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Spain’s ‘Slide’ Talks Surfskate History, Manufacturing, & Design

In their long 80-year history, Sancheski has manufactured for many different mountain and outdoor sports. Back in 2008, and in collaboration with Hot Buttered Skateboards and Taiwanese manufacturers, Sancheski launched their first surfskate project: Slide. We spoke with the brand’s Industrial Designer, Iciar Sánchez.

How did Slide Surf-Skates start and what was the idea behind the brand?
The Slide project started back in 2008 when we started to distribute Slide products in Spain. Slide’s first truck was created by Mr. Jack Hu, a Taiwanese inventor and surfer, who wanted to replicate the wave-riding feeling on land.

Sancheski has a long history with loads of know-how in skateboard manufacturing. Being one of the first skateboard builders in Europe, we started working on design improvements and building the brand as we currently know it.

The Slide project is a collaboration between partners in Taiwan, Spain, and Australia. Component parts are manufactured by Taiwanese partners then developed and tested at the Sancheski factory in Spain – in collaboration with Hot Buttered Surfboards of Australia.

The collection is designed by two sisters, Iciar and Mónica. They’ve been taking care of the graphics, shapes, and brand image since 2015.

Your company started more than 80 years ago with the production of mountain gear and skis. Why did you decide to switch to wood deck skateboards in 1966?
Sancheski started as a sports gear and ski manufacturer back in 1934. The factory had 4 departments: metal (roller skates), wood (skis), leather (shoes for soccer, cycling, and athletics) and textile (sportswear). The most popular products were skis and rollerskates.

After seeing some pictures related to the ‘surf roller’ in American magazines, they started thinking that it would be a good idea to try and assemble the truck of a hockey roller skate onto a piece of solid wood… et voilá! The first prototype was made in 1966.

This prototype was made in solid wood and was set up with metal wheels. It quickly evolved to fiberglass, laminated wood, PU wheels… and finally to the iconic ‘Top’ model: the orange plastic skateboard that became the most famous model in Spain.

Slide surfskates action

Can you walk us through the design process of the production of a slide surf skate?
We try to approach collections as a whole concept. We do not design each deck as an isolated object, but as a member of a family of boards. Therefore, the models must make sense and ‘talk’ to each other, but each of them is focused on a specific user and has a unique story behind it. We try to think about the final user, so that we can offer a wide range of boards that meets his/ her needs.

The shapes are developed and tested by our international partners and team riders.

How important is sustainability to your brand ethos?
Sustainability is a must. We are totally aware of the impact that design decisions have on a product’s life cycle; we try to do what we can to reduce our impact on the environment. Our strategy is to create good quality products, with timeless designs that don’t follow fashion trends. We also try not to change the collection each year – we keep our models for a few seasons so that they don’t become obsolete.

We have also launched our own maintenance guide and have started supplying replacement parts to our distributors and retailers. Our main goal is to teach users how to repair and maintain their trucks to make their Slide surfskate last longer.

Slide Lookbook 2022 BAJAS

Slide Lookbook 2022 BAJAS

Why should retailers stock your brand?
We support our retailers by not selling directly to the final customer and by giving them long-lasting support and trust. We keep our collections reduced and simple, as this makes retailers’ lives easier… and ours, too!

On the other hand, we work hard on manufacturing surfskates so that they remain affordable in the economic climate that we currently are experiencing worldwide.

Which is your best performing market in Europe, and which region has the biggest potential for growth in the next few years?
Europe in general has been our best performing market in the last few years, each country at a different speed and at different rates. We are currently looking at Eastern Europe and Asia, as they seem to be waking up.

What do you see for the future of your company?
We believe Slide has already become an iconic brand. Anyone that tries our trucks will experience the joy of smooth and long-arc turns, the closest feeling to riding a wave. We offer a surfskate feeling that is stable and safe. Many people think of us as the cheap and beginner’s surfskate brand, but this is because they haven’t tried our products yet.

This misunderstanding might occur because our strategy has always been inclusion. Since the beginning, we have collaborated with many ‘alternative’ riders, that were not necessarily young men, but were riders that had the best riding skills. Most of our riders are middle-aged people (and not so middle…), women, and young children that simply enjoy riding our boards, just for fun. They are looking for an alternative to surfing when there are no waves, or for a new hobby to keep an active lifestyle.

As a result, we have helped many elders to come back to riding a board and introduced many people of all ages to this sport. As a woman, I am proud of contributing towards making gliding sports evolve to a wider market, and to introducing this fantastic lifestyle to more people in the years to come 🙂

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