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Interview with Peter Bauer: the founder of Amplid

With Amplid

At a certain point, that same idea of snowboarding is no longer enough, it is not enough to put it into practice on snowy slopes, it has to take a different form, a shape, becoming a concept that can only be expressed through the birth of a snowboard brand. We have interviewed some of the strongest pros of the last few years who have had the courage to develop their snowboard idea into their own brand, often going against all the logic that the market imposes.

At what point in your life did you decide to create your own snowboard brand?

I worked at Burton for 16 years and went through the whole transition from being a team rider to being heavily involved in research and development. It was actually one of the factory owners producing for Burton at the time that sparked me to start my own brand. That was in 2004. And now here we are with Amplid!

 

What values did you want to convey through your brand?

My goal was to design and produce boards with a certain character, not necessarily models you love or hate, but definitely not obvious products. All this from a different design approach and through the use of alternative materials.

 

Why should a snowboarder buy an Amplid board?

Our slogan is “Next level riding”. And we have made it our main mission. We want to ensure that everyone gets a riding feeling that takes them to the next level. It might sound like an obvious thing to say, or just marketing. But once you get on one of our boards, you’ll understand.

 

How does a board design come to life in your head?

First of all I’m obsessed with improving existing products. I like to play with different materials, whether they are lighter or more reactive, more shock-absorbent, more sustainable. Sometimes I have an idea of geometry, so I get on the computer and create a 3D model. Then I let the idea rest for a while. I look at it again a day or two later, with a certain critical distance, and go from there. The next step is to create a prototype. It can be unsuccessful or super cool. But that’s the fun part of the development process. You always learn something, even if it turns out badly.

What will be the trends in the snowboard industry in the coming years?

Splitboarding will continue to grow as a natural consequence of overpopulation. Look at surfing, people are ready to play sports in less comfortable environments because being alone on the wave is much more important than doing it in shorts. The equivalent in snowboarding is the search for fresh snow. People are now ready to invest five hours in trekking to get to pristine slopes. Another positive development is that the snowboard culture has legalised carving again. 10 years ago, it was all about tricks in urban environments. Today, however, snowboarders are looking for high-speed turns, whether in the powder or on the piste.

 

In the future, do you plan to continue to follow your philosophy or will you adapt to market trends and business?

Obviously to a certain extent we have to respect market trends, simply from a survival perspective. The market is not easy, and every brand struggles to get its share. Many ‘trends’ in the past have turned out to be short-lived fads, but I think we are now able to identify them in advance and instead of simply following them we are now able to initiate them.

 

What do you think about “competitive snowboarding” as an alternative to freeriding and exploring?

Competition is useful, because it has a productive input on the development of both equipment and riding technique. I’ve been there myself, but for the competing athlete at some point it becomes too important, so the risk of losing the spirit of experiencing nature to the fullest becomes quite high.

 

Your favourite snowboard of all time?

The Amplid Surfari. From 80 km/h on groomed slopes to turns in powder, it will always be the perfect weapon.

 

Any special future plans?

Someone just asked me how many years I’ve been designing boards. I did the math and I’ve been in the business for 35 years now. So I thought I’d give myself a nice gift, a special board. It’s too early to reveal more details, but stay tuned!

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