NEVER SUMMER 21/22 Snowboards Preview
Retail Buyers Guide: Snowboards 21/22 Retail Buyer’s Guide
Brand: Never Summer
Interviewee: Tony Sasgen, International Sales Manager
Please provide an overview of how 2021/22 is shaping up for your brand. Has COVID-19 affected your line? If so, please explain the changes you’ve made, and how you came to these decisions.
COVID-19 has effected nearly every industry in one way or another. For us, capacity of production was one of our main constraints. We’ve been operating at about 50% production capacity since April. This has pushed us to make some tough decisions to cut some models and sizes to have a limited offering of snowboards. We trimmed some end sizes on weaker selling SKU’s and some models with lower volume sales were cut all together. We felt it to be more important to have more volume in heavy hitting models than to have a broad offering this year.
How much of your new line (pre-COVID) is normally dedicated to new models and artwork, and how has this changed, percentage-wise, for 21/22?
We are on track to have about the same amount of new offerings. The difference is we cut several models where we felt there was too much overlap between them.
If you will be carrying over a larger proportion of your products than normal, how do you hope this will be received by retailers?
Due to the fact we build to order we did not expect to have much for carryover.
If you’re pressing ahead with new items, what are the top three most important products of next year’s line, and why? Please refer specifically to new products here, and not just new marketing stories.
Proto FR (Free Ride). Over the last 10 years or so our bestselling board worldwide has been the Proto. It has traditionally been the all mountain freestyle twin model with all our new tech. This year we felt it was time for a Freeride version of the Proto. The Proto FR is our most advanced directional freeride board we have every created.
Her Harpoon is the women’s specific Harpoon that has been designed to fit women. All the same tech just tailored towards the ladies. A softer flex with a narrower waist width to better accommodate a women’s foot.
Next is the Ripper. A redesigned of the the Rip Saw with a slight setback from center so it’s no longer a twin. We’ve tweaked the flex to keep it stiff where you want the power in the tip and tail but make the board a bit easier to maneuver with slightly softer over all flex.
Are you using any new materials in your hardware for 21/22? If so, what, and why? We’re interested in anything new in inserts / edges / cores / sidewalls / glue / resin/ wood types / base material etc here.
We are sticking with our tried and true method of sandwich construction using P-Tex sidewalls, sintered P-Tex bases, our exclusive STS pretension fiber glass, and blends of different species of wood for the best strength to weight ratio possible.
What about shapes? Anything new for 21/22? Does anything remain unexplored, or are there still advances to be made in shaping specifically?
We continued to experiment with new shapes to see what will add any benefit to performance while keeping the lines clean.
What new items do you have that are specifically aimed at entry level? Has this increased/decreased due to COVID-19? Please also mention anything new that’ll be aimed at the youth market.
We are making a couple of Splitboards with smaller price tags and geared more towards your everyday snowboarder that might want to venture into the back-country. There is a large amounts of safe terrain for your average rider to enjoy themselves without feeling like you are risking your life. Sort or entry level Splitboard for those looking to make the shift off the resort. With so many unknowns regarding the operations of resorts snowboards will need to take some alternative methods to get our shred days in.
Prices: Which area of the market do you primarily cater to, price-wise? Have you revisited this after the uncertainty of this past winter?
The Never Summer price point is typically higher on average and we have had better success with the higher end models. However, with the new Splitboard offerings we are testing to see if we can offer a price conscious model with success.
Park? Freeride? All-mountain? Where will your primary focus be in 21/22, and how much has that changed since 20/21?
We will continue to offer board models to meet the needs of all snowboarders. We do our best to have a broad offering to cover all aspects of snowboard from Park, All-Mountain, and Freeride.