Retail Buyers Guide: Surfboards 2018
Brand: MATTA Surfboards
Interviewee: Nuno Matta – Shaper and Owner
Is the market expanding at the same pace than the previous years? (one or two-figure growth?)
The surfboard market is solid, the demand is growing at a rate of one figure growth. A slowly but constant growth through the years.
What about the demographics of your end consumers? (kids, teens, adults, senior surfer, male/female…)
Our main numbers are with kids, teens and adults. I feel that the numbers of senior surfing and females are increasing slowly.
But our core business is the kids and teens segment, for example, we’re very comfortable to shape for kids and we’ve been investing a lot in this segment, we’re shaping for the best kids in Europe and the demand in this segment has been growing a lot.
Which areas/countries register the strongest growths?
France and Portugal.
The performance/hybrid shortboard is a staple design, but what are the subtle evolutions for 2018?
We don’t feel any relevant changes, just refining a little bit our models, like we do every year.
Just to keep our models updated to modern surfing.
Retro-inspired models are doing good as well, driven by the come-back of the traditional twin fish design in the last 2 to 3 years. Do you confirm?
Yes. In 2017 we launched a twin fin model, the T20, to celebrate my 20 years of shaping. The base of the T20 was my first surfboard and I shaped the first T20 with the shaper that shaped my first board, Miguel Aragão.
Last year we did a partnership with Martin Potter and we launch Pottz Surfboards, with 2 models: the twin fin “The Saint” and a tri fin, booth inspired by Pottz old boards that he used to ride.
Do you cater to the longboard user?
We don’t do longboards, my focus is on High-Performance surfboards
Fancy EPS stringered models are making much noise: is the traditional PU model (soon) dead?
No way, the Pu/Polyester continues to be the best combination to surf good waves. No technology can beat the flex of a PU/polyester board, especially in good waves. That’s why all the best surfers in the world use PU/polyester like you see on the CT.
Are top techs from the premium models trickling down to the lower ranges? What’s your take on advanced constructions for 2018?
Our Epoxy boards, the SMARTech are made in-house, not overseas. We do custom sizes and we have availability for all our models. And the best thing is we can control the materials and everything during the production.
What are your top 3 selling boards?
Our best sellers are of course the high-performance shortboards. The MTM, the TLX, Travis Logie models, and our special model for kids the SMP, Sam Piter´s model.
The high-end shortboard is getting closer to the 1.000 Euros mark (well, at least breaking the 900 Euros): price isn’t an issue, quality/performance is? Is the 600 euro segment (in shortboards) of any interest?
Our concern is to build the best board, using best materials in the world with a friendly price. So our boards are around 450€, even our SMARTech is around 540€.
What is the house politics regarding greener materials, wastes and safety conditions on the production line?
ENVIRONMENT: Our environmental initiatives are people and brand driven: MAKE THINGS CLEANER: Reduce your carbon footprint. By employing green chemistry techniques that require less energy and produce less harmful byproducts, we reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the production of our resins by 50% over conventional petroleum-based epoxies. Using today’s modern Life Cycle Analysis techniques we can demonstrate how our resins can help your products reduce their environmental impact; SUSTAINABILITY BY SHARED BIO MASS PIPELINE: Not all carbon is created equal. We replace petroleum-based carbon with renewable plant-based carbon. The raw materials going into our resins are co-products or waste products of other industrially important processes. These materials do not compete with food sources or displace food-based agriculture. Using an international standard method of radiocarbon dating, we verify the renewable content of the resins so you know exactly where they come from; WE COLLECT OUR WASTE EPS FOAM: We use our waste EPS foam in two ways, to pack our boards and to turn it directly into a new surfboard blank. A much higher use of this foam is to turn it directly into a new surfboard blank; MATTA WITH THE SUSTAINABLE SURF PROGRAM: MATTA is included on the ECOBOARD project program from Sustainable Surf, a project that helps the board riding community to build, buy and ride high-performance sustainable boards. A social transformation program, which educates and engages individuals about the environmental impacts of their lifestyle through the lens of their board. ECOBOARD project is focussed on reducing carbon footprints, increasing the use and reuse of renewable, recycled and recycled inputs, and reducing toxicity within the manufacturing process; AT THE FACTORY: At our office and factory we also take steps to reduce our impact on the environment, as an example, MATTA has been upgrading the office and factory with energy efficient LED lighting, reducing energy consumption and reducing cooling loads from air conditioning. In respect of packaging and paper, undue and unnecessary use of materials is avoided, and recycled materials are used whenever appropriate.
In respect of energy use, all production and delivery processes, including the use of heating, ventilation, lighting, IT systems and transportation, are based on the need to maximise efficient energy use and to minimise harmful emissions.
Take us through your two key products for 2018.
All our models are key products, we work only with custom orders, we don’t stock boards. I try to give advise on every board ordered in MATTA Surfboards because our only goal is to make a magic board for every surfer that order a MATTA.