Retail Buyers Guide: Snowboards FW19/20
Brand: ROSSIGNOL SNOWBOARDS
Interviewee: ARNAUD REPA / PRODUCT MGMT
KEY PRODUCT FOCUS: Please pick the three most exciting boards from your new FW1920 line and tell us about them.
Our primary targets this season were to improve product mix, fill gaps in sizes and price structures, and bring technology to new price points. Hence the three boards that are listed below.
XV SASHIMI LG as Xavier De Le Rue’s new signature true intermediate-to-expert directional model integrating unique technology. Featuring a construction and design that schmear the line between playful, progressive and full send mode with L.I.T.E. Grip core, AmpTek Elite camber profile and on-demand sidecut radius adjustment RadCut, the XV Sashimi perfectly complements the XV and XV Sushi series. It is softer than the XV for ease of use, narrower and longer than the XV Sushi for manoeuvrability and float, and also solid underfoot, balanced, versatile, grippy, stable and reliable to let you push your performance. It is available in sizes 152, 156 and 160 and comes with a 7500 sintered base and 2 colour options for the smaller size.
As a tribute to the intersection of snow and surf and the roots of snowboarding in Japan, circa 1990, the XV SUSHI LF returns in 2019 with a smaller size-narrower width-lighter construction, new 7500 sintered base, AmpTek Elite, RadCut, L.I.T.E. Frame technology and throwback directional « fish » shape, giving more boot size and rider’s weight options while delivering increased speed and on-demand edge hold for a surprisingly versatile ride and effortless powder slashing fun. And this LIGHT version also comes in 2 colour options.
2019 TEMPLAR. Not new for 2019 but upgraded, the TEMPLAR is the perfect all-mountain freestyle board for mid to advanced riders. The 2018 version featured a balanced flex with Serrated Edges for grip, our most versatile AmpTek All-Mountain rocker/camber profile for power, pop and float, RadCut sidecut radius management and the new 2019 edition now also rocks Basalt and Kevlar® fibre reinforcement to bring superior grip and stability while flowing smoothly edge-to-edge. Something we did copycat on the TEMPLAR’s sister FRENEMY: ie. same ingredients as the 2018 series with new Basalt and Kevlar® fibre reinforcement for 2019.
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.
Let’s take a second look at the list of sound snowboard-specific industrial decisions we implemented last year and consider ingredients from a durability and waste management standpoint:
we’re using an epoxy resin that has a significantly higher impregnation rate (+20%), resulting in a better bonding with the glass, basalt and aramid fibres, thus making the mechanical characteristics of our boards more stable through time, therefore making them more durable;
- We’re swapping colours on 100% of our diecut bases (ie. 37% of our line, incl. rental) to get rid of any waste.
- We’re integrating 30% of recycled material in the making of all our rental bases, which count for 25% of our production
- We’re digitally printing 50% of our top sheets and counting (Direct Digital Printing does not need silkscreen, aluminium frames or water)
- 100% of our woodcores are FSC certified
- We’re using Polyurethane (PU) over PVC in our L.I.T.E. stripes because PU does not use additives to retain its flexural properties;
we’re up-cycling a portion of our European B-grades boards into longboards through French company NoK boards.
Where are you building, what factory in what country? No wrong answer. What makes this production facility the best solution for you?
We like to see sourcing like products: consistency is the mother of quality and allows us to manage durability and waste better. We have been manufacturing our boards in Asia for the past 11 years in the same factories and, most important, with the same people. It has taken some time to adjust quality standards, development capacity and delivery timeframe but we came to the point where we not only get a service that matches our needs but also the flexibility that grants competitiveness.
Which price point is seeing the most action at retail? Premium, bottom or in the middle? What do the people want?
Our biggest demand is that 449 to 499 euros MSRP price range where we offer AmpTek rocker, Serrated edges, RadCut, L.I.T.E. Tech, sintered bases, Roller, Basalt, Aramid, hi-gloss, artists collabs and superior ride-ability.
It’s that unbeatable price/quality ratio we, as a bigger company, can bring to market and that people look for at Rossignol Snowboards.
With that being said, the 499+ euros MSRP price category only represents 20% of the market, which explains why we’re bringing a league of products with breakthrough technology in the 349 to 449 euros MSRP price range. We’ve always designed products for both sides of the spectrum and wanted to make another statement by introducing AmpTek rocker, Serrated edges, RadCut, L.I.T.E. Tech and Xavier De Le Rue signature in that price category.
Consumers are more open than ever to unusual shapes. Got any super mad shapes next year? How long will this new shape direction last… is it a good thing for snowboarding?
Consumer behaviour studies show how critical is time on the adoption and diffusion processes of a new product.
When taken at our industry level, our experience with innovation shows the average time a consumer will take to adopt new technology is 5 years. We still believe one of today’s leading consumer buying drive is the Feelgood factor.
As a reply, we’ve introduced new core construction L.I.T.E. Tech three years ago that significantly adjusts the shape of the board to the consumer’s morphology and ride on the go. Delivering comfort, punch, grip, shock absorption or sidecut radius response to pressure, improving ride quality and board manoeuvrability without sacrificing performance.
We introduced it on the One LF and Diva LF back then, now offer it on the Trickstick AF, featuring asymmetrical flex, and Xavier De Le Rue’s Sushi LF, Sushi LG Split and Sashimi LG for 2019. And will continue to expand with more and more team riders-innovators-early adopters loving it, until hopefully one day we hit the early majority consumer category.
As a reminder, L.I.T.E., as in Le Integrated TPU Element, is a stripe of urethane that runs through the core of the board. L.I.T.E. tech core structure is not only another visible innovation, it is also the most advanced ride control feature you can ask for these days. Asym L.I.T.E. will bring shorter turns on the heel side and longer turns on the toe side on twin sidecut radiuses while L.I.T.E Grip will create bumps where the urethane interrupts to enhance edge hold.
We’re really interested in graphic themes running through your line. What is your art department feeding you for next year?
Black’s going across all our high-end models this year, except the freeride category where transparency and earth tones are still legitimate to the consumer.
We’re also bringing the never-out-of-style colour blocks on all our tweener/kids boards since that demographic just loves to be noticed.
Speaking of highly distinguishable, we’ve collaborated with:
Salt Lake City’s graphic artists Andy Earl on the XV, XV Split, Kit Nordfelt on the Angus and Kassie Scribner on the Frenemy;
Los Angeles’ based tee-shirt company Riot Society on our most iconic twin freestyle board Retox and also contribute to their charity project.
With that said, we are also introducing a collection of vector products with limited colour runs for key channels under code name White Label. They both come from Xavier De Le Rue’s signature quiver and describe as follow:
- XV Sashimi LG White Label, available in sizes 152, 156 and 160. Circa 1990 in the U.S., the traditional term white label promo (often abbreviated as WLP) refers to a promotional record pressing with a label that has mostly the same text and labels logo/artwork as the commercial label, but with a white background instead of the colour or artwork found on the commercial pressings. They are produced in small quantities and given out to influencers in order to bring traction to the record, artist and label. Which is exactly what the XV Sushi and XV Sashimi White Label editions are: limited colour versions of the original arts for the smaller or independent dealers. Only we’re adding an extra layer on the Sushi’s story with the Gyotaku take that details below.
- XV Sushi LF White Label The art concept comes from a traditional Japanese method of printing fishes that dates back to the mid-1800s where fishermen would paint their catches in black and transfer them on paper be able to record and compare them. The original name of this type of painting is Gyotaku, in Japanese 魚拓, from Gyo “fish” and Taku “stone impression”. This form of nature printing has now become an art form of its own.
What are your top marketing stories for next season? This will help us to put the focus on the right decks.
Xavier De Le Rue’s new XV Sashimi LG, XV Sashimi LG Light and Sushi LF Light, along with the upgraded Templar and Frenemy will be our top FW19/20 stories.