Snowboards Out Of The Shaping Room
What is standard for surfboards is pretty much an exception in the snowboard industry – A board handmade by a shaper in his workshop! That was the initial idea behind ‘The Shaper Collective’ around Chris Spoerri and Philipp Gossweiler. The two Swiss snowboard shapers are dedicated to making the perfect snowboard, tailor made to the request of their clientele. One of their customers is Iouri Podladtchikov who won the gold medal in the halfpipe at the Olympic Games in Sochi. And while the industry is pumping out snowboards for the masses, the Shaper Collective is proud to build high quality snowboards – one by one handmade in Switzerland. For this reason Deus Ex Machina Milano has decided to build a limited series of snowboard to enjoy custom hand-made snow surfing.
What/Who is The Shaper Collective?
C (Chris Spoerri): The roots of the Shaper Collective reach back to 1988, when me and a friend made our first snowboard in the garage of his parents. Even though this first try resulted in a disaster, we kept on going and soon started to sell some boards to friends and family. Exactly 10 years later, I opened a small snow- and skateboard shop called Cloud 9, from which I sold my own hand shaped snowboards to a wider clientele. This is when the brand ‘Pumpkin’ was born. Soon, Philipp Gossweiler joined me and together we grew a great part. We sold more and more Pumpkin Snowboards but we also started to make more and more boards for brands, shops, companies and also for pro riders and their sponsors. So we decided to create a roof over these projects and our own brand: The Shaper Collective
P (Philipp Gossweiler): To cut a long story short: The Shaper Collective is a project under which we run our home brand ‘Pumpkin’, make customized boards for brands, companies and shops, and, of course, work together with pro riders and their team managers and coaches.
Can you name a few pros that are riding your boards?
P: The most famous right now is Iouri Podladtchikov who’s just won the Olympic gold medal in the halfpipe in Sochi. Plus we also had Ursina Haller reaching the womens halfpipe final in Sochi. Two Swiss athletes at the Olympics, that was great!
C: We’ve also made boards for pros from other countries, such as Arthur Longo (Volcom), Freddy Fox (Rhythm), or Alessandro Boyens (Rockstar). The list is longer but some names and sponsors we are not allowed to mention, sorry...
Tell us something about the collaboration with Iouri Podladtchikov?
C: We’ve been working with Iouri for the past five years. In this time, he changed his riding style a fair bit and it was quite a challenge to fine tune his snowboards in the right way, so they were resulting in better boards for him.
P: It’s been good to receive precise feedback by him but also by his coach Marco Bruni who was actually working very close with us in order to create the ‘golden board’.
What makes you different from others in the snowboard industry?
C: Probably that we are not part of ‘the industry’. As I mentioned before, we are a small and independent brand. We make all our snowboards one by one and 100% hand made in our workshop in Winterthur (Switzerland), very similar to a surfboard shaper who creates his piece of art in his shaping room. I’ve always admired that.
P: And we are in close contact with our customers and talk the same language, as we stand on the board as often as we can. So we might have a slightly better feeling for what they are looking for. The customers are able to choose or customize the shape of their snowboard and we also make the wildest custom graphics dreams come true – everybody can get his or her pro-model!
Where is modern snowboarding gonna go and will the shapes adapt to a certain style?
P: There will definitely be a trend towards off-piste snowboarding and we will see more split boards on the hills. These shapes will be going towards early rise nose but some camber in the profile, too. Nose wider than tail, a little bit ‘fishy’. Boards like that are fun to ride and easy to handle in many different snow conditions.
C: Halfpipe contest boards will become stiffer and have less radius so the riders can control the boards better and maintain the speed through all hits. For the everyday ride, I think that the classic camber will also be seen more often again. Sometimes it seems that the end consumers are rather confused with all those hybrid shapes and different rocker types that are found on the market today.
Interview by B. Gretler and M. Widmeier
Check out the movie of the Making Of Iouris Olympic Snowboard:
If you want your handshape Deus snowboard for next winter order now: Italy@deuscustoms.com --- Se vuoi la tua tavola Deus fatta a mano per il prossimo inverno ordina ora: Italy@deuscustoms.com