Thursday, October 27, 2011

11 Brands, 1 Snowboard (and a $270 price difference)

 

Back in May the Angry Snowboarder wrote an editorial called “Played Out Marketing Pitches” where he rounded on some of the snowboard companies that use pointlessly generic sales pitches such as “by riders, for riders” and “putting the fun back into snowboarding” to sell their kit. One of the things he mentioned in that article was a company called Monson which builds snowboards for a whole bunch of brands who then flog the same snowboard to the public dressed up in a different graphic and smothered in great steaming piles of marketing crap. A few months down the line and with a new season upon us we thought it would be interesting to see how each of the companies  are selling this year’s fresh crop of Monson snowboards. 
As the Angry Snowboarder says in that article, “If you’re going to run a company you seriously need to bring something to the table beyond played out pitches and cookie cutter technology, otherwise it’s just a different graphic on the same old shit”. To test out whether people were following that sage advice we tracked one particular Monson board, the ‘C6’, to see what spin each brand put on their marketing of that board and what price they gave it. We found 11 different ways you can buy the same board, epic lashings of sales diarrhoea and amazingly depending on who you buy from you could spend anything between $300 and $570 on exactly the same snowboard…

Here’s a look at what each brand offers and how they promote themselves:

Played Out Pitch:  
Better than Burton”
Or at least they are according to their site.  You can buy boards directly from Monson if you work your way through their clapped out website which has lots of technical problems, broken links and very little information.
Cost: $399
Cookie Cutter Technology: 
Well it’s their technology so in this case it’s not cookie cutter technology, but that doesn’t matter much because the site is so pointless it doesn’t actually provide any technical info anyway.


If you don’t have your own graphics can order a customised snowboard through Monson using a graphic design company called Ambient Creative and the artwork will set you back another $100.
Cost: $499





Played Out Pitch: 
We have our own factory. We design, build and ride all our boards. Building from the ground up. Turning raw wood, plastics and steel into the most amazing inanimate objects that spoiled trust fund kids can buy.
They’re not lying, Humanity is actually a brand owned by Monson and like any good Monson product the website is in a state of disrepair. Monson have a strange and consistent need to produce their snowboards under a new brand every few years. Humanity is Monson’s second attempt at a spin-off brand after their initial attempt a few years back called Axia Snowboards didn’t work out, and presumably they had already tried and given up on the Monson name before that. I’m going to guess those previous failures were due to shitty websites and a marketing strategy specifically targeting trust fund kids by insulting them. 
Cost: $479 for the ‘Shredstik C6'
Cookie Cutter Technology: 
In this case it’s the original again, but they’ve been a little more forthcoming with the tech specs this time.
The Shredstik is designed to be the greatest park/jib board ever .
C6 Technology is designed to be the ultimate jib/park riding experience. It uses a reverse camber called the Jib-Rocker and a new side cut development called the C6. Its only found on the Humanity ShredStik. This board is so much fun.
The C6 Side cut is the latest technology from Humanity Snowboards and is designed to work with the Jib-Rocker. It uses arcs strategically placed to give the edge multiple contact points. The 2 primary contacts are where the effective edges is on all boards, then there are 2 secondary contacts placed just in front of your feet and 2 more placed just in front of the Jib-Rocker flat spot. If you were counting, that’s a total of 6 contacts points on your edge hence the term C6.
Whoa there lads. Run that math past me again.
You wont find these features anywhere else for 399.
True, none of the other brands are selling it for exactly £399, in fact not even Humanity do because they actually sell it for $479 



Played Out Pitch: 
Crispy Whips is an "East Coast Skate/Snowboard company coming out of CT.  USA made boards and printed tee shirts. Bringing our original style to the skate/snow scence.  We show threw our eyes what shredding is to us and what its all about. This is more than just a brand. Its a life style and its a movement…  Stay CRispy!"
[sic]
Cost: $300 for the ‘Smile’
Cookie Cutter Technology:
Smile Technology (reverse camber)
That’s all you get.



Played Out Pitch: 
Neiva Snowboards is a Utah-based company specializing in high-end snowboards for big mountain/all mountain riders. Founder Cody Dabb has been riding in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and Canada for 20+ and started Neiva in March of 2009 with the intent to build premier high-end boards.  All product development takes place in the rocky terrain of the Utah backcountry as well as Snowbird and Solitude resorts.
Testing snowboards on rocks is a unique R&D approach.
Cost: $425 for the ‘mjx’
Cookie Cutter Technology:
The mjx was designed as high performance mountain jib board. With its twin shape and our new reverse camber known as J-Rocker, this new all mountain board brings a whole new meaning to free-riding! It allows the board to float through deep powder and still have enough flex to jib all your favorite mountain features. Also, included on this model is the C6 side-cut, with arcs strategically placed to give the edge multiple contact points.
Neiva are the only guys that shoehorn the C6, which according to Monson/Humanity is “the greatest park/jib board ever”, into being a freeride board.



Played Out Pitch: 
Global Mind Elevation was founded upon a belief in expression of self.  The brainchild of a West Coast artist and an East Coast entrepreneur with revolutionary roots, the mission was simple: deliver to the world a collaboration of cutting edge technology and artistic expression.  Our fellow riders have no shortage of options in today's market, and we take nothing away from the many brands that inspire us to continue to push the envelope...therefore at GME, we look at each and every one of you as if you're already a team member.  We aim to give you the best riding experience of your life by offering the most cutting edge technology - in conjunction with limited edition graphics - at an affordable price.   Not everyone can stand up and lead a revolution...but damn it feels good when you do.
Our slogan is simple... “Elevate.” Elevate your riding every time you hit the hill. Whatever you do -- day in and day out, snowboarding or otherwise -- aim high.  We are also Global. With a team of riders and supporters from  all over the USA, Canada, Asian and Europe, we are nomads.  We are from nowhere and everywhere all at once and we are coming to a city near you. Join us...
GME might be new to you, but we are not new to the business. Our boards are constructed from scratch in a factory that’s been at it for over 20 years. The highest quality components, coupled with some of America’s most experienced technicians, make our boards stand-outs. Rest assured, these decks are built to last -- boardslides, cliff drops, careless skiers bumping you in the liftline... these boards take it all in stride.
Solid construction is one thing. But we’re well aware that style is a big part of your game. All our boards’ graphics feature the blood paint, sweat and tears of some of our favorite artists. They know what we stand for here at GME, and they used it as inspiration when designing some seriously hot graphics.
We can talk all we want, though, the real test is the ride. And we think, no we KNOW, that you’ll fall for these boards. Together, you and your GME board will spark a self-revolution in riding skill and style.
Ride. Revolt. Elevate.
GME are by far the biggest winners when it comes to talking complete and utter shite.
Cost: $478.58 for the ‘Demigod’. These guys like their very specific prices and their range of snowboards cost between $451.99 and $494.53.
Cookie Cutter Technology:
A Demigod is half god, half human - this ride is equally divine.  The perfect storm of grip, camber and butter leave this beast aptly named.  Our proprietary GlobalGrip™ side edge delivers a form-fitting bond between your stick and the hill.  It's been reported to us that riders have tried to intentionally lose an edge, but were unsuccessful, due to this monster grip.  Add to that a flat-rocker camber and flex rivaled by few in the game, and its a surprise we didn't just name this thing The Messiah.
Just call it The Messiah then.



Played Out Pitch: 
Lucky Snowboards is committed to giving you the highest quality boards while saving the earth at the same time. We use Eco-friendly products in our construction and our website is powered by 100% wind energy. Yet our products are nothing less than high performance- super strong and super light, full wrap high carbon steel edge, solid Bamboo core and P-Tex sidewalls. And if that wasn't enough our boards are made in the USA, home of some of the best boarding in the world! Be part of the solution ride GREEN!
The website is powered by 100% wind energy - now that’s a claim. Lucky also produce by far the ugliest snowboards.
Cost: $385 for the ‘Edge’, which is reduced down from $475. You can also get a women’s specific board called the ‘Candy’ for exactly the same price because that’s exactly the same board again but with a different graphic. All their other snowboards are also suspiciously reduced in price by a similar margin.
Cookie Cutter Technology:
These boards contain the latest in jib / park technology. Our signature L-Tech hybrid camber gives a slight cambered spot between your feet to create stability and pop with reverse camber the rest of the way. Couple that with our God Grip serrated 6 tooth side cut for unlimited control. This board has a God complex!
It’s exactly the same description for the ‘Candy’ snowboard (shown above) except they change the word God to Goddess.



Played Out Pitch: 
Prospect Snowboards are made in the U.S.A with the highest quality materials available. Our riders expect our boards to perform at the highest caliber and our snowboards are made to stand up to the challenge.
Cost: $450 for the ‘Tangent RC6’
Cookie Cutter Technology:
The Tangent RC6 is the most technical deck in the Prospect line and combines our Tangent Technology with C6 Edge Tech.  The lighter and thinner core in RC6 carries a soft flex while the C6 Edge Tech keeps the reverse camber deck stable at high speeds making it an excellent board to butter up the slope even for aggressive riders.  The Tangent RC6 is a jib board and transitions into a stable park board.
They then go into detail on 14 different material and shape facts. Here’s a few that seem to be more than slightly repetitive:
RC6 edge is a shaped edge that offers 6 points of contact along the effective edge for better grip through turns and up the pipe wall.
RC6Unlike other waved edge patterns that slip out the RC6 has a Flat camber in the middle of the board to stabilize turns by adding edge surface area between the feet.  The mid-wide width provides a sidcut that turns sharp with no toe drag even on larger boots.
Extended Effective Edge (EEE) – To stabilize our boards in the park when really pushing the speed limit Prospect boards stay in control because we have lenthened the effective edge. This means a longer contact patch and more edge contacts the surface so there are no worries about getting squirrelly and tomahaking after the drop.
I live in constant fear of this
Prospect are a slightly different case to the other brands listed here. They were using Monson, but this summer they started building snowboards themselves using a Monson press with Monson technology and Monson support.  



Played Out Pitch: 
Legend Snowboard Co is a collaboration between local snowboard riders and local artists. Legend Snowboard Co supports a life free of walls, offices, and the restrictions of the world.  We believe that lifes opportunities aren't given but made. We invite you to join us in our quest for life fulfillment and unique life-opportunities. In the meantime we promise to provide the most stylish and unique rides on the mountain.
You are what you ride, so get on a LEGEND!
Cost: $449 for the ‘Apocalypse’, ‘Checked’, ‘Crop Circles’ (pictured), ‘Evolution’, ‘Temple’ and ‘Violent Instinct’ snowboards, which are all the same board with different graphics.
Cookie Cutter Technology:
All of Legends Snowboards have poplar wood cores, triax fiberglass, carbon strips, stainless inserts, sintered bases, and co extruded top sheets. The secret weapon is in the resin, our manufacturer teamed up with a chemist to formulate their own system that is strong, and has a good balance of runner in it so that the boards are fun and responsive!
They go on to list 8 technology features of the board, here’s an example:
Two-part Thermoset Resin and Epoxy: All Legend boards are held together with this specially designed blend that consistently delivers the industry’s most insane flex at all temperatures andunder extreme riding conditions. It bonds, flexes and responds, but it does not break! This special resin bonds better than anything else we have ever tried in addition to providing the rider with a fun responsive riding experience!
“It bonds, flexes and responds, but it does not break!” Finally this could be the end of all those snowboards I’ve been riding that shattered like bone china.
Twin Tip with 24 Inserts: Our 24 stainless steel inserts are evenly arranged in a 4x2 pattern for maximum stance options. No need to purchase new bindings! Legend Boards are guaranteed to work with your current 4 screw base plate bindings guaranteed.
Full-wrap, High Carbon Steel Edge: Provides superior strength and durability!
Just like every other snowboard.
They don’t actually bother to tell you if it’s a camber or a rocker board but they sure are getting themselves moist about the resin and epoxy.



Played Out Pitch: 
Four20Boards is the fastest growing independently owned snowboard and skateboard company in the world. We achieved this because we are a very special, unique and personalized snowboard and skateboard company. The pros that use our proprietary and exclusive hemp boards are either leaders or on their way to leading the field in every respective snowboarding and skateboarding class. Four20 Boards is unique because we focus on each and every snowboarder and skateboarder that uses our boards and gives us feedback. This is why our small yet powerful company demands so much respect in the snowboard and skateboard industry. Being different is a great thing and what separates the Four 20 Board Family from the big corporations and their followers.
How have I never heard of these small but powerful guys before and their army of super-pros?
Here is the deal. My Buddies build all of our boards. We do not profess to be a manufacturer and then sub contract some huge factory to do the work for us, we do it ourselves.
Except you don’t.
Cost: $420 for the ‘Albino Rhino’ which is reduced from $499. Four 20 Boards sell six different board with different specifications and that all sell for $420 reduced down from $499.
Cookie Cutter Technology:
Did you know that Four 20 is the name for cannabis culture…. I’m suprised the guys in the factory actually manage to make any boards at all! But they have and the Albino Rhino is their freestyle park and mountain jib stick. All the fun of a cut down twin with the versatility and playability you get with a rocker profile thanks to Four 20’s Smile Tech.
The Albino Rhino combines Fresh POW mentality with post-lunch, who needs a nappy nap, let’s pound the park aggressive behavior.  No matter if your jungle includes “Slow” signs or No Signs… The Albino Rhino will run over anything unfortunate enough to get in your way.
Does anybody actually want their snowboards made by people who are stoned off their tits?


Played Out Pitch: 
At SP3i, we take a lot of pride in the boards we design and manufacture. We’ve decided that a small focused selection of snowboards that are unique in appearance, made-to-last, and handcrafted in the USA is a better approach to providing the perfect shredding experience than the low cost, mass produced boards.
SP3i snowboards are made with the highest quality construction and the latest in performance design features to meet your wildest shredding dreams. What we’ve added to these boards that no one else has is special effects urethane coatings on the top sheet, giving our boards the most tripped out colors on the planet -instant dope for the slopes- while meeting the same performance tests of coatings used on luxury sports cars, yachts and jet aircraft. Face plant the competition!
“Face plant the competition!” – Best strap line ever!
Cost: $570 for the ‘Edge Traction’
Cookie Cutter Technology:
The Edge Traction style has a slight rocker with a flat area between your feet that creates a stable but loose feel. Design features include twin tip shape with tri-axial fiberglass for medium flex. Six contact points in the side-cut technology give you ultimate edge control to take your experience to new heights.
The board's topsheet surface is coated and protected with multiple layers of advanced automotive/aerospace grade technology paint coating materials. SP3i boards are handcrafted and "Made in America", utilizing environmentally compliant paint coatings and paint application processes.
These guys are all about the sparkly paint.



Played Out Pitch: 
Publik Concepts is a team-influenced, hard working crew with a passion for art, creativity, travel and fun.  The creativity from an apparel start combined with technical sports, launched the first Publik concept called Publik Snow, debuting in 2009. 
Publik Snow roots from a truly diverse crew, keeping well focused on who we are, our backgrounds, personalities, with concentration on the diversity of the US melting pot.  We bring the best of the best products at reasonable prices to people like ourselves – to the general public. Therefore, Publik provides “premium versatility for affordable prices”. We concentrate on cutting-edge technology while bringing that standard to the public at prices we can afford.
Cost: $395 for the ‘Performance Sport’, ‘Plates’ (pictured) , ‘Spill’ and ‘High Performance’ which are all the same specification.
Cookie Cutter Technology:
Our Walks of Life series continues with a collage of international license plates recognizing our international melting pot of Publik customers.  Available in our Edge 6.0 technology.
Publik is proud to keep up-to-date with the best in technology for the boarder interested in shreddin’ up the park and blazin down the mountain.
They also list 5 (mostly made-up) technologies that are “Exclusively for the Publik” finishing with the least specific description of the C6 technology of the lot.
Publiks newest Edge 6.0 technology is absolutely AMAZING.  Contacting the snow at approximately 6 points, we balance the best distribution and traction for quick turns and immediate stops.  We believe it is probably the best on the market so far.  Test it out and you will never go back!

Summary
The C6 is apparently the snowboard for all seasons; it’s cheap, expensive, sparkly, ugly, great for jibbing, great for freeriding, protects the environment, is built by stoners and seemingly encourages anyone who touches it to talk endless swathes of crap.  Just like the Angry Snowboarder said, “it’s just a different graphic on the same old shit”, and it’s incredible how much difference you end up paying...
Only one of the brands (Prospect) are actually honest about their relationship with Monson and the rest are all happy to leave the impression that they build their own boards. Most also chose to ladle heaps of tech-bollocks jargon into the mix to further confuse things, whist still remaining bemusingly vague on what you are actually getting for your money. Just one aspect of the board, the rocker shape, when actually mentioned is variously called L-Tech, J-Rocker, Smile Tech and Jib-Rocker by different brands wanting to put their own spin on the same thing.
This lack of honesty is concerning if you are going to spend more than $300 on a snowboard, but it doesn’t just stop with the marketing, there is also a real lack of transparency in terms of who you are buying from. Most of the brands here are not companies, they are mostly just one-man-bands dressed up to look like companies and they offer little or no support should things go wrong. A good example of this situation is Global Mind Elevation - although they claim to be “Northeast, West Coast, Worldwide, We are everywhere” on their contact page, they actually just a couple of guys operating from a garage in a suburban house in a one-horse town called Somers in Connecticut. If you’re about to spend a good wodge of money on a new snowboard we would seriously not recommend spending it with a brand that doesn’t actually tell you who they are or where they are based.
Within the snowboarding world it's natural for people to be averse to handing their money over to the bigger companies that are owned by faceless corporations, which is why these "played out pitches" work. The danger is that if you go to the other extreme of the scale and buy from very small brands you could just be buying the sort of bullshit these guys are selling. There are good small brands out there so make sure if you do want to invest in a brand that is "by riders, for riders" or "made in the USA" or “putting the fun back into snowboarding” or any other generic pitch, that they are transparent about who they are and what they are selling you.

Despite all this, if you are still determined to buy a Monson board and want the cheapest price and arguably the best graphic buy the Crispy Whip for $300, it’s cheaper than the real thing. If on the other hand you really like sparkly paint you could always pay almost double the price and get the SP3i.


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There are a few other guys involved in Monson that are also worth mentioning before we go.

Caked - They were using monsoon boards but have since ended the relationship, or as they put in in an interview with Yobeat
We were getting the boards made by this company Monson outta So Cal, but they don’t know how to do business and they make shitty product so I had to leave them. I couldn’t put a product out there I didn’t really love and back so basically fuck Monson and as of right now we are searching all over the US to find the next company we can begin to build with.
Origin Snow - A brand currently using Monson snowboards, but they only market snowboards for kids so they couldn’t be compared on price to the others.
Kasei - These guys were selling monsoon boards back in 2007 for $499 (reduced from and imaginary $744) but it looks like they are no longer active and they arn’t offering a ‘C6’ that could be compared with the other brands
Homewood - A new company that makes their own snowboards but have been helped by the guys from Monson, which is nice.



You Might Also Like…
The History of Snowboard Manufacturers - Is being an independent snowboard manufacturer actually a selling point?


23 comments:

  1. Forget the domestic market of hard working manufacturers. Try taking a look at breaking down the big Chinese and Eastern European manufacturers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Add Organic Snowboards to the list

    ReplyDelete
  3. You mention that there are 'good small brands out there'. Can you please list that companies that fall under this category, so I can perhaps support them? Also, are there any snowboard apparel brands that are Made in the USA?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nightmare snowboards out of CO, they have a factory in Silverthorne where they press their own boards boards (not made in China) and they have a crew of local artists doing all of their graphics. They have been developing for the last three or four years and are just now going into production.

      Delete
  4. You're right about Organic. They are selling one for $489.99.

    Then there is also Black Powder Customs selling one for $425.

    And last and least is NOPE snowboards (most likely the people behind the second comment) who are selling theirs for $399. They are also in the midst of a marketing nightmare which is worth a read on Angry Snowboarder and Ride on Top who have two articles so far here and here.

    So it's now 14 Brand's, 1 Snowboard, and counting

    ReplyDelete
  5. JimmeCrackCorn, it's not a short answer because there are actually quite a few. Your best place to start is probably this article on Angry Snowboarder

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey dudes, seriously funny stuff. "One horse town of Somers"...priceless. As we said in response to the Angry Snowboarder article, we need more of this...helps keep the small brands on our toes! I should mention, however, that we don't hide the fact we work with Monson. We actually have Ryan right on our Team page. We love what those guys do there, as they provide a well-needed service for the small timers like us to get established. As a result, we've developed a local following of young shredders who don't just enjoy the deck they are buying, but also the brand that comes with it. I can promise you we are not "trust fund babies", just some east and west coasters with day jobs that do this for the love of the sport. Anyways, if you every cross the pond, hit us up, I'm sure you'll dig the decks. Whether its GME or Crispy Whips, you're sure to love the ride!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am unsure of your intent with this article. Is it to trash fellow snowboarders who want to be involved in the industry? Are you telling people to buy from huge corporate brands that mass produce boards overseas??(Burton) What you may or may not know is that 90% of the hundreds of brands that are out there are all made by 3 or 4 OEM's in the states. And that includes some big names. We have all decided to spend a little more to have boards made here rather than China. I can speak for the rest of the brands mentioned when I say we did not have $50,000 lying around to purchase equipment to build boards. As far as the marketing... What are we supposed to say about our boards???? That they stink?? I started Legend Snowboards because I was tired of my job and the lack of respect people had for one another. Snowboarding was my only outlet to meet great people and have fun. You have contradicted this common belief with your spiteful article. To everyone reading this, please consider supporting one of these companies that truly love snowboarding. We are all broke but trying to do what we love.

    Peace
    Jeff Peterson
    Legend

    ReplyDelete
  8. ^ and that is how a decent response is made, transparency, honesty. Nope take a lesson.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Jeff,

    We've written a number of articles on the big brands such as:
    Is being an independent snowboard manufacturer actually a selling point?
    and
    The Big Corporations That Control Snowboarding

    The common thread to all of these articles has been transparency, or more precisely a lack of it. The people who buy snowboards (including us) what to know who builds their boards and what they stand for. Pretty much every brand and manufacturer across the spectrum of scale are quite happy to tell people what they think they want to hear, but only a very small minority are actually honest and transparent about what goes on.

    The important information is lost in the marketing noise. If the average person goes to the site of say; Lamar Snowboards, Signal Snowboards and K2 Snowboards, they come out without any idea of what the difference is. Those companies include a franchised brand, a company owned by one of the biggest banks on the world and an independent company making their own boards in the US. Unless you spend a lot of time tracking things down you would be none the wiser and that's very frustrating for people seeing as there are hundreds of brands to work your way through (hence why this article and the articles from Angry and Ride On Top got so much attention). What we were showing in this article is that this lack of transparency isn't just confined to the big corporations.

    The question has to be, why have you not been more transparent on your site and why don't you explain what you are actually doing to your potential customers? Your pitch in your comment is a lot more appealing (even with your little dig at our nature) than what we can see on your site. If we had found a site that said:
    * I'm Jeff Peterson and I'm building a brand. Here's more about me...
    * I'm building my brand because snowboarding has always been my outlet to meet great people, have fun and do something I love. Here's more about how i got here and why I'm doing it...
    * I'm using Monson as a starting point because that's the best way to start my brand on limited resource. Here's more about how we are doing it...
    * I hope to grow to the point that I can sustain it myself in the future. Here's more about what we are planning to do...

    We'd buy into that idea, we're pretty sure other people would too.

    Non-spitefully yours,
    Illicit

    ReplyDelete
  10. Legendsnowboardco.comNovember 16, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    I actually agree with your points and I will tweek my page because of them. I am
    certainly no expert on marketing. I am just trying to get things going and I'm learning
    as I go. We are under a year old but we already have a nice following. I think small
    companies should be applauded especially on a site that touts non conformity. I would
    like to see more articles calling attention to the grass roots movement away from
    Corporations to the small guys like us.

    Thanks guys!
    Jeff
    Legend
    www.legendsnowboardco.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting article, thanks for pointing out more douchery in our industry! You might also want to add the Elan and GST factories on here and list all the "core" brands that come out of those. You know, like Capita and Rome!? Burton blew it when they moved all manufacturing overseas as well. Companies that I know of that still manufacture their own boards in the US are Mervin (how they still make a mediocre product with lots of money still astounds me), Never Summer, Signal, and then a handful of small niche brands that are probably <1000 boards a year (Bean, Rhythm, TeamEight and others).

    ReplyDelete
  12. excellent article. I think one point that I didnt really see is that the big difference is who designs the board. OEM manufacturing is a necessity in almost every industry, but if the supplier provides the entire design what value does the new brand bring to the industry? If your willing to take your customers money and tell them what they should ride, you should have the expertise to come up with your own shape and composite design. Not affording equipment is one thing, not putting the time in to design your own product is another. that being said, i advocate building your own stuff, that much more love and caring goes into the product. But hey, it seems to work just fine doing it OEM, look at Rome.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ya you can add Stallar Skate & Snow to this list of the same snowboards being churned out by Monson! I thought I was going to a great USA snowboard manufacturer and when they failed to deliver (or even make) all my boards I had to sue them for my money back. They make shitty products. I'm currently looking for a new manufacturer that is US based and can bring my brand to the next level. It is not easy! Thanks for the article!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I will continue to make boards in China and Austria. I am not really concerned with bringing manufacturing back here to the States because the boards are mostly made by Mexicans and the quality, except for a couple ( Never Summer, Signal),is poor in comparison. This article was made by someone with an issue with Monson and this "unknown" person that feels it's neccesary to hurt these smaller companies trying to make a buck. If you want to have a start up snowboard brand, you can't fork out the cash for new tooling, which can run upwards of 5-7K per model, you need to start with a OEM manufacturer, it's simple. I am also sure that these companies listed above have some different materials in the boards, glass, carbon etc.. and the graphics on boards, depending on applications can run the cost up. The writer of this article must be connected to a bigger snowboard company that is feeling pressure and they want to smash the small guys. Add your name to the bottom of this article and answer questions in person to all these companies you are trying to hurt.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sure Frank Stringfellow, completely anonymous blank Blogger profile guy, that whole transparency thing sounds like a plan.

    Lots of love,
    Neil Armstrong

    ReplyDelete
  16. If you don't bring something new to the table... don't come to the table. You don't own a snowboard company, you own a logo company.

    ReplyDelete
  17. what a piece of shit article! you are so full of shit its comical. EVERYTHING you buy, eat, wear, drink, use is a result of marketing you dumb ass! and alot of these companies are just starting out. im sure they would be making their own boards if they had 100k just laying around to invest in board making equipment. there is seriously too much bullshit too address in this dogshit. this guy is probably sitting in his underwear in front of his laptop in his mothers basement writing this excrement.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Shit, ICE, hide the illegalsAugust 25, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Monson snowboards dropped all their brands recently, just making boards for corporate accounts like snickers, sobe, beer companies and others. With homemade equipment from the 80's that barely turns out a rideable board it is not surprising making boards for companies like snickers is preferred, they can crank them out without responsible for quality or safety - the OEM's/11 brands I am sure had expectations beyond what was being delivered. As Cake said, the shit was shit and by any other name still shit, goodbye Monson as it is on good authority they are in Bankruptcy due to bad product and illegal workers, just what I heard, true who knows but it certainly would not surprise me. I think Angry wrote about them going out of business until Monson started giving him free shit to play nice.

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  19. If you look a bit harder you will find monsoon making boards for a Australian company and them being sold for $699 !

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  20. I know I'm late to the table on this article but hopefully someone will still benefit from my post...
    I am a SMALL shaper, not a manufacturer. i make about 50 hand-shaped custom boards per year. I use Grahite base material. I use local wood top sheets from trees felled and milled by my buddy, jointered and planed by me and finallly sliced and veneered by me. I use triax glass in varrying weights, rubber foil, Kevlar, steel inserts etc. i use maple sidewalls, milled by me. I make my cores from scratch from raw maple and ash. I design and shape my own templates. I will grow, but slowly. I am making a name for myself one client at a time. I dont "need" what you think I need. I don't have a CNC. Don't need one...yet. I dont have a press. Don't need one of those yet either (presses are for volume, repetition). With the right epoxy, heat and pressure, i can make anything I want without spending $5000 setup per board and thousands of dollars on a hydraulic or pneumatic press. Someday I may look to an American OEM or to upgrade to some "modern" equipment to offer a better price point for people to buy my snowboards but for now, I'll keep doing what I'm doing, my way. Good luck to all those small brands out there. And really, think outside the box for fuck sake. By thinking you have to do what the big dogs do (ranging from Never Summer to Burton, both who I admire btw), you set yourself up for high cost and unrealistic expectations.

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  21. Awesome comment, if that were the truth you would not need to post anonymously. We let our true reputation do the speaking, entering our 17th year in business, dumped OEM because most of them are a headache and speak as eloquently as Caked (which by the way there are two sides to every story). Yip a lot of our equipment we did make and we are proud of that.

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