CURFBOARD are a German surfskate brand boasting a hassle-free model, with no springs and bushings that adapts to the weight of each rider. Used to practice surf-like turns on land, this revolutionary new surfskate company are taking the industry by storm. Interview with Stefan Habermann, Managing Partner.
Please give us some backstory behind the brand.
Our founder, Stephan Augustin had already delved into advanced skateboard truck development during his industrial design studies in the 90s. The initial concepts of self-adjusting trucks, eliminating the need for bushings or springs, took shape during this period. As a design engineer in his first job, Stephan played a central role in creating the BMW Streetcarver, a longboard capable of aggressive turns. However, it took until 2015 when the breakthrough occurred, giving birth to the CURFBOARD truck. With patents filed, our company established and following a successful Kickstarter campaign, we started shipping boards and began sales in September 2017.
CURFBOARD is HQ’d in Germany, where are you sourced and manufacturing?
Our development and design operations are based in Munich, Germany. While most of our production and final assembly takes place in Asia, we are currently actively undertaking efforts to transition many of these processes to Europe to improve our sustainability practices.
What is the most popular board across your line right now and have you noticed any recent trends over the last few years?
Our most popular board this season is the FISH. It’s the most versatile board in our product line. Easy to pump and quick in generating speed while at the same time providing tight turning capabilities. It is the ideal one-board quiver for almost any rider.
At the same time, we have recently observed more specialization: Whether it’s high-performance boards for advanced surf training or bowl and park riding, like our WAVE. Or the other group of long-board style riders who enjoy cruising or long-distance pumping and go for our longer models, the LEILANI or CLASSIC.
You use a patented springless front-truck that self-adjusts to a rider’s weight, riding style or skill level, can you explain a bit more about the technology?
CURFBOARD trucks are built upon a revolutionary 4-bar kinematic construction resulting in a surfskate experience where the rider plays only with his own weight against gravity and g-forces during a turn. Riders control their turns by releasing some pressure on the front foot and steering the board through the turn just like in surfing or deep powder snowboarding, exactly as it suits them. Without the need to push against the extra forces of a spring or the hardness of a bushing, the CURFBOARD ride feels extremely smooth and natural.
With our simplified construction, that avoids high-maintenance parts like springs and bushings which usually require adjusting and fine-tuning, we have created a surfskate that adapts to any rider’s weight, riding style or skill level. In addition, our truck is light, compact, and hassle-free. Not even greasing is required for years of fun.
Can you explain how a CURFBOARD can be used to help surfing progression?
CURFBOARD emulates surfing in the most natural way as highlighted in the previous answer. Weight distribution between front and back foot during a manoeuvre is just like when riding a surfboard in the water. Surfers who step on any of our boards immediately realize that. Generating speed like when riding along a wave, doing deep carves or tight lip manoeuvres are just a few examples where people get excited about the CURFBOARD for surf training.
Furthermore, we carefully consider foot placement and grip in the design of our various board shapes. This allows riders to choose models that deliver a perfect experience, whether they are looking to train shortboard or longboard surf manoeuvres.
How is CURFBOARD distributing across Europe?
In our first years, we focused solely on direct B2C distribution, successfully establishing a substantial customer base through this approach. However, due to increasing customer demand to purchase our boards from their preferred retail shops, we have recently embarked on a collaboration with Quarter Distribution based in Berlin. This partnership allows us to expand our sales into the retail segment. We firmly believe that this collaboration will provide customers with the convenience and access they desire, while offering retail stores new business prospects with a unique and differentiating product that fills a crucial gap in any surfskate portfolio.
What are your hopes for the brand’s success in the European market in the coming years?
Since the introduction of our surfskate truck technology, we have experienced rapid and consistent growth, struggling to meet the soaring demand. With our supply chains now optimized for further growth, our strategic expansion into the retail channel all coupled with the numerous advantages our trucks offer, we anticipate CURFBOARD will gain even greater recognition across Europe as one of the top brands in our industry.