What are the biggest trends shaping the hardgoods market for next year?
Everyone is trying new things. Whether it is tip shape or camber design, the look and feel of the typical snowboard has definitely changed over the last few years. That said, these new ideas need to work so it comes down to quality design. – Sean Tedore, Product Development and US Marketing
What is the greatest change affecting your brand since last season?
This year we designed a new series called the Defenders of Awesome. The name is a spin off from our award-winning movie and features our new Hybrid FK. This design has camber just outside the inserts into a flat section followed by a slight amount of rocker in the tip and tail right before the contact points. This allows for tons of power and pop that traditional camber provides without the hook or edgy feel you get. It is the perfect combination of reverse and camber. For women, we’re offering a similar approach in the new series called Birds of a Feather. -ST
How has the market evolved over the last year and how do you see things changing in the years ahead?
Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, blogs and forums are shaping up to be the company communication tools of the future. -Johan Malkoski, US Sales Manager
How has sales forecasting changed for your company?
It hasn’t. We go through the same planning steps each season. Therefore we are seasoned forecasters. We build to order basically. – JM
What lessons have you learned with bookings and production for this season and how will you apply those to next?
Sell out, don’t close out is our motto. – JM
How are you working with retailers to help ensure strong margins, the right amount of product in the marketplace, and terms that set them up for success?
Our rep force works with each retailer placing what works and keeping out what doesn’t work with each and every CAPiTA account. CAPiTA provides specialty product for specialty retailers. Meaning you won’t find our decks everywhere, only in the stores that get the CAPiTA Super Corp’s story.
Retailers are encouraged to buy what they can sell, not what we think they can sell. We have competitive buying programs that increase our dealer’s margin for placing preseason orders with CAPiTA. -JM
How large are your lines going to be compared to years past? Have you seen customers confused by too many different stories?
Our line will be slightly bigger next year compared to last year. Customers like consistent stories that they can understand. The best stories are ones that don’t need a whole lot of explaining. If a customer can look at the product and easily understand what it’s supposed to do, then you have an advantage on the sales floor. -ST
With the shifting landscape of production abroad, are you reevaluating where you produce your hardgoods? If so, why?
No. We have one of the best factories in the game. They bring an incredible amount of expertise to the table and we work together very well. -ST
What opportunities do you see for growing hardgoods sales? Please explain. (Are you increasing your focus on kids, women, core retailers, chains, rental sales, Internet sales, entry-level products, splitboards, etc.?)
We’re seeing continuing opportunities with specialized shapes and camber variations for both men’s and women’s models. In particular, we’re seeing some additional potential with women’s sales for our brand given the recent accomplishments and visibility of Jessica Kimura. -ST
What do you anticipate prices doing next season?
Mostly staying the same as 2011. -JM
Are you taking any steps to minimize your environmental impact? If so, what are some of these steps?
Yes. We are offering cores that are reforestation certified by a leading environmental agency for nature and habitat sustainability. We also are using a Special Blend Evo Tech resin, which is a polyurethane based resin requiring lower consumption of energy. This improves the factory working environments, as it does not contain some of the harsh chemical characteristics used in resins at other factories around the world. -ST
What does your company hope to contribute to snowboarding?
We hope to remain honest and true in our Defense of Awesome. -ST
What are the biggest forces shaping the changes and developments you’ve made to your boards?
The biggest force in our development process is snowboarding itself. Riding, talking, theorizing, sketching, designing, testing, producing… all emanating from days on the hill. -ST
To what degree are you emphasizing camber shape in your lineup?
Each board in the line has a unique camber approach to help tailor the performance of the board to the customer it is designed for. If we feel that a camber line needs to be adjusted to fit the board then we do it. In the end we have multiple different camber stories, which all make sense and work for each board. -ST
Are you cooking up any new materials or construction techniques?
Using a variety of woods to create the perfect core is something we have always done. Our new DS-B Select RFC Sustainable Core uses a combination of Poplar and Bamboo to create a core that is both very poppy and super durable. -ST
What themes are you seeing for graphics?
Controlled chaos in general. Norwegian black metal and human shape shifters provide imagery we find compelling. However what we really see trending right now is windsurfing. That’s a very exciting category that we’d like to get more involved with. And then, there’s The Volcom Stone collab… NBD. -Blue Montgomery, Brand Manager