German-based BuddyBuddy are producing boards that are extremely strong, maintain their pop and don’t delaminate thanks to their patented AnchorCoreTechnology. All while maintaining rigorous sustainability practices. SOURCE speaks with Sales & Distribution Manager, Rainer Soelch to find out more.
How did BuddyBuddy come about?
Mike (Gelbricht) had this method of connecting the top sheet and fibres directly – similar to how a suspension bridge works. The first tests proved that anchoring the upper and lower chords through the core increased breaking strength by up to 50%, so we decided to make a series of test snowboards and longboards with our ACT construction. The only producer who was able to meet the required quality was GST – so we made the deal with them. The boards performed better than expected – even the experienced GST technicians were amazed by the results of their tests. However, with GST’s decision to discontinue snowboard production in Europe in July 2015, left Mike with an ingenious product, but no means of production. It sounds like a fairy tale that a customer of his shop (Brettlladen, Dresden), was so convinced by the boards that they invested in a workshop for producing ACT. Preparations began in 2016, and in the spring of 2017, we started producing longboards in our workshop in the Erzgebirge. The investor is now our Managing Director, Mike the technical visionary, Christian Kaden is the in-house Manager, and I take care of distribution and sales.
Where do your boards differ from those of other manufacturers?
Our laminate is constructed three-dimensionally – we call this patented technology AnchorCoreTechnology (ACT). We pierce the core in predefined areas, then tie and connect the reinforcing strands in specific directions, positioning “anchor points” depending on the desired outcome.
This “anchoring” of the top sheet and fibres has been proven to achieve:
50% better break values – therefore we can build much thinner and lighter, without the risk of delamination.
25% higher dynamics, e.g., significantly more snap. We can’t see any reduction in the flex of boards that have been in use for four seasons.
70% more effective shock absorption and thus a smoother ride.
In addition, we have set ourselves the goal of taking all steps to make us as environmentally friendly and resource-saving as possible. This is essential if we want to give the generations after us some quality of life. But communicating about sustainability (without actually doing anything) because it has become an indispensable marketing tool, and acting sustainably are two different worlds
What is your contribution to sustainability?
The lifespan: Regarding flex, our boards do not seem to change at all with regular use. As long as they‘re not tuned too often, or are destroyed by misuse, their performance remains like new. To back this up, we give a 5-year guarantee on delamination. We have customers coming into stores saying that our boards should be more expensive, considering the quality and durability they offer.
Raw materials and semi-finished products: We do not use components from overseas, let alone transport our boards to other markets around the world – each material originates in Europe, and if possible, it is sourced regionally. We use bio-based adhesives, the only plastic parts we currently use are the sidewalls, which are recycled. The laminate fabrics are mineral and thanks to ACT, we can completely do away with synthetic reinforcements, without sacrificing our superior physical values.
We are continuously working on how to improve our footprint and are in the test phase with laminates made from 100% renewable fibres and 65% organic adhesives.
But the pure product is only one aspect when it comes to the sustainability criteria: How much energy is applied to manufacture the product? We have hydropower on our doorstep, can entirely avoid emission-intensive products such as carbon fibres that have not yet been disposed of, and we are aiming for the shortest possible freight routes with our suppliers.
What is Earthkeepers all about?
Mutual interest from the very first moment. We get our artwork from photo artist Maurice Spees, and the cooperation with Earthkeepers continually encourages us to direct our actions within the company and personally to promote sustainable quality of life for all forms of life.
What is your vision?
The benefits of ACT are undeniable, the industry is hungry for innovation and we deliver the technology to produce greater performance and durability for boardsports products. If the advantages of ACT are applied in all areas, we have made a very significant contribution to better the energy balance in our industry – and if we achieve this with fabrics made from renewable fibres in combination with pure bioadhesives, the vision will become a reality.