At Outdoor Friedrichshafen, we talk to the renowned outdoor and alpine expert Olaf Perwitzschky, who traveled to the fair despite a broken collarbone. He is a test editor at Alpin magazine and knows the outdoor industry like no other. He talks to our trade fair TV presenter Jürgen Groh about his first impressions of Outdoor 2017 and the trends that are emerging in the leisure industry.
Jürgen Groh: Olaf, as an absolute outdoor freak, you seem to have picked up an injury or is this your new outdoor tool? Olaf Perwitschky: Yes, it would be nice. It looks like a rucksack, but unfortunately it's not. It broke when I was mountain biking. Jürgen Groh: Okay - what happened? Olaf Perwitschky: I broke my collarbone. It will heal and I'll be back on my bike in three weeks. Jürgen Groh: And you still ran the trade fair? Olaf Perwitschky: I still ran the trade fair and thank God I'm pain-free. I have few problems. I can try on worse jackets, but in the vast majority of cases it's actually enough for me to hold the items in my hand. Jürgen Groh: As a testing expert, what would you like to test in the future from what you have seen? Olaf Perwitschky: I think the lightweight theme has an interesting aspect. It really runs through the trade fair: How do the lightweight things perform? Are they also good? How durable are they? As a rule, I pay a lot of money for this lightweight equipment, but it's often not very durable. I find that a very interesting aspect. Jürgen Groh: Which categories of jackets and climbing gear did you like best? What stood out the most in the new and lightweight category? Olaf Perwitschky: It runs through almost all of the equipment. It's most noticeable in the jackets, you can pick them up and you immediately notice that they weigh almost nothing. There are jackets that weigh 100 grams and are water and breathable. But it goes further than that. Backpacks are also very important. Almost every manufacturer has lightweight backpacks in its range. It continues with shoes, today we find very, very light shoes. So it covers almost the whole range. Tents and sleeping mats are also an issue. If you do this consistently and pay attention to the weight, it's extremely amazing how much weight you can save in the end. You're out and about with a rucksack and it now weighs half as much with the same equipment, half of what it might have weighed 15 or 20 years ago.
Jürgen Groh: In terms of evolution, was there something that fascinated you? Olaf Perwitschky: Something special but an absolute niche product. There is a manufacturer that offers a tool for abseiling so that you can abseil on a single rope, but still pull it off completely. Normally I only have half the rope length when abseiling because I have to pull the rope off again at one end. This is certainly a very unusual product. Mini quantities, an absolute specialist product but super interesting. Jürgen Groh: You've been at Outdoor for many years. How has it developed in terms of internationality and size? Olaf Perwitschky: Internationality has remained more or less the same, I think it has always been an international trade fair and people come from all over the world. What is becoming apparent this year and in recent years is that the outdoor is becoming broader. When the walk to the garbage can becomes an adventure, that's a point where hardcore outdoor athletes smile about it. Sometimes it really is sold that way. The moment I close the front door behind me, I'm outdoors. That's an aspect I can argue about. But of course the person walking their dog also needs a waterproof, functional jacket. Jürgen Groh: When it comes to fashion, outdoor is really catching up, urban, street and so on. Do you also wear outdoor clothes when you're out and about in your private life, or are you more fashionable in a suit? Olaf Perwitschky: No, I have to say that I live outdoors. I'm always wearing my outdoor stuff and in the end I don't really have any fashionable things in my closet. Except for outdoor fashion. Jürgen Groh: What's next for you over the next few days at the fair? Olaf Perwitschky: Tomorrow I will have my tour with lots of appointments, lots of manufacturer appointments. I'm excited, there are some hot things on the agenda. Tomorrow evening is the big outdoor party. That's always a highlight because 3000 people are partying there, it's always fun. Jürgen Groh: But you have to be a bit more careful this year. Olaf Perwitschky: I won't be at the front of the stage this year. Jürgen Groh: Get well soon.