Landyachtz has dropped its 2013 catalog, and we delved into some of the newest additions to the collection with Nate Schumacher, the brand’s US manager of sales and marketing.
“We are always striving to stay ahead of the progression curve and really push the envelope on board design,” says Schumacher of the latest line, which saw a complete revamp in the graphics department, as well as several brand new board shapes and innovative technology.
We caught up with Schumacher to hear his thoughts on the new collection, where he sees the cruiser board market headed, and what’s on the horizon for 2014 and beyond.
What’s new in the 2013 collection? What specific boards have you expanded upon? New materials, graphics, etc?
We've done a graphics overhaul for 2013 updating most of the art in our line. We've also added fibreglass bottom sheets with sublimated graphics to our most popular downhill freeride boards; the switchblade series, Drop Speed and new Top Speeds. We've also introduced Rocker into our Freedom Series, which makes a regular pintail cruiser board more playful under your feet and a lot more fun to ride. Lastly, we've introduced a line of 6 Dinghy boards, these are 100% maple cruiser boards which come complete with Bear 105mm trucks and some beefy hawgs wheels
Where do you see the overall state of the cruiser and skateboard market?
The skateboard market has always been an interesting one. Trends come and go, one year a brand is on fire but the next it’s old news. Longboarding is growing and there is still potential for huge growth in the market. Younger kids are calling themselves longboarders now and an older generation is starting to realize how accessible and fun longboarding can be. Stoked on what the future holds.
People say the cruiser market is saturated, and that it would be tough for us to enter at this stage. But, until now, there hasn't been a brand like us to bring a really unique and functional product to the market, and we're confident that our Dinghy series is going to be a huge hit this year. We're seeing the results already.
What sets your new boards apart from what’s already out there?
We put a lot of time into testing and prototyping our boards. We don't just order them from some faceless factory. Our boards are designed in house, placed under the feet of our team riders and put through the ringer before we produce the first production model. The new Top Speed board is a perfect example of this. Team riders have been on that shape for over a year now.
Looks like you are experimenting with the flex and construction of the boards – is that something you’ve always done, and how are you building upon that technology and continuing to ramp that up with the 2013 collection?
We've always tried to improve on years past. I would say one of the biggest things we did this year was incorporate Rocker into our Bamboo Freedom Series. This increases flex and carve making these boards the perfect all around cruising choice. Adding Fibreglass to some of our downhill freeride boards was a direct response to riders starting to progress the sport. Stronger boards are needed as riders push the envelope on what can be done on a longboard.
What’s new with Bear and Hawgs?
Bear trucks has gotten a face lift. We just launched www.beartrucks.com and have come out with a series of coloured Grizzly's and added 3 more sizes to our traditional truck line, the Polar Bears. We have some other things in the works for Bear but you'll have to wait a few months for that.
We did a major overhaul of Hawgs last year adding 5 new wheels; the Biggie Hawgs, Kyle Martin Freeride wheels, the Micro Monsters, Street Hawgs and the Mini Zombie. It was a strong change and we are stoked on how the line has rounded out. Watch for new models and graphics early this summer.
What’s in the works for 2014? Partnerships, collaborations, new product?
We have a few collaborations in the works with Bear but are always looking for interesting Colab/Partnership options. Our R&D departments is also hard at work on a few new shapes and construction ideas which should make 2014 another benchmark year for innovative design.