Originally Posted by Nivek
You really think you have something more durable and easier to ride than Burtons LTR series? Burton is the number 1 manufacturer of rental equipement. They have been for years. Part of holding that market is making the easiest boards to ride that are more durable than anyone elses.
Rental technology is realistically more concerned with durability and the longevity of the product. It needs to be a smart investment for the shop bringing it in. Designing a board that is easy to ride is wildly easy. I can sit down and pump one of those out in AutoCad in 30 mintues. The learning curve in the sport draws way more from the body than the equipment anyway. You use muscles you never knew you had. Which means it takes time to hone them and get them to a developemental point that allows for fine control.
Burton being the number one rental equipment dealer is a part of why they are also the largest brand name in the industry. Someone completely new to the sport is more likely to spend their first days on the mountain with a big B under their feet. When it comes time to purchase their own gear they already have experience with Burton and are then much more likely to just get a Burton set up. Get 'em early.
Shops buy rental gear in large bulk. Bulk buys get discounts. Manufacturers dont make their money selling rentals based on high margins, but instead on high volume. It will cut significantly into their profits if they have to licsence their designs from an outsider.
I'm wondering what kind of market reasearch was done before your firm started work on this project. If you had done what was needed you'd have either been prepared for this reaction from the industry, or not gone forward with the project at all from the start.
And finally, you are going about the product completely backwards. The concept of making the true "beginner" snowboard suggests your market is the end consumer who is actually riding the board. That is the wrong approach. Your end consumer is the shops buying the boards or the the brands you're trying to liscence to. How are you going to convince them what you have is worth a full change over from what has been working just fine for the last 4 years?
Sorry to break it to you but you and your firm have spent that last however many years designing and testing something the snowboard industry does not need.
Oh and I guess one more thing, the beginner stage is not long enough to warrant a product that spent 2 years in the R&D phase. I have a friend that started hitting 40 footers her fourth year. Another who is doing shit on jibs I'll probably never do his fifth year on snow and I've been riding since Y2K. "high end" board construction has progressed to a point where one doesnt need to be on "beginner" equipment for even a full season anymore.
In our opinion, with strategy, large Snowboard Companies need to keep coming up with new and worthy product initiatives to maintain market share. And smaller Snowboard Companies look to introduce new and worthy product initiatives to gain market share. We are searching for a Snowboard Company who sees merit in branding, manufacturing and marketing a uniquely different dedicated Beginner Snowboard. Our design concepts as incorporated in our last working prototype provides relevant "beginner" performance in the snowboard which is conducive to improved rider learning. Whether the snowboard rental market better caters to beginner riders with a snowboard like ours is yet to be seen? Whether there is a Snowboard Company out there which is interested in the merit of our working prototype is the nature of our enquiry of this forum.