Category: SURFBOARDS 2017
Brand: MATTA Shapes
Interviewee: Nuno Matta
Sales figures are obviously still going upward in the surfboards market, but at what rate?
Definitely, the surfboard market is growing all around Europe, and the growth of surf tourism is increasing the penetration in European countries with no waves or with bad surf conditions. Our predictions for MATTAshapes for 2017 is a 1 figure growth.
The performance/hybrid shortboard has been a hit for 2 to 3 years now. Is it still?
For MATTAshapes it continues to be the high performance shortboard.
Is there a trend toward quivering?
Definitely, the demand changed over the last few years. Our clients now manages 2 or 3 surfboards, he/she understand that to make the best of it he/she needs more than 1 board for different surf conditions.
The “weirdo” disruptive designs, such as Tomo shapes & Kelly Slater Designs, have more than gained traction over the past years? Is it a case of the weirder the better nowadays?
In my opinion the “weirdo” movement happened because of Kelly Slater. I’m pretty sure that without Kelly it would be much different. My question is: if that surfboard makes such a differen
ce, why don’t we see more surfers on the CT using it? Weird boards always existed and, at the end of the day
, the standard PU three fin high performance shortboard might still be the best choice to increase your performance in the water.
The shortboard length has shrunk in 5 years or so, why doesn’t it mirror in the final price?
There a lot of variables to get to the
final price of a surfboard and the shortboard length has shrunk but we still buy the same blank size. Actually the costs to maintain a factory grew in the past years and all those costs reflect on the final price. We battle every day to get the best price to the final customer.
How much has the volume awareness changed your relationship with customers?
Not that much. I think the
volume is another way of measuring a board. You still need the size of the board, the width and thickness. All these measurements work together with the weight, height, level of surfing and fitness of the surfer, to be more accurate and precise, to make the right board for the surfer.
We have our volume calculator on
the website, that helps our customers to get the right volume and find the right measurements for the board.
Concerning the MATTAshapes App, basically we have on the App everything that we have on the webs
ite. Customers will gain a deep understanding of all our models and can order custom surfboards in a quick and easy way with our App.
What’s new for the beginners and casual surfers beside the ol’ mini-mal and funboard?
At MATTAshapes, we have the BFF that can fit beginners or experts depending on the measures of the board. With a wider nose, you can easily paddle for the wave and for example the round pin tail makes it easy to turn and surf on the rail. It’s a dream surfboard and will prove to be your ultimate travel companion. We also have the Driver XL that is a high performance surfboard with a lot of volume, so it helps on the paddling and provides good stability on the wave. All our models can be made oversized to help everybody have the most fun in the water.
How do you address to the female surfer/customer and the kids?
We had a brand only for girls in the past, with special graphics and designs but we came to the conclusion that girls want to ride the same as the boys but with different measures.
The kids are the future, I really enjoy shaping for them. I’m very lucky to work with some of the best kids in Europe. The boards must be more refined and we need to be very precise on every details because the kids have no weight and no power so 1/16 will make the difference.
The 40 to 60 y.o. surfers are the ones with the money. What boards are they looking for?
We have the Driver XL, a surfboard that suits perfectly the demands of an older intermediate or expert surfer. The demand is variable but at the end this model, Driver XL, built to the client measures and level of surfing, is the best surfboard he can get.
What are your top 3 selling boards?
Our top 3 selling boards are the MTM, The Driver and TTT. Our core business have been also the kids division. In the last years we’ve been improving our offering for this segment, the top selling board for the kids is the SMP.
Are 8’+ guns representing a noticeable outlet?
At the moment, the big gunshot represent a small piece of the cake; it´s less than 1% of our revenue.
Very few efforts are made toward the mid-range category (i.e. boards sold around 450-550 euros), why is that?
Shops and distributors look for big margins with the surfboards. They want to have the same revenue that they do with clothing, and at the end the profit is smaller for the factory. We’re changing our policy, directing our customer to the online shop where we can provide the best surfboards with the best pricing, starting at €435.
Innovation is everywhere, are surfers eventually open to change(s)? What do you bring on the table for 2017?
Yes they’re open to changes if it improves their performance in the water. We have the SMARTECH TECHNOLOGY that consists on high density EPS with a carbon stringer and epoxy resin. We removed the wood stringer and used carbon instead as a reinforcement, exactly where more resistance and hardness is needed. Three different fibreglass reinforcements going in 6 directions add more flex and strength than traditional EPS constructions. The unique layering of materials provides pop and a really responsive shortboard.
The SMARTech ECO is the same technology we use in all the SMARtech series. We use the same bio based epoxy like in all the SMARTech series, but we recycle our EPS to do the blanks and cellulose fibre on it.
For 2017 we will lunch the SMARTech Water Proof that will have a closed cell blank: you don’t need to repair dings when you are for example on a surf trip. In two months we will have it ready, we are finishing all the tests to decide what kind of blank should we use.
Is online direct selling an option in the future or will you always entrust your offer to the core shops?
We are putting ours efforts to direct our customers to the online shop where we’ll be able to provide the same quality but with better prices and better service for our final client. One of the key points about having a strong online shop is not only the final pricing but also the client is able to customise his/her surfboard according to his/her needs.
What are you doing to ensure your staff’s health and make the planet slightly less damaged?
As a member of the Sustainable Surf Organization, MATTA aims to spread the word for the protection of the Oceans. So all MATTA surfboards with SMARTech construction have a Sustainable Surf ECOBOARD label, which guarantees that the SMARTech surfboard follows an ecologic method approved by Sustainable Surf Organization.
We recycle everything we can and we do our best to use eco materials. For example we use our waste EPS foam in two ways, to pack our boards and to turn it directly into a new surfboard blank.