such as beacons and JetForce technology. This technological advantage offers a major improvement in terms of user orientation to the buyer.

What sold best during FW20/21?
Black Diamond has experienced high demand in our avalanche backpack technologies.

Where do you expect the biggest growth for FW21/22?
Given the uncertain situation concerning ski resorts, we expect to see a further increase in backcountry and touring equipment.

Black Diamond 21/22 Snow Safety

What do customers expect from their snow safety equipment?
When talking about personal safety equipment, unquestionable reliability is key. User-friendliness making it easy to handle it; reliable, fast, light, compatibility. Since there is a broad customer base that does not use their safety equipment on a regular basis – Black Diamond is addressing this issue by having the devices be connectible to the PIEPS app which allows training modus, helping customers to feel safer when moving in the backcountry.

How are you segmenting your snow safety products and what are the main price points in each segment?
Black Diamond is a winter brand and offers all equipment needed to move freely in the backcountry. The portfolio includes avalanche airbags, beacons, shovels and probes. In Fall 2019 BD launched a new line of JetForce Airbags which will stay in the line for several seasons. The 3 models – JetForce Pro, JetForce Ultralight and JetForce Tour – are positioned between €750 and €1.140. The JetForce Pro has Bluetooth capabilities and can be connected to BD’s beacons: Guide BT and Recon BT – which are positioned at €300 and €400. Probes are available in different materials – aluminium or carbon – and can be purchased in different lengths, which creates a prize range between €50-€110. The same applies to the range of shovels which depending on length, features and material cost between €35 and €90.

What are the most important technologies/features in your avalanche backpacks?
Black Diamond’s line of JetForce Packs consists of 3 different models, launched in Fall 2019. The JetForce Pro is now lighter, smaller and rechargeable featuring Bluetooth capabilities for easy updates using PIEPS App on your smartphone. The travel-friendly system allows you to deploy the pack several times before having to recharge it again. It also features automatic deflation after 3 minutes to create an air pocket and has automated self-diagnosis. A modular system allows to attach 10-liter, 25- litre, 35-liter, or a 25-litre splitboard booster pack making it extra versatile.

The JetForce Ultralight is one of the lightest avalanche airbag packs on the market. The 20-liter JetForce UL features the Alpride 2.0 canister system, which is ultralight, extremely powerful and travels friendly as the canister setup is sealed. By combining compressed argon gas and C02 gas, the Alpride 2.0 system provides a strong initial blast that can inflate the 150-litre airbag in less than five seconds.

Finally, the JetForce Tour 26 uses the new Alpride E1 Airbag system, which is electrically powered by cutting-edge supercapacitors. This powerful, fan-based system charges via both a micro USB and AA batteries and stores essential avalanche safety equipment as well as the gear you need for a day in the backcountry.

Which avalanche backpack features set you apart from other brands? Do you offer anything new and outstanding next season?
The JetForce Pro is unique due to its Bluetooth capabilities. It can be put in Bluetooth mode through pressing the main button 5 times within 2 seconds in order to connect it with the PIEPS APP on your smartphone. This mode allows to adjust system settings and quick software updates, fleet management and training mode. Also – the JetForce Pro does not require cartridges but is rechargeable and can be deployed multiple times before having to recharge again. This allows the skier to conveniently train with the pack without additional costs same as heightened safety on the mountain.

What are the most important technologies/features in your other avalanche equipment (shovel, probe, transceiver)? Do you offer anything new and outstanding next season?
The avalanche equipment Black Diamond incorporates the latest advancements in snow safety technology. The beacons Recon BT and Guide BT both have Bluetooth capabilities to be connected to your PIEPS App on the phone same as the JetForce Avalanche Bag. Shovels and probes are designed to work together effortlessly and fit smoothly in the different Black Diamond snow packs’ designated avy tool pockets. Besides key features as being efficient, user friendly and compact, a constant eye is set on staying lightweight. This is why BD offers shovels and probes in aluminium and carbon versions to offer options for different users’ needs.

Do you offer any other products in the snow safety category besides the traditional avalanche safety products?

Accessories in the snow safety category which complement our product assortment are snow saw, a binding buddy tool and knee pads.

Black Diamond 21/22 Snow Safety

How are you helping retailers sell the snow safety equipment and educate customers (POS displays, etc.)?
One of Black Diamonds strengths is close connections to media partners the same as providing excellent service to retailers. Setting a strong focus on the snow safety category, BD has put all efforts into educating and informing users about the new technologies on the market. This can be seen through multiple media outlets, shop windows displaying the entire category same as in-store support throughout Europe

Please name and describe 3 highlight items from your FW 21/22 collection.
The Recon LT beacon weighing only 136grams will be the lightest digital fully featured beacon on the market. Its Bluetooth capabilities allow the user to manage settings and software updates from their smartphone.

Another lightweight highlight is the new Transfer LT shovel with only 405 grams. It’s the innovative riveted blade is thin and slices through debris while maintaining a large 550 cm2 blade volume for moving large amounts of snow quickly.

Finally, the Technician Recco Harness allows you to manage anything from crusted alpine faces, granite to ice: a workhorse with added safety features through the included Recco Technology.

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