Weston Backcountry 2023/24 Splitboarding Preview

Weston Backcountry 2023/24 Splitboarding Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Splitboarding 2023/24 Retail Buyer‘s Guide
Brand:  Weston
Interviewee: NA

Please provide an overview of how 2023/24 is shaping up for your brand within the splitboard market.
23/24 will see the introduction of two major new players for us. We’ll be dropping a carbon version of both the Ridgeline Splitboard, and the Riva Splitboard. The Ridgeline has become a strong daily driver in our line, taking home multiple awards in the 22/23 season and the carbon version will only continue to build on its success for those desiring a lightweight touring option in the freeride category. Similarly, we are stoked to drop the Carbon Riva Splitboard, as it is going to be filling a void in the market for riders of smaller stature, or boot sizes. This is a category of rider that is predominatly populated by our female shredders out there who are underserved when it comes to ripping gear.

Everyone has been affected by raw materials and shipping prices increases and transport issues. Have you had to make any significant changes with regards to manufacturing, sourcing, or logistics? Are there any examples you can share of how your business pivoted effectively? Any positive developments with regards to these issues and the changes you’ve made?
Weston pivoted fairly effectively through the pandemic and supply chain issues. We’ve continued to be on par or ahead of larger brands that we compete with in the industry in terms of delivery to our retailers. This has largely been facilitated by just anticipating delays and being more proactive in the placement and forecasting of our orders.

Do you anticipate any shifts in the ratio of e-commerce sales vs. brick-and-mortar sales now that most Covid-19 restrictions are gone? For selling splitboard equipment, are brick-and-mortar retailers especially important?
For Weston, we’ve decided to make a statement and say that some carry over is here to stay. The industry has long been dominated by this churn and burn of topsheet graphics that obsolete the previous season’s boards and destroy margins while driving unnecessary consumerism and impact on our planet. Thus, in 22/23 we split the line into two categories – our Quiver Series and our Mission Series. The Quiver Series will represent a 2 line with a minimum 2 year run of graphics that will retain margin for our retailers and retain a timeless feel. Meanwhile, we’ll have the Mission Series that will focus on a much smaller portion of our line that will continue to have new topsheets each year in limited quantities that have a giveback component that speaks to Weston’s values. While we have seen an uptick in direct to consumer sales, we at Weston continue to believe that a brick-and-mortar retailer is essential to providing that first experience and resource for riders entering into the backcountry and we intend to ensure that those shops that understand this role remain supported.

Does your brand have any new developments concerning sustainability and/or how you are positioning any environmental messaging?
We continue to strive towards incremental improvements in sustainability from fully recyclable packaging, to offseting our carbon footprint, and eliminating of harmful/toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process. We are 1% for the Planet members and contribute every year to improving our planet in whatever ways we can. However, when it comes to the guts of a snowboard, consumers need to realize that that board is going to end up in a landfill at the end of the day. The best thing this industry can do, and Weston continues to do, is ensure that boards are built to last. In addition to this, and as part of our 1% for the Planet commitment, we’ll be teaming up to create the Haa Aaní Alliance in collaboration with Zeal Optics, Smartwool, Pret Helmets, and mountainFLOW Eco Wax in the 23/24 season to launch a campaign we’re coining as the Salmon Way of Life. In working with an indigenous artist in Juneau, Alaska from the Tlingit people, we’ll be releasing a collection of artwork and products with a giveback component to protecting salmon habitats and waterways.

Boards:

What about new board construction, innovation, or shape trends? Any big advancements in functionality? Skinning, transitions, etc, as well as riding? Any specific effort on ranges for 23/24? If yes, where and why?
We will be releasing one the first, if not the first, mass-produced carbon splitboard for smaller and female riders with the size range dropping to a 150. All of our splits will continue to see our new skin interface for Weston specific skins that we’ve created in collaboration with Pomoca.

Any new design or pattern approaches in your 23/24 gear? Any collabs on the line?
As mentioned above, we have a major collab coming that we’re calling the Haa Aaní Alliance. Haa Aaní means ‘our land’ in Tlingit, the language of the indigenous people of Juneau, Alaska. This collab is between Zeal Optics, Smartwool, Pret Helmets and mountainFLOW Eco Wax.

Accessoires:

Skins, Poles, Crampons, anything new and outstanding in your proposal?
We will be seeing the second season of our skins made in collaboration with Pomoca that are precut for all Weston splitboards.

Best Sellers

Backwoods Splitboard x Haa Aaní Alliance – The Mission Series version of Weston’s best-selling Backwoods Splitboard – a powder and freeride hybrid.

This board will feature iconic graphics known to the pacific northwest, collaboratively and responsibly created in tandem with local, indigenous artist Crystal Worl of Trickster Company. The form line drawings of the traditional representation of salmon tell the story of the salmon way of life.

Eclipse Splitboard x Haa Aaní Alliance – The Mission Series version of Weston’s best-selling Eclipse Splitboard – a powder and freeride hybrid.

This board will feature iconic graphics known to the pacific northwest, collaboratively and responsibly created in tandem with local, indigenous artist Crystal Worl of Trickster Company. The form line drawings of the traditional representation of salmon tell the story of the salmon way of life.

Ridgeline Carbon Splitboard – Weighing in at 3.2kg down from the 3.51kg standard Ridgeline in a 162.

The Ridgeline is a hybrid all-mountain & freeride splitboard that handles open bowls, steeps, cliffs and powder days with ease. While the Ridgeline still features a tapered directional shape and our Freeride camber-dominant profile, we change the recipe by using a mid-stiff flex and only a 20mm stance setback.

2324-Weston-ridgeline-carbon-splitboard

Weston ridgeline carbon splitboard

EclipseSplit-Trickster

Eclipse Split Trickster

BacwoodsSplit-Trickster

Bacwoods Split Trickster

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