[Editor's note: Sierra Snowboard Artist Phil Wiles will be checking in daily from the SIA tradeshow with his favorite snowboard graphics for 2011. These are his Day 1 favorites.]
Hey Sierra world – what up?
As most of you know we've got a big crew down here in Denver for the SIA show. We're going to be putting up a lot of video, pics and reports throughout the show, so keep a lookout for all the breaking news.
For my part, I'm going to be rounding up which are my top 5 standout board graphics on a day-to-day basis. So, from Day 1 at SIA, I'm really digging...
1. Burton Sherlock
As you'd expect from Burton, a totally solid, good-looking line for 2011 – definitely think they've stepped up their game for next season with a whole range of board designs/treatments and techniques. We could definitely fill today's top 5 just with designs from Burton but the Sherlock is the real standout design for me.
It has a really simple, clean, graphic treatment that totally stands out from anything else I've seen for 2011 boards. Inspired from op-art pioneers such as Bridget Riley, the black lines on the topsheet spell out the word 'Burton' on a white background in a really sweet semi-optical illusion style. It's subtle and that's the key – this board isn't going to look out of style anytime soon and is going to work with a massive range of bindings colors to keep your steeze tight.
The base has strong pop colors in great combos with strong graphic shapes that give out a base that will definitely 'glow on the snow'. Again, like the topsheet, simplicity is the key and Burton nailed it with this one – the bases are definitely the best color combos I've seen on 2011 boards.
2. Burton Hero
The Hero finally has a graphic as good as the board itself. So much good stuff going on here – distinct gloss black/matte black design, simple geometric shapes and halftone-screen dots patterns make this a real slick design. But the best feature of the design is the typography towards the bottom of the design is show-through – meaning you can see the wood-core of the board. It's such a great detail that will totally stoke out anyone who sees this board.
Like the Sherlock and the Salomon Drift Black, the Hero contrasts a subtle cool, black topsheet design with a super bright, strong colored base. Also like the Sherlock the base color combos are totally money – there's definitely a trend for 2011 with simple bright bases, most of them typography based.
3. Capita Black Snowboard of Death 10th Anniversary
Whisper it quietly, but Capita might just be about to explode in to the mainstream big time next season and the current major players should be more than a little worried. Their graphics for 2011 move away from the scratchy illustration vibe into more sophisticated graphic/illustration/photographic styles without compromising the individuality of the brand. I think Capita boards are going to appeal to a lot wider audience in 2011 without alienating people who already dig the whole C3 vibe. The best example of this for me is The Black Snowboard of Death 10th Anniversary model.
The production techniques on this board make it look super slick – beautiful, subtle black metallic style background (very popular trend in 2011). Sweet gold metallic illustrations give it a nice edge and the color background pattern technique all tie together to give a fantastic all around graphic. The color scheme is super subtle but really work well with the black and gold metallic elements.
It's just such a cool graphic that seem to have a mass appeal to a wide range of people. The base keeps it nice and simple with the black and white skull illustration, nothing too fancy, just a good, solid graphic.
4. Flow Jewel
Didn't get a full look at Flow's range for the season today (that's coming later in the show) but popped into the Flow both to catch up with our good friends Donny and Kevin who some of you may have had the pleasure of riding or drinking with at Bruizzapalooza. They brought a few of Flow's 2011 range for the attendees of Bruizzapalooza to demo and the one that caught my eye was the women's Flow Jewel.
Nice strong graphics make this a feminine boards that certainly ain’t too girly. Inspired by ‘60s pop artist Roy Lichtenstein's classic style paintings, the Jewel provides a cut 'n' paste style to graphics which give the Lichtenstein vibe a more modern twist. Bright, solid colors (based on the CMYK four color printing set) make this a really punchy graphic for girls who rock. Subtle detailing on the sidewalls is a super-cool touch and the base just totally pops and will totally impress on the slopes and at the lodge.
What's really great about this board is because of the classic graphics and color scheme this board isn't going to 'date' next season, it'll look as relevant five years from now as it does today.
5. Salomon Drift Black
Salomon have definitely stepped up the quality of their board design for 2011 and the Drift is a primary example of this. There are three models of the drift but, for me, the Drift Black just nudges head of the Drift Rocker and Drift Color in terms of style.
Lots of blank space – perfect for stickers, a nice and simple black topsheet and small, but really poppy, bright illustration. The base sheet has each letter of SALOMON in a different color – it's the sort of base that you notice from about 100 yards! And that's why the design works – it's really simple, small graphics on the topsheet and really bright, strong, bold typography on the base – definitely an eye-catcher.