Project image
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£2,289
pledged of £150,000pledged of £150,000 goal
14
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, September 13 2013 6:46 AM UTC +00:00
£2,289
pledged of £150,000pledged of £150,000 goal
14
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, September 13 2013 6:46 AM UTC +00:00

About

The Development of Snowsurfer

The Concept

2004 Andrew von Staufer had the idea for a snow scooter - he originally named the Ski Rider - inspired by microscooters ridden by the children of his friends. He thought it would be suitable for older skiers. But the invention has been a big hit with teenagers who carry out skateboard-type tricks with it.

The idea arose while he was in Majorca with his wife Maria, who does not ski. The children of friends of ours were using microscooters up and down the driveway. My wife said, 'if you come up with something like that which goes on skis, I might be inspired to try myself'.

"Using a car repair fibreglass kit and then some aluminium I made the first one and had the basic idea." 

Design Sketch (Dimensions removed)
Design Sketch (Dimensions removed)

Refining the design

2006 After bringing in some business associates Simon Bathard and Tim Griffin, they approached myself Gareth Lucas as I had the experience to build the product at my company UK Hydroslides I loved the idea and became the major shareholder, investing over £238,000 to date.  We produced 100  pre-production models. These were extensively tested and refined at ski resorts in America, Canada and the Alps. 

The Original Team
The Original Team

After hooking up with the Welsh Development Agency's Wales Innovators Network, it scooped two awards at the British Invention Show held in London's Alexandra Palace, the gold award for leisure and the platinum award for design.

Testing and refining the design

2009

3D Design model
3D Design model

We exhibited the Ski Rider as it was then called at the winter international sporting goods trade show in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Which generated a lot of interest and enquires for buying the Ski Rider however, a lack of funds at that time, made worse by the financial crisis that started around 2008 meant we were unable to go into production. 

Early publicity video

We had the machines  TUV Safety tested to European standards and continued to refine the design with a small development team. However, due to a lack of funds the project had to be shelved.

Rebranding and a new start

2013

Publicity shot
Publicity shot

Whilst testing in Scotland I took the decision to rebrand and market the whole product as Snowsurf. The idea is to create a complete brand identity around the Snowsurf name with the Snowsurfers being the central product.   

How the money will be spent

  • buying components

We have sourced the best price on the world market for each component and have been extensively testing to ensure they meet our quality control requirements for safety and reliability these manufacturers are now ready to go into production as soon as funding has been secured. The Snowsurfers will be assembled at my business premises in Llantwit Major, South Wales.

  • Working with Graphic Artists to produce new designs and ideas.

we realise that a lot of the appeal of this kind of project is in the unique graphics and designs of the boards. Therefore we are looking at designing new and radical  graphics to compliment the rebrand.

  • Professionally market Snowsurfer
A lot of the promotional videos and literature previously produced are branded as Ski Rider and these need to be redone. We realise working with an experienced person or agency who understands the market will be the best way to get the Snowsurfer selling in the numbers we anticipate. 

  • Establish a manufacturing/assembly unit

Although I already have the premises and space, as the sales number pick up a dedicated area and team will be needed to keep up with demand and ensure orders are fulfilled on time.

  • Setup a series of competitions

 We want to establish a series of competitions at the various resorts around the world to promote the use of the Snowsurfer and encourage development of new tricks and ideas. This will also help establish the Snowsurf brand amongst the Ski resort users.

Manufacturing

The components will be delivered to our workshops from various countries around the world  

The components that make a Snowsurfer
The components that make a Snowsurfer
Uk Hydroslides Workshops
Uk Hydroslides Workshops
Where the original pre-production models were built
Where the original pre-production models were built

The Snowsurfers will be assembled by a small team and checked for quality control before being packaged and shipped out.

Workshop
Workshop

We will be selling the Snowsurfer direct from our own website as well as to the established wholesale and retail industry.

It was originally thought that the main market would be supplying Snowsurfers to retail outlets but during our tests on the slopes it has become obvious that instruction and hire facilities on the nursery slopes are very important giving the public the best introduction to Snowsurfing. The video at the top is aimed at that market.

The Future

Snowsurfer will help a wider range of the general public to enjoy the Snow Slopes.

The global snowsports hardware market  is huge with 5 million units of skis and snowboards sold annually. However, as participants “retire” from skiing due to injury etc, the market continually needs to attract new participants to maintain volumes. 

The Snowsurfer was designed so anyone who's ridden a microscooter or bike could have fun on the snow. Originally it was thought it would appeal to older riders but in testing it has been a big hit with teenagers who can perform skateboard and BMX style tricks.

Riding and controlling is intuitive, making it much easier and quicker to learn than other skiing activities.

Because the riders feet are not bound to the board there are no straps, bidings or special boots needed.

There is less stress and strain on the riders legs, knees and ankles, and if a rider falls off they are more likely to fall clear of the board reducing the risk of broken bones or other serious injuries.

Three target markets are identified, end consumers through to retail outlets and direct internet sales, retail hire shops (for onward hire) and wholesale distributors or large retail chains. Ski-hire shops are seen as the primary target market for the first few years, with migration on to distributors as volumes ramp up.

Planned business process
Planned business process

We are now ready to go into full production and just need your support

Sample of engineering drawings
Sample of engineering drawings

Thank you for your interest in this project and we hope that you invest in us. Obviously we need to reach our goal as the money is needed to fund the next stage but whether you choose a high value reward or one of the lower ones all are very gratefully received. We also hope you will tell as many people as you can about Snowsurfer and look out for them at a resort near you in the future and give it a go it's great fun!

Risks and challenges

The main risks and challenges are getting the components and assemblying them for the right price. In these difficult economic times it is important to keep the manufacturing costs as low as possible to make the product priced at a level that the customer is happy with.

We have worked hard to keep costs down whilst still making sure we have a reliable and durable product that will give many years of service.

We hope that everyone who gets a Snowsurfer as a reward will be on the slopes or indoor resorts showing of the product and passing on the message of how exciting it is to use. We hope that those of you who sponsor at the lower levels will be able to experience the Snowsurfer at a hire centre and will also be encouraging your friends to give it a go.

The challenge we've set ourselves is to get Snowsurfer into customers hands as early as possible for this years skiing season and to make the Snowsurfer as common on the slopes as snowboards or ski's.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    Ski Helmet or Bumper Sticker showing you're supporting Snowsurfer the new shape on the slopes!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $12

    As above plus a Snowsurfer A4 Poster

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $24

    An original kickstarter sponsor Limited edition woollen skiing hat embroided with your name

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    4 backers
    £

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $36

    Sticker and Poster, plus a Snowsurfer Logo Mug
    printed with
    'your name'
    Original Kickstarter Sponsor
    Thanks from Snowsurfer

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $61

    Original Kickstarter Sponsor T-shirt, Mug, Poster and Sticker

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    3 backers
    £

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About $304

    High Quality Snowsurf Ski Jacket customised with your name and printed with the Snowsurfer logo and Original Kickstarter Sponsor

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    2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,100 or more About $1,337

    Original Kickstarter Sponsors Limited Edition Snowsurfer. Customised with your name. As soon as the first machines are produced you'll take delivery of a limited edition sponsors machine. These will only be available to Kickstart sponsors.

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    1 backer
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,370 or more About $1,665

    Original Kickstarter Sponsors Limited Edition Snowsurfer. Customised with your name. As above but with a customisied Snowsurfer Ski Jacket, Mug, Hat, Poster and sticker.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,038

    Tailored Personal Training to get the most from your Snowsurfer. You will also receive the full package above.
    Travel and Accommodation at a ski resort not provided, we will contact you to arrange a suitable time and place to provide the training.

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Funding period

- (30 days)