For 2012/13, Iceland’s own Nikita is making its first foray into hardgoods, launching Nikita Snowboards, with boots and bindings to follow in future seasons. We caught up with Founder/Head Designer Heida Birgisdottir to learn more about parlaying its board collab with K2 last season into a full hardgoods program strictly for the ladies.
Congrats on launching the new board line. Why did you decide to get into the hardgoods game?
Thanks! We decided to launch Nikita Snowboards since we finally had the time and resources to develop them. We’ve wanted to launch snowboards for some time, since snowboarding is where Nikita comes from, but we’ve been quite busy with our streetwear, denim, and outerwear collections.
When will you be releasing the boards and what will be included in the line?
The boards are premiering at the SIA and ISPO shows this coming winter, as a part of our Winter 2012 line. Our team and staff will be riding the samples this winter already, but they won’t be delivered to dealers until fall 2012.
You guys did the VaVaVoom collab with K2 last year. How were sales of that model and what about that experience convinced you the world needs another snowboard brand?
The sales of the Nikita/K2 board were very good, so us and the K2 guys were happy. It just made us want even more to have our own line of boards. This collab proved that Nikita is already a snowboard brand in the eyes of our customers, only the boards were missing.
What will make Nikita boards stand out from others on the market?
They will stand out in design and feel for sure, but on top of that, Nikita will be the only girl snowboard brand available that is founded by a girl snowboarder who solely designs products for girls who ride. They will be the only boards on the market designed specifically for all the Nikita girls out there who have, for ten years, supported us as one of the few rider-owned and operated brands in our industry. The boards will merchandize well with our outerwear, but more importantly, they are designed and developed to give girls the ride of their life.
Are you planning any pro models out of the gate?
No. The boards are not designed for one specific girl, but rather for the majority of girls who either want an all mountain freestyle board, or a more slopestyle/park oriented board.
How would you describe the look and ride of the line in general?
Well performing, colorful, and fun freestyle boards for girls who ride. We’re doing one all mountain freestyle model in sizes ranging from 138 – 156 and a loose edge slopestyle board in sizes 135 – 152.
What are your goals as far as distribution? What kind of shops are your utopian dealers?
We started Nikita in our own core specialty snowboard shop. In our minds the ideal store for Nikita is where the staff loves to ride as much as we do ourselves, and where both genders are equally welcome. We want our boards to be available where the girls would feel welcome, and celebrated as queens of the hills.
Here’s a little footage the Nikita crew shot product testing in their backyard in Iceland.
Are you going to be looking at the States to start or focusing solely on Europe?
The Nikita boards will be available in the US and Canada, Europe, and in Asia. Our headquarters are in Iceland, in between the US and Europe, but all mountains are equal! As far as distribution, the internet has erased the borders. Girls are ordering products where they are available, regardless of which country the stores are in.
What will price ranges look like?
Comfortable, like the boards. We want the boards to be affordable, without sacrificing performance of course.
You guys are building the boards at Elan – why did you decide to manufacture there?
They already manufacture for some of the best snowboard brands in the world, and were very enthusiastic about developing the line with us. We knew John Colvin, Canadian, head of Elan’s market development, from way back and he wanted to do Nikita boards with us forever. They get credit for really diving into it when we said “let’s do it!” Pure dedication.
Are you planning to do boots and bindings as well in the future?
Anything else I missed, that you don’t want to?
Nikita is not a clothing company about to launch snowboards. We are longtime dedicated snowboarders who have for the last years focused on making clothes, but will now finally launch our long awaited line of boards. We hope you all have a great winter, see you on the mountain!