Interviewee: Gigi Rüf
KEY PRODUCT FOCUS: Please pick the three most exciting boards from your new FW2021 line and tell us about them.
We have quite a few new developments. Bringing on a new Straight and new ATV made at a new manufacturer in E.U. as part of a longed for wish to update these two Models. This is a step in the right direction in terms of investments to prepare for the future and leaves no doubt in the quality aspect of the Slash brand.
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.
Straight: directional, 4 cm setback with extra row of inserts, float camber, 7200 sintered base, traction bump, Pop-Woodcore, Triax fiber and Quadruplex layer, two Carbon-Kevlar stringers and it’s ready to go;
HappyPlace: twin, camrock, 6000 sintered base, traction bump, Pop Woodcore, Triax fiber and Biax fiber, SweetSpot Carbon;
ATV: twin-directional, 1,3 cm setback, camber, 7200 sintered base, Pop-Woodcore, Triax fiber, SweetSpot Carbon;
Where are you building, what factory in what country? No wrong answer here. What makes this production facility the best solution?
The Happy Place, Brainstorm and the Kids Splash are made in Tunesia at Meditec. The Straight and ATV is newly made at NBL in Poland. Both production facilities give me the solution to keep progressing.
Which pricepoint is seeing the most action at retail? Premium, bottom or in the middle? What do the people want?
If you ask me: “what do the people want”? in my opinion it’s options. Premium is nowadays covered by the touring segment; while well-made boards are everywhere throughout the middle. My company focus is on the all mountain models with equal sales towards the bottom price range with Freestyle Kids.
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?
Take my Straight shape from 2012 that’s the norm of a regular snowboard shape of today. I see Slash in the foreground of having inspired the industry in this direction. My minimalistic and yet functional Kickstand shapes doesn’t allow Boards to fall over like round boards do.
We’re really interested in graphic themes running through your line. What is your art department feeding you for next year?
In the past I involved as many artists I possibly could to bridge the creative lifestyle spectrum I see snowboarding always having represented. With this future collection we are aiming to focus on the brand identity and trust the riders choosing these boards will bring color to the slopes through their character of riding.
What are your top marketing stories for next season? This will help us to put the focus on the right decks.
A Quiver of Boards to ride it all. The Brainstorm Model will be suited with a performance rental package deal to facilitate amongst seasonal ski shops. Maybe I will include the rule of provision that if a board was rented less than 8 days they give me what they earned from the rent. Vice versa if a customer rents a Board for 10 consecutive days he shall receive 30% minus on said board, which should speak to locals able to get a good deal on a new Board.