INTERVIEWEE: Max Thurner – International Marketing Manager Snowboards & Protection
KEY PRODUCT FOCUS: Please pick the three most exciting boards from your new 17/18 line and tell us about them.
We focus on 3 boards, 2 Unisex & 1 Womens board, which together are the ‘Light Riders’ (as they are so superlight…)
INSTINCT i. KERS:
Powerful all-mountain directional twin. If you’re looking for an all-mountain board packed with pop and responsiveness, then the INSTINCT i. KERS directional twin is for you.
With the dual benefits of reactive camber and fun flat camber the board delivers enhanced control and response in all conditions.
The weight was reduced by 200g by using our brand new Hexlight material paired with Graphene.
Lightweight directional cruiser with pedigree. The responsive twin directional form and refined flex and power distribution of the PILOT provides solid flow for mature chargers.
From carving and flat tricks on the groomers and side-piste to blasting and popping powder fields, this mid-wide board in a very lightweight Hybrid Camba POP construction, featuring our new Hexlight material, has the pedigree and power to ride it all.
Performance board for women that rip. The Hope is Head’s top-of-the-line women’s board crafted for girls that “kill it” on a daily basis. In addition to a responsive combined camber and narrow waist for increased torsional flex, this directional twin features performance enhancing Graphene and a host of other progressive tech so girls can amp up the shred to 11+.
This board also features our new Hexlight material, bringing down weight by 200g.
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?
Yes, we have a new material called Hexlight.
What is it? It is a synthetic honeycomb core material, used for the production of lightweight construction components in a vast variety of applications and industries.
What does it do? Hexlight makes boards lighter:
– less swing weight when implemented in tip & tail
– more float when implemented in nose
We also continue with Graphene, the strongest & lightest material known to men:
What is it? Graphene is a 2D material that, even when an atom thick, is one of the strongest and lightest materials on earth.
What it does? Used zonally in a snowboard core, it:
– reinforces the core without adding weight
– improves the power distribution by shifting a boards weight-balance
– increases board control
Where will you build your boards, any changes? What makes this production facility the best solution for you?
Still in Asia, no changes.
Where is the pricepoint that’s working the best right now? Right at the top, at the bottom, or somewhere inbetween?
We believe middle to higher for 2 reasons:
– maturing snowboard market – more buying power of riders
– entry level is cannibalised by rental
How long is your warranty, anything new here?
We offer a 2 year warranty.
We’re seeing a lot of small, grassroots snowboard brands getting traction again. How does this affect your brand, marketing & positioning?
Head Snowboards is a very strong brand, with a strong product portfolio mix, based on both retail and rental. We also have very good relationships with our partners, are reliable when it comes to distribution, delivery etc. Our products are innovative, developed with passion and built with the highest quality – with a very competitive pricing.
So nothing against some variety on the market if needed. Our position is very clear when it comes to brand, and we are a loyal partner when it comes to business.
What inspired your topsheet & base aesthetics? Where is the trend here – muted, flashy, photos, what? Any cool collabs/limited editions? Please provide details of artists & subjects.
Design direction = brand direction; meaning everything goes.
We are working with different designers from USA, UK, Germany and Japan to offer a great international line with something for everybody, reflecting our brand at the same time.
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?
We already implement this for other product categories, as it makes our partners (and our lives) easier when it comes to planning.
So far, this was not requested for boards, but if needed we are open for discussions.
Doing splitboards? What are you doing to push this segment forward?
We offer a split ready model (which was voted Top 100 boards winner Whitelines for category “Freeride“ and Boards under 350 Pounds), but no split board.