Retail Buyers Guide: Splitboard Hardgoods FW20/21
Brand: ROSSIGNOL SNOWBOARDS
Interviewee: ARNAUD REPA / PRODUCT MGMT
Please outline up to three new key products of interest to splitboarders in your line, and tell us what makes them so great.
As previously mentioned in the hardware questionnaire, we’re bringing a split version of Xavier De Le Rue’s XV Sashimi LG signature model to market for two reasons: 1/ because the solid version of the Sashimi had terrific reviews from the public and media since its introduction last season, confirming Xavier De Le Rue’s feeling on the need of a softer version of the XV with unique technology and shape, and 2/ because our FW19/20 splitboard range was missing an intermediate-to-expert model that would fit between the Diva Split 52 and the XV Split 59.
The XV Sashimi LG split is available in size 156 only. It fits between the XV Split and XV Sushi Split series to complement our backcountry offer with a construction and design that schmear the line between playful, progressive and full send mode. Featuring our award winning L.I.T.E. Grip core, AmpTek Elite camber profile and on-demand sidecut radius adjustment RadCut mixed with a 47mm pintail, it is softer than the XV for ease of use, narrower and longer than the Sushi for maneuverability and float while being solid underfoot, balanced, versatile, grippy, stable and reliable to let you push your performance.
Construction. This is the place where you can talk to us about what’s going on under the hood in your gear, and how you are building it.
We build our splitboards like two pairs of skis with wrap-around edges, torsion boxes, Roller tips (on XV only), L.I.T.E. tech (on Sashimi and Sushi only), 100% FSC woodcores, Elite AmpTek camber/rocker profiles and UHMW bases, Basalt and Aramid fibers, Directional flex profiles (Reversed on all XV signatures series), RadCut sidecut radius adjustment, 5 or 7 bumps Serrated Edges, 100% Nylon® or 70% Mohair/30% Nylon® pre-cut skins, CNC machined 7075 T6 aluminum bindings, 3D molded straps and edge-to-edge compression IceBreaker pucks to name but a few.
Onto functionality now; how do you make your stuff work better during skinning, during transitions and riding?
Getting the right plush and adhesive brings easier skinning, faster touring and transitioning. We have teamed up with 1957 Swiss skin-company Pomoca® since 2014 and all our skins feature Ever Dry life-long antiglopping treatment and Safer Skin waterproof membrane that maximizes gluing and folding capacity with adhesive stability through time, humidity and temperature variations. They use 1150 g/m² fibers and either 100% Nylon® for long lasting grip or 70% Mohair-30% Nylon® with custom Glide treatment to offer superior glide while maintaining a high level of resistance to twisting and abrasion.
On the bindings’ side, CNC machined 7075 T6 aluminum baseplates, v-shaped IceBreaker imprints, puck base and riding/touring rod bold designs are also significantly reducing the transition time.
Now, riding comes down to shape, flex and camber profiles, construction, UHMW bases and skis alignment, right? To these regards, the XV signature series have proven their value to the market for some time now.
Which pricepoint is seeing the most action at retail? Are splitboarders prepared to spend money on gear, or is this a discount/budget marketplace?
Our splitboards go from 599 to 769 euros MSRP and we haven’t seen a shift in action that we can correlate to pricing. We do see more action on fresh shapes and women’s splitboarding though. With a bigger market comes a bigger offer but splitboarders are still prepared to spend money, only on highly competitive and qualitative gear. And women will obviously buy products that address their specific morphology.
What unique or new features will splitboarders dig about your gear next year?
a) The fact that all our splitboard gear is endorsed by iconic rider Xavier De Le Rue and 2 times FWT winner Marion Haerty.
b) The ease of use, durability and lightness of Xavier De Le Rue’s split bindings.
c) Xavier De Le Rue’s three-part shafts signature poles with the oversize foam grip.
d) The XV Sashimi, XV Sushi and Diva split-specific pre-cut tail-clip skins.
e) The new longer yet narrower XV Sashimi Split 56 that sits between the XV Split 59 and the Diva Split 52. It is easier to ride than the XV and has that extra 4cm length that is missing on the Diva to reach out for those waist deep powder days.
How are graphics evolving in your splitboard-focused lineup? Any particular trends happening here?
We listen to Xavier, Marion and a selection of key European and North-American dealers for graphics and our FW2021 colors reflect the duality of life with tones that highlight the rise of the digital culture and others that tie back to nature.
What’s the ideal-world distribution channel for your gear as splitboarding evolves? B2C, speciality retail or wider? Do people still need advice on this stuff?
B2C for trained specialists and specialty retail for first timers to advanced riders. Taking into account that no matter the channel, giving technical and mounting advice is mandatory.
In terms of size, which are your top three European markets for splitboard equipment?
Germany, France and Italy.