Sandy Shapes 21/22 Snowboards Preview

SANDY SHAPES 21/22 Snowboards Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Snowboards 21/22 Retail Buyer’s Guide
Brand:  Sandy Shapes
Interviewee: Alessandro Marchi, “Sandy” CEO founder

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.
The situation generated by Covid19 brought out the advantages of a company like ours, local and independent, which translates into greater flexibility and solidity in these phases of change
.

Since the beginning of the emergency we’ve started to save energies and look into new potential scenarios for the future, focusing especially on the Research & Development. We managed to keep all the guys and girls at the company working, setting solid steps for a sustainable future.

For example, where the production has had to reduce, we have started developing new projects and we have managed to bring home some processes that we previously carried out through external suppliers.

REGINA

REGINA

If you will be carrying over a larger proportion of your products than normal, how do you hope this will be received by retailers?
One of our core values has always been quality instead of quantity, hence the
decision of not having several collections year after year. This allows us to avoid product seasonality and related problems, like producing boards in excess, with the risk of them never being used.

Usually we focus more on improving the current collection, and we design and make new models only if we think it makes sense that they exist, and after many tests.

Regarding the artwork, Wood Evolution™ is the patented technology that allows us to use real wood for our topsheets, instead of the industry’s standard plastic materials. This is our only artwork year after year, and thanks to the natural beauty and diversity of wood, we thus move away from consumerist logics, which implement only aesthetic changes from year to year.

We think that especially in these difficult seasons it will be an approach that will prove its worth and that retailers will start to appreciate, having bought a product that does not lose value over the years.

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.
Thanks to the fact we produce directly our boards, we are always experimenting with new materials and technologies. In a future perspective
of replacing all our components with more sustainable materials, we are trying bio resins like an epoxy with 70% content of vegetal origin, and different natural fibers. Probably in the next season some models will already be built with these materials.

From this season (20-21) also the woodcore are made by ourself in our factory.

Thanks to that we are trying new compositions using various woods like paulownia (cultivated locally), poplar, beech, ash, and bamboo with different stringer thickness and new vertical elements in the construction, to create more and more specific woodcore for the different snowboard types and uses.

ZINGARA

ZINGARA

What about shapes? Anything new for 21/22? Does anything remain unexplored, or are there still advances to be made in shaping specifically?
We think there will be always advances to be made in shaping, and
even if they will be minimal and imperceptible there will be always room for improvement.

There are a lot of new ideas for powder and sizing, connected especially with the real snow-surf feeling we love,  but also concerning a particular area of snowboarding that has been a little neglected in recent years…

But we are still experimenting and we can’t reveal anything.

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 working to get into the youth market and we are currently testing a pilot series of all-mountain board available in 2 sizes for kids and teens, and a prototype of a freeride board, which will be on the market in 2021/22.

Often the sports equipment dedicated to children are produced economically, using poor materials and finishes to reduce costs and price: an unsustainable production in which the real abilities and levels that children can reach are not considered. This is why we decided to create a radically different product, not a toy: a new shape specifically developed for the progression of the young riders, but maintaining the same construction and performance as an adult snowboard.

Prices: Which area of the market do you primarily cater to, price-wise? Have you revisited this after the uncertainty of this past winter?
Our boards have a Value, beyond the price, not comparable to the others,
linked to the materials and the process with which they are built.

They are in fact high-end finely crafted snowboards, placed in a premium price-point range.

We have not revisited our prices and we hope to convey this value to our customers.

The awareness about craftsmanship is increasing and over the years we have found that an informed and passionate customer is willing to spend more for a product with a visibly superior finish and quality. We hope that the current situation generates an ever greater awareness also in the outdoor market, towards responsible consumption and purchases from local and artisan realities, as well as from more sustainable ones.

FANTASTICA

FANTASTICA

Please tell us about the dominant visual themes in your 21/22 gear, including any interesting artist collabs you have lined up.
As we mentioned in a previous question, we don’t have visual themes changing in the seasons and we are focused to keep our identity very connected with nature and keep the environment clean.
We are always open to collaborations and experiments, both for private clients and for larger projects, and at the moment we have 2 projects in progress for new market like China and Korea, looking forward the New winter Olympics in 2022.

Park? Freeride? All-mountain? Where will your primary focus be in 21/22, and how much has that changed since 20/21?
In recent years we have been witnessing a rediscovery of the freeride and backcountry world, even by novice riders.
Also due to the restrictions imposed by Covid19, the outdoor market is growing strongly, and leads us to aim in that direction.

This will not be our only focus, but we think there is a need to accompany the riders in this process, by providing the right equipment that is more suited to different needs, people and activities, but also through a proper support of information and education.

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ISSUE 106-1
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