Interview- Stone Snowboards

INTERVIEW

Stone
Snowboards



Words: David Pérez
Translation: Elena G. De Murillo
Photo: Stéphane Cardusi

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1. Where, how and when did your adventure start?

We are based in Perpignan, France, Eastern Pyrenees. When the adventure kicked off, it was two of us. My buddy Christophe Defrance has already got a brand (Redwoodpaddle) that keeps him busy full-time. 6 months later we went separate ways, as he already had a lot of work on his side and at Stone, we had to move on to keep up with our competitors, who weren’t making things easy for us. They’re mean!! Stone Snowboards ‘ public announcement was made at a highway rest area in august 2015, as we were on our way back home after testing our first boards on Les 2 Alpes glacier. It would be fair to say that Fluofun helped us getting off to a flying start! They published the info I gave them on their site with a very catchy text, and while I was still on the road, the whole French snowboard scene was already aware of our existence!

2. Stone Snowboards is a Pyrenean born brand. How do your splitboards reflect our mountains? 

Yes, indeed we come from the Pyrenees, and this fact causes a lot of envy (haha) The sort of connection you find between Pyreneans is something rare to find elsewhere. This micro market (splitboard) is like our little mountains; it encourages us to grow bigger.

3. What is Stone Snowboards’ philosophy?

We leave little room for bullshit at Stone Snowboards: we guarantee transparency and an impeccable Customer Service. We are available for our customers online through our website, and on the phone, we deal 100% with every aspect form A to Z. We sell quality products at a fair price and the only way is to eliminate intermediary parties and work directly from the producer to the consumer. These days, if a product is too expensive it’s because it goes through too many hands. Our aim is to make snowboarding socially accessible

4. When did you decide to take on splitboarding?

At the very beginning of our adventure. It’s so cool to ride down jumping and slashing everything that comes your way, instead of doing snowplough!!!!

stone snowboards tom regnier-sm

Photo by: Scard Shoot Photography / Rider: Tom Régnier

5. What splitboard models can we find this year on your catalog?  

We have 3 splitboards:

1/ We have the Lust split 163, a delicious little think, well according to its name. Sober and effective, full wood core, full black high range base, easier to repair, almost flat camber, very easy to split in half, it comes with Voilé clips for 399€.

2/ The Ozzy split comes in 160 & 2 colors: black or white top sheet, fish-like tapered tail, very much surf inspired with its setback inserts, which enhance floatability on powder. Almost flat camber, full wood core, it’s a very aesthetic piece of snow candy. The high range base is equally black. It comes Voilé clips at the same price of the Lust, 399€.

&  the Topo splitboard.

We sell our own skins, made in Austria in collaboration with Contour and Werner, whom I take this opportunity to thank.

6. This year, you are launching a new splitboard model: the Topo. What would you say about it?  

The Topo split in 155 comes in one color, the same width as the Ozzy but shorter, to suit men and women. It’s a surf inspired splitboard, set back to allow a max of float on powder. Like all our boards, it has a full wood core. The high range die cut base is available in two opposed combinations of black and white! It comes with Karakoram clips, at the same price as the Lust & the Ozzy, 399€.

When it comes to price, we are the best placed in the global market at an almost identical quality (we added “almost” not to piss off rival brands!)

7. Where do you produce your boards?  

Part of our boards is produced in Tunisia at MEDITEC. The rest is made at NBL in Poland. Our kids’ boards are made in China.

 

8. In our opinion, outdoor brands should mark the trend of producing in a sustainable, environmental friendly way. Where are you when it comes to this?

We certainly agree and support this idea but these days, this is still too pricey. Our “policy” consists of selling at the fairest price, and our selling volume doesn’t allow us yet to achieve our goals 100%, but we’ll be there one day. Having said this, it is true that some brands that claim to be environmental friendly do not actually produce in their hangars! Some others produce in the other corner of the world…environmental friendly is a big word; gear doesn’t get here by tele-transportation. The only remarkable factory is the Mothership in Austria. Some others are using fewer chemicals in their production processes, but you just can’t press a board with elephant drool…

Many companies are taking their factories to other countries to be more competitive. The industrialization procedure is not environmental friendly. I respect those who sell boards made in Dubaï at 1000€, but as a personal tip, I’d tell them that for that price, you’d better buy hand made French boards. Regarding the future, I don’t have the hindsight but climate change speaks for itself. There’s still plenty of work to do.

PIC FROM SCARD_SHOOT PHOTOGRAPHY-sm-01

Photo by: Stephane Cardusi

9. How do you see splitboarding these days? What about the near future?

Like I mentioned before, it’s a micro market. There’s a lot of research to be done to improve. Nowadays there’s 3 and 4-part splitboards. In 5 years, will 8-part splitboards exist? ahahaha! Marketing is a serial killer but simplicity is key. I personally have a blast with my 2-part splitboard and Voilé Light Rail bindings for my feet.

 

10. What about the current market?

Currently the market is experimenting a big boom. However, you need to have a solid income to be able to afford a 2000€ complete kit! We offer a complete kit at 999€, with our own skins, our own carbon poles, and bindings that cost less than our boards.

11. The splitboarding scene is increasingly growing in the Pyrenees. How do you see things at your side of the border?

How cool is spltboarding in the Pyrenees! The weather is often good we have vast terrain to explore, we can go out just with a group of friends and charge our way down the mountain, jump cliffs; in short, have the time of our lives. Splitboarding provides a great deal of freedom: no lift ticket required. Come and join us, we have room for you.