We’re still here in Europa, now attending the biggest outdoor trade fair on the planet. ISPO has their own awards. I’ll cover a few of those soon. But why should ISPO be the only ones with ISPO awards? A few of my own:
You walk in the door with about 70,000 other people. Eventually, you'll notice a quite seriouus countenance on all the athletic images. Sort of like the fate of the world hinges on your next swing of your ice tool. Perhaps it does. WildSnow ISPO Award: Best Euro Athlete Scowl Eyes. (Image from AustriAlpin booth.)
Some of the booths (also called 'stands' are over the top). K2's version was so over produced as to be a total jaw dropper. Everything from boot fishing to a sandy campsite. Made me realize just how big the European skiing market is as compared to North America, as comparing the scope of this booth to that of the OR show is like comparing the moon to the size of the sun. Of course they're bigger at SIA than at OR, little old OR, so quaint, but I miss her. WildSnow ISPO Award: Sickbooth ISPO 2014.
The whole reason we attended was to party at the Dynafit 30th Year of the Tech Binding Celebration. In this photo, I arrive at the booth and bow to the historic 'Low Tech' mural and beer stash. This was a warm up for the ensuing dance party that exceeded anything I'd ever experienced in a trade show booth, though to be fair I'd seen crazier stuff in Aspen around 1968. WildSnow ISPO Award: Best Booth Graphics
After an hour or two of dancing, tech binding inventor Fritz Barthel took the stage. His engineering striptease act burned down the house. WildSnow ISPO Award: Best Bad Haering Binding Mafia Clothing Outfit.
The idea of Fritz's crazed celebration was to strip down to the apparently early 1980s French or Italian influenced ski tour style he tried to promote at the time. The 'Low Tech' homebrew logo alone is priceless, as are the pink pockets. The idea was that Fritz and his father didn't like clothing that got hot from the sun. Or so they say. Other theories are being developed hourly by those of us who care about such important parts of history. Me, I'm just glad I didn't know those outfits existed at the time as I probably would have bought one. WildSnow ISPO Award: Best Logo
Again, I thought I'd seen some primitive shamanistic party action at Outdoor Retailer. This was way beyond -- but normal to the locals or so I gathered. The floor was flooded with beer. Booth next door was used as a repository for empties. My jacket even got pinched! WildSnow ISPO Award: Best Recycling Center.
Fritz was honored with a 30-year birthday cake. Ski touring has left him looking about 30, but he says too much thinking about ski bindings makes him feel like 60. WildSnow ISPO Award: Best White on White Party Theme Kuchen.
Whew, moving along... Over at the Pieps booth they've got a beautiful historic display timeline of all their beacons, starting with this lashup from 1968. Some lashup, Fritz told me this was the one that saved his live about that time, when he got buried and dug out by his friends.
Moving along. We tried to snag one of these for Lisa's swag sack. No luck. Wildsnow ISPO Award: Best Combo of Fur and Gore-tex.
GECKO rises again. I like their little lizard feet tail fixers. Will the skins work? We'll find out soon I hope. WildSnow ISPO Award: Best Skin Tail Fixer.
Later, while passing by the Dynafit booth again I noticed this guy was still doing Bavarian hydration. WildSnow ISPO Award: Best Hydration System.
All I can say is WildSnow ISPO Award for Logo Least Likely to Succeed in North America.
Okay, enough teaser, here we are at the real ISPO Awards!
I simply could not figure this one out. But didn't try very hard since K2 was handing out lebrekase. WildSnow ISPO Award: Mystery Nomenclature.
Grettings from ISPO Germany!
I let my photo get taken and published because I have now joined the Ukrainian Telemarkers Club. WildSnow ISPO Award: Best Business Card.
No joke here, Black Diamond's impressive booth has what I think is the best ski display graphics I've ever seen at a ski show. Just beautiful. Wildsnow ISPO Award: For Sure.
Fritz had what he called his 'Dynafit Mafia' back in the 1980s. Now he's got a new crew. That's Dynafit CEO Benedikt Bohm on the right and Line Manager Schorsch Nickaes to the left. WildSnow ISPO Award: Best Weisbeir Shower