The 54th ispo sports trade convention officially began Sunday in Munich, with thousands of visitors pouring into the 15 exhibition halls on a cold, rainy morning to see the products and fashions that will be available in retail stores next winter Eand to catch some of their favorite athletes.
Among the early sightings was multiple world snowboard champion Bertrand Denervaud, one of many riders US40 (Hall B2-Booth 219) has on its team. US 40 recently bought Blue Window from O´Neill, giving US 40 a great team that also includes Cris Maierhofer, Ine Poetzl, Fabrizio Bonachia, Tor Bruserud and Phillipe Conte. The team moved in and out of the booth during the early afternoon to sign autographs.
The ispo snowboard and skate section is greatly expanded from past shows, with six halls either entirely or partially dedicated to the sports. There are two skate ramps Eone in Hall B2 and one in Hall C1. The first Soul Skate Invitational is being held through Tuesday in Hall C1.
A big early crowd built around Oakley´s space-age booth (B2 221)., looking at both sunglasses and shoes. Another interesting booth is nearby at No Fear Europe (B2 414/514). Eurosima has taken the entire center of Hall B2 for its conversation and relaxation lounge, while the O´Neill booth (B2 306/405) had plenty of morning action around its catchy "Find Your Spot on Earth and Ride It" theme. They also set up the hot new Dreamcast surf video game, featuring ASP star Shane Beschen and other riders. Quiksilver (B2 212-407) has its usual huge set up and busy early-show action, along with a video of the Quiksilver Pro Fiji that you don´t want to miss. Across the way sits Hawk Skateboard Apparel Systems Efeaturing a killer video of the main man himself, Tony Hawk.
In Hall C2, one of the newest halls that housed part of the ispo Summer Games last August, some of the early highlights included a 360-degree camera moving around the Raichle booth, giving attendees outside the booth a look at the inner space. Snowboards and bindings are definitely the major focus of this Hall, which features Nidecker, Notorious, Bonfire, Plank, Santa Cruz, Ride, Oxygen and many others.
Likewise, the F2 booth (C2 308) is heavily promoting FIS world champion team riders Ursula Bruhin (parallel GS), Guillaume Nankimed (snowboard cross) and Nicolas Huet (parallel slalom). Bruhin and Huet competed this weekend in the Nokia FIS Snowboard Cup, which was held at the Olympia Park in northwest Munich.
The other halls also reported steady morning traffic. By Noon Munich time, the halls and booths were filled with attendees, as the crowd built quickly.
Two of the most popular events on Day 1 are the ispo Soul Skate Invitational and the German Climbing Cup. The German Climbing Cup is taking place in Hall B6, where Gore has again set up its phenomenal indoor climbing wall that enables participants to reach the rafters, 35 feet above the ground.
Additional activities for the first day call for a major presentation of athletes and products at Adidas (Hall B1), appearances by ski champions Henna Raita and Tanja Poutianen at Haiti Oy (B5 204A-305A),a signing by Olympic ski legend Ingemark Stenmark at Goldwin Europe (A5 210), exhibitions in basketball, ice hockey, power aerobics, extreme climbing, and a day-ending appearance by snowboarding greats Max Plotzeneder, Kim Stacey, Ricky Bower and others at the Volkl booth (C2 201).