Retail Buyers Guide: Snowboards FW20/21
KEY PRODUCT FOCUS: Please pick the three most exciting boards from your new FW2021 line and tell us about them.
The Carpet is the No 1 Pick if you are looking for a board that combines piste, park and off-piste performance! It’s got a rather soft flex, yet a very fast pop. So you can really push the limits from performing small slope tricks to riding huge ramps. This Board has a slight camber reaching almost to nose and tail. But before the nose and tail rise, the base is held flat which makes the board very freestyle-like and also helps it to float in deep powder snow. The flat base area helps to perform easy looking nose and tail tricks and also helps on the not so perfect landings. The cambered area makes the snowboard stable and easily controllable when you’re carving. In short: The Carpet is a great allrounder that will give you pleasure on, off and over the piste! Price: CHF 789.00 (ca. EUR 680.-)
The Boss (The Säntis) is the perfect blend of powder fish and carving machine! The combination of a camber from the tail up to the front binding, the wide rockered nose and the tapered outline makes this board the BOSS in all terrain and an aggressive carver on hard packed pistes. And… no, we probably don’t have to mention the Pow, do we? The board has a slight camber from the tail to the front binding area. This gives perfect control when you’re riding on piste. Right in front of the front binding the nose rises which provides great floating abilities even in the deepest pow. The stance is set back quite a lot and the nose is wider than the tail, which makes nose dives almost impossible. In short: The Boss is a perfect powder board that also works properly on piste and provides the real surf feeling that some of you are looking for. Price: CHF 789.00 (ca. EUR 680.-)
The Silence Splitboard will take you to the remotest terrain – if you are willing to take a few steps… The shape of the Silence is taken from our well approved Pow-Pow board, the Mako. Because this shape is perfect for all conditions and every terrain, it was just logical to take it as our splitboard shape! We just added some stiffness to the area between the bindings to make sure the board doesn’t flex too much when you walk it. For perfect powder runs there is no better board among the middle length snowboards today but compared to a fish shape, this board will also work fine for piste or hard packed off piste conditions. The combination of camber, the rockered nose and the tapered outline, makes this board extremely fast and controllable in almost all terrain and snow conditions. Price: CHF 949.00 (ca. EUR 850.-)
Construction. This is the place where you can talk to us about the new ingredients in your boards, and how you are building differently. We’re interested in anything new in inserts / edges / cores / sidewalls / glue / resin/ wood types / base material etc here.
We’ve been working with some of the best snowboard pros – such as Scotty James, Iouri Podladtchikov, Pat Burgener or Queralt Castellet – for over ten years and we have tried and figured out a lot of things. Therefore, our know-how in raw materials, technologies and construction processes is outstanding.
As we are making the boards in our own factory in Switzerland, it is obvious that we are not trying to build price point snowboards. Our boards contain only the best materials that we exclusively get from suppliers from Switzerland and within the EU.
Every board is laminated with wet resin and vacuum pressed for several hours at a temperature of 40°C. This process eliminates all the micro air bubbles in the resin and provides the best curing of the resin which results in a stronger and lighter composite construction. This is the reason why our boards keep the flex and pop for a very very long time. We are using triax fibre glass combined with carbon stringers and patches, depending on the model. All our boards have a unique wood core made from ash, poplar and paulownia wood which is very light in weight with great flex properties and at the same time is very strong.
All Play Snowboards made at Factory 9 come with stainless steel edges which – obviously – don’t rust but also stay a lot sharper for a longer time.
For the digital Prints on the topsheet and base materials, we developed our own transfer process which allows us to print in very high quality and in very solid colors (black really is black…for example).
Where are you building, what factory in what country? No wrong answer here. What makes this production facility the best solution?
We build all our snowboards in our own factory called ‘Factory 9’ (http://www.factory9.ch) which is based in Winterthur, Switzerland. We proudly stamp the ‘made in Switzerland’ label on all those snowboards!
At the same factory, we also make custom boards for several pro riders, shops, companies (brands), and end consumers who want to have their own ‘pro model’ made. So far, this has been the best for us because we are super flexible and we can change production steps very quickly if needed. And, of course, the quality management is 100% in our hands – MADE IN SWITZERLAND!
Which pricepoint is seeing the most action at retail? Premium, bottom or in the middle? What do the people want?
We only have boards in premium price ranges. Starting at around EUR 650.- up to EUR 850.- (splitboard). For Swiss made snowboards shaped at one of the most successful custom factories, we believe these are very fair prices.
Consumers are more open than ever to unusual shapes. Got any mad shapes next year? How long will this shape direction last… is it a good thing for snowboarding?
We don’t go too extreme with our shapes. We have a few rather special shapes but what we hear from our customers is that most of them are still comfortable with rather ‘conservative’ shapes. Even though, they might buy something more unusual, they wouldn’t specifically look for it. We think that more conservative shapes sell well as there are more and more unusual things out there…
We’re really interested in graphic themes running through your line. What is your art department feeding you for next year?
We’ll stick to our rather calm graphics with subtle colors and patterns. Some models will also have some surf and/or mountain related photo-graphics and we’ll have some hand sketches in there, too.
Generally, we’ll always keep around 50% of the range for two years. This makes it a lot easier for everybody. From development to production to stocking the boards… And check out our brand new Pro Model we make for Queralt Castellet. It will of course have some graphical input from herself.
What are your top marketing stories for next season? This will help us to put the focus on the right decks.
Snowboarding is fun! That’s our policy with Play Snowboards. Our name is program and if you are open to it, we guarantee you will have unlimited fun on our snowboards.
As we are working with many pro riders on the world tour, it is our focus to point out that story. Our boards have made it on the top of the most important podiums in the beautiful sport of snowboarding – Olympic Games, X-Gmes, World Championships, etc. and we are very proud to have Elias Allenspach (SUI) and Queralt Castellet (ESP) in our team!
Also, the fact that all of our boards are ‘MADE IN SWITZERLAND’ will be rolled out in all communication