Borealis 2022/23 Splitboarding Preview

Borealis 2022/23 Splitboarding Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Splitboarding 2022/23 Retail Buyer‘s Guide
Brand:  Borealis
Interviewee: Benjamin Hall

Please provide an overview of how 2022/23 is shaping up for your brand.

Everyone has been impacted by Covid-19 in one way or another. Have you had to change manufacturing or sourcing processes and can you explain any good examples of how your business has pivoted effectively? Manufacturing and sourcing processes stayed the same for us but we had to advance our preorder deadline to a bit earlier.

Carry-over was a hot topic for 21/22 boards. Where did your brand sit on the matter and has this changed for 22/23?

Since the launch of Borealis in 2013, we’ve always done carry-over. Leaving models unchanged for 2 or 3 seasons is one of our solutions for better sustainability. It limits over-production and helps limit over-consumerism.

The bricks and mortar model is changing rapidly. How are you working with retairs and your ecommerce channel to ensure as little conflict as possible?

Our e-commerce channel represents a tiny part of our sales and doesn’t conflict with our brick and mortar or even online retailers.


What’s your company doing to improve its carbon footprint/eco consciousness?

There’s a lot to read about the topic on our website but here are some key elements:

       Since the beginning, we’ve been using alternative materials to reduce our carbon footprint wherever we could: plastic-replacing bamboo topsheets, bio-plastic topsheets, recycled biomass and COV-free resins, FSC©-certified wood cores, recycled steel edges, core-protective flax pads, basalt fibre, natural wax and more.

       Our boards are built in factories which abide to strict environmental and social standards.

       We are part of the EOCA – European Outdoor Conservation Association, which organizes and manages conservation projects throughout the world, using members’ contributions. We also donate 5€ to the EOCA for every splitboard, snowboard or pair of skis bought on our website.

       All our broken or trashed boards are upcycled by Grenoble-based NoK Boards and offered a second life as longboards.

       Our office where board development takes place is carbon neutral.

       We, as a company, will soon become carbon neutral (more information soon).

       We favour sea shipping which has the least carbon footprint amongst all means of transportation (except cycling and splitboarding).

Are you using any new materials in your hardware for 22/23? If so, what, and why?

We are using a new type of bioplastic for our topsheets. It is strong, light and made of ricin oil (50%) extracted from the inedible ricin plant’s seeds.

Any big advancements in functionality? Skinning, transitions, etc, as well as riding?

We tweak and adjust our gear to make it better year after year. Climbing mode “ski-lifting” smoothness, profile and shape design for better grip uphill and better float downhill, solid and reliable hooks for non-stop fun on the mountain.

Prices: Which area of the market do you primarily cater to, price-wise? Has this changed at all in recent times, or is it pretty consistent?

Since the beginning, we have positioned ourselves as a premium boutique brand selling high-quality products.

Please tell us about the dominant visual themes in your 22/23 gear, including any interesting artist collabs you have lined up.

As always, we focus on minimalistic, nature-inspired designed, often showing the wood core, and using harmonious curves and colours. That said, the Ramen Express doesn’t really follow our usual style and is more eccentric. However, the elements that make it a Borealis splitboard are there: quality, efficiency, beauty. 

Most brands tell us that selling in store is really important for splitboard gear, as it’s where you can get good advice. Can this be maintained post-COVID, or will you be  looking to find more customers online?

We live in the 21st Century, with the rise the internet, it’s easier than ever to buy online, but nothing can replace the advice, care and proximity of a snowboard professional in a shop, whose job is to ensure you live the best possible experiences on the mountain. Splitboarding is more complex than snowboarding, people are more exposed to danger, bindings have many parts, real information from real people is needed I think.

What are your three biggest European markets for splitboard hardware?

France, Scandinavia, Switzerland

 

Best Sellers/Hero products

Alpine Pro Split

Developed in Chamonix with FWT veteran and Borealis team rider Clément Bochatay, the Alpine Pro Split is already collecting awards from the best magazines out there: “Best 2022 Big Mountain Splitboard” by Splitboard Magazine and 2022 Whitelines 100 by Whitelines Snowboarding Magazine. This unique directional twin splitboard is aimed at riders looking to move from big mountain lines and gnarly couloirs to open freeriding and forest runs.  The carefully-designed shape, sidecut radii and radii transitions, mellow Sidewaves and taper create amazing synergy, allowing for incredible grip and edge hold in very steep conditions whilst keeping enough versatility to send tricks in the backcountry and land switch. The Alpine Pro replaces the award-winning Arcane, bringing all the strength and precision of the latter but with added versatility and comfort. Available in sizes 162 and 165cm.

Alpine Split

Alpine Split

Koi Split

Introduced 3 years ago, the Koi split is a directional splitboard with a surfy feel, for that classic freeride laid-back type of riding. Inspired by Hokkaido’s legendary snow conditions, the Koi Split feels at home on pretty much any terrain: forest, open powder fields, steep lines and icy conditions. Its medium-wide sidecut radius combined with Sidewaves 2.0 bring all the edge-hold needed on hard snow and the long progressive nose and nose rocker bring amazing float in the deepest of powders. The short fish-tail unlocks super-quick responsive turns in powder. Available in sizes 156 and 160cm.

Koi Split

Koi Split

Ramen Express

 Added to the line in 21/22, the new Ramen Express is our most versatile splitboard, built with the most premium materials, but affordably priced. We designed this slightly set-back twin-tip splitboard for freestylers looking to take their flying skills to the backcountry. With a medium flex, relatively short sidecut radius and dynamic feel, the Ramen Express is our most accessible, forgiving and playful splitboard. That said, don’t think it won’t manage deep powder or steep terrain! The tip and tail rockers, Carbon Power Beams and Blizzard Camber profile bring all the hovering potential and oomph riders need to drop cliffs, send massive tricks in uncharted lands and zoom down insane lines in the most extreme conditions. Available in sizes 150, 156 and 160cm.

Ramen Express

Ramen Express

 

 

 

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