How would you describe the current state of the snowboard market? What big developments, changes, challenges, and/or opportunities are you seeing and how is your brand navigating them?
Many shops are coming off a particularly difficult summer season in the outdoor industry, with many still carrying an excess of unsold summer products. This, combined with the arrival of snowboard and winter orders, is putting a burden on some. Despite this, we have new improvements and innovations coming not only from us, but from all sections of the snowboard business, and we are certain that we can equip shops with the tools they need to help them through this challenging phase.
Following overall price increase, any positive developments with regards to manufacturing, sourcing, or logistics and the changes you’ve made? Are there any examples you can share of how your business pivoted effectively? What developments are you seeing with regards to product pricing?
We’ve implemented a new operations strategy and accelerated our entire schedule over the last year. This required placing orders sooner for our retailers, but it also allowed us to begin manufacturing far earlier than in the past. This has enabled us to be among the first brands in stores, which has raised our early sales, helped our overall sell through, and enhanced our brand reputation. Regarding pricing we are still noticing trends upwards due in part to inflation, exchange rate etc but this is something we are trying to keep to a minimum for the upcoming season.
Is e-commerce sales still strong since most brands have been put a lot of effort in physical retail?
Physical retail stores are the cornerstone of snowboarding; they take care of our community, create the culture and share the love of snowboarding. We want to be their closest and best partners. All our efforts go towards our partners, not our ecomm.
After last winter and the lack of snow in Europe, what’s your overall sales and production/inventory strategy for 24/25?
We are optimistic about the 24/25 season; we will continue to operate our never out of stock strategy and are convinced that popularity on items like Supermatic will continue to generate interest in the brand and other products we have in the range. Remember we’re a +130 years old company, so our goal is the ultra long-term,we don’t take any extra inventory. It allows us to control our risk, our pricing and generate the demand for the next season.
Are you introducing any new innovations in buckles, straps, highbacks, baseplates, heelcups, etc.?
Yes, we actually have a lot of new innovations for W25! Our four main new technologies are: Our new Carbon S Ultraback, which is a super stiff and responsive carbon-infused nylon hiback deployed on our brand new Supermatic Carbon model. Even the forward-lean adjuster is carbon infused – it’s a totally unique design we call the Monolith, and by integrating it into the hiback it acts as a spine to accelerate response. We’ve never seen anything like it before. Our new Meson hibacks on the Kaon series. The current Hadron hiback works great for the more playful Muon binding, but Kaon users and team riders have been demanding a more responsive design that contours better around the boot. The new Meson boosts support and response, and on the Kaon Plus models we’ve dialled up the stiffness another notch with the Meson Pro hiback. Marketing bonus: we can print sick graphics on them! Our redesigned ExoKush straps are streamlined for a better fit and feel. The new upper TPU frame increases response, while the new thinner and suspended EVA-padding retains that super cushy feel that the original ExoKush straps were known for. They’re compatible with our modular spine system and come in Fusion, Hybrid and Two-Strap styles. At the top end of our binding line, the new ExoKush Pro straps on the Supermatic Carbon and Flow NX2 Carbon feature an even stiffer TPU frame to provide more direct power transfer. The new LSR2.0 Auto-Lock buckles take the original LSR (Locking Slap Ratchets) to the next level! They work just like regular buckles but now they automatically lock in both directions as soon as you stop cranking, instead of having to manually lock them by pushing the tab. This retains your foot strap setting – which is crucial for the easy in-and-out convenience of our Supermatic and Flow Design models. We listened to rider feedback and invested deep in both time, energy and tooling to give the people what they wanted.
Are you using any new materials in your bindings for 24/25?
While not entirely new, we use carbon-infused nylon on the all-new Supermatic Carbon model, which is an ultra stiff and responsive version of the immensely popular Supermatic. The baseplate, heelcup, hiback, forward-lean spine and even the buckle-levers are injected with carbon to dial up the stiffness and deliver premium quality and performance. We also deploy titanium hardware on the Supermatic Carbon to shave off some precious grams.
Anything new concerning sustainability and related product or construction you would like to highlight?
Our primary focus lies in building quality products that users will love for years to come. We also try to minimise production processes and finishes (like glueing and painting) that could create extra footprint. And we’ve pushed hard to create more eco-friendly packaging, including recycled cardboard boxes and re-usable recycled non-woven fabric protective bags for the bindings, which reduces the use of disposable plastics. And 1% of everything we sell goes straight to non-profits fighting climate change through our membership of 1% For The Planet.
Any quick entry bindings in your collection for 24/25?
Hell yes! First up, with the insane hype and traction around Supermatic, we’re proud to stand up and say we own this category, so it’s up to us to blaze the trail as we set a new standard for what bindings can be. On the same vibe, Supermatic expands into more sick colorways than ever before, and Supermatic Carbon has arrived to meet the needs of that performance-orientated customer who still wants maximum convenience. You asked, we listened. Finally, we’re excited to announce that Nidecker has brought Flow Design bindings under our own brand umbrella, so we now offer the widest range and selection of snowboard bindings out there. Alongside the traditional manual Two-Strap line we now offer a range of semi-auto Flow Design models, plus the fully automatic Supermatic models with Drop IN™ technology!
We don’t consider any of them to be better than the other, it just boils down to personal preference in terms of feel and function. In the end we have excellent options no matter what the customer is looking for, and by stoking them out we hope to keep them snowboarding for life.
Any new design or pattern approaches in your 24/25 gear? Any collabs on the line?
We have a wide variety of super safe, solid colorways, and some more fun “out there” graphics inspired by key boards in our line including the Biomimicry Series and the newly expanded Sensor freestyle series. Supermatic is where we went nuts, though; to say they’re eye-catching is an understatement. Sunglasses: on.
Are you planning to focus on a special product range or type of customer?
With our automatic, semi-auto and manual binding categories, we clearly try to cater to every snowboarder. We do it all and we have it all! Another big leap we made for W25 is that our whole binding line is now unisex. Our previous men’s and women’s bindings were already technically the same, with shared platforms, materials, and features. Now we’ve simplified it completely to offer every colorway in every size, with no reference to gender.
What are your top product marketing stories for next season?
This new top-of-the-line Supermatic model should definitely be on your radar. It takes everything from the bestselling Supermatic and raises it to the next level. The baseplate, heelcup and hiback (including the forward-lean spine) are all made from ultra-stiff carbon-infused nylon. It also features carbon Slip-N-Grip plates in the footbed and the more supportive new ExoKush Pro strap to give you the most direct, responsive feel. The Supermatic Carbon is ideal for laying out fast and aggressive turns and just dominating the entire mountain. And with the new LSR2.0 Auto-Lock carbon buckles it offers the ultimate in speed entry convenience without compromising on performance. This one’s for the rider looking for the best of the best.
We keep refining and expanding, so the most hyped bindings of the last few years are now available in more sizes and colors than ever. Adding a new smaller size now widens the range from X-Large to Large, Medium and Small, so more riders can enjoy the world’s first automatic easy-entry binding that can be used with any boot on the market, and which feels and rides just like a classic two-strap. Available in 6(!) awesome colors for W25, there will be no excuse to not get a pair (or even extra pairs for the whole family, so they can keep up with you!)
Our popular Two-Strap model features a ton of upgrades based on input from team riders and end consumers. First off, it’s got a stiffer and more contoured hiback which we call the Meson Pro. It’s based off the new Meson hiback found on the Kaon Series, but the 3D shape of the higher and wider back-spines gives the Meson Pro that extra support and response to pull off the biggest tricks and drive through deep turns. The new ExoKush Hybrid straps also add to the agile feel of the Kaon Plus, and it’s available in two great colorways for all four sizes (S, M, L and XL).
We’re obviously super excited to be offering Flow Design bindings as part of the Nidecker range, but the model we’re probably most proud to include is the revamped NX2. We took the best of the original NX2 and the team-favourite NX2-TM model to create an unbelievable combination at an unbeatable price point. It’s built around an Aluminum NX2 baseplate, with Slip-N-Grip canted BankBeds, the FX Uniback glass-filled hiback and the all-new ExoKush Fusion or Hybrid Powerstraps – which feature a biomimicry sharkskin pattern underneath for even easier ActiveStrap entry and exit, PLUS our new LSR2.0 Auto-Lock buckles for the ultimate set-it and forget-it experience. Available in four awesome colorways, the Flow NX2 feels super precise and is perfect for going fast and big and leaving everyone else in the dust.