Prowinter/Alpitec report

It was certainly a hard working day…if you consider shaking hands and talking to people hard work, that is….

Prowinter/Alpitec is a fair held at Bolzano/Bozen in north italy. It is aimed only towards people and managers who work in the alpine sports industry. basically we had to have an inside and “behind the scenes” look at this fair.

First of all the fair was divided into two sections. One with everything technical to operate and maintain lifts and lift lines. That would include snowmobiles, snowgroomers, snowguns and even chairlifts. The other section was the one with everything regarding alpine sports from ski to sled and all of that was mainly aimed to ski/snowboard instructors associations and big clubs.

Besides my own interests in snow resorts machines and technologies I would say that Alpitec (the tech part) was not the most appealing from the snowboarder point of wiev. There were no big machines displayed and only a few snowmobiles and dioramas with snowcats were left to stand up for all that is the operational world of winter resorts. True, there were some impressive snowguns and anyhow what was most important was surely there (namely: the industries managers). However since me or you couldn’t probably afford to buy even one chair, let alone one chairlift, we could have just sat in one of the wooden benches of this pefectly reproduced miniature typical apls hut sipping a beer.

The alpine sports gear side was a little more exciting from a snowboarder point of wiev. A few famous brands gathered their 2008 gear from samples and test days and displayed it for our eyes to see. But that’s old news for you. What might be interesting is that we had a talk with people from each of the brands unveiling some aspects of our sport that most people don’t know (stay tuned on the news to know more). Worth to note were these mini snowmobiles (electrically powered) that would kick ass under kids asses or even better to have fun with your buddies in your backyard. And yeah, skis were there too, in their most classic versions but also with these really progressive freeride sticks.

A few highlights from the show include the Italian Snowboard Forum (now at it’s third meeting) which is a venue of people who work in the snowboard industry discussing on management of the sport. This time the issue was the approach of newbies and kids to the snowpark and the freestyle world. Some very interesting presentations were made by the relators but unfortunately the audience was mainly composed by press and snowboarders so I guess those words didn’t really reach their most intended target: lift operators and managers.

We were there. We reported you.