Day one at Surf Expo is almost over and so far it’s been a good one. Things started off slow. Despite arriving at 11, I didn’t even have to park that far away. The “wakeskate zone” as I like to call it is awesome! Alliance’s booth is right across from Oak, Integrity, Sattelyte and Devotid. The bigger companies are just a few steps away and it’s perhaps the most convenient Expo I’ve been to yet. I know you want the dirt, but I am being pressured by various people to quit dorking out on my computer and enjoy the show, so for now, here’s what I’ve found out about some of the wakeskates available for next season. I will find out about the rest of them and report back tomorrow.
AWS: What’s new in your line for 2009?
Garry Munce: Well, we have eight wakeskates in the line; we have price point, midrange and high end. We have three decks that are price point that are sub laminated and the remaining 5 are all PBT. We’ve collaborated with 8 different artists on all of the boards just to have a different feel. We have two new shapes this year, the Engen and the Harlos. We have two new constructions. For Nick Harlos he’s got a 39.5 and a 40.5. A new shape, a little narrower that what we’ve done in the past and just a little smaller. Nick’s really been digging the smaller deck lately. Jeff’s got a new shape as well with crazy pockets, deeper concave and higher elevated kicktails.
Another thing we’re trying to do this year was involve more photos with our graphics and also our t-shirts. We’re going to have a t-shirt line that’s gonna just be photos.
AWS? What are you most excited about in the line?
Garry: I’m excited about the new concaves, the smaller sizes and the Gun Under My Pillow we’ll be releasing. It’s a Sattelyte team video as well as a friends video. It’s basically about Sattelyte traveling around the world and just being crazy Canadians as well as our Yankee friends thrown in. To mix it up we’re going to have an enormous friends’ section, which is going to be pretty cool. We were going to release it Expo, but we’re going to wait and do it at the Toronto Boat show. We’re going to do a series of video premieres, three in Canada and two in the US, one in California and one in Orlando, over the winter
AWS: What’s new with Oak for next season?
Mikey T: All our boards this year are pretty much the same shape as last year, except for Ben’s shape, we changed that one and it’s the same shape as the team board. All our boards have the 45-degree edge and all the boards are still cross-plied. Also we have a 39-inch board. It’s the same board as the team and Horan, it’s just cut down to a 39.
AWS: What are you most excited about?
Mikey T: What’s really awesome is the way we’re doing our graphics. We actually sheet the maple and sublimate the ink down into the wood. Then we take that sheet of maple and we put on the veneers and put it on the board. So the actual graphic is in the wood. It’s not PBT, it’s not a heat transfer. And then we seal all the boards with epoxy. So we’re doing everything we always did before, its just it’s already in the board. You don’t have to worry about the pbt chucking off, or a heat transfer scraping off like a skateboard. That’s probably what we’re most stoked about. We’ve still got everything else in the line, the pool deck, we didn’t do fully this year, but we have a limited edition one. We’re only making 6 of those.
AWS: What’s new for next year?
Kevin: We have all new bi-levels, a pound and a half lighter, all new trucks, all new wood, all new shapes. Two flat decks this year, we’re trying to keep the price lower, get into some more stores and grow a little, and we’ve also got two new wood concaves to extend that. We’re trying to grab a little bit of everything, expand each way and actually grow a little bit. So there’s a little more variety instead of just being the bi-level company.
AWS: What are you most excited about?
Kevin: The Movement. I’ve been wanting to two a concave for two years and I finally got up enough gump and uption to do it. Time was the biggest thing. Bi-levels were trying me up plus with orders and sales and everything. I finally got enough time to actually put a lot of it into concaves. We finally have em!
What’s new for next year?
Erich Schmaltz: Basically we just came out with this year’s stuff a little bit early. The two different team sizes are new. 42.3 and 38.65 with the subterfuged core. We’re continuing Nick and Ryan’s graphic with the bamboo pro models. We’ve got our LTD edition with the see-through durasurf bamboo and watermark graphic sublimated. And we’re going to bring back Mutiny and try and offer more of a price-point board, and have a real high-end wakeboard with that. We’re trying to separate the brands where Integrity is just high-end wakeskates and the mutiny will be our price point wakeskate and we’re going to dabble into wood like we did before in 2002-03. We’re got more accessories and clothing as well.
What are you personally most excited about?
Erich: Probably the LTD graphic. We’re also going to try to hit the retailers a little bit more. We’ve been more online, word-of-mouth kind of thing. We’re going to try and break out of that a little bit.
Derek: I am very excited about all of new product. The LTD board is the first time we’ve had the see through bottom and exposed the bamboo. And it’s a glow in the dark. And we’re very excited about relaunching mutiny. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It was too good of a thing to just let die. It’s a good name its got image behind it. We wanted to bring a high-end wakeboard back into the line because we both have strong wakeboarding roots. Mutiny is just a good place to do that. We want to keep integrity what it is, 100% high-end wakeskates. Then mutiny can come in and be that, but with a wakeboard and some other wakeskates as well.
AWS: What are you most excited about for next year?
Ryan Doyle: We’ve got a few new sizes and a few new shapes. As always we have wood and compression molded boards. We have one of the most diverse lines. Matt Manzari on his deuce pop has a combination wood and compression molded board as well as a wood-wood board on his bi-levels. I think he’s stoked on that. Steve has the Urban with the new graphic. The Impala is my old shape and it’s got a new graphic on it. A lot of people love that board; it’s a good beginner shape with a super strong PBT bottom. If you ‘re a beginner wakeskater you wanna get that, it’ll last you a long, long time. As for my new board, for ‘08 we came out with a new shape with these kicktails. It’s kind of a hybrid bi-level and flat deck with the thickness. It’s got that bi-level feel on the top, but you have the strength and durability of a single deck board. It’s got that strong PBT on the bottom. For ‘09 we did a second size, it’s a 43-inch board, for those big guys. Those 6-foot, 200 pounders that want a wakeskate that’s going to hold up and hold them up on the water. I think this is going to be really great. I’ve been thinking about a bigger board for awhile because I’m getting bigger myself and one day I might be on that 43!
AWS: What are you most excited about?
Ryan: I am excited about my second size. I’ve been wanting it for awhile. And I’m just excited about how good our team is. Our wakeskate team is amazing. Matt is a murder scene. We came up to shoot the catalog and he’s just annihilating every trick. Wake-to-wake 3 flips like it’s a joke. Steve is a murder scene too, riding so good I can’t even believe it. He frontside flipped this little waterfall second try, Just riding insanely strong. And we have Savanah killing it on a skate and we have the Jem team that’s promoting the women’s side of it really well. I’m just excited to be part of a team that promoting wakeskating really well and there’s something for everyone in our new line.
Tomorrow we’ll check in with CWB, Byerly, Hyperlite, Liquid Force and maybe even O’Brien, so be sure to check back!