Retail Buyers Guide: Staff Sales Handbook: Snowboards 17/18
BRAND: WEST SNOWBOARDS
KEY PRODUCT FOCUS: Please pick the three most exciting boards from your new 17/18 line and tell us about them.
As the CPT ACHAB has been our best seller for the current season, we believe that this hybrid Freeride board for freestyler will be again the numero UNO this season. No change in construction because it’s simply working perfectly as it is… graphic will again be something amazing!
La Suprème has been quoted as the most expensive board on the market by whiteline… and YES, this 100% Swiss made board will again be in the collection for next year, once again, an extremely limited edition. You can start saving pennies from now on 😉
As you may know, we love to do collaboration. 2017-18 is pushing this idea even further and we can officially announce a collab with a hip-hop band we’ve been listening to for about 25 years. Collaborations have to be related to something we went through in the long term and something we did, we do and will love! Here in the french speaking part of Switzerland (and not only here) we have been listening to their albums, first on panasonic copied tapes, then on CD in a crappy Opel Corsa driving across Europe for the next ISF contest, then even on mini-disc (if you remember this short period) and then on LTD Vinyl at home in front of the fire place. This band has been part of our entire snowboarding life and I’m so happy to say that we will come with a board IAM x WEST.
Construction. Using any new inserts / edge tech / cores / sidewalls / glue / wood types / metals / bases / other materials? Or are you using this stuff in any new ways?
Apparently we are again going against the tide… whilst many competitors are reducing costs on their base material, we are going to increase the quality of all the base from our line. Even if we were already working with the IS7200, we will now produce the whole line with the supreme quality base NHS from Iso Sport. You may have to wax your board more often than usually but the best is never too good for our customers.
Where will you build your boards, any changes? What makes this production facility the best solution for you?
Still the same for us. Within the few years in the factory, we get closer to the employees, we have seen their interest in doing better quality and facing bigger challenges. It’s quite amazing to share this experience with them and realize that they are actually way more focused and concentrated to build a high quality board as they would do a standard one. The most qualitative the board, the more challenging the construction… the more PRIDE they have have to show you the result. Two thumbs up for this state of mind
Where is the pricepoint that’s working the best right now? Right at the top, at the bottom, or somewhere inbetween?
If we leave on the side the 1800chf swiss made board (which actually created a lot of interest) we will keep working on boards around 700€. Due to the changes of materials, our prices will increase a bit but nothing more than 5-10%
How long is your warranty, anything new here?
Nothing new. We are willing to give the best service anytime.
We’re seeing a lot of small, grassroots snowboard brands getting traction again. How does this affect your brand, marketing & positioning?
Well, easy answer for us… WE ARE ONE OF THEM, hehehehe
What inspired your topsheet & base aesthetics? Where is the trend here – muted, flashy, photos, what? Any cool collabs/limited editions?
As for the base we will use NHS base, we will have most of the base with a dominant of black and small die-cut.
For the topsheets, we are still working with our signature wooden top sheet (I said wooden and not Bamboo). We are keeping the graphics sober with only a few colours.
Our co-founder and graphic designer MICHEL is still guiding the mainline and then we keep having guests designers such as Aaron Schwartz and Lucas Beaufort. As mentioned before, we have the IAM x WEST collaboration which was done by Baron Sigmund von Ofen, a good friend of ours who’s doing Tattoos in his daily life.
Shops are asking for a two-year product life cycle to help sell boards on price longer. Any thoughts on this, or featuring any carryover boards in the line?
I’m on the terrain every single day and I listen to that really often. I think that the idea is not too bad but for only a few models, the ones which are not your best sellers. Unfortunately this option basically comes from the ski business. We are not willing to follow ski ideas and we are willing to offer some fresh new products each season.
Doing splitboards? What are you doing to push this segment forward?
Well, competition is really big against the biggest brands. So we decided to simply cut our marging to offer a more accessible price range splitboard.