After the frankly bizarre happenings at SIA in Vegas with Gene Simmons turning up at our stand to see his own stage-makeup likeness staring back at him from the samples of our 09/10 Thirteens and the following calls with trademark lawyers and attorneys, when we hopped in the car for the seven hour drive to Munchen from Verbier we were hoping that things would be a little bit…well… calmer…

Photo Yves Garneau

Instead, being the designer of the afore-mentioned skis, I was woken on Saturday by a reporter for the New York Times wanting an interview about the ‘incident’… 15 minutes later and still wondering what all the fuss was for, we set off for ISPO, The (second) Greatest Show On Earth. 12 aircraft hanger-sized halls stocked with all the 09/10 gear from ski, board and other wintersport brands crammed into four days of meetings with buyers, distributors, media and alcohol-fused evenings with friends always makes for a good time, and this year was no-exception.

With so much going on in so short a space of time, and with product previews due to be popping up online soon, we’ll choose to give you a quick day-by-day summary instead…

Day 1:

Setting up next to our friends Bruno Compagnet and Camille Jacoux over at Black Crowes – awesome product and crew; gifts of Polish vodka; rocker appearing on absolutely everything… including a few of our models… old friends dropping by and new friends made; James Woods & Paddy Graham; Gibbo our last-minute bar-man ring in getting worked; caiparinas at the Movement stand with Serge; eight guys cramming into a booth at a local burger bar, then walking for an hour to get to the Volkl party – shots are twice as big in Germany it turns out…

L-R: Jack Shaw, Tero Repo, Jesse Cohan, Ingemar Falk. Photo Yves Garneau

Day 2:

Waking up to photographers Yves Garneau and Tero Repo as well as team rider Jonas Delogne camped out on the floor of the hotel room; chowing down with Glen Plake at breakfast; meetings with suppliers; the Freeskier boys dropping by; old-friends Stian Hagen, Andrea Binning and Matt Reardon on the Volkl stand; strong drinks and heavy beats at the Orage and Scott stands; a completely packed Hofbrahaus with the entire Faction crew plus writer Jack Shaw on board.

Writer Jack Shaw enjoying the Hofbrahaus. Photo Yves Garneay

Day 3:

U-bahn strike; Swedish rep Ingemar completely disappearing for a day…only to be found on a train later; white sausage and giant pretzels for lunch; Jo from 4frnt dropping by; David Benedek and Anne-Flore Marxer; Coreupt founder Guerlain Chicherit checking out the new range; Amplid founder Pete Bauer and Anian Thrainer getting stuck in to the Red Bulls...

Day 4:

After the hectic three days beforehand, day 4 was spent catching up with some old friends, some last-minute interviews & meetings and sitting back to enjoy a succesful second showing at ISPO - all the product was well-received, everyone loved the graphics and the direction we're heading in with some key new products to be launched soon... so stay tuned to check out some glimpses of our 09/10 stock...

Added by Tony McWilliam, CEO and co-founder


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