INTERVIEWEE: Tommy Delago, President
KEY PRODUCT FOCUS: Please pick the three most exciting boards from your new 17/18 line and tell us about them.
First off, the QUIVER SERIES continues to be a source of excitement and a playground for new, fun shapes: A smaller CANNON (now a mere 173cm) that everyone can handle, the new SQUASH hybrid pow/carving board and the redesigned SLASH, with surf-style 3D lines and a lightweight balsa core.
We’re also stoked to announce the reappearance of the SUPRATEAM in our line: based on the ever-popular TEAM Series, this new model offers more response and performance by shape, construction and materials. The new go-to board for the advanced rider.
Finally, the new BEAST combines the ideas and talent of our top 4 freestyle riders: eero Ettala, Sven Thorgren, Marcus Kleveland and Torgeir Bergrem. These four guys have teamed up to create the ultimate freestyle twintip. The BEAST, a board that comes in three sizes to cover every freestyle need.
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?
We are using an entirely new Balsa wood core for our SLASH model. The extensive 3-dimensional shape of this board requires a lighter core material that can be CNC machined to correct specifications. End-grain Balsa wood, reinforced with beechwood stringers was the perfect choice for this project.
On our PANTERA Series, we are utilizing a sintered DAMAST BASE. Resembling knives by folding and re-forging steel into dozens (even hundreds) of layers, this base material is fused together of two colours rather than printed sublimated or die-cut.
Where will you build your boards, any changes? What makes this production facility the best solution for you?
No changes, we’re happy where we are.
Where is the pricepoint that’s working the best right now? Right at the top, at the bottom, or somewhere inbetween? How long is your warranty, anything new here?
Main pricepoints for us are mid to moderately high. The lower region is mainly catered to by closeouts and OEM product.
We’re seeing a lot of small, grassroots snowboard brands getting traction again. How does this affect your brand, marketing & positioning?
This has always been a typical phenomenon on our industry and is only a positive addition to the market. Smaller brands bring new and fresh ideas, they risk more and spark new trends. Unfortunately, some of them cannot follow through with delivery, marketing and service in the long run, so they disappear again. But in the meantime, they stir up the market and that’s great for everyone.
What inspired your topsheet & base aesthetics? Where is the trend here – muted, flashy, photos, what? Any cool collabs/limited editions?
There is no one trend for us really. Since Nitro is a full-line brand, we are catering to many facets of snowboarding and our graphic inspiration comes from very diverse ends of the spectrum. However, we always work on a cohesive look and feel for our products. Nitro today may not be the dark ‘Hesh’ brand many people have seen in us, but we’re still striving for an authentic look and graphics we can stand behind.
Collabs – don’t we all love them? For us there are two kinds. One is getting together with an artist we like and working on a board graphic with him/her that really reflects his style and taste. A good example for this is our ongoing collaboration with Lorenz Holder. The award-winning photographer has provided amazing concepts and photographs for our Team Exposure Series and the 17/18 line is no exception. Lorenz has shot specific monochromatic fine art photos and then hand-developed them in one of the oldest printing processes that exist. He used the contact printing method Cyanotype and the Van Dyke Brown to acheive truly amazing and unique handmade prints.
We also have worked with Steven Stone again for an exclusive photo collage of Girls’n’Cars on the SMP model. And, we have done a ‘self-collab’ with L1! Just for fun, we hit up the L1 crew and convinced them to do a cool one-off graphic for the T1 155. J
On the other hand, there is the Nitro x VSSL project, which is much more involved. For this exciting collab, we have teamed up with VSSL Outdoor Utility Tools ( www.vsslgear.com ) to create a truly unique package: We designed a specific Nitro x VSSL graphic for our Mountain board and Team binding. And with each board / binding set purchase, you will receive an exclusive Nitro X VSSL unit, including a dual mode flashlight, compass, bottle opener and neck gaiter, as well as a tin with wax paste and one with spare binding screws, a toe strap connector and a cool thumb-screwdriver.
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 have tried offering carryover product in the past, but with only a little bit of success. According to our dealers’ feedback, it’s better not to overproduce, sell through and offer fresh product the season after. But if the demand arises again, we’re here to give it another try.
Doing splitboards? What are you doing to push this segment forward?
Everyone is doing splits these days it seems. I’d rather answer this question here:
“There is a new resurgence of carving happening all over the world what is your take on this and how does it reflect in your product lineup?”
Nitro has never completely let go of the ‘old school carver’ and we have continuously offered evolutions of the PANTERA, one of the most iconic carving boards in the market. But there is a new generation of riders out there. They’re somewhat bored by all the sloppy rocker type boards on the market and a general lack of actual riding technique. Things have been so focused on what the top riders are doing in the air rather than what can be done on the slope. This trend is much more tangible for a lot of snowboarders out there and we have an assortment of boards to cater to this growing demand. The new WOODCARVER, a higher end directional board designed for fun carving on the slopes and off. The new SQUASH in the QUIVER Series: a unique hybrid breed of shapes, designed for carving and Pow alike. But also the asymmetric twintip DIABLO offering perfect symmetry and edge pressure, whichever way you ride it. And last but not least, the SMP and the new women’s DROP, two directional fun carving boards designed for everyday riding.