There might not be any snow on the ground, but that didn’t stop the 2013 Toronto Snow Show from bringing its massive shopping and entertainment exhibit to International Centre Hall 5 in Mississauga this past weekend. A conglomeration of brands, retailers, resorts and features, the Toronto Snow Show is one of the largest of its kind in North America. Accommodating everyone from the 3-foot tall grasshopper novice to the hardened backcountry and haggard black-diamond veteran, the 2013 Toronto Snow Show was a definite success for everyone praying for early November snowflakes.
Ontario Ski and Snowboard Shops
The Toronto Snow Show hosts Canada’s largest ski and snowboard swap with thousands of new non-current gear and pre-owned equipment, including helmets, skis, boards and boots. For beginners and those looking to get onto the slopes for the first time, it’s a cheap and convenient one-stop place to get outfitted with a set-up. Even if you’re a long-time skier or rider there was plenty of well-priced gear to replace your old and rode-hard equipment that needs to be retired.
For those who wanted to bypass the swap and get some brand-new digs for the hill, there were plenty of vendors from premier Ontario ski and snowboard shops with insanely discounted booths, selling loads of 2013 and previous models. Brands like Burton, Volcom, Bonfire, Oakley and Dakine were some of the names selling at crazy discounts up to and surpassing 50% off. Similar to previous years, Corbett's Sporting Goods once again had the largest booth. We were told the hordes started lining up at 9am and it was a free-for-all to grab the price-slashed merch. If you didn’t have the skills at least you could have the swag.
If you were more interested in scoping out the newest 2014 models, the Manufacturers Showcase featured some of the leading brands in ski and snowboard gear: Burton, Blizzard, Dynastar, Elan, Nordica, GNU, Lib Tech, Rossignol, Roxy, Oakley and Skullcandy. Follow the link to a complete list of the retailers at the Snow Show: http://tssts.sportshows.ca/exhibits/
Ski and Snowboard Resorts
If you were looking for more info on planning your ski holiday this season, the Toronto Snow Show hosted over 125 resorts from all over Canada and the US that brought staff to provide info and answer questions on what their respective resorts offer for terrain, hotels, ski-and-stay packages, après-ski and special entertainment.
Eager riders looking to be fully set up for shredding this season could be quickly taken care of and save money in the process. Blue Mountain had a kiosk allowing season passes to be purchased at the early-bird price, where you could have it printed out and handed to you in person, letting you skip the mailing charge. That’s one more thing to scratch off your winter checklist.
On Saturday the 19th, Sherpa’s Cinema premiered their award winning extreme-sports film Into the Mind. The high-octane sporting film, winner of Best Film of the Year and Best Editing awards, follows accomplished professional outdoor athletes as they travel from Alaska to the Himalaya, braving the terrain. “This is a story of rising to the ultimate challenge…Into the Mind paints a philosophical portrait of human kind…are we inspired to rise to the challenges in our lives and what do we learn on this journey to attain them?” (From intothemindmovie.com) Pro-skier Kye Peterson, rider for Rossignol, Monster, Oakley and escaper of avalanches, was in attendance helping promote his latest part in the award-winning film.
The newest edition to this year’s show was the Pro-Am Rail Jam. Featuring pros and amateurs competing in separate classes, Saturday’s event saw sick fresstyle jibbing on a man-made structure with fun boxes and rails, completed with real snow. Four pros were in attendance headlining the event: Mark Sollors, Zak Hale and Mikey Ciccarelli all from team Burton, with Charles Reid from Oakley. $10,000 in cash and prizes were awarded to the top riders. Risking scars for cash reward is all part of the lifestyle.
The Burton Riglet Park was designed to be an easy introduction to snowboarding for kids. People who have tried snowboarding know that when learning you get to choose: your wrists or your ass, because you’re going to be spending 90% of your time on the ground and you’ve only got those options for breaking your fall. The Burton Riglet Park helps alleviate the initial beatings of learning to board by introducing a sort of training-wheel system for coaches to help pull kids along, allowing them to learn quicker and with more fun, all keeping safety as a top priority. Future gold-medalists need to start somewhere.
Local freestyle and park riders were able to catch a glimpse of Blue Mountain’s hulking staff member, the Bison X Prinoth snow cat. Agile enough to build the steepest angles for any terrain park, enthusiasts could experience a cockpit view behind the scenes in the machine that molds their jumps and table-tops.
With plenty of interactive exhibits and showcases, as well as the insane discount sales on gear and equipment, the 2013 Toronto Snow Show pleased skiers, snowboarders and retailers in the preseason mindset. If you missed the weekend extravaganza, be sure to check out Toronto Snowboard Shops and Toronto Ski Shops in our Places section to set yourself up for the 2014 snow season, or sign-up for our BLC newsletter to stay up to date on events like these.