The Latest News from the MSD Group fo Brands


Mountain Sports Distribution has released their 20/21 Buyers Guides for the 2020-2021 Booking Season, which wraps up on March 6, 2020.  Inside the Buyers Guides are sales histories for Eastern and Western Canada, including key buying trends for each region.

“It’s important for MSD Dealers to understand what mix of products to buy. Often, it can be a stab in the dark for things like 509 Goggles – with so many models of goggles, it’s important for us to be able to advise our dealers on what percentage of the hundreds of goggles they order should be Ignite or Kingpin or a new model that wasn’t available in 19/20,” says President Chuck Gorton. “We hope that by presenting these sales figures from last season that we can help set dealers up for sales success in 19/20.”

Copies of the Buyers Guides are included in weekly emails to dealers, but can also be downloaded here:

As a reminder, booking for 20/21 are due on March 6, 2020.

Seven MX Summer 2020 Line Now Available

Mountain Lab Gear Enters the Two-Way Radio Market

The new Mountain Lab 2-Way 2-Watt Radio.

After years of the market being dominated by a singular two-way radio, Mountain Lab has come to the table with a strong contender to compete for the backcountry market.  For the 19/20 Season, Mountain Lab is introducing the ROAM 2-Way Radio, a 2-watt radio that is completely compatible with all other existing radios on the market.

“We saw a great opportunity,” said a representative of the company. “We were seeing thousands of these radios being sold across North America, but had the unique opportunity to take a step back and evaluate some features that we felt were of value to our market.”

Like other 2-way radios on the market, the Mountain Lab ROAM is a 2 Watt radio that works with other brands out there (i.e. you can use the ROAM to talk to other brands). It has 22 channels and 121 privacy channels and boasts an impressive 50-hour battery run-time.  However, unlike other radios on the market, the Mountain Lab Roam has an IP67 waterproof microphone with a removable cover to keep the microphone in working order in blower snow.

“The number one complaint we got from snowmobilers was that the microphone would continually get clogged with snow and render it unusable, so we wanted to combat that first and foremost,” says the designer. “After that, it was about getting an awesome product to snowmobilers at a ‘no-brainer’ of a pricepoint.

The ROAM enters the market at just $119.99 CAD for a single, or $249.99 CAD ($199.99 USD) for the set of two, making it at least $110 cheaper than the competition per radio. Says the company, “the more we researched the technology and worked with manufacturers, the more it came to light that we could do a lot more for a lot less.”

To learn more about the new Mountain Lab ROAM 2W Radio, check out their website here.

Mountain Sports Distribution Ranks No. 477 on the 2019 Growth 500

Mountain Sports Distribution Ranks No. 477 on the 2019 Growth 500

– Canadian Business unveils annual list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies –

Canadian Business and Maclean’s ranked Company MSD # 477 on the annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth. Growth 500 winners are profiled in a special print issue of Canadian Business published with Maclean’s magazine and online at and

Mountain Sports Distribution made the 2019 Growth 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 108%.

“The companies on the 2019 Growth 500 are truly remarkable. Demonstrating foresight, innovation and smart management, their stories serve as a primer for how to build a successful entrepreneurial business today,” says Beth Fraser, Growth 500 program manager. “As we celebrate over 30 years of the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program, it’s encouraging to see that entrepreneurship is healthier than ever in this country.”

“MSD is extremely proud to be on this list and to be recognized by Canadian Business and Macleans magazine,” says President Chuck Gorton. “This achievement is especially remarkable for us a company of our size in such a small town. It’s evidence of a great group of people working as part of a great team.”

Mountain Sports Distribution has been located in Golden, British Columbia since its inception 12 years ago. It continues to operate its headquarters there but works with warehouses and a sales rep force across North America.

About the Growth 500

For over 30 years, the Growth 500 has been Canada’s most respectable and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement. Ranking Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year revenue growth, the Growth 500 profiles the country’s most successful growing businesses. The Growth 500 is produced by Canadian Business. Winners are profiled in a special Growth 500 print issue of Canadian Business (packaged with the October issue of Maclean’s magazine) and online at and For more information on the ranking, visit

About Canadian Business

Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving and most-trusted business publication in the country. It is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy, and management tactics. Learn more at

2019 Highmark/Mammut Avalanche Education Tour Announced

Mountain Sports Distribution is proud to present the Avalanche Education Snowmobile Outreach Tour, returning for its third year across the US. In partnership with Highmark Avalanche Airbags and Mammut, this multi-state tour will feature presentations through October and November.

Presenters Jeremy Hanke of Soul Rides Adventures and Duncan Lee of Let’s Ride Adventures will be presenting an engaging snowmobile-specific talk on avalanche safety in select snowmobile dealerships. Both Hanke and Lee have over 25 years of backcountry experience and bring a unique take to the world of motorized use avalanche safety.

Current stops are scheduled at 7 locations, taking place in the evenings. Attendees will receive a “straight-shooting” talk on making the right choices in the backcountry as well as have access to one-time-only deals from Highmark Airbags and Mammut. New this year will include a hands-on avalanche education for the hosting dealer’s staff.

Jeremy Hanke has been presenting with the tour for three years. His first-hand experience is wildly compelling and engages audience unlike any other avalanche seminar in the world. Says Hanke of sharing his story, he hopes that it might help save others from what could have happened to him. “That (burial) is only one of many experiences. I just hope people don’t make the same mistakes I have lived through. That’s why I do this sort of work.”

Duncan Lee is a founder of the Alpine Assassins, a pro rider collective, as well as Let’s Ride Adventures, which provides snowmobile avalanche education and produces a video series. Duncan sits on the board of AIARE (American Institute of Avalanche Research & Education).

Admission cost for these awesome sessions is (usually) $25, with more information on the Highmark Airbags website. To sign up as a dealer, please contact your MSD (Highmark / Mammut) Rep.

509 Completes Offroad Line-Up with New Pant and Boot for 2020

509 has been working for years to round out their snowmobile line-up into the offroad market. It began with the advent of the DirtPro Goggle, then the MX Goggle and Altitude Offroad Helmet – both of which capitalized of the love affair ATVers and UTVers were having with the 509 brand. In years’ past, we’ve seen new MX gloves, Jerseys and perhaps most impressive, a full feature-length movie akin to the production scale of their famous snowmobile movies.


The 509 RIDGE ITB is available in Black Fire, Cyan/Navy, Orange/Navy and Stealth.

For 2020, 509 truly comes to the table for the MX world, by introducing two new models of MX pant and their Velo Raid Crossover Boot. With the addition of these two lines, lovers of the 509 brand can truly be head-to-toe in the brand in every season.

The Velo Raid Crossover Boot is designed for mountain riding – built on a technical dirt bike and dual sport platform.


The new Velo Raid Boot is a three-buckle, 16” tall boot that 509 claims is for “single track riding and linking up double track logging roads.”  The boot is prime for the Canadian market, with 5 Tech waterproof construction, 200g of insulation and a super-stiff carbon-content sole.  At first look, the Velo looks ready to withstand the abuse of the Canadian climate and terrain.


On the pants side of things, 509 is introducing the Ridge ITB (In The Boot) and R-Series OTB (you figure it out).  The Ridge is designed for mountain single track with lots of venting, stretch components for perfect boot fit and a durable 600D Poly Weave with 900D reinforcements.  For comfort and protection, you’ll also find leather-reinforced inner leg panels.


The R-Series Pant is the go-to durable pant – ideal for cool temps or even late-season snowmobiling.

If the Ridge Pant is performance-based, then the R-Series are geared up to be the Carhartts of the MX world. Think ALL conditions, ALL terrains and ALL activities (yeah – that’s you with the chainsaw in the rain on a muddy trail with snow patches).  We love the muscle of these pants and think your most demanding customers will, too.

Thus, there’s more variety than ever for motocross riders ready to step away from the big brands that have dominated the shelves for years – there’s truly a new player in town.

New Highmark Avalanche Airbags Announced for 19/20

New Highmark Avalanche Airbags Announced for 19/20 The 19/20 Highmark line-up will feature two new packs, increasing the size of the line-up to 6 models – the in the company’s history.  Highmark’s Facebook page announced the new Highmark Charger X and Guide packs this past week, which MSD dealers have seen already in the 19/20 […]


MSD Partners with Seven MX

First, some history on Seven….

Early in 2013, motocross/supercross rock star James “Bubba” Stewart (who competed wearing number 7) announced a partnership with Troy Lee to produce a line of racewear from Laguna Beach, CA.  Read more



We all know what looks good (though we likely have differing opinions on it), but your customers need you to be an expert on what they need in outerwear. Why is one better than the other? Why spend $1500 on a mono suit when you could spend $500. When they say “You get what you pay for” – what exactly do you get?  Here we’ll walk you through the top five things you should be talking about when selling outerwear.

Waterproofing. Part 1.

There’s a graphic in the TOBE section of the MSD catalog that always made me scratch my head – go have a look – it’s on Page 111 of the English Version or Page 91 of the French version. It’s a graphic of a tent, a small person, a kneeling person, a large person and a TOBE mono suit with some numbers under them.  Just what the hell does it mean, and how does it help anyone buy or sell outerwear?

Let’s talk first about the numbers. Each graphic has a number ranging from 3000mm (the tent) to 45,000 mm (the TOBE mono suit).  These numbers refer to a Water Column Test.

What’s a Water Column Test?

During the Water Column Test, a 2.5cm diameter tube is placed on the material. Water is poured into the tube and the level to which that water is allowed to rise to, before is starts leaking through the fabric. This number (in mm) is stated to be its waterproofing level.


Waterproof Rating (mm) What can it withstand? Conditions
0-5,000 mm Not a lot. Light rain, dry snow, no pressure.
6,000-10,000 mm Light pressure rain Light rain, average snow
11,000-15,000 mm Everything except high-pressure rain Moderate rain, average snow
16,000-20,000 mm High-pressure rain Heavy rain, wet snow
20,000 mm+ High-pressure rain Heavy rain, wet snow, high pressure.


However, let’s look at that number a little closer. TOBE has a waterproof rating of 45,000mm.  That’s 45 METERS. A 45m tube set up vertically would effectively be a 15 storey building, so this has become unrealistic.  Instead, testers usually employ water pressure equivalent to these numbers to get their reading.

So what’s up with the guy kneeling in the image?  I think this means how much pressure he’s putting on his knee/the ground and telling us that water would soak through whatever he’s wearing at 13,000mm of pressure. What’s he wearing – I dunno.  This part is a bit of a mystery to me.  Moving on…

  • The conclusion: The higher the number, the more waterproof the garment.

    Image result for waterproof column test

    Here’s a basic watercolumn test. It could very well be 45m tall.

  • Except…..

Waterproofing. Part 2.

Let’s talk about the areas of the garment that aren’t 45 meters of waterproof.  It doesn’t matter if your jacket is made of roof shingles if the construction of the garment isn’t just as waterproof.  Look at the zippers – if they’re not said to be waterproof, they damn well better be covered with something that is. What about the seams? Are they stitched up with a million little needle holes rendering every seam a sieve?  Or are they something better – look for seam sealed/taped (which effectively covers all the tiny holes) and if they are – are they “fully seam sealed” or “critical seam sealed” (i.e. just some of the seams).  Even more futuristic – look for fused seams, which don’t even use thread – just awesome glue and some serious planning when constructing a jacket.

  • The conclusion: Make sure it’s not just the fabric – it’s the whole garment that is waterproofed.
  • But don’t forget…..


Ok – so just buy the outerwear with the highest waterproofing and the best seams and zipper coverage – done and done.

Well, sort of. Until you start moving – then you’re a big bag of sweat. Like, sure your full waterproof rubber boots are great until it’s time to get moving. That’s where breathability comes in.  Most outerwear products have two numbers with them – like “10K/10K,” which effectively mean “10,000mm waterproof/ 10,000mm breathable.

This “10K breathable” is this time in grams (unlike mm for waterproof) and represents how much water vapor can move through 1 square meter of fabric (from the inside to the out) in 24 hours.  You better believe there’s a fancy machine for measuring that somewhere.

So, inevitably there’s a bit of a compromise. Make it as waterproof as possible from one side, but make it the opposite of waterproof from the other side. It’s the manufacturers challenge to figure that out so that your customers stay comfortable.


Breathability Rating (g)

Good For:

0-10,000g Casual Jackets, Running Errands
10,000g-15,000g Active Users, Skiing
15,000g+ Like REALLY Active Users (Hiking, Mountain Snowmobiling)



Once upon a time, everyone wanted Gore-Tex and only Gore-Tex due to its properties as a waterproof, yet breathable material. Then someone cracked the code and figured out how to make super waterproof, super breathable fabric and call it by different names.  Here are the key ones to know:

  • Gore-Text – the big guy. Used by The North Face, Arc’Teryx, but no powersports brands if I’m not mistaken.
  • eVent | The biggest Gore-Tex alternative, made with Teflon (like Gore-Tex). Used by Motorfist
  • Sympatex | used by TOBE.  According to, “It differs from eVent and Gore-Tex in that it doesn’t have micropores for breathability–water vapor is passed through by way of an absorption and evaporation process.” As an added bonus – Sympatex has its Bluesign certification, meaning it’s 100% recyclable and is biodegradable – unlike Gore-Tex
  • 509 | used by 509. Said to combine ultimate waterproofing and breathability, but with a much less-restrictive feel – a full range of motion and “wearability.”

So what’s the best to recommend to your customer? All are good, but in this case, you definitely do get what you pay for.


Finally, feeling confident in a purchase is the ultimate test. Feeling that you “got what you paid for” can be a really good thing.  If you can close a sale with “any if anything goes wrong, here’s what happens – there’s a 2-year warranty on everything on the pant – zippers, seams and buckles. They’ll replace it immediately – their warranty department is in Canada…” your customer is going to understand that their $500 pants come with a promise.

A good company makes the warranty process easy for the customer and understands that providing good warranty service is an incredibly effective way to turn a customer into an advocate of the brand and to make sure they buy that brand the next time around.  Learn what a company’s warranty policy is and test it out!


How to Sell (and Buy) an Avalanche Airbag

First of all, let’s not hide things – There are several key players in the Avalanche Airbag world – let’s look at them here:
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