Kevin Sansalone, Founder
What are the three biggest trends you see shaping the market and what are you doing to meet them?
1.) I think general helmet acceptance is a trend. More and more people are accepting helmets as a normal and necessary piece of equipment where as in our sports brief history helmets have not been accepted. We are very conscious of this and we strive to make our helmets look good and fit well knowing it’s hard to get the core snowboarders into wearing helmets.
2.) Your helmet is on your head front and centre so it is one of the most noticeable items on your body. That being said the color or print on your helmet is very important. You can make a statement with a bright color or match your helmet to your outwear colors. Cool colorways, patterns and prints are becoming really popular with our market and helping people really make a statement with their headwear. We have come out with some cool colorways and prints that are getting our consumer really excited, it’s showing in the sell through already.
3.) Helmet/goggle packages are becoming popular for the more mainstream helmet consumer. It makes sense to a lot of people that it would be wise to purchase a helmet and goggle combo and that they would work well together. However, I’ve seen some of these combos or colabs that don’t really work that well together. Both helmets and goggles are very personal when it comes to fit and comfort. I think it’s up to the consumer to research and try out various helmet and goggle combinations to see what works best for them. The combo brands or packages that are out on the market now are more mainstream so we are looking into some colabs with brands that align well with us and cater to the core snowboard market.
For the upcoming season, what is your brand doing to differentiate itself?
– We are working hard on our accessories and our helmets being not only multi sport but multi seasonal. All of our ear covers and goggle clips are removable so you can strip down your helmet and use it for spring snowboarding or skateboarding or biking. If you dial in your helmet and have a great fit it’s nice to be able to customize it for the different seasons or activities you’re doing.
– We are also going for innovative colorways like our Rasta Tie Dye water dip graphic and the Blue and Smokey Translucent colorways.
What new technologies are you introducing to your line?
– We are continuing to work with different EPS foams and foam densities to try and achieve the lowest profile fit while still maintaining our certification standards and a high quality product. We are always upgrading our accessories like new locking strap adjustment clips, stronger buckles and fit pads with better sweat absorption and breathability.
From your perspective, how concerned are consumers with helmet certifications?
– We have much higher sales with our certified models. Our certified liners are some of the thinest and lowest profile in the business so this helps a lot. There is still a core group of riders out there looking for the absolute thinnest possible helmet they can wear so they seek out our Low Profile model that has a softer, thin EVA foam liner. This liner is about half the thickness of our snow certified EPS foam liners.
What trends do you anticipate in the realm of graphics, themes, and colors?
– Right now we cater to the younger, core snowboard market so we see a lot of our wild colors being very well received. The new Rasta Tie dye is already selling out and I’m writing this in early October. We are trying some new paint finishes with a new rubber matte finish that is really scratch resistant. We also have a new Blue Translucent colorway coming for 2012/13. No one else is doing the translucent like we have.
What trends have you detected with regards to sale volumes?
– I am noticing that we are selling a lot more of our L/XL sizes lately.
– Our new Rasta Tie Die color was new for this season and we are already sold out in the L/XL Classic and it’s only October 10th.