Trends for 2022: Predictions from the experts, winter edt.

61ee837515a318a4cebdeed3 Expertpanel 5

Awareness of safety related to skiing is increasing. That is something that our expert panel of three die-hard snow lovers from the industry share their thoughts about. We asked them to predict the trends of the winter equipment market 2022, and to share their top tips on how to set the stage for a safe day in the snow. Meet the panel: Sophie Odelberg, Nicolas Defude & Ludwig Blom.

Ludwig Blom

Sales at Alpingaraget Stockholm

If you were to guess – what do you think the market for smart equipment will look like in 2022?
I think that the market is moving towards more “adventurous” equipment. People want to explore the untouched and move away from civilization. What we are noticing a lot is that more and more skiers want hybrid kits or top touring kits, i.e. moving more and more off-piste and using the whole mountain in a different way. The ski season is getting longer as we are not as dependent on lifts. As the market moves towards more off-piste and adventure, more smart and safe equipment such as transceivers, shovels, probes and other avalanche equipment is required. So are components making the equipment smarter, such as twICEme®. We are also noticing that those who stay more in the resort, on the slopes, have a greater safety mindset and I think this will only increase. People today want a good and safe helmet and back protector to reduce risks on the mountain.

In conclusion, I think people are becoming more aware of what equipment that is necessary to wear to stay safe on the mountain. Especially when moving outside of the resorts, and not having the same accessibility to ski patrol and medical professionals. 

Your best tips on how to set the stage for safest possible winter adventures?
My top advice for safer adventures is to make sure you have the right equipment. You should also possess necessary skills and knowledge for the adventure or activity you are about to undertake. If you’re headed out on the mountain, beyond the resort, you should definitely have avalanche training, be equipped with avalanche gear and have good people around you. But one thing that is even more important is that you feel comfortable with the equipment you are wearing and the people you will be doing the adventure with. To have a safety mindset and set up clear goals that the whole group is comfortable with sets the grounds for a good day. If so, both you and your friends will have an easier time enjoying your adventure.

Sophie Odelberg

Photographer, DOP, Director & Ski Enthusiast 

If you were to guess – what do you think the market for smart equipment will look like in 2022?
That’s a good question… My spontaneous answer, I don’t have anything on the radar that will “hit” and become a thing if you know what I mean. But in general, I see a change in recent years towards people being more aware of safety and risks when it comes to skiing,  and avalanches in particular. More people are taking responsibility for wearing avalanche equipment when skiing off the systems which is great, however the number of people who actually know how to use the equipment properly is not as high, which is scary. It’s getting better and better (a lot has happened in recent years) but there’s a long way to go. 

Your best tips on how to set the stage for safest possible winter adventures?
That would probably be to be humble about your own knowledge. To dare to be transparent about what you can and cannot do so that those around you know what your strengths and weaknesses are so that you know how to take care of each other. Also, of course, prepare well for your adventure. Do your research, find out as much info as possible on what you are preparing for. Also, it’s always a good idea to put mountain rescue numbers in your phone to make it easier to contact them if something happens. Keep track of your location, so that rescuers can find you if you need help. Knowing your coordinates or what altitude you are at can be of great importance in a helicopter rescue operation, especially if you are in the Alps. 
Editors note: If you have a gear equipped with twICEme, you can easily access your coordinates via your smart equipment with the help of your smartphone.

Nicolas Defude

Product Manager at Julbo Eyewear

If you were to guess – what do you think the market for smart equipment will look like in 2022?
The smart equipment market is expected to continue to grow strongly in 2022. We can see that wearable technology development is becoming more and more refined to move out of the purely geek /gadget side. The « smart » side is better integrated into the products and it becomes a real help, either to monitor your performance or to provide additional service. With the technologies spreading in everyday life too (contactless payment, remote control of devices, etc.), active people are more and more familiar with their use making it even easier to adopt in your sport activities. The only obstacle to this development are the supply difficulties linked to the COVID situation but that’s another story 🙂

Your best tips on how to set the stage for safest possible winter adventures?
The most important thing to always keep in mind is that as fun and entertaining as winter activities can be, they take place on the mountains which are inherently changeable. Ensuring that all your equipment is able to adapt to your environment is key to making the best out of a day in the snow. Wearing ski goggles to protect your eyes is strongly recommended. I would personally highly recommend using photochromic lenses that instantly adapt to light conditions, such as Julbo’s Reactiv series. Besides that, wearing a protective, lightweight and comfortable helmet is of course essential, and if the worst would happen the integration of a twICEme chip in your equipment is a real plus to allow first responders to act effectively.