Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
The biggest night in snowboarding is coming to
Bode Merrill’s ender part in Absinthe Film’s Neverland blew people’s
perception of what a rail riding, double corking, multifaceted video part
could look like and earned him a nomination for both Rider of the Year and
Video Part of the Year.
Annie Boulanger’s backcountry footage single handedly raised the bar for
women’s riding in the same film giving her the nod for both Rider of the
Year and Video Part of the Year.
Louis-Felix Paradis brought back the age old ethic of letting his riding do
the talking with mind blowing jibs and a new rail variation in his ender
part in Videograss. His nomination is for Standout of the Year.
Looking to the next generation, 18 year-old Jed
gaining a reputation for being one of the best snowboarders alive while
filming his ender part in Transworld Snowboarding’s movie, Get Real."
Saturday, December 26, 2009
After hiring Electric co-founder Mike Carter as the new VP of Global Marketing and opening an office in Orange County, Ca, the Skull Candy team is opening an office in China and has hired Tom Bishop from Burton to be the Director of Asian Operations.
It sounds like Skullcandy is making some investments to grow sales within the core industry outside snowboarding as well as stepping up sales in China. well 1.35 billions people, that's a lot of ears to improve the chinese music listening experience.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Go check out Jeremy Jones website for more info but here is a quick copy/paste of his article on Five Red Flags
"The more time I spend in the mountains the more I find myself using the 5 red flags. Keep these on the top your brain every time you go out. They are not rocket science and are very easy to read.
90% of Human triggered Avalanches happen during or with in 24 hours after a storm. I give this the utmost respect. So many times the first day out after a storm will be super sensitive. I generally do not start a full evaluation of a snow pack until 24 hours after a storm. I treat all snow pack with in 24 hours after a storm as high to extreme danger. Follow this rule and eliminate your risk of getting caught in an Avalanche by 90%.
Patience is hard when you have not made a turn for a week and it is finally clear. It is a good time to ride a resort.
Signs of Recent Avalanches
If you go out and see signs of natural avalanches this is a sign that slopes are sliding with out people getting on them. They should be taken very serious, especially if the avalanche activity has happened on a similar elevation and aspect of a slope you want to ride.
Collapsing or Cracking in the Snowpack
With collapsing you will feel or hear a whomping sound. This means a layer has broken but the slope you are on is to flat to slide. If it occurred on a steeper slope it would have resulted in a slide. With cracking you will see small shooting cracks as you approach a slope or even as you are skinning up a face. Often times collapsing or cracking will send me riding back down the boot pack or skin track.
Rapid Temperature Rise
This is not based on a certain degree of temperature. This is especially dangerous if it the first warm day in awhile or is the warmest it has been in a while.
Strong winds, Blowing and Drifting Snow
If the wind is strong enough to transport snow then the avalanche conditions can change from stable to dangerous with out any new snow."
Friday, December 18, 2009
In order to increase sales that is really important to innovate and create product differentiation.
So assuming that the product provide real advantages over the competition, it can boost the brand image.
Here is one example from Northwave that is getting more popularity from its T-Track lacing system and is a great alternative to BOA's lacing system. I will let you watch this video from a Northwave dude, so that you can better see how it works.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
So here is a simple example on how Safilo can sell the same goggles under two different brands: Carrera Chopper SPH that retails at $129 and the Gucci goggles retailing for $185.
At this price you can get some pretty sick goggles from VZ, Electric or Oakley..but goes to show you that Brand has a price and particularly in the States, it is more important than product performances.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Ok so few days ago I talked about the use of gloves with smartphones, but that is good for most of the business days...What about those cold weekends having BBQ outside and some fresh cold beers.
I think it is fair to say that how to keep hands warm while enjoying a frosty drink in ass freezing weather is a problematic that has haunted humankind since the dawn of time.
Here is the solution the Burton Vice Mitt, with the cool beer label....I wonder if they are going to do like Reef with their sandals, so that you can hide keys, have a beer opener,etc..Anyway they retails for $69.95.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
About a year ago actress Natasha Richardson died from a head injury while skiing. I have had couple of head injuries and it is difficult to describe the pain you get from a head trauma but I felt like someone was crushing my head (actually brain swelling and can't expand due to the skull) vomiting, unconscious, etc...
In the States, wearing a helmet doesn't mean you don't have balls or that you are a pussy...it just mean that you have common sense or that you don't want to pay the $$$$ that goes with going to the emergency room. However in Europe helmets are not so popular, I think it would be nice to see more pros wearing them so that kids can feel more open about it.
I was looking into buying a new one because mine is not that confortable around the ears, I am looking at the Berns helmets.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Want to see more pictures and stories about the Pipeline Masters, you can go check out Surfline
Here is a pretty cool sum up of some freaking Backdoor/Pipe waves:
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I was talking with someone couple of days ago regarding the tough market that is experiencing the action sports companies. I used to work three blocks from the DC headquarter in Vista, Ca. It seems that after the 10% lay off back in August, Quik want to consolidate its offices and to do so, they are closing DC in Vista and relocating in the Quiksilver headquarter in Huntington (60 miles north of Vista).
It is a huge building so Quiksilver will save some cash by closing this office. In addition I can bet that some of employees are either going to be let go or will decide not to relocate/do the commute.
However in this economy, doing carpooling with friends and still be able to bring the beacon home is still a good option in this conditions.
Friday, December 11, 2009
To solve this winter issue, Dot Gloves have came up with some pretty useful gloves that have small nickel or brass dots on two fingertips allowing users to manipulate the touchscreens of smartphone devices while keeping their hands warm in cold weather. I believe their products were released last year but with the cold fronts starting to show up, I could be a pretty good Xmas idea.
Thanks Leslie for the tip!!!
Official Site: Dots Answers
While a lot of brand are struggling with the economy, some brands are doing worst than others. Spy Optic is not doing too well these days as it is shown in their quarterly report:
"Consolidated net sales for the three months ended
At least all those unsold products will be discounted at the one day warehouse sale this saturday.
Another way for them to make some cash is to do a global licensing for other action sports brands like O'Neill: "Orange 21 will design and develop O’Neill Eyewear under a license agreement. The agreement sees Orange 21 working closely with O’Neill’s designers to design, develop, market and sell O’Neill branded sunglasses and snow goggles expected to launch to market in March 2010."
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Massive waves at “The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, fueled by Monster Energy” brought out former contest winners Kelly Slater, Bruce Irons, Keone Downing, Ross Clarke-Jones and 60-year-old
The world’s best hit the huge surf at
On December 8, coming to conclusion with a dramatic finale as underdog Greg Long comes out of nowhere and steals the win from 9-time World Champ Kelly Slater.
I was reading Snowtime yesterday, and there was a pretty good article on the making of the DC PBJ boards.
The theme was to have animals hanging around the Mountain Lab in addition to have the 80's skate vibes. So DC asked Mark Penxa to do the graphic of their PBJ boards collection.
Here is what Mark had to said in this interview: "I started by getting inspiration from Jim Phillips oldschool arts (the famously known screaming hands from Santa Cruz).... on a skate deck the drawing is centered while on a snowboard there are empty spaces" and then talks more about the gore side of the graphics, "it is a reference to all those oldschool skateboarders, graphics are based on blood, limbs, zombies".
All the animals living in the Mountain Lab have been infected by a zombie and things just got out of control.
I particularly like the one where you see Ken Block's Subaru jumping in the background.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
O-matic was down the street where I used to live in Encinitas, and Todd Richards has always been a rider I looked after when I was a teenager. So quite frankly I only seriously heard about Andreas Wiig when he cofounded O-matic with Todd, Jason Kanes and Tara Dakides. Then Tara and Andreas left. He went with Nitro and even had his pro-model. He has now joined the Forum team.
Monday, November 30, 2009
In Salomon case, all of the G.I.F.T. boards use structural bamboo veeners, a natural lightweight and lively material. ABC Sandwich maximizes the natural pop and quality board feel of bamboo as basic building block material. It lowers weight and uses 25% less plastic content than traditional boards and ABC Wrapper reduces the plastic content of each board by 40%. 5 boards are under the G.I.F.T, the Sick Stick, the Answer and Answer Magnum with ABC wrapper and the Grip and Ivy with ABC sandwich.
Lib Tech (and Gnu) boards feature recycled bases, soy-based elastomer sidewalls, low-VOC epoxy resins, sustainably harvested wood cores, and no toxic finishing clearcoats. Their new Banana Magic model takes it further, incorporating 100 percent Basalt fiber instead of fiberglass, and a topsheet made from castor beans.
Green Mountain Project with Nicolas Muller being on the forefront of the project, "The Eco Nico was the catalyst to create the most environmentally sustainable board ever produced," Todd King, business unit director for boards at Burton. it features recycled content in bases, edges, sidewalls and Burton's Channel plug; certified wood cores; water-based inks for topsheet printing; and sustainable wax.
Arbor has been using Bamboo since 2001 to enhance ther performance and the aesthetism of the boards. Here is a good article talking about the advantages of Bamboo. 14 boards 2010 lineup integrates bamboo as well as paulownia and Forest Stewardship Council certified cores.
For the 2010 season, K2 has expanded the Eco Conscious and Hybrilight Construction into the Gyrator, all new women’s EcoPop, and new powerhouse Slayblade.
At least Bateleon's Project Green is pretty honest and while I don't think they are proactive on being green, they tried to keep up with the trends, such as FSC wood core and recycled ABS sidewalls, non oil based topsheet material, recycled base material and lacquers are solvent free.
Signal's OG boards feature a Flotsam and Jetsam base, using base material that would otherwise end up in a landfill. "These Flotsam and Jetsam bases are all made from high-end sintered base material. A portion of every Flotsam and Jetsam Rescue Project board sold goes to The Snowrider Project at Surfrider.org"
Capita's Green Machine featuring Reforestation Certified Sustainable core, biodegradable bean derivative top sheet, 95% recycled beeswax modified sintered Speed base and a 100% recycled sintered ABS sidewalls
With iPhone being the new favorite toy for kids and teenagers, it seems natural that businesses want to make their website more user-friendly for iPhone users. My wife has a G1 and I have used iPhone many times, so I know the frustration when you are trying to go over websites to get information and other good stuffs.
On October 1st, Electric Visual was awarded the Accessory Product of the Year for its iPhone application at the SIMA Surf Summit in Cabo San Lucas. The Electric iPhone application showcases our Sunglass and Snow Goggle line as well as up to date news, advertisement previews, videos, downloadable wallpapers, and a dealer locator so that you can find the closet retailer to your actual location.
Ride Snowboards has launched their new free application for all snowboarding iPhone owners. The app features all sorts of Ride products (including boards, bindings, outwear, boots, etc) and also entails some cool live news updates and other interesting features.
"Design wise, the application is ridiculously easy to browse around and uses the iPhone’s gestures to help you flip through from product and product and screen to screen more easily. Snowboard and accessory shopping is a cinch with the application, with descriptions and specs on all sorts of different snowboarding products available within seconds". In addition videos and dealer locator features are a really sweet.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Here is what Rome's PM has to say:
"It has locking guides at key points to allow you to adjust tightness at the forefoot, innercuff, ankle and upper zones. It’s also a natural feeling system that doesn’t embed long plastic guides in the body to hinder the “pure” flexibility of the body. Lastly, it’s fast because one of the two laces (see first pic) does up the innercuff and two other zones in one fell swoop. "
Ian Fung goes on to say "Connecting the harness lace with an external lace on the Pureflex Lacing System really makes lacing up your boots go a lot faster. You don’t have to do up two separate pieces of footwear, the liner and the shell. "
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Limited edition is not new and has been all over the place for the past couple years from goggles, headphones to snowboard bindings.
The latest artist serie is DH2.3, featuring Shawn O'keefe work will be available in selected stores on December 1st.
Another Brand using the limited edition is Rome SDS with the Shop Kid contest.
"the idea was to let the shop kids create the art for the SK—Designed By Shop Kids, For Shop Kids. More than ever, the idea was to listen to kids on shred.
Meat Justice is the result of Forester’s creative genius on the 2011 SK."
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Flow NXT FRX, 369euros / 2216g
Since 1996, Flow has developped rear entry binding and have a wide range of bindings (and price).
APO Team, 200euros / 2296g
Most innovative rear entry system, there is a video on the site.
K2 Cinch CTS, 199,95euros / NA
Here is a pretty good video showing how it works, there are three men bindings in the Cinch family : CTX, CTS and CTC.
SP-United /Voelkl Fastec, 199euros / 2140g
Friday, November 20, 2009
While an excellent snow season certainly helps boost the sales like in 2008 and be a good equalizer. It is obvious that the snowboard industry is facing numerous threats.
More than one out of every six workers — 17.5 percent — were unemployed or underemployed in October. And it is close to 20% in States that experienced a big housing bubble (like Ca, Az, Fl) or have large manufacturing sectors, like Michigan,
It is obviously the most important target for the snowboard industry but it has to compete with other leisure activities such as freeskiing, street sports as well electronic entertainment (online game, videos..).
A bruising sport
15% of people that try snowboard go on to become core snowboarders. Rental equipments are usually pretty bad and so are group instruction. Again before buying all the gear for my wife, the boots and bindings she rented were terrible. Then she went into a 4 hours group lesson while I was hitting the snowpark. After two hours I could see that they couldn't take care of everyone in the group and she didn't make any progress and had numerous bruises. While many of those beginners gave up, I decided to be her instructor and buy her sick equipments.... 4 hours later she was riding by herself.
Demos, Contest & Programs
For the past few years, resort and companies have developped several programs to get the mainstream youth to try the sport and get hooked up such as LTR, SOS, Chill, demo days and big contests. In addition new board designs have stepped up to facilitate the fun and learning curve.
Downtwon Rail Jam contests are an excellent way to reach the wider audience and also show kids that you may not need lift tickets to have fun on a snowboard. Just like skateboarding, find some good rails and build a little kicker could be enough to enjoy this exciting sport.
"Hosted by Salomon Snowboards and The Art Institute of Colorado, the homegrown rail jam brings the best up and coming pros and amateurs from the Rocky Mountain region and beyond to compete in the heart of Denver's Golden Triangle District on November 21st.
Visit the John Jellico Gallery at The Art Institute of Colorado during the event to browse one-of-a-kind snowboards, all individually designed by Art Institute of Colorado students, alumni and potential students as part of a selective design competition. Over 30 designed snowboards will be on display in the gallery.
The event is free, open to the public and will include food, refreshments and a wide range of entertainment options. Games, giveaways, autograph signing with pro riders and a DJ booth will all be a part of the day's activities."
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Some months I would start incorporating the fashion style of a pro I liked; while other times I would dig board graphics.
I think there are quite a few brands that have been really consistant with their graphics while still being relevant and fresh.
"It all started with Powell Peralta who developed a signature art style with a skeleton motif and their artwork stood out in the market. Arguably, they were the most popular skateboarding company in terms of deck and wheel sales throughout the 1980s. They produced the now famous Tony Hawk Iron Cross deck, as well, as the McGill Skull and Snake, the Caballero Dragon."
"The graphics for World Industries changed the industry because they were different than the usual skulls and gore that were popular at the time. Artists Marc McKee and Sean Cliver introduced an element of wit and pop-culture commentary that would take the entire industry in a different direction." In the 90's WI took a new direction with their devil, flameboy and wet willy graphics, which I am not really keen on.
"Toy Machine is widely known for their unique and twisted, alien-like graphics that are created by Ed Templeton."
"Alien Workshop Skateboards is known for its artistic graphical style with themes of paranoia and futurism often used."
"Almost Board designs may vary considerably from theme to theme, but all are unified by the consistent use of complementary colors and elements that come together as a pleasant manifestation of contemporary art. Designs range from clip-art figures to logo treatments, all displaying a creative mix of black, white and vivid pigments."
Element's graphic style is generally simple, with crisp clean imagery with complementary colors.
"Hook-ups are a brand of skateboard that relies heavily on the manga style of cartoon art.
Girl's logo is the same as the symbol on many women's restrooms."
"Zero probably owns the strongest punk graphic style among the skateboard brands with its trademark white-and-black colors emblazoned with blood and skulls. The brand has incorporated color into the graphic designs as well, but has maintained its dark theme with well-crafted spooky characters, imagery resurrected from horror stories, and with the takeover of Thomas, stark Gothic tones. Zero skateboards definitely have a marketing edge based on what they look like alone."
"Although largely dark, foreboding, and with a hint of violence, the graphics on Blind decks portray meticulous skill in coloring and drawing in characteristic street-graffiti style. Most deck pieces portray a cute little reaper frozen in various angles of sickle-wielding. Or, if not, the reaper relents to a formal pose against a harmless backdrop, all the while emanating a tiny but sinister presence. The artworks mostly appear to be carefully thought out and are pleasingly color-complementary."
And here are others decks that I liked very much, I recommend anyone interested in the skateboarding art to check Disposable and New skateboard graphics.