GEAR HEADS @ SIA Sneak Peek Fall 2011: 686

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 28, 2011 1:21 pm

Gear Heads caught up with 686 at the SIA Snow Show in Denver this year and they have The Ski Channel a sneak peek into their fall 2011-2012 line. The sold-out Snow Show featured 322,160 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 458 exhibitors representing 893 snow sports brands, including 112 new exhibitors drawing an estimated 19,000 attendees

Ever since founder of 686 Michael Akira West first stepped on a skateboard in the early eighties, he always had quirky ideas.  Mike spent most of his time street skating in Los Angeles and Venice Beach, until 1985, when a good friend introduced him to snowboarding. The concept of actually skating on the snow added a new element to his life. Throughout the following years, Mike worked and rode at a local mountain in Big Bear, listened to punk-alternative, hip-hop, and jazz music, collected loads of sneakers, artwork, vintage clothing, and finished school at the University of Southern California. 

He wanted to start a company, “Providing the riding community innovative and fashionable outerwear and clothing inspired directly from the same Los Angeles urban and artistic principals it was founded upon.”

On November 13, 1992, the 686 clothing company was formed. Contrary to many circulating rumors, the 686 name comes from a crucial date in the life of Mike’s grandmother (June 6th, 1986).  The company’s “more than you expected” philosophy of providing customers progressive and fashion forward designs is world known and often imitated by others.

Products like the trademarked SMARTY line of removable liners, the trademarked TIMES line of limited edition co-branded products, the patented TOOLBELT line of functional belts, and fabric innovations, all make up the 686 name. Controlled growth, clean design, an obsession to make products better, and a belief to enjoy life is what 686 is all about.



Here is the more info on the gear covered in this installment of GEAR HEADS:

1.         M65 Insulated Jacket in Black Premium Wax Denim

10,000 MM waterproof/8,000 GM breathability

40 g body insulation, critically taped seams, exposed metal zippers, hide-away hood, zippered

chest vent, adjustable powderskirt and the wax denim is a fabrication that is exclusive to 686. 


2.  Limited Destructed Denim Insulated Pant

15,000 MM waterproof/10,000 GM breathability

Transitioning from our limited release of the 686 X Levi’s Vinatage Jean, we’re proud to introduce the Limited Deconstructed Pant.  We’ve updated the fit, waterproof/breathable ratings, fabrication trips and added a few extra features like a vertical welt pocket for added storage.  This imtely and expensive sublimation process on denim gives the rider something unique enough to wear on or off the hill. 


3.   New Balance and 686 790 Snowboard boot

New Balance is a global leader that’s known around the world for producing superior footwear based upon its origins as an Arch Support company in the early 1900’s. Together with 686’s long technical apparel history and loyalty to the core snowboarding market, the final collection is something that’s like no other. Premium fabrications and materials, lightweight and minimalistic design aesthetics, incredible sneaker-like fits, combined with strong partnerships with the BOA® Focus lacing system, Recco® avalanche monitors and the patented SCL®  zonal quick lace system completes the new winter 2011-2012 collection..



Back for a second season, but newly redesigned and re-engineered, the 790 is much more than an entry level boot. Originally released in 1986 and officially endorsed by the Laker’s James Worthy, 686 recreated New Balance’s classic basketball sillouette into a fully functional snowboard boot. With a compact outsole design and low midsole for closer contact to board and binding, the 790 is your go-to boot for overall free riding conditions.


-          PU synthetic leather for increased durability, superior waterproofness and easy care

-          3-dimensional thermoplastic injected Heelstay for maximum durability and stability

-          TPE reinforcement for overall durable boot structure and anti-binding pressure

-          Extended sneaker-like fit with snowboard boot stability structure

-          C-Cap® forefoot midsole, made of special durable EVA

-          Compact outsole design with low midsole for closer contact to board and binding

-          Exclusive “H” shaped heel hold ankle support system

      -          NEW Quick-Strike Velcro straps for independent cuff and forefoot lacing


Check out these other sneak peeks from Gear Heads:

Black Diamond


Recon Instruments




You can also check out more episodes of Gear Heads, movie trailers and original program shorts on YouTube.