YES, the rumors are true. David Carrier-Porcheron, Romain de Marchi, and JP Solberg, who all parted ways with Burton last Fall, are starting a new snowboard brand. YES they will be available at SIA and YES they have landed on a name. YES.
The idea for the new line was hatched when Jim Zbinden, founder of the Pulp68 family and designer of Nidecker’s NDK line, began talking with Romain de Marchi several years ago about a new type of company focused on quality, affordable boards with more of a skate feel. “RDM liked the idea and met [with] DCP & JPS to use this board,” says Zbinden. “At the same time, I worked out a new concept of snowboard brand, a brand that looks like a skate brand. Cheaper but stronger, changing design every 4 months.” Zbinden worked with Henry Nidecker, who manages the family factory, to create the boards, and prototypes started rolling out a couple months ago.
Here are a few details from the press release:
TransWorld Business caught up with Jim Zbinden to find out why his crew decided to launch YES now and what will set it apart in these times:
TWB: Will the boards be available for 09/10?
Jim Zbinden: Yes! Directly after the trade show we want to sale end of season first boards for impatient fans, first graphic series and ultra limited “yes we can” graphic hand-painted boards.
TWB: What price range are we talking?
JZ: $349, and special deal in $299 for price point. We want to do special editions, but in regular price [range] ( except for special auction & donations).
TWB: Why change designs every four months?
JZ: For different reasons, first, to push creativity, it’s a cool challenge to imagine new series every time. Second, to help the Southern Hemisphere have new boards right on time. Lots of countries currently have to wait to have new products.. Why ignore these riders ? Third, to give the fans and customers the possibility of having a special product (every size/design limited to 100 pcs). And fourth, because nobody does it! Some brands do “late” models but not this kind of challenge.
TWB: Why do you think it's a good time to launch a new board company?
JZ: To be honest, it is not a choice, we have been talking for 10 years with RDM to do our own brand from pulp68, and the opportunity is now! The market is down, but a lot of riders are bored of giving money to big companies and are disappointed with the choices of brands. We just want to do what we like.. and the reactions are really positive.
TWB: Where will these be sold?
JZ: From the Internet and in partnership with core shops – we just try to imagine new business solutions.
TWB: You mentioned that they will be "cheaper but stronger.” How?
JZ: At the begining, I just looked in China for cheaper prices, but I hate this kind of thing like “Oh, make the board in China is cool, it’s so cheap.” We are from Switzerland, and have a manufacturer 30 minutes from my home. Nidecker are really strong about development and technology.
I want to do the board with a “Swiss engineering ” label, made here, from my country. We knew exactly what we wanted to ride and we need technology and prototypes to develop our boards. Henry decided to support us because he believed in us.
It’s a great thing to sell boards made in Switzerland for the price of those made in China – Henry is making some money sacrifices to help and develop YES. It’s a big challenge to work with the team from Nidecker but everybody enjoys working together. Everybody wins in this partnership, customers have quality, the team has a cool research center access, and the Nidecker Factory has the best riders to try their innovations.