Surf the Earth: Compatriot Snowboards
Surf the Earth: Compatriot Snowboards
Compatriot handcrafts the finest freeride snowboards. We believe that snowboarding is an enigmatic expression of soulful struggle.
Compatriot handcrafts the finest freeride snowboards. We believe that snowboarding is an enigmatic expression of soulful struggle. Read more
About this project
ABOUT COMPATRIOT SNOWBOARDS
We are launching a new line of Compatriot snowboards designed for the core rider and mountain enthusiast at compatriotsnowboards.com. What you will see here is a line of new Compatriots and new graphics not yet produced in the factory or ridden underfoot of any wanting snowboarding enthusiast or backcountry billygoat. With this project, we hope to keep the mountains alive with our Flying Bear at http://compatriotsnowboards.com/ for the discerning rider, outdoorsmen, skater, and artist.
For this premier release, we are debuting the new graphics and new boards for our future line of Compatriot snowboards here in this kickstarter not yet seen or ridden. If we are funded, the resources you contribute to our project here will help build this line below and spread our story of a fresh, indy start-up snowboard company in a market segment dominated by behemoths.New Graphics for our next run of Compatriot Snowboard. You can see them close up on our Compatriot FaceBook page. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151809861792727.1073741826.187784527726&type=1
We take a raw and authentic approach to all we do and we put our own sweat equity and creative bravado into all that we build and produce. For example, check it out as as living legend Pro Snowboarder Rob Kingwill designs his new graphic for the Valkyrie Pro Model 154 and 158cm in the line-up you see above. Rob creates the graphics for his Compatriot Valkyrie right before your very eyes in a style that is all Compatriot and brand new. From his house to riding it on fresh powder, Rob shows you how to get it done. That’s 40 hours of footage compressed into 3 minutes. Whew.
Check out the finished product of the new prototype above in the hands of the artist and pro himself. Kinger showing his stoke on the Valkyrie 158 in the mail from Compatriot HQ, aka. my garage. Here’s what Rob had to say, “So stoked to get my new Compatriot RK Valkyrie 158 in the mail yesterday! It’s so fun to see my graphics come to life!” http://compatriotsnowboards.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/valkking.jpg
Compatriot http://compatriotsnowboards.com/handcrafts the finest freeride snowboards available. These boards are built in very limited quantities and tested by actual snowboarders in the mountains, not just in a factory. When we created this company, we set out with the intention of making the best snowboard for those who love the mountains, allowing you to excel in all environments. Owning one is a perfect manifestation of an understood love for snowboarding.
We are not only a company, but an organization that is devoted to snowboarders, skateboarders, outdoorsmen, and artists. Those who ride our boards are unique individuals: they are committed riders who believe that snowboarding is an enigmatic expression of soulful struggle and elegant aggression. That's why we make it a priority to help other organizations and make giving back a part of our Company’s mission.
This organization is based on its people. We are not a company that is interested in capitalizing on the recent exploitation that snowboarding has received through the media, because snowboarding is not a fashion show. It is a way of life. Riding is personal, and the snowboard company you support should be, too.
The boards you see being ridden were previously produced, however the line I am proposing here in this project are all brand new with brand new graphics not yet released nor have they been constructed. We are making a whole new line of boards with varying sizes for the project to make sense on all levels. We want to build this new line, keep Compatriot fresh and keep our momentum alive.
What we represent here is a new project for Compatriot. You will see in this kickstarter that we demonstrate real product and real prototyes but we need $ to make our new line happen and create products of radness so you can shred some POW and ride the white wave . Kickstarter is perfect to get this going.
The word compatriot signifies a valiant loyalty to the cause. We Are Compatriot.
The Compatriot Mission
The Compatriot Snowboard Company is committed to making high performance snowboards consisting of the finest materials which are elegantly manufactured for the demands of backcountry snowboarding. What makes us different for other snowboard companies? It’s our ideals. It’s the fact that we are rider owned. And specifically it’s our customers, those that ride and then love our boards. We are built to last and last to die.
What we use:
Compatriot’s philosophy is that there is wisdom in classic snowboard construction. We try to maintain a perfect balance of advanced technology and time-proven construction methods. Compatriot Snowboards are constructed one by one using top-shelf materials and are designed to withstand abuse, performing unlike any other snowboard.
WHAT OTHER BRANDS USE: Crappy wood, sometimes even foam or inferior synthetic materials.
WHAT WE USE: Cowboy Core™ – The Cowboy Core is a multidensity, full wood core that has been custom milled to be lightweight, strong, and stay consistently snappy in all the right places. With different densities in key areas (such as under the bindings), this core will respond with precision. Do you like light snowboards? So do we. To address this, we use a complex UV Process to extract moisture content from the wood prior to pressing the board. This is a longer process, but helps the core to remain noticeably light, avoid warpage, and maintain memory. Hence the bold declaration “Wood Goodness.”
WHAT OTHER BRANDS USE: ABS or other rigid plastics.
WHAT WE USE: Knuckle Sandwich™ Sintered UHMW P-Tex Sidewalls. Sintered UHMW P-Tex is an excellent sidewall material that dampens the feel of the snowboard and preserves bomber edge hold at high speeds. Demand the high-quality and ease of repair that only sintered p-tex sidewalls can provide.
STRINGERS / OLLIE BEAMS
WHAT OTHER BRANDS USE: Either nothing or occasionally they will use poorly-placed strips of low-grade carbon fiber tape somewhere in the board to make it seem techy.
WHAT WE USE: Well, we’d love to be able to tell you but we can’t. It’s that good. Let’s just say that it is called CFX91 and it friggin rules.
WHAT OTHER BRANDS USE: Economy plastics from overseas.
WHAT WE USE: In 2006, Compatriot unveiled is new EN7™ Topsheet. EN7 is a simple material that has radical properties. It is a new take on what most snowboards used back in the glory days of shredding. This material helps transfer energy from carve to carve, and is very aesthetic.
WHAT OTHER BRANDS USE: Nothing.
WHAT WE USE: VDS Anti-Chatter Dampening System™, a proprietary blend of rubber/urethane enhanced foils specially designed to reduce that uncomfortable choppy feel at high speeds. So go faster!
WHAT OTHER BRANDS USE: “Vacuum presses”, cheap 360° cap construction, or unorganized sandwich compression. We hate cap construction.
WHAT WE USE: AT5 Torsion Box™ System – This is the essence of the Compatriot Handcrafted Construction. A solid, durable torsion box system that performs and lasts. Hence the bold declaration, “Wood Goodness.”
WHAT OTHER BRANDS USE: Low-grade plastics, usually soft extruded bases with poor wax retention.
WHAT WE USE: Only the best, of course. All Compatriot snowboards feature the infamous DuraSurf™ 4000 base. This material is extremely hard, fast, and retains wax better then any other base material on the market. We die cut some of our base graphics for optimum performance and sharp aesthetic value. Other models have a sexy sublimated graphic.
WHAT OTHER BRANDS USE: Other brands have successfully brainwashed many snowboarders into thinking that reverse camber is a new technology that will help them ride better. This may be true for riders who spend the majority of their time side-slipping thru the park and also true for riders who only ride in 36 inches of fresh snow all day every season, but that’s why we created HellBent and put it on the Commissioner 169 which is the ultimate pow slayer. See, we thunk of everything.
WHAT WE USE: It’s like what Louis Armstrong said about Jazz, “Man, if you have to ask… you’ll never know.” Proper camber is king. Our boards have two variations of camber: ManCamber, designed to give you mad pop and insane edge hold, and FlatCamber, designed flatter for easier pressing on rails and a slightly looser feel on the take off of kickers.
What an early fan said, “The few days I’ve put on the Compatriot board I recently purchased have been eye-opening. I haven’t spent and significant amount of time on anything but Burton boards. They were all okay and I felt like I was always progressing on them. I honestly never noticed much difference going from board to board and always wrote that off to my relative inexperience. The last few days on the Compatriot have changed that for me. Granted, I’ve only been able to ride it on the ribbon at Loveland so far, but the increased control and stability have been mind-blowing for me. I’ve ridden crud, ice and decent snow...and the board responds beautifully to all of them. It’s completely buttery in the fluff...I’m stoked to be on a board that seems to read my mind.”
What we are:
“Compatriot is not a company that is interested in capitalizing on the recent exploitation that snowboarding has received through the media, because snowboarding is not a fashion show. It is a way of life for many of us. Riding is personal, and the snowboard company you support should be, too.” That's why both living legend Rob Kingwill and Kevin Jones originally jumped on board when we first launched the idea and brand. Their early and critical support was essential for us. Although, they have both moved on to other projects, we are forever indebted to them for their passion and support of Compatriot. Their is still at the core of our brand.
We don't have heavy overhead. We don’t have brick and mortar, "carry-over" or aged inventory, debt or a complex organizational structure. It’s simple. We build high quality snowboards, sell them to the end user, or wholesale them to our distribution channels for retail. We do not manufacture the snowboards ourselves but sublet them to an OEM partner overseas who use our proprietary recipe to ensure our boards are held to the standards of quality that we put into our branding image. Check out Kinger in his moments of stoke on his own 158 Compatriot VALKYRIE as he puts it through the ringer.
Our immediate focus http://compatriotsnowboards.com/ is to build an iconic image of Compatriot emphasizing the feel of an independent brand with an intimate yet immense scope. In other words, we want to share the stoke.
Compatriot Snowboards is a “core,” rider driven and rider owned brand with an original vision to create a product and brand image for the more discerning customer, much like the “hand-made surfboard” product culture and mentality. This “core rider” refers to a rider dedicated to the culture, story, and community of snowboarding. That is why we are building Compatriot - valiant loyalty to the cause.
Although Compatriot had degrees of early success within its limited potential, the founder put the brand to idle because his resources ran out. Shortly after, I purchased the brand because its cause and mission resonated personally with me and I saw a brief window of opportunity to build on my passion. I wanted to create something different in a company in the Action Sport space that has unique impact with its riders, product, image and message. Compatriot's clean, simple graphics, classic core snowboard construction, and rider/owner brand make what we are doing special and sustainable with proper resources. We are committed to building a different company that values its people, customer and the environment. Although, it originally gained small, regional traction in the original lines, we have both domestic and international sales in previous lines and stretched, but we want to keep the momentum building and we need your help. With an incredible team of riders and partners, like living legend and previous Compatriot Pro Rob Kingwill (now rides for Jones) http://compatriotsnowboards.com/team/rob-kingwill/ and previous Compatriot Pro and living legend Kevin Jones (now rides for Bluebird) http://compatriotsnowboards.com/team/compatriots/kevin-jones/, a market shifting sentiment to independent brands, and a very supportive and curious media http://compatriotsnowboards.com/category/uncategorized/page/4/, we already have a small network of national and international distributors.
We believe our team of internationally renowned riders, http://compatriotsnowboards.com/team/compatriots/, a growing network of high level industry connections, and experienced business leadership will bring our brand to market. Compatriot’s core potential customers are primarily male ages 18 - 54, so our target audience represents over 50% of the market. At nearly 8 mm total market participants in the nearly $4Billion snow sport action space, we have "room to grow." Our potential market is huge, but we want to keep our focus and maintain the core rider, indy company status. To reach some of this niche market, we don’t need heavy overhead or brick and mortar. We can be run with a very manageable expense structure, from a central location (my garage in So. Cal), with dynamic, cost-effective efficiencies utilizing all of the 21st century technological advancements. However, we need resources to market and continue to build our community, build inventory, support our riders, and create a non-traditional marketing approach to supporting the Compatriot cause and growing customer base. Check out Tim Cowie, one of our newer AM's charging the Big White Wave in Big Sky Montana.
And our own Compatriot AM Harry Kearney as he stokes the fire with some Compatriot Radness in "Search for a Cool Place..."
The Faceless Industry Giants
We see our entrance to the market as a great window of opportunity. There is a general unrest and frustration within the market concerning the faceless industry giants that have monopolized the markets and distribution channels. Therefore, the market is ripe for our message of a company where its riders/owners are dedicated to the community. Even more, these riders are the a few of the ones who helped author its very culture. However, we do not come with unrealistic expectations about the recession, anemic trends in recreational spending, or consumer confidence. Yet we see movement. Here are some vids about how we are doing things and creating an organic buzz.
Kinger is not only designing his graphics but getting towed with his new graphics and board underfoot ...by a Mercedes? Check out the vid.
“The following video was made with professionals on a closed course. It is dangerous and should not be attempted,” states this Compatriot Snowboards, err, Mercedes commercial? Watch Rob Kingwill get barreled, throw methods, slashes, all on his Valkyrie 158, all in a Mercedes Commercial?
Heck yeah, Rob. Get some. Everybody go out and shred. And get some.
Not just an idea! Real faces....
This is not a company I am proposing, or a product and graphics that “might be” market ready, or pro-team with probable legendary riders, or a concept that is just a good idea http://compatriotsnowboards.com/category/photo/. I have personally bled my bank account and more than punched the clock (with HUGE support from my wife) into the company to get it off and jogging. Compatriot is alive and we have significant traction. http://compatriotsnowboards.com/category/photo/page/2/. To boot, I have done this while being fully employed in an executive leaderships role for a national company, adjunct graduate college professor, author, husband, and father of three. This is something being done with real people, real product, and real results.
Compatriot brings a message the market craves of an independent rider/owned brand, no frills or gimmicks, and with indisputable legendary riders, but we need resources to build sustainability and impact. I am economically tapped out and we need a boost to keep things moving.
A newer economy brings dynamic opportunities for independent brands like Compatriot with unique mission and vision because “Retailers and Brands alike will of course tear their hair out when they find hot product they can’t get any more of.” - TWB
This is a niche market for a consumer sentiment wanting real “faces” of an independent brand instead of faceless monopolies.
SEE WHERE WE'VE BEEN: X Games, Aussieland, Spain, ESPN, Snowboarder Mag., Fuel TV, Transworld Snowboarding Mag., and the ever classic Tetons.
We have impact and are bringing Compatriot to markets and "scenes" like Steve Fisher with mad air at X Games, Matt Galina doing it proper at Aussieland down under, ESPN, Snowboarder Magazine, Transworld Snowboarding, and with indisputable riders/pros like Rob Kingwill and previous Compatriot rider Kevin Jones. Check out the places we have landed and the interviews we've done on our photo pages http://compatriotsnowboards.com/category/photo/ and watch the boards and pros in action deep in some Grand Teton POW (that's snow powder for those of you wondering).
We are one of the only brands with significant momentum and branding in the marketplace with limited resources using an organic market approach.
We run our program predominantly on our "blog" centric website and build our content as the boys and the boards create the stories to tell. Rob spends a ton of time on these edits and the filming (see below) as he is a self-proclaimed GoPro guru and editing genius.
We'd love the support and any resources you can part with. We want to keep this going but must have additional resources to keep alive what we started. We want to keep Compatriot on the mountains and stacking stories for years to come.
Finally, The VALKYRIE in AK living the dream: Is it winter yet? In this episode of The Kingdom, Mr. Rob Kingwill and Mr. Mike Basich get down in a rad GoPro edit from the famed tailgate Alaska.
Risks and challenges
WHERE WE ARE STRONG:
We are rider owned and operated; we offer a sleek and simple product offering; we have an internationally recognized, industry honored pro and AM rider team; our geographical location is centralized to our defined target markets in both Southernn California and Jackson Hole Wyoming; committed partners with combined 50 years of snowboard industry experience; stellar product quality; unique graphics and fresh concepts and relationships with some of the worlds most sought-after graphic artists; mutually advantageous outsourcing resulting in minimal overhead and higher product quality; organically grown, strong media coverage with little available resource which accentuates our early successes.
This is not a concept. It is a real company that has realized sales, a real team, and real owners that ride.
WHERE WE STRUGGLE:
We have very limited financial resources of both time and money (Myself and Rob do most all of the work) and the stresses of a start-up company; in comparison to industry giants, we have a newer, unrecognized brand; a recovering economy that is sometimes reticent to recreational spending; smaller quantities are being ordered from manufacturers/suppliers as initial samples and products, and this brings higher cost-per-unit, lowers manufacturing priorities, narrows profit and keeps strict deadlines; finally, my very limited resources and small advisory board keep us dabbling in smaller arenas and limit immediate potential.
WHERE WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY:
Despite competition, our very limited resources, and niche market, Compatriot Snowboard Company remains one of the few newer snowboard companies gaining traction with limited resources; we still have an exciting and challenging start-up atmosphere.
Snowboarders and outdoorsmen are unique and show a tendency to support the “underdogs” within the market. This is a great opportunity to provide an innovative product to a customer base that isn’t afraid to try new brands or patronize a smaller company.
The local snowboard culture is an excellent environment for a fresh start-up snowboard company. Although it is still a niche market and a niche brand, snowboarding has a huge upside for a company like Compatriot that doesn't have huge minimums on the order, massive expense structure, and bloated inventories.
WHAT ARE OUR THREATS:
Competitors, saturated space, and resources. Brands like StepChild Snowboards; K2 Snowboarding; Venture Snowboards; Volcom; Burton.com | Burton Snowboards; CAPITA SNOWBOARDING; Never Summer Industries; Lib Tech Snowboards; Gnu; Rome Snowboard
New brand competition - Illuminati, Jones, and YES Snowboards: Competing for same geographical region.
Burton Snowboards: Maintains extensive advertising campaign, holds greatest market share (80%), and offers a well known brand.
Never Summer Snowboards: Utilizes similar materials and construction as Compatriot Snowboard Co.
Economic distress of primary target markets, resulting in a reduced product desire.
Larger corporate conglomerate snowboard companies capable of sending production overseas, huge marketing spend, big pro teams, and established brand image that threatens our pricing and marketing strategy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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