Brand name: MOAI
Interviewee: Roy Heuwer, Head of Marketing
Is it fair to claim the global SUP market has peaked? Will 2020 be the year of consolidation?
We don’t think that the global SUP market has reached its peak yet. There are still a lot of territories and markets where consumers have no or little experience with stand up paddle boarding. Currently we also see a higher demand in recreational use, especially at those consumers who rented a board in the past, or owned a cheaper SUP model, and would like to own a more qualitative SUP, but still for recreational purposes.
With events such as PaddleExpo, 2020 pre-books are on the agenda for retailers: what is your marketing story for 2020?
Our (marketing) story for 2020 is the same as it is for last season. We will continue to focus on creating a qualitative, inflatable and complete SUP package, for the recreational audience. We want to make sure our consumers enjoy nature as much as possible (and directly out of the box). Currently we donate a portion of our profit to our charity organization. With every board sold, we will donate. This will become an even bigger focus for us in 2020.
Which SUP categories are performing well for you? (allround, touring, race, waves, river, downwind, foiling…)
That would be the allround boards, in specific our model that is more sportive, which is great f or beginners, but also perfect for the more experienced riders.
Inflatables VS Hardboards: is there a hardboard market for the casual rider or are hardboards the exclusive realm of core riders?
We focus predominantly on the recreational (casual) market with inflatable boards. We don’t sell any hard boards yet with MOAI. Perhaps in the near future, however we think this market will be smaller vs the inflatable market size given the audience.
Inflatables: Which new technologies & models are you implementing in 2020?
For the 2020 season we plan to extend our MOAI family from 3 inflatable boards to 5 inflatable boards, making a total of 4 all-round boards and 1 touring board. We are adding 1 smaller all-round board for more light weighted persons and also the option to surf and catch some small waves. The second board will be multi-person and multifunctional: two persons can either stand up paddle board on it but also kayak on it together!
Regarding technology and materials, we plan to produce all our boards with fusion technology in the 2020 season, which makes the product stronger, longer-lasting due to reduced use of glue between the double layers of PVC, and also lighter to carry for the consumer. We are constantly looking into ways to make our products more environmentally friendly, including recycling and the potential use of recycled products.
Hardboards: Composite boards are now marginal as far as demographics are concerned. Though, they embody the performance SUPing. What are your latest refinements as far as high-performance hardboards are concerned?
Currently we don’t sell any hard boards so unfortunately, we can’t really make any comments on these types of products.
Should the hydrofoil be seen as a bonus for the SUP market or as a threat, meaning cannibalism of its own audience?
We see the hydrofoil as a great and innovative addition to the core SUP product, however it is not a product for every (recreational) user. Therefor we see it more as an additional dimension to the support vs cannibalism.