Participation and sell-out aren’t the issues in 2021, but rather the supply chain and stock levels. How do you handle this unseen situation and is a rise in prices to be expected?
We are doing our best to minimize price increases as much as possible, however the sharp increase in freight prices is creating a lot of havoc for a lot of markets and inevitably some of this increase will need to be passed on to the end consumer. It’s a very frustrating situation for everyone, but seeing the smiles on the faces of all the new water sport enthusiasts helps minimize the frustration.
As new participant figures went off the roof, do you do more beginner-friendly surfboards as usual? Is the softboard offer a threat to your business regarding this entry-level clientele?
NSP is well know for it’s entry-mid tier category and has been a go to for years and years of new riders… to further support this category, we have introduced for 2021 our all new Teacher’s Pet, designed specifically as a price point for surf schools with aids marked on the board to help teachers and students, plus the boards come with a convenient click-fin system. We also offer a consumer facing price point foamie in the Sundowner.
Despite the high entry – mid tier demand, NSP, continues to push its credibility as not only providing a quiver for beginners, but as an all round, mainstream surf brand with boards that can help riders to excel to an advanced and competent level, especially with the introduction of our performance oriented collaborations with Carl Schaper and Tully St. John in our Shapers Union range including longs, shorts and even production guns! Everyone should have a go on the Sleep Walker, The Cheater and Tinder-D8.
Which designs will be trending in 2021? Aren’t the bigger boards (midlengths, 6’+ performance shortboards, longboards) in full swing?
Absolutely, the mid-lengths (NSP’s Funs, The Cheater and Dream Riders) remain the staple of our volume, but with the introduction of our Tinder-D8 and Chopstix shortboards along with the Pro-9 and Sleep Walker in the 9’1+ category we are seeing entrants stepping up and down.
Is he good ol’ high-perf shortboard an endangered species?
Our offering of the lower volumed performance shortboards in the Chopstix and Tinder-D8’s has been well received and believe demand in this category will remain as riders look to step up their game to smaller volume boards.
Construction wise, do you do both PU and Epoxy? If yes, what is the production ratio between the two technologies?
We are well known for our epoxy offering, but have continued to stay true and offer the traditional stringer PU for the purists. New for 2021 we have introduced our price-point PU in mid-length funs and fish in a quality glassed finish. In 2021 the PU ratio will be around 80/20
With shops closed temporarily due to lockdown, have you adopted new distribution channels (online, D2C, drop shipping)? If yes, did you stick to it when things got back to normal?
Many of our distributors have successfully built their online partnerships in the past few years and encouraged stores to add online selling options. All were very fortunate to reap the benefits of this while stores were closed.
Its refreshing to see most established local surf stores have now diversified to also sell online and we expect online to remain a key part of their sales in addition to but not replacing traditional walk-in customers. As we move to the “new normal” there will still be people wanting to visit surf stores, connect with staff, see the complete range, feel the shapes as well as revel in the ambiance and irreplaceable unique aroma of pu, epoxy, resins, surf wax and wetsuits when walking into a surf store.