Chances are if I were to mention Rossignol Snowboards to you your answer would be something to the effect of what about em? That’s exactly the point, what about them? Here’s a brand that’s been around for 20 something years in snowboarding and changed hands more than a hundred dollar bill in Las Vegas and yet they have nothing going on. With their exit from under the Quiksilver umbrella to being a bit more independent albeit under the Mont Blanc Group.
No seriously, what have they done? Where’s the power move to reassert that they aren’t dead in the water? What have they done in the last year or so that would make anyone pay attention to them?
They’ve lost Jeremy Jones, Kyle Clancy, and Chad Otterstrom. To think that once upon a time they had Todd Richards, Travis Rice, and other notables amongst their ranks. Is there really anyone on their team right now that makes you want to buy their product at all? Then again maybe their products are so good they don’t need a endorsement from sick riders, oh no wait they aren’t one of those companies.
What about their boot line? In North America it’s about as present as Billy Mays pulse. Rumors of the boots still being available in Europe have been whispered by reps in passing. Seriously they once had a boot line it wasn’t great and under the Quiksilver umbrella they were just using older DC designs to try and establish that they had some kind of boot division. Downsizing happens and is sometimes a necessity of survival but when you’re a multi-tiered brand like Rossignol it doesn’t bode well for your image especially after one season the boots were hyped then the next poof gone like Kato Kaelins career.
On the tech spectrum what do they even have going for them? They’re claiming Magnetraction which isn’t even their invention and is left over from the Quiksilver/John Jackson days from the JDub. Oh look they have reverse camber, oh no wait it’s just camber with the contact points pushed in so when you load it the nose and tail rise up. Yeah ski rocker design for sure, that involves weighting and unweighting. Looks like they’re a camber company. In their binding line they have E.H.T or Extruded Heelcup Technology woo hoo they learned how to mill out a heel cup to reduce weight and can now make a claim that it gives 50% more board feel. Any proof to that claim or is it just more marketing hype?
Rossignol has always been a ski company and that’s the image they’ve always had, in this day and age with their rebranding or whatever they’re doing to be The Pure Mountain Company they somehow forgot that snowboarders are on the mountain. The proof is in how much more money and time they put into their ski side of things. If you compared them to K2 or Salomon they aren’t even on the same page in term of marketing, tech, teams, or even market share. Even Atomic and Volkl are steps ahead of what they’re doing.
Which now poses the question of when do you pull the life support plug? Think about all the different incarnations of this brand over the last decade and you have to wonder if maybe the company should just go concentrate more on playing with the pole and less on sliding sideways. So I’ll ask the main question who cares about Rossignol?