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					                 [cover story]:                                                                         The latest
                                                                                                        social media
                 mountain products
                                                                                       HIKING & BACKPACKING

                                                                           10          product guide
[focus shop]:                                           [EVENTS]:                            24
BLUE RIDGE                                              OIA CAPITOL SUMMIT


                                                                                       BLACK DIAMOND AND
                                                                                       GREGORY GO PUBLIC

                                      18                                14                                17
                                                               EUROPEAN OUTDOOR
                                                               TRADE FAIR
                                                               industry gathers in
                                                               friedrichshafen this july

       [cover story]
Easton Mountain
Products Goes

                                                                                                                                              Easton Headquarters and Manufacturing Facility in Salt Lake City

                                                                         better from a management standpoint to have                          these new innovations. The Easton branded                 continue to stand for the innovation and quality
                                                                         the outdoor division separate from the team                          lines include snowshoes, trekking poles and               they have grown to expect from our tent poles.
   Easton Mountain Products’ “Go farther” tag-                           sports division. So even though we worked                            lightweight tents.                                        We look forward to becoming a stronger brand
line is something that the company takes to                              underneath the same corporation, we’ve been                                                                                    at retail and to helping dealers become more
heart not only in the type of product it produc-                         separate companies for a while.                                      product?                                                  successful.
es but also in how it runs its business. An OEM                          What	
       Take our snowshoes for example. When we                 What	
supplier for the outdoor industry for over 30                            it	
                                                       really started getting serious about the snow-            sumer	
years, Easton has been an innovative supplier                                  Our Foundations embody our commitment                          shoe business, we held frequent meetings and              OEM	
of components that allow people to snowshoe                              to give back to the sports that helped us grow                       spent many hours discussing what makes a                     Easton continues and will continue to sup-
farther and further enjoy their camping and                              the company. In 1982 we established the                              better snowshoe, what would make it more                  port OEM customers with custom state-of-
outdoor adventures. Notably, Easton’s tent                               Easton Sports Development Foundation with                            fun for people to use and what might get more             the-art solutions for both snowshoe frames
poles enabled the development of the first
truly lightweight tents with The North Face in
the mid seventies. In 2008, Easton decided to
“go farther” and launch its own branded prod-
uct. In addition to its OEM business, Easton is
today a maker of snowshoes, trekking poles
and lightweight tents.
   We spoke with Greg Easton, President of the
Salt Lake City-based manufacturer, about the
company’s history and its developing range
of branded-product. Greg Easton is the third
generation to direct the company, following his
father, Jim Easton, and his grandfather, Doug
    In 1922, my grandfather, Doug Easton,
founded the Easton company making wood
arrows and bows. Over time he brought in-
novation to the archery industry by revolution-                          Greg Easton, President                                               Most of the specialized machines used in manufacturing, like this pole insert machine, were developed and built
izing arrow manufacturing using lightweight,                                                                                                  by Easton engineers
precision aluminum. His innovation was so                                our support of the 1984 Olympic games in
                                                                         Los Angeles. With the sale of the team sports
powerful that people talked about outlawing
                                                                         division we were able to increases the fund-
it; they thought that, in competition, the alu-
                                                                         ing to the Easton Foundations. Since that time
minum arrows would improve performance to
                                                                         they have grown in their scope and reach to
an unfair degree. Target-archery athletes saw
                                                                         support the growth of these sports and youth
their scores skyrocket, and an 88-year tradi-
                                                                         involvement. Recently the foundations hit over
tion of improving athletic performance through
                                                                         $10 Million in total funding to sport. This was
technological innovation was born. Innovation
                                                                         always an important part of my dad’s business
has driven the company since its beginning.
   The drive to develop quality products that                            place?
improve the outdoor and sports experience led                               Easton has been an OEM supplier of carbon
us to branch out into other sports categories,                           fiber and aluminum tent poles and snowshoe
including baseball, hockey, cycling and per-                             frames for some of the most renowned brands
formance mountain products. We innovate in                               in the outdoor market. Easton’s proprietary
these categories to encourage athletes to go                             precision-manufacturing techniques have al-
farther in their sport.                                                  lowed the development of lightweight, high-                          Clay Henderson, Vice President of Manufacturing           Michael Beverly, Sales Manager
        strength aluminum pole systems and has
     given birth to today’s lightweight tents. These                      people into snowshoeing. We asked ourselves               and tent support systems. Our branded prod-
   out-                  same processes, used in aerospace alloy,                             how we could make snowshoes more com-                     ucts will offer us a direct line to introduce our
  occur?                eliminate tensile loss normally found in most                        fortable, how we could make them easier for               latest innovations to the market to prove the
   The Easton family sold the team sports divi-                          snowshoe frames and provide full-strength                            people to get in and out of and how we could              performance benefits and make them more
sion to Bell Riddell in 2008. The archery and                            yields after shaping. More recently, our devel-                      enable people to go farther in snowshoes with-            readily available to our OEM partners.
mountain products division continues to be                               opment of specialized carbon fiber tent poles                         out getting tired. All of the patentable features         How	
wholly owned by the Easton family. The ma-                               is leading to a new level of performance and                         we developed in our new snowshoe line were
jority of manufacturing and assembly for this                            weight savings.                                                      answers to these types of questions.                         Our engineering team spends a lot of time
division continues at the Salt Lake City facility.                                                                                               The Easton brand has been in mountain                  in what we sometimes call our “blue sky de-
  line?                            products for over 30 years now, but in the                velopment.” The team looks at advancements
  Products?                                                       The 2008 introduction of Easton-branded                           narrow niche of tent poles. I think anybody               in materials and advancements in processing
   It didn’t have a huge effect on Easton Moun-                          product lines came from a desire to make bet-                        who’s ever had experience with Easton prod-               those materials that allow us to create new,
tain Products because Easton had been run-                               ter finished-products and not just better com-                        ucts knows what our brand stands for as far               innovative product. I think our success has re-
ning its divisions independently since about                             ponents. Easton-branded products provide the                         as innovation and quality go. We look at our              ally been in our ability to find unique materials,
1980 when we moved to Salt Lake City. As the                             opportunity to introduce proprietary advance-                        branded product as an expansion of our brand              whether it’s higher strength aluminum alloys
businesses grew, we realized that since we                               ments quickly into the marketplace and allow                         into the market in a more direct manner, and              or different composite structures, and then to
were dealing with different markets, it worked                           avid users the opportunity to adopt and utilize                      I want to ensure retailers that we’re going to            figure out how to use them to improve outdoor
                                                                                                                                                                           [cover story]
products.                                                         that you can’t drive innovation through stan-
   In 1981, for example, Easton developed the                     dard market research because with true inno-
aluminum-carbon composite arrow shaft. By                         vation, consumers don’t know they want it yet.
combining the precision values of aluminum                        If you ask people what they want, they’ll tell
and the lightweight strength of carbon you                        you they want something revolutionary. But it
get the best attributes of both materials. This                   takes a different flash of insight and innovation
advanced material combination is really what                      to say, “We can do this differently.”                                         As Easton looks for ap-                                        and that are able to help
accounts for our arrows winning every Olym-                       So	
  con-                 propriate retailers to sell its                                   consumers make the right
pic medal, and has lead to many other product                     sumer?                                                                     branded product, the com-                                         choices.”
developments.                                                        The consumer is critical in terms of feed-                              pany’s primary criterion is                                          Easton’s 21 independent
   While aluminum and carbon are not difficult                     back and product development, of course, but                               this: shops must be able                                          reps are charged with not
to combine, it is difficult to make them stay                      not as much in terms of innovation. If you look                            to explain the technologies                                       only the sale of product but
together and maintain precision tolerances.                       at the market today, the truly innovative prod-                            behind the product and the                                        also the education of retail-
So not only do we have to find great materi-                       ucts are items that we never knew we wanted                                ways in which those tech-                                         ers. In addition to training
als; we also have to develop innova-                                                                                                         nologies benefit consum-                                           its sales force so that they
tive manufacturing processes to use
those materials to their full potential.                     “with	
                                                                                                                                                “We don’t sell on price,”
                                                                                                                                                                                                               can then train retailers,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Easton is working hard to
We’ve pioneered advancements in
aluminum and carbon tent poles, as                          consumers	
                                                     explains Sales & Market-
                                                                                                                                             ing Director Chris Oswald. Chris Oswald,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               create point-of-sale ma-
                                                                                                                                                                                                               terials that clearly explain
well. Each pole is developed from                                                                                                                                             Director of Sales & Marketing
                                                                                                                                             “We’re looking for an es-                                         the benefits of its products’
scratch to perform under the spe-                                                                                                            tablished base of specialty-shop retailers unique features. The key, Oswald points out,
cific stresses from the most extreme                                                                                                          who provide strong service along with the is not to present many technical features
natural elements. There is a lot of                               or even thought possible. We do focus groups,                              sale of the product. It’s very important to us that no one understands but rather to high-
technology wrapped into each tube.                                for example, as we get into new categories,                                that we get established with the shops that light those features in a manner that makes
  de-        to introduce these innovations to the potential                            are the most credible in each market area their purpose clear. Such accessible POS
velopment?                                                        users and get their feedback on the benefits                                                                                               material, Easton hopes, will
   Over the years we have continued to reg-                       they can deliver. But I don’t think you can get                                                                                           aid the retailer in sales.
ister more and more patents. For example,
we made OEM products for the top snowshoe
                                                                  true innovation from a focus group.
                                 “We want to grow for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                            long term,” concludes Oswald.
brands for many years. We began to realize we
could add some more value, and we created
                                                                  culture?                                                                   will	
               “We feel that the independent
                                                                     We make products that are meant to be                                                                                                  retailer will be the key to and
the Easton-branded snowshoe, which has                            enjoyed and definitely support our employees’                                          our	
  business”                                    basis of our business long into
five new patents around its various features.                      participation in the outdoors. I think we’ve                                                                                              the future.”
Whenever we develop an innovative technol-                        been able to keep Easton like a family busi-
ogy that improves a product, we then aim to                       ness. As more and more businesses grow, they
protect that technology with a patent.                            get merged off, and the next thing you know,                                                                                         What	
                                                                                                                                          could have gone into that would have been
  prod-   you’re working for a venture capitalist, which                          much less interesting. A third generation ball-
                                                                                                                                                                                                          The upcoming 2010 Summer OR Show will
uct?                                                              is not fun from what I hear. But we don’t have                          point pen maker, for example, may have been
                                                                                                                                                                                                       see the release of several new trekking pole
   I like studying innovative products I find on                   those challenges of delivering quarterly num-                           a less exciting position to enter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       products and a paradigm-shifting innovation
the market or at trade shows so I can ask my-                     bers. We focus on the long term. We make                                What	
     in tent support structures. Often when you en-
self what the designer was thinking and how                       investments in our people and in our technolo-                          Easton’s	
  product?                                         counter a product that is truly innovative, you
the designer solved a problem that maybe no-                      gies. I don’t need to have super fast growth                               I have always liked that our products are                 wonder why you hadn’t thought of it before.
body else even saw. For years my father said                      rates. I need to have nice healthy growth rates                         purchased with consumers’ discretionary in-                  I believe our innovation in tent support struc-
                                                                  over the long term and then strive to create                            come. They’re products people buy because                    tures will elicit this response. It’s something
                                                                  a good business, with good products where                               they want to enjoy their sports better. Con-                 that’s been done the same way for a long time,
                                                                  people like to come to work.                                            sumers have a positive relationship with our                 and we took a different look at it and decided
     products because of this.                                    there was a better way to do it. It’s taken us
  company?                                 I also love that we make product that can be              quite a long time to figure out, but this par-
                                                                        There are definitely some challenges, but                          enjoyed by a range of consumers. We make                     ticular innovation, combined with some of the
                                                                  I’ve always looked at my position as a phe-                             products for the father who takes his son on                 material expertise we have, will make people
                                                                  nomenal opportunity. I have the opportunity to                          a weekend hike, but our gear and tents can                   wonder why nobody thought of it before. Great
                                                                  be involved in a company that makes product                             also support a full-scale crew going up Ever-                innovation like this always appears obvious
Supporting exploration during the Mallory & Irvine                I personally care about and enjoy using. I’ve                           est. Whether you’re a recreational user or a                 once you see it because you understand im-
Research Expedition to Everest                                    thought of many industries my grandfather                               professional, you can enjoy our products.                    mediately its purpose and benefits.

                                                                                   The Si2 Mountain Tent is an all-season tent that accom-
                                                                                modates two people. The lightweight design features the
                                                                                new Carbon EVO all-carbon frame structure. The single-                                         Outdoor USA brings you an exclusive sneak-peek at
                                                                                wall canopy is waterproof, breathable full EPIC fabric. The                                              Easton’s new 2011 Kilo tent
                                                                                structure offers dual-door entry, double vestibules, internal
                                                                                gear net and multiple guy points. An optional footprint is
                                                                                also available.

                                                                                    Capacity:                 2-Person
                                                                                    Weight:                   min. trail weight - 4 lbs
                                                                                    Canopy Fabric:            patented EPIC fabric
                                                                                    Floor Fabric:             210D, 10,000PU coated nylon
                                                                                    Poles:                    three poles - Carbon EVO

                                                                                   The Xi2 Expedition Tent is a four-season tent that accom-
                                                                                modates two people. It features a four-pole expedition-level                                  The new Kilo fast-and-light tent is a three-sea-
                                                                                Carbon FX/aluminum hybrid frame, and a taped nylon taf-                                    son, two-person tent. Weighing in at 910gm, the Kilo
                                                                                feta bucket floor. Tent set-up is simplified by a rain fly that                               packs the advanced materials and technologies into an ultra-light,
                                                                                can remain attached for easy set-up in the wind, as well as                                freestanding shelter. The Kilo offers lightweight advantage without
                                                                                matching color-coded canopy sleeves and poles and Pole Pi-                                 sacrificing performance and protection.
                                                                                lot set-up assist.
                                                                                                                                                                              Capacity:         2-Person
                                                                                    Capacity:         2-Person                                                                Weight:           min. trail weight - 2 lbs (910gm)
                                                                                    Weight:           min. trail weight - 4 lbs                                               Canopy Fabric: no-see-em mesh
                                                                                    Canopy Fabric: 40D Nylon ripstop uncoated                                                 Fly Fabric:       20D, 1500PU
                                                                                    Floor Fabric:     210D, 10,000PU coated nylon                                             Floor Fabric:     30D, 5000PU
                                                                                    Poles: four poles - carbon FX/XX75 aluminum hybrid                                        Pole: A revolutionary new tent support structure to be revealed...
     [cover story]
Easton’s New Market Presence
   Product Manager Chris Pietrzak came to           product team have taken to its branded-prod-
Easton from a bike background. He began his         uct offering.
career in California at Specialized Bicycles,       SNOWSHOES
where he worked in helmet design and devel-            Today Easton’s Artica snowshoes, ergo-
opment. He then moved on to Black Diamond,          nomically designed for both men and women,
where he continued work in helmets and also         are based on the company’s original snowshoe
gained experience in gloves and other catego-       design. “We continue to find ways to make our
ries. It was his love of biking and his experi-     snowshoes help consumers perform better,”
ence with the biking industry, however, that        says Sales & Marketing Director Chris Oswald.
motivated his decision to join Easton.              “We look for ways to make the articulation of
   “From biking I knew that Easton had creat-       the snowshoe allow you to walk more com-
ed some amazing components,” tells Pietrzak.        fortably on a side hill, to make the shape of the
“Easton’s pursuit of perfection and its drive       shoes prevent you from banging them together
to make a product better intrigued me.” The         with every step, to make the weight of the shoe
product philosophy that initially intrigued Pi-     light enough that you can move with ease.”
etrzak is now critical to how he develops prod-        While the product team continues to im-
uct for the company. For Pietrzak, there’s no       prove the original snowshoe platform using
value in a “me too” product; a product should       testing and feedback from the field, it has          Chris Pietrzak, Product Manager, with the V02 running/race shoe
only be created if it’s truly an improvement on     taken its snowshoe line to a new level with the
what came before.                                   VO2 Comp racing snowshoe. “The VO2 Comp,”           a bicycle seat post, Easton’s Rock Lock clamp
   This is the approach Pietrzak and his team       claims Oswald, “is the most specific racing          offers a four-bar linkage similar to what one
takes to Easton’s three branded-product cat-        snowshoe in the marketplace today.”                 finds on a ski boot buckle. The Rock Lock is
egories: snowshoes, trekking poles and light-          When Product Manager Chris Pietrzak joined       advantageous, according to Pietrzak, because
weight tents. Since Easton has over three           the Easton team, he knew he wanted to make          it gives the user positive feedback that the
decades of experience in trekking poles, tent       a running snowshoe. In addition to the fact that    pole is locked into place, while a cam can
poles and snowshoe frames, the design for           he likes to run, Pietrzak felt “there could be      never completely close. Pietrzak believes that
those parts naturally occurs in the Salt Lake       some definite innovation and improvement in          the Rock Lock is also a good alternative to a
City facility. For fabric and some other areas,     product there.”                                     twisting lock, whereby the user twists two
the company sometimes works with outside                                                                          sections of the pole opposite to one
partners.                                                                                                         another to lock the pole into place.
  INSPIRATION                             “I	
           The drawback of the twisting lock
   When it comes to inspiration, Pietrzak fully
supports looking outside the outdoor industry.
                             is that users never really know how
                                                                                                                  tight they have to go and the lock can
                                                                                                                                                                 The column load test measures tube yield strength
                                                                                                                                                                 under pressure
“A lot of technologies and innovations outside
the industry,” he explains, “can be applicable
  aware”                            be difficult to release. In addition to
                                                                                                                  locking assurance, the Rock Lock
                                                                                                                                                                    For the tent itself, Easton consulted moun-
                                                                                                                                                                 taineers about what they would see as the
to some aspect of what we’re making or what                                                                       provides on-the-fly tension adjust-
                                                                                                                                                                 most important improvement on a tent. This
we would like to make.”                                So Pietrzak brought a couple ultramarathon       ment without the need of additional tools.
                                                                                                                                                                 led Easton to create sleeves, or Pole Pilots, that
   It’s no surprise that bikes are influential to    runners who run in the snow into the product        LIGHTWEIGHT	
  TENTS                                     allow you essentially to set up the tent without
Pietrzak. His familiarity with suspension tech-     development process. He presented them                 Tents are the latest introduction in Easton-          moving more than five feet. You don’t have to
nology and helmet design has influenced his          with ideas and listened to their input. It took     branded products. “We had some technology                circle the entire tent—you can stand in one
decisions and the routes he’s taken at Easton.      two and a half years for Pietrzak to get the        that wasn’t being utilized in the market,” ex-           spot, slide the poles in and the tent will go up
Pietrzak’s work has also been influenced by          shoe exactly the way he wanted it. The most         plains Pietrzak about how Easton entered the             from that area.
other industries where he sees a lot of talent,     challenging part of the process, he says, was       category. “We had these carbon fiber poles                   “This innovation is especially meaningful
not just in what’s being made but also in the       finding the right decking: “It took a lot of re-     that I felt were high performers, but nobody             when you’re on the side of a cliff or against a
sort of engineering and ingenuity that comes        search and a lot of development to get the 3k       had used them in an expedition tent.” Pietrzak           snow bank,” states Pietrzak. “If you’re up high,
into play.                                          weave carbon fiber deck that keeps the shoe          firmly believed that using the carbon fiber                you can save a lot of energy by not having
   But according to Pietrzak, inspiration           light enough while making it strong enough to       poles in an expedition level tent would create           to walk around your tent to set up.” Pietrzak
doesn’t have to come from one specific in-           withstand the forces the user exerts on it while    an improved product.                                     also notes that because the Pole Pilot is there,
dustry: “It can be as simple as walking into        running.”                                              So Pietrzak and his team created hybrid               the fly can actually stay attached to the tent.
Home Depot and seeing an interesting device            In addition to the unique decking, Pietrzak      poles to optimize the strength of the tent. The          Thus, if you’re up on a hill and there are 80
for plumbing. I might look at it and see how it     is proud of the fact that his team eliminated       poles are designed with Carbon FX sections on            mph winds, you don’t have to fight with the fly
could be applied to something we do. I don’t        the binding on the shoe. The team made this         either end but use Easton expedition aluminum            to put it on the tent—you just flip it over and
feel like I look for inspiration. It just happens   decision based on user input and research           sections across the peak. The aluminum sec-              strap it down.
sometimes, so the challenge is to be aware.” It     that indicated that most elite athletes hack off    tions allow for a “pre-bend” to reduce stresses             Easton is excited for the industry to see
is this awareness that Pietrzak and the Easton      the bindings of the snowshoes they purchase.        due to the tent design. These hybrid poles offer         its latest tent development, which will be re-
                                                    Pietrzak figured that if athletes are going to       added strength and weight reduction.                     vealed in July.
                                                    get rid of the binding anyway, it would make
                                                    far more monetary and materialistic sense to
                                                    build a snowshoe to which the user would di-
                                                    rect mount his or her running shoe.
                     With four-bar linkage                                                                    The VO2 Comp is a sleek, light-           front crampon allows each side
                     similar to what one
                                                       Additionally, the VO2 Comp includes criti-
                                                    cal features of the Artica snowshoe, includ-           weight competition snowshoe built            to pivot independently, auto-
                     finds on a ski boot, the
                     Easton proprietary Rock        ing a dual pivot traction cam that creates a           on the ergonomic Easton Artica               matically adjusting to the
                     Lock system gives users        virtual pivot point in the center as well as a         platform. It features a two-piece            supination and pronation of
                     positive feedback that the     unique split front crampon. This allows for a          7075 Easton Aerospace alloy frame,           each individual’s stride and
                     pole is locked into place.     more natural step whether the runner runs in a         designed to flex over rough terrain.          offering extra dig where
                                                    neutral stride, pronates or supinates. For more        The asymmetrical ergonomic de-               it is needed. The direct
                                                    information on the VO2 Comp, see box.                  sign offers comfortable maneuver-            mounting system delivers
  POLES                                   ability and improved step tracking,          full range of motion and
                                                       While the fall/winter season sees snowshoe          with a forged aluminum crampon               allows the user to mount
                                                    business and the spring/summer season sees             that prevents sideslip and offers            whatever shoe or boot is
                                                    tent business, trekking poles comprise a year-         better energy transfer for speed and         needed, while retaining a
                                                    long category for Easton.                              agility. A Virtual Pivot Traction Cam is     tailored fit. The VO2 Comp’s
                                                       When it comes to trekking poles, Easton             set inside the 3K weave carbon fiber          innovative frame design and
                                                    is known for its experience with lightweight,          decking, with dual-arm innovation            virtual pivot traction absorb
                                                    high-strength aluminum and carbon fiber.                that connects to a carbon fiber pivot         stresses naturally transferred
                                                    However, Easton’s most critical innovation is          rod to create a step-leveling virtual        to the ankle, knee and hip,
                                                    the Rock Lock clamp. While some trekking               third pivot-point for digging deep           while providing stability and
                                                    poles use a cam similar to a quick release on          and improved traction. The split             control.

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