Retail Buyers Guide: Longboards 2017
INTERVIEWEE: CHRISTOFFER STIVEN (CEO)
Please start by sharing your perspective on the current health of the European longboard market in a few words.
I have a feeling that the market is dipping a bit especially for the cheaper brands pushing volumes through “price point” without building a strong reliable brand.
Will the current exchange rates and trade climate affect the end prices of longboard equipment in Europe?
I guess the brands selling mostly ’cause of the low prices will be phased out. Brands with strong profiles and good, well made products will be the brands selling stuff to the customers left after the “boom” who are more aware of what and why they buy the products. If I’m right, the average price per sold board would increase.
What are customers looking for in boards right now in terms of materials, finishes and shapes? Even in terms of graphics?
We see that technical boards in our range are selling less and the classics are increasing. people are looking for more practical boards, cruisers with kicktails, mini cruisers etc. Flex boards seem to have disappeared from the market and people are looking more at wood boards than fiberglass decks.
Which accessories should retailers stock to keep customers stoked?Hard to say, but I’m guessing the good stuff not the cheap stuff.
Please explain the top three product stories you would like to highlight in this trend report and be as specific as you like in terms of features.
First off, we’re toning down the Longboards side and are moving slightly towards skateboarding and that customer base. Shorter longboards, cruisers, travel cruisers. We have some longboards with skateboard trucks to make them more of a crossover and trying to wipe away the line between skateboard and longboard. We’re still gonna keep our full longboard range ’cause it still sells well but have created different catalogs with different ranges to be able to approach different stores in different ways. A core skateshop don’t want a dropthrough downhill board shoved up in their faces but a really well designed skateboard cruiser could be appealing.