Founded in 1887, Nidecker creates performance Swiss crafted riding devices for mountain and water. Nidecker got involved in Wintersports in 1912 when they introduced their first skis and launched launched their first snowboard in 1984. Today Nidecker isthe oldest surviving European snowboard brand and a global brand whose product line has expanded to include snowboards, Snow.Surf and SUP. We talked to Thierry Kunz about their history, their future and the new Snow.Surf line.
How have things changed since you launched your first snowboard?
The spirit stays the same. Authenticity, History, Innovation and Quality are the words that define our company. Our goal since day one is progression and we’ve always paid special attention to quality and details. Our major change over the last four years is is that we had to move the production but we kept our laboratory and our shaping room in Switzerland. We also went from one brand to one group with today brands like Jones / Slash / Yes / Now and of course Nidecker.
Let’s talk about Nidecker Snow.Surf. What is it about the surf inspired shape that is so great for snowboarding and why do you think they’ve become popular again?
Historically, snowboarding started with surfers who wanted to get the same feeling on snow as they did in the water. This was in the 70’s and it wasn’t until the the late 80’s that skateboarding became the inspiration for snowboarding. Over the last 20 years, snowboarding became a sport with pure athletes pushing the limits and thinking only about performance. Snow.Surf for me is another approach to the ride. Turns are what snow surfing is about (on and off piste) and our Snow-Surf shapes are made to get better ‘carveabilty’, better float in pow and is set up with less width to the stance, more angle on the front foot and some canting on the back foot to help you push through turns. The look of course is something that changes as the inspiration is full of authenticity and not about core skate graphics.
This re-revolution will bring people back to snow for the pleasure of riding, without being intimidated by the ‘extreme’. At the end of the day, what we want is to have fun and not to be scared. This is something that will interest the boom snowboard generation who are 35 years old and up, but also the young ones who come from the retro surf trend.
The Nidecker Snow.Surf range is heavily inspired by the early days of the brand – you’ve used the same name as some of those boards, what steps have you taken to bring the tech up to date?
The only thing really we took from our heritage were the names. We used new tech and when it comes the shapes, I used my experience and what all my friends from the ISF tour from early 90’s are now dreaming about. Legendary shredders like Berti Dernervaud have been a great help. Nidecker is without doubt the carving brand par excellence, so it was for me natural to take that as the start point. For the rest is my years of exploring surfing who gave me the inspiration. So the ride is way more easier, we all learn from our mistakes
A lot of other brands, especially some of the newer ones, have released retro inspired boards recently, do you think this is a good thing?
Of course! Everyone should push into Snow Surfing – and not use the word snowboarding for this type or riding style. It will bring more people on the snow, but for me it’s the answer of what people want. And hopefully all the surfing brands who are doing outerwear will get involved and at the end we should create a community around Snow Surfing.
Can you briefly outline who each of the boards in the Snow Surf range are aimed at?
I did three different shapes inspired by Snow Surfing, but all of them are made to ride both on and off piste.
click on the boards to buy!