No Way! Snowboards: 2012/13 Snowboard Preview

No Way! Snowboards

The Catalyst: MSRP $420

Questions answered by Communications Director, Andrew Guddat

What are the biggest trends shaping the hardgoods market for next year?
Consumers will care about two things: New tech and community. Consumers want to buy a product that will last longer or allow them to ride better. They also want to feel connected to the companies they buy from. They want to feel supported and they want to buy from people who care about snowboarding as much as they do!

At NW! We’re doing both those things. With top shelf materials and two separate cambers, as well as pushing rider connections and communications.

What is the greatest change affecting your brand since last season?
This is our first year in production, so not a whole lot.
How has the market evolved over the last year and how do you see things changing in the years ahead?
More and more companies are making only what they can sell. An economic recovery does not seem like it's happening very soon. Companies have learned how to play cautiously and will continue to do so until the market changes.

How has sales forecasting changed for your company?
We make less than we can sell. Shops are cautious to bring on new brands, we work small accounts and grow from there.

What lessons have you learned with bookings and production for this season and how will you apply those to next?
Book early, build early Ship early, sell early.

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 are all about shops. We don’t do any backdoor sales, we don’t ever pressure shops into buying more than they should. The best judge of how much product a shop can move is the shop itself.
Shops as of late have been getting the boot. Everyone here at NW! remembers how important the shops were to us when we were growing up. We want to help facilitate that community!

How large are your lines going to be compared to years past? Have you seen customers confused by too many different stories?
This is our first year as a company. So we’ve started small and plan on expanding from there.
As far as product confusion goes, we’ve had to deal with that a little bit being that our one current line comes in two different cambers. In the future we will be making things a little bit more clear by changing graphics up more and diversifying our line ups.

With the shifting landscape of production abroad, are you reevaluating where you produce your hardgoods?  If so, why?

We’d never consider manufacturing anywhere else! Easier control of product development. Less emissions from shipping. We’re helping support our local economy.
It’s great!

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.?)
To me I think it’s all about growing your loyalty with core shops. If you treat the people you work with well they will naturally want to expand with you.
We’re big believers in community.

We’re only working with "brick and mortar" type shops because they are more customer oriented. They help foster a strong snowboard community that we want to get behind. Working this way actually get to personally know the people there and the shop kids. The personal connection we have with people make them more open to supporting us.
What do you anticipate prices doing next season?
With the current economy I think we’re going to see one, maybe two changes in buying.
The first, which we’ve already seen happen is cheaper snowboards. 370.00 and below. Obviously, consumers have less money so they want to spend less.

The second is the politically aware buy. Americans are tired of watching jobs and money leave the country and are willing to pay a tad extra if that product supports American jobs and economy and get a higher quality product.

NW! Is banking on that second buyer.

I think it’s more than possible that we see the American made products stay at and do well in the 400+ range. while products made with cheaper materials from abroad come even lower.

Are you taking any steps to minimize your environmental impact?  If so, what are some of these steps?
Right now we aren’t using any special "green" materials. However, something that most don’t take into account is the carbon emissions from producing your product overseas. All our materials are shipped from close by and all our boards are shipped only once, from the factory to the shop!
What does your company hope to contribute to snowboarding?
This company was started because we were discontent.

We were looking for a company that made a high quality product in America, supported their shops and had a strong sense of personability with its consumers. We couldn’t find one. So we started our own.

We’d like to see practices across the industry change. No more direct sales, no more waiting two months to get a reply to your email, and higher standards of manufacturing.

What are the biggest forces shaping the changes and developments you've made to your boards?
Team input
To what degree are you emphasizing camber shape in your lineup?
Camber is huge!

We offer the same board in two different cambers, and they both ride drastically different.
We most definitely recognize the difference and how much consumers care about it.

Are you cooking up any new materials or construction techniques?
Unicorn Dust and Glitter!

What themes are you seeing for graphics?
We’re working on making graphics with meaning and making more hand rendered looking artwork.