This past Friday, my wife and I went to check out the Toronto Ski & Snowboard Show at the International Center from Oct. 28th-30th, 2022. It was very exciting to me because this year marked the return of the event after it had been on hiatus the last few years because of the pandemic.
While growing up I loved attending the Ski & Snowboard show as it was the big industry kick-off event in the Greater Toronto Area to get enthusiasts stoked on the upcoming season. It was always a great place to meet up with friends in the scene, walk the isles of the trade show scoping out deals on gear from retainers and vacation packages from the resorts.
I’ve also worked at the Ski & Snowboard Show multiple times in the past when I was an employee at Corbett’s–who always has the biggest booth at the show–and have fond memories of attending the after parties at different venues throughout Toronto over the years.
Which is why it’s unfortunate I have to admit the show has become a shadow of its former self.
My Experience at the Toronto Ski & Snowboard Show 2022
I know from having worked at the show in the past, the first day is the best. You get first pickings on all the gear the snowboard shops bring to sell during the show. Plus, it’s less busy. The crowds really come on the Saturday and Sunday.
In the weeks ahead of time, I was already surfing all the snowboard websites doing product research. I knew exactly what I wanted to get. I was on the hunt for a pair of Burton Kendo boots and some fresh snowboarding socks. My last pair have a hole around my pinky toe.
I figured after I get my gear I’d take a walk around visiting the resort vendors at the show. Usually all the resorts in Ontario show up and have a table. Then some resorts around western Canada and the United States have booths too. I had already purchased an IKON base pass for this upcoming season months earlier.
Aside from riding Blue Mountain in Ontario, I’d like to go to Red Mountain in British Columbia with friends and Tremblant in Quebec this winter with family.
Walking around the Show
The first thing I did once I got through the entry gates was walk the outer perimeter of the trade floor. I immediately noticed that the show was smaller than it use to be. There were fewer vendors than I remember and a few that seemed out of place. There were people selling vacuum sealed salami and pepperettes, locally farmed honey and that granola snack brand MADE GOOD.
One of the coolest booth designs was for IKON Pass. If you don’t know, IKON is a season pass program where with one pass you can get access to a number of participating resorts. There’s over 51 resorts on the pass and they had this large print map that pinpointed all the resort locations.
All the resorts that were participating in the IKON pass had branded flags at their booths. I visited most of them to see if there were any opportunities to enter contests to win lift tickets or lodging packages.
While walking around a bit more I got myself a merino wool blend pair of Stance snowboarding socks. You should read my guide on snowboarding socks to understand why I went with a merino wool bend instead of polyester.
I then went to the Corbett’s booth in search for those Kendo boots but they didn’t have them. I then stumbled upon a vendor selling heat pads. They were called Express Heat Therapy.
I’ve had a few shoulder injuries while snowboarding and I thought purchasing a few heat pads could help with my recovery and wellbeing. They had a great deal, for $110 you could get a neck/shoulder heat pad, a lower back heat pad and 4 hand warmers which I though might come in handing while walking around the city in winter.
The neat thing about these therapeutic heat pads is that they are reusable.
Final Thoughts About the Toronto Ski & Snowboard Show 2022
It would seem that the glory days of the Toronto Ski & Snowboard show are behind us now. Snowboard Canada magazine no longer hosts after parties. I remember them being awesome times where I got to see premieres of the latest snowboard videos, there were musical acts like Trouble Andrew and I recall one time Andrew Hartingham bought me a shot.
The show overall seemed smaller and more tamed nowadays. Mind you, it’s only $20 to get in but I’m not sure if I’d continue to check out the show every year.
Maybe I’ll continue to go every once in a little while but there isn’t really enough going on at the show for me to recommend it to other people.
In the end, I decided to walk to the Burton Flagship store on Ossington in Toronto and I was able to buy the Kendo boots there. I’m excited to ride them and I’ll try and write a review post about it later this winter.