The top 9 reasons to look forward to the 2013 SIA Snow Show in Denver, CO

Comments by Henrik Lampert/

The 2013 SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show kicks off this Thursday (1/31/13) in Denver, CO. It’s among the most anticipated annual events for ski industry folk, and the 2013 edition promises to be a doozy. For the first time in years, the Snow Show doesn’t overlap with the X Games on the calendar; that means more people, more pros on site, more insanity.

The SIA Snow Show draws skiing’s biggest brands under one roof, and for four days, those brands display their newest, hottest products. Buyers from across the country (i.e. ski shops, online retailers, etc.) browse the gear and shop around. Pro athletes stroll the floor, plugging their sponsors’ latest technological breakthroughs. Beautiful babes (and some chiseled dudes, too) show off the newest softgoods offerings. Parties erupt unexpectedly (it’s amazing what purchasing a keg and hiring a DJ will do for your brand image). Free swag rains from the ceilings. And the media does its best to cover all the action.

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Showgoers fill into the lower level of Denver Convention Center, Jan. 2012. Photo by Chris Schneider/SIA.

What can you expect to see in terms of coverage from Freeskier this year? We’ll have daily videos, daily photo galleries, daily newsletters, hourly social media blasts, and more—all with the intent of showcasing the hottest 2013/14 skiing gear on display, and giving you a behind the scenes look at what the SIA Snow Show is all about.

For those who are lucky enough to attend the show, we’ve got the top 9 reasons you can look forward to kicking things off on Thursday. For those who will be following along via the web, consider these the top 9 reasons to be jealous you’re not in town.

1. Seeing the newest, raddest products the industry has to offer

Every year, a handful of brands present a new technology or a new product that make showgoers exclaim, “Damn, that sh#t is cool.” You know, the kind of thing you instantly want to share with your friends? While most every brand on site unveils a new offering (or multiple offerings)—or at least an advancement to an already existing line of products—it’s the best of the best that we look forward to getting our hands on.

2. Booth babes

While perusing the floor, you’ll repeatedly encounter teams of attractive women, often provocatively clad, working to promote one or another brand and its products. The blonde hair, the bright blue eyes… the booth babes are difficult to ignore. Extra brownie points if you can rope a lady into a dinner date.

3. Booth parties

Towards the end of each day, a few brands host parties at their booths. And don’t think of the “booth” as a small setting. The booth is simply the name associated with each brand’s show space, and many are quite large. Some even incorporate multiple floors. A booth party entails free beer and DJs or live bands. A combination of that sort generally leads to widespread air guitar playing, flying objects (solo cups, for example), obnoxious singing, and drunken confessionals or sales pitches: “Dude, [burp] it’s so good to f-finally catch up with you [hiccup]. I’ve had, like, this amazing idea I want to run by you [aggressive arm around the shoulder/neck].”

4. Free swag!

Be sure to bring a tote-bag with you to the show, because you’re bound to leave with 20 pounds of free swag. T-shirts, hoodies, beanies, stickers, water bottles, key chains, carabiners, bottle openers… or, if you strike it big, maybe even some free goggles.

5. Meeting the pros

While at the show, you’re destined to bump into some of skiing’s biggest names. Be sure to bring a Sharpie, and have your cell phone camera at the ready. You wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to post an Instagram of yourself arm in arm with one of this weekend’s X Games gold medalists.

6. On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest

On Monday and Tuesday following the Snow Show (Feb 4-5), many head up to Winter Park and/or Devil’s Thumb Ranch to try some of the new products on snow. It’s one thing to get a look at that brand new pair of pow boards inside the Denver Convention Center, and it’s something else entirely to strap ‘em on your feet and let loose. Demo if you will, or head up just to shred with the crew. You’ll get a few days off from work, and free hots dogs and free beer are an added bonus.

7. Fancy dinners

When the clock strikes 5:00 p.m. and you’ve had enough of that booth party—and that drunk guy giving his sales pitch four inches from you face—it’s time to hit the town. Denver is home to many fine dining establishments, and if you’re savvy, you’ll find a crew who can cover the cost of your meal with the ever-handy “company card.” The $100 plate of Kobe beef? Sure, why not? Be sure to give extensive thanks to whomever is funding the experience, and always look ‘em in the eye when you clink your glasses together while cheersing.

8. After parties

What better way to wash down that Kobe beef than with more free booze? Each night of the SIA Snow Show plays host to a slew of parties around Denver—many are held at some of the most hoppin’ venues in the city. Getting on the guest list is your only challenge. Once you’ve solved that riddle, it’s off to the races. To quote Vermont State Trooper Rod Farva, “Open bar, dude!”

9. After-after parties

Sadly, the Summit Music Hall can’t stay open all night long. Fortunately, there’ll be more partying to be had elsewhere. Keep your ears open. You’ll catch wind of the party train’s next destination. Hotel penthouses, strip clubs, house parties… Just be sure to save the phone number of the local Yellow Cab in your phone. You’ll want to catch a ride home and get a few hours of shut eye before hitting the Convention Center floor for another day of madness.

Final Thought: Be sure to bring a comfortable pair of shoes. You’ll be walking harder than Dewey Cox out there.