Retail Buyers Guide: Cruisers 2020
Brand: Miller Division
Interviewee: Javier Cantera
How is the situation on the European cruiser market right now?
Most European riders are finding real stoke with cruisers. They are portable, easy to ride, and a really sustainable way of transport.
All across Europe, many longboarders are stepping onto shorter boards as they find new options to enjoy their rides in bowls and parks or experiencing new tricks. Skaters love cruiser to travel long distances and rough floors through the cities. Surfers and snowboarders definelty found their perfect ride in our Surfskates.
The stores are keeping busy with our classic models and new arrivals. But the small plastic cruisers might be the exception in growth. Our Baby Millers are lowering their consume in many countries, as they are mostly demanded by youngest riders.
What are your main price points for next season?
Prices will practically remain the same. Miller maitains average Price while offering premium quality components in all cruisers.
What are the main growth sections for cruises.
The main growth sections are for complete cruisers with shorter Canadian maple decks, large and soft wheels, and all little extras or small details that counts. They are the best choice if you want to enjoy quickly without demanding a high level of skateboarding.
Cruisers should bring a confortable ride to any experienced rider, or beginer steping on a skateboard for the very first time. Their wide decks and estability, let everyone keep their balance and turn gently from side to side. Then improve their performance with new tricks and manouvers.
Surfskates are giving a different sensation and a real surf feel. As they become more and more demanded, retailers should focus on showing the way they performe with a greater turning angle than a Longboard.
What is your collection theme and which stories are you telling to get customers stoked on cruisers with a true boardsports flavor?
We have given a new approach, especially in graphics, to fill our collection. All models come with colorful illustrations inspired by the play of words and forms of people, vegetables and animals, always with a fun approach. In short, letting imagination be carried away in creativity, as skateboarding itself is.
Are you noticing an increase in female riders? Are you specifically targeting this segment?
We believe that 25% of our skates end up in the hands of a girl. Female riders are rapidly improving and increasing and we love it that way. Cruisers are perfect for girls to start as they learn very quickly to control the basic aspects of Skateboarding such as balance, speed, and turns.
We have been targeting this segment for some time, designing and building skateboards oriented for them. In fact, we have several riders in our team and the number keeps growing.
Our graphics are not gender oriented but technically we are aware that shapes of the boards have to be adequate upon complexion of the riders. Female riders have normally lower weights, heights and smaller feet, so technically require somewhat smaller and narrower skateboards to adapt perfectly to each size.
How are you helping retailers sell their cruises and educate customers (POS screens, etc.)?
We include special labels in all our skateboards. We give fully detailed labelling of all technical characteristics, to make it easier for retailers to be able to orient the end customer. We also help local stores by sponsoring their local skaters and events, and thus create a link between the retailer and the rider. It is important to let the industry create that link between skater and local store.
We are seeing a trend towards shorter longboards and cruises with longboard constructions (drop-cruisers). Is that a trend you are serving?
Shorter longboards, it is indeed a trend, since if you do not perform dancing, cross step, freestyle, downhill… you wont be moving your feet that much so you don’t need your Longboard to be so long.
Regarding drop cruisers, we are not going in that direction, since we believe that a cruiser must have a tail to be able to handle it from behind and the extra height for being top mount is not relevant when skating.
What are the most important trends for 2020?
Design should not sacrifice functionality. You can use all kinds of tail shapes, as long as it doesn’t technically interfere with being able to use it as such. Correct widths so that your feet go comfortably, etc. We are very inspired by the shapes of the 90s since there were a lot of different forms and everything was worth. Miller decks go from 9” wide to cover the area of the front foot and most of the back foot. Since turns are made so close, it is quite convenient to have enough surface to support the feet and find a better grip. A wider tail bump for increased back foot leverage is also important in bowls and ramps. Small concaves give greater comfort and medium concaves more grip. We never do more than half concave.
What technical characteristics are you most proud of?
Miller skates have to have a great technical harmony with every component. All parts are of the highest quality and we take great care of the small details (edges, clean and high quality sheets, graphics, grips, etc …). We have also developed a surfskate truck with a 12% greater angle of rotation and a very fine finish.
Do you offer electronic skates?
Not at the momento. We might bring out some in the future.
What are you doing with materials (eco), colors and graphics?
We created a special department to work and improve sustainability in all our products, production processes, and our people: Miller Green Division. All the wood from all Miller decks are made of premium Canadian maple coming from Sustainable Managed Forests, certified by the FSC.