For this installment of Their Take we’re given the Canadian perspective from Chuck Penner of Xtreme Adrenaline. Check out how things roll up there in the great white north and get another shop kids take on things.
What difficulties are you experiencing with keeping your customers coming back to your store and not shopping online?
Well we run an online shop as well, that’s actually how we started out, strictly online. The biggest thing is customer service, we can inform people who are new to the industry of what is available and what would best meet their needs/budget and when it comes to seasoned riders I think that our ability to talk about what’s going on in snowboarding today is a huge reason they come in. We love to talk about it because it’s our passion and it is the same way with our ‘core’ customers. I also think there is a huge level of respect by people who really love the industry for rider owned and operated shops like ours.
How important is social media like Facebook, blogging, and twitter for engaging your customers?
We use facebook to let people know what is new in the shop and upcoming events etc. We are currently working on our blog but it is not for merchandising it’s just our way of talking snowboarding/skateboarding and current events that are important to us and what is going on in the scene, whatever we find important or wanna talk about ya know.
If there was one brand you could bring in to your shop what would that be and why? Why haven’t you brought it in?
There are a few brands, Circa would be one I guess that we would really like and would be a good addition to our kicks. It’s really up to the brand reps of what we can bring in. Its all based on who else is selling it in that area, if there are too many shops with it then we can’t get those brands because it’s not right for us to try and steal other bros in the other shops business, we are all in the same industry because we all love it, there is no room for hating on other shops and trying to hurt them just because they are competition
How hard is it for a new brand to get itself into your shop?
Depends on the brand and what they represent as well as if they will be a good fit with the other brands that we are working with.
Trends come and go, right now which one has the hardest sell? Which one would you say is the easiest?
Skate and snow always have different things going on so you have to pay attention to that. Also being a Boardshop for some reason it seems that people tend to think that it is more geared towards guys but the truth is we carry tons of women’s gear and apparel, so we really need to make people aware of that. When it comes to the snowboard style right now the most popular is still gansta. XLT and XXL sell huge as soon as winter hits. Hesh sells too, not as big but we sure don’t sit on anything rasta for very long.
How relevant is “being core” whether it’s you, your shop, or a brand in the grand scheme of snowboarding? Is it just an over used marketing ploy?
I think core can be a ploy but it isn’t always. It’s not always about the brands, there are ‘core’ riders on full none core set ups. To us core is why we do what we do, its all about the love of the industry, we are not doing this to get rich, we just wanna be stuck in this industry as long as we can and live what we love, that is what core is all about. Brands don’t make people, core its all attitude.
Is reverse camber/ rocker the real deal or the greatest marketing ploy in the snowboard world?
Its the real deal, lib/gnu did not invent it either its from way back in the 80’s, I think I heard that Tom Burt was riding them back then, it has just been re-invented with our modern snowboard tech. That being said I have tried a couple (never summer evo and signal park rocker) and I love them, really fun boards to ride. although I still love the feel of a traditional camber and the style that it gives you when you ride it, people look different jibbing reverse cambers.
What’s do you feel is the biggest aspect with getting and keeping people in snowboarding?
The community of it. People that started as customers are now good friends that we spend time with outside of work/riding. Its just like any other passion, when you meet people that are into what you are, you get along. snowboarders, for the most part, are really easy going and accepting of people who are new and trying to get into it like we are. I remember the first time I ever snowboarded was at a hockey rink on zamboni snow, I learned on a rail riding with a crew who were unreal riders and some of them sponsored. I got a huge cheer for 50-50ing the rail. they were just stoked for me no matter how bad I was. That universal acceptance is appealing and when people experience it then it makes it really easy to get into the culture cuz it’s just so chill, easy going and accepting, to get overly nostalgic.
Which companies do you feel are really trying to get new riders to try snowboarding and keep them involved with their message/marketing?
Stepchild is one of them, it’s owned by 3 Canadian snowboarders, I love their message. They know what snowboarding is all about. Westbeach is another brand that is in the process of getting back to the stoke of snowboarding, they are a true original of the meaning of snowboarding and with the recent “Heritage Project” They really get it. Those are 2 brands that only keep team riders that are in it for the love not the cash. But there are lots of those brands, they just are not well known by the general public because that isn’t what they are after, they want their gear to be on the feet of snowboard enthusiasts, not twice a year types, that’s what box store brands are for, and we need them too, they get people the first set up to realize how great shredin really is.