Gnu: 2012/13 Snowboard Preview

Forest Pickle - $499.95; Impossible A.S.S Pickle - TBD

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Questions answered by Pete Saari

What are the biggest trends shaping the hardgoods market for next year?Balance through Asymmetry.  Your body is not symmetric heel to toe your bindings are not symmetric heel to toe you snowboard shouldn’t be either.  Magne-Traction serrated edges and Banana Tech rocker / camber combination contours are trending well right now.

What is the greatest change affecting your brand since last season?

It seems Impossible but, we have become even more balanced and more asymmetric.


How has the market evolved over the last year and how do you see things changing in the years ahead? Magne-Traction and Banana Technology camber rocker combination contours continue dominate the market place in all categories of board design from jib, freestyle/park to all mountain/big mountain/tall mountain.

How has sales forecasting changed for your company? Gnu’s snowboards are hand built to order in the USA by snowboarders with jobs completely eliminating the need for sales forecasting.

What lessons have you learned with bookings and production for this season and how will you apply those to next? Gnu has learned that a quality product, at the right price delivered on time is great for business. We are going to build quality products, at the right price and deliver them on time.

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? We build boards to order and work with our dealers to make sure they bring in massive quantities of asymmetrical snowboards. Genuine US made value and quality combined with a strong functional technology story can be sold a premium that insures healthy margins for all.

How large are your lines going to be compared to years past? Have you seen customers confused by too many different stories? Our Gnu line is huge this year.   We simplify our story by making nothing but all terrain Banana -Technology, Magne-Traction freestyle snowboards right here in the USA.

With the shifting landscape of production abroad, are you reevaluating where you produce your hardgoods?  If so, why? We hand build all our snowboards right here in the USA.

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.?) At Gnu we realize that the snowboard market is growing at slower pace than our ambitious goals for world domination. With this in mind we are hand building building superior product in the USA and selling it at great prices providing dealers with healthy margins and their customers with great value, performance and an positive life experience.  With regards to categories Gnu is focused on making high performance Magne-Traction Banana Tech snowboards for all levels an snowboard categories. Barrett Christy focused full time, developing our Gnu Girls category working with both riders and product. We are offering an new Asymmetrically Balanced Ladies Choice women’s series, and Barrett’s B-Pro series will also come in a split option.  We are expanding our kids offerings and lowering pricing on these boards. Temple’s Billy goat Freeride Freestyle series is available in both split and whole snowboard options.  Gnu has always been focused on core retailers and core mall stores.  Gnu works with core retailers through Shop a Tron to bring internet sales directly to core shops.

What do you anticipate prices doing next season? Gnu has been able to hold our pricing for next year with the exception of a few boards that are getting a bit less expensive.

Are you taking any steps to minimize your environmental impact?  If so, what are some of these steps? We manufacture all our own snowboards in the Gnu commune located on the Mervin MFG campus right here in Washington State.  Having direct access to our factory allows us to be idealistic completely obsessive and proactive in our green quest. Norm Nelson spearheads our environmental efforts and is working full time to reduce the amount of waste produced in manufacturing, increase the amount of recycled materials we are using, increase the amount of recycling of scrap material we do, work with sustainable wood farmers and core shop to maximize harvest yield...Twenty percent of our riders are hippies and we yell at the rest to recycle as much as they can!

What does your company hope to contribute to snowboarding? We hope to achieve weird pleasant times in a snowboard world balanced through asymmetric awareness.

What are the biggest forces shaping the changes and developments you've made to your boards? Balance through Asymmetry...your body is asymmetric, your bindings are asymmetric, your board should be designed to work in harmony to balance this asymmetry.  With this in mind the Riders Choice, Ladies Choice, Pickle mens and womens, and new Impossible, Asym, Sym, Sync model are all perfectly balanced through asymmetry.  Ride better on weird snowboards!

To what degree are you emphasizing camber shape in your lineup? Camber is a tool that helps distribute weight from your feet to other parts of the snowboard. Applied properly camber is your friend and shred buddy.  Every Magne-Traction Banana-Technology (rocker between your feet) snowboard we build features varying amounts of camber, applied based on the boards intended use and the desired ride or feel. The camber transfers specific amounts of edge pressure and weight out towards the tips and tails providing pop, end to end stability and control. Weird.

Are you cooking up any new materials or construction techniques? Gnu is liberally using our new weave of weird Liquid Crystal Polymer fiber...LCP is strong, light and adds pop.  Check it out on Danny’s new DK model, the Eco Genetics series and more.

What themes are you seeing for graphics? All our graphics go through our Portland based design filter eliminating or adding appropriate amounts of emotion, color or hesh as needed.