Kick Off... A
A New Fingerprint
Eric in Ak
The Power of Opposites
F 28 Freestyle G 34 Artist Project: Just Ink H 38
Christophe Goes Olympia
Nearly exactly 10 years ago we launched Head Snowboards, rebranded from Blax and Generics. Not an easy decision, at a time when so called specialty brands still had way more credibility than ski company snowboard brands. But Head was great for us, because not only did we suddenly have access to technologies, markets and finance, but we shared a lot of values with the Head organisation. Head stands for passion and dedication to the sports we live and support, as much as for no bullshit, value for money and innovation. Now, sometimes no bullshit can mean conservative, and that is what we are in a lot of ways, with all the advantages that go with it. It is positive and remarkable that Head executive management also decided to allow a counter culture that caters to a Head community out there that wants us to go freestyle. This meant that we had to develop adapted branding elements for snowboard and freestyle ski: the word mark, wishbone and the slogan â€œCome ride with usâ€? (for snowboard). At the freestyle kick-off event in Munich we presented this for the first time to a community around us. Thanks to everybody who helped to make this happen, especially the Head executive management. You will have realised that as well as now being able to brand our products in a very self-confident way for the first time, we have also changed our communication style. Here you will read the stories that happen around us, stories like Power of Opposites, The Snow Mermaids, Proudly made in Asia by Europeans, or Justink; the product is only a result and part of all this. The last six months have been exciting, but also very demanding in terms of workload for us here at Head Snowboards, so let me thank the team that has put all this together. We are looking forward to getting your reactions, ideas, and feedback to help us further develop Head Freestyle. We are looking forward to seeing you at all the upcoming events. Come ride with us. KLAUS THURNER
Division Manager Snowboard
Kick Off. Page 03
We Think Of And Then The Perfect Snow, We Finally The Perfect Job, Get There. The Perfect City, ...And Think The Perfect House, Of Something The Perfect Ride. Else.
A. A New Fingerprint. Every individual is recognized by his unique, distinctive fingerprint. Our fingerprint at Head Freestyle has evolved. Dynamic, creative, and unique, you will find this feature integrated throughout our line. Red, black, and white are our colors. Black and white are the basics, the true origins. Red is the color of passion. Passion fuels our desire to perform, for progress, and fun. We offer it to you, sincerely. No lies, no tricks, we give you who we are, the way we are. We leave our fingerprint on the entire line of products born of our free-
style project, and we stand behind it, one hundred per cent. There’s no need to look for it; we are proud of what we do, and offer it to you. We don’t just bring you outstanding products, we also want to tell you about us, our stories, from our riders to what stands behind our products. We want you to know about it, and to embrace it. We want you to understand what still drives us after 21 years on the snowboarding scene. Head’s freestyle
fingerprint not only embodies snowboarding values, but everything we like, from music and art to good moments, on and off the snow. It is also all about friends. Come enjoy with us what we like. Come ride with us.
THE CORPORATE TYPOGRAPHY
Trade Gothic Bold Condensed No.20 Trade Gothic Bold Condensed No.20 Oblique
PHOTO: Georg Wallner
A. A New Fingerprint. Page 05
56 R I D E H E A D . C O M
R I D E H E A D . C O M
With its strong graphical geometry and high-contrast coloring, it is an important element of our visual communication.
LENGTH WIDTH MEDIUM STANCE EFFECTIVE SETBACK
CM 156 7.4/8.0/7.7 52 122.2 2.0
INCH 61.4 2.9/3.1/3.0 20.5 48.1 0.8
ARTICLE No. 333009 Made in China.
THE PRODUCT BRANDING
The Snowboards are branded by three main elements: the icon, the techbloc and the wordmark with icon.
A. A New Fingerprint. Page 07
The first time I met Eric in person was in a freeride contest in the Engadine. It was a long time ago, long before I had any connections to Head, and I was stoked to be there, in that freeride paradise with all those famous legendary freeriders. It was hard not to notice Eric. He was just as he always, a grown-up kid, always smiling, tattooed, open to talk to everybody, always ready to drop a joke, saying hello to everybody in their original language. I knew who he was, and had seen many shots of him riding powder and doing impressive lines. I knew who he was, but I had no idea until then about his personality, a fun, enjoyable, positive person. Since then, I got to know him a little bit and got to know that Eric is one of those persons just fueled by passion. One of those that always want to push themselves to the limit and go further, faster, higher… deeper into things and performance. Eric has been and is a great input in our Freeride line, from design ideas to performance-oriented inputs, all coming from his great experiences gained from traveling around the world, in search of snow and perfect conditions. I got to understand why one of the best backcountry riders in the world, who also comes from Montafon and rides Silvretta Nova and is probably 10 years younger than Eric, when asked “Who is your main inspiration in snowboarding?” gave the answer: “Eric Themel”. Eric lives snowboarding. He lives that search for the pleasure, for the perfect lines, for those cliff jumps. Eric is one of those true originators of our sport, and he would never accept products that do not back him up in his search. He has passion for progress. Progress, quality and performance. Just as we all do at Head. Sensations, pleasure, fun. That is what snowboarding is all about. Eric breathes those feelings. And by the way, that day in Engadin, Eric won the contest.
B. Eric in Ak.
He lives that search for the pleasure, for the perfect lines, for those cliff jumps. Eric Themel is one of those true originators of our sport, and he would never accept products that do not back him up in his search.
PHOTOS: Alex Kaiser
B. Eric in AK. Page 09
C. The Power of Opposites. There is no other country on Earth in which the snowboard movement had such a huge influence on society as in Japan, if only for a short time. It seemed to me as if the younger generation had found an outlet to express their nascent individualism, wanting to break out and experience their own individuality. It is pretty amazing how basically everything functions in the same way all over the world, yet the differences between us are still so great… The old hardliners get us into a real mess, then everything explodes, then some influence comes from outside, the old structures disappear and new
ones form. Usually at this stage women become stronger and receive the right to vote. Everyone works like crazy to create economic miracles – the children should have a better life than us – and then comes the generation of
success: good education, great jobs, travel opportunities, and suddenly demands have outstripped the standard of living. Everyone is happily gambling, things can only get better, the world is our oyster. Whoops, real estate bubble, banking collapse, economic crisis … are things really that bad? How much worse can
it get? The difference, besides the many similarities, lies mainly in how we see things and on what traditions our value system is based. In this respect, Japan provides a fascinating example. Although the centuries-long martial
culture of the Samurais seems like an obstacle to progress when seen from this distance, it probably influenced the Japanese value system more than anything else. In a system of seniority, hierarchy, superiority and subordination there’s not much room for individualism.
PHOTOS: Sven Hoffmann, Red Bull Creative.
C. The Power of Opposites. Page 11
C. The Power of Opposites. Page 13
Japanese society was formed by the power of the group and of hierarchy, and its greatest successes – originally military and then, after the end of the Second World War, economic – were long-term attempts to create clearly structured societal forms which the individual was (or is) unable to escape. There is no other country on Earth in which the snowboard movement had such a huge influence on society as in Japan, if only for a short time. It seemed to me as if the younger generation had found an outlet to express their nascent individualism, wanting to break out and experience their own individuality. First everything which spilled across the Pacific from Southern California was soaked up and worshipped, but now, its confidence having grown, this generation decides for itself what is or isn’t core. It’s amazing how radical the younger generation is in doing away with the trappings of tradition and in creating its own identity. I’ve noticed that this is more to do with the image young people present, and that the traditional forms of respect remain in the way they interact with each other. To us this is surprising, even strange. But now I think it’s cool and am trying to understand it better. Incidentally, for many years now we have involved our Japanese friends closely in the development of our products. In many areas such as design, detail finishing of products and features, I have to admit that they actually have the last word. The demands of their clients and their un- limited commitment in meeting these often make our work together very challenging. The quality we deliver often fails to meet their expectations, and the pressure our friends put on us to make constant improvements is correspondingly great. So we often find ourselves fighting on different fronts. But together, we’re getting better.
C. The Power of Opposites. Page 15
COM COME COM ME RID E RIDE RIDE W ME RID D. Snow Mermaids.
COM COME COM
Never afraid to jump on a plane by herself to go and find fresh snow; that is what her life is all about.
COME D. Snow Mermaids. Page 173
Date Of Birth: 1982-01-01 Nationality: Japanese Homebase: MT. Naeba Goofy/Regular: Goofy Stance: 49cm/19.3in Board: Fountain I Boot: Jinx Boa Binding: Next Fay III
Ai is from Japan. She is an icon in her country and would be perfect in any fashion magazine, not only because she is cute, but because she is the incarnation of style. Since she travels all year long in search of the snow and good conditions, the best way to stay in touch with her is to check her blog, and youâ€™ll get an impression about what this girl experiences, and how. Loving snowboarding is one thing. Doing it in style is another. Ai is never afraid to jump on a plane by herself to go and find fresh snow; that is what her life is all about. She is our favorite Snow Mermaid from the country of the rising sun.
PHOTOS: Espen Lystad
D. Snow Mermaids. Page 19
Date Of Birth: 1987-02-19 Nationality: Sweden Homebase: Umea Goofy/Regular: Goofy Stance: 58cm/22.8in Board: Fountain I Boot: Jinx Boa Binding: Next Fay III
Atti is Scandinavian. Outside of Sweden, this little blonde girl could seem shy at first glance, but once on the snow, whether itâ€™s in a pipe, powder, boarder or slopestyle, she rocks it. With a passion for snowboarding and traveling, Atti entered the team. After joining our guys for some good sessions in Austria. Although she was injured last year, she didnâ€™t stay away from the snow for too long, and is now back with a solid knee and a bigger-than-ever desire to perform. Atti is an authentic Snow Mermaid who lives her passion in contests and travel, always with a nice smile, always with a desire to find more snowflakes!
PHOTOS: Espen Lystad
D. Snow Mermaids. Page 21
E. Proudly Made.
How many people, how many wrongful convictions, how much injustice, how many factories, how many people?
PHOTOS: Sven Hoffmann, Red Bull Creative.
E. Proudly Made. Page 23
It is almost impossible for us affluent Europeans to understand the thirst for life in China after half a century of communist servitude under Mao. I wasn’t there, I just heard it from my 105year-old grandmother, but I believe that the people who had to bear the brunt of rebuilding Europe after the war could probably understand best how the people in China tick. We haven’t lost our production to China because the trade unions have forced wages up too high. We produce in China because millions of people want to meet their basic needs – to survive, eat and have a roof over their heads – and are prepared to work incredibly hard to achieve that. But that alone is not enough. Of all the nations on this planet, the Chinese are possibly also the most eager to learn. But learning alone is probably not be enough either. Everything is based on a culture going back millenia, which Mao only managed to suppress for 50 years. We should ask for products from the region, meat, vegetables, fruit and milk from the farmer next door. We should support our craftsmen and our local businesses…But none of this means that we can’t be proud of making products in China. Proudly made in Asia by Europeans.
E. Proudly Made. Page 25
E. Proudly Made. Page 27
Freestyle is the ultimate freedom to express oneself, oneâ€™s creativity, ideas and feelings. Anything can be transmitted and expressed. Freestyle has its own language. A language that our riders speak fluently.
PHOTO: Sven Hoffmann, Red Bull Creative.
PHOTO: Andreas Halser
F. Freestyle. Page 29
Slashing the pipe early in the season. Everybody must be driving Christophe up the wall with the upcoming Olympics, the TV interviews, things he has to do to make his sponsors happy, but there’s one thing our Bavarian pipe slayer never forgets. Snowboarding is a way to have fun. To have fun and enjoy, whether training for double corks or slashing the coping of the pipe with a back lip just as if he were in a mini ramp. Heights do not matter sometimes. Fun does. Always.
Anybody who saw Fredrik’s part in Isenseven’s video this year must have been impressed. Rails, kickers and big mountain, Fredrik is a natural born stomper. Always with style, smile and fun. He has a secret for the things that make him so successful in what he loves, a secret which comes from the old generations of Vikings. He told me what it is. If I repeated it, he would kill me.
PHOTOS: Andreas Halser
F. Freestyle. Page 31
New Jersey is on the Atlantic Ocean. So, very naturally, Shayne took up surfing. He loves it. He is good at it. At one point in his career he had to make a choice between becoming a surfer or a snowboarder. Luckily for us at Head he choose the snow. When you see him floating with such ease in Japanese powder, it’s almost as if he is snow-surfing.
Thomas is our Swiss kicker killer. In 2009 he managed to be the best Swiss rider on the FIS, and will for sure pursue this success. Living in Zurich with two other famous professional snowboarders, his life is all about riding, having fun with friends and traveling. Who better than he could embody the famous “Come ride with us”.
PHOTOS: Espen Lystad
F. Freestyle. Page 33
ARTIST PROJECT SNOWBOARD SERIES 10/11
From left to right: Blush i Rocka, Glam Rocka, Stella Rocka, Defy i Rocka, Ignition Rocka, Rush Rocka
G. Artist Project: Just Ink.
At Head Snowboards, we have always loved the artistic approach of snowboarding in every respect. The Artist Project follows that idea and brought us together with Justin Kauffmann aka “Just Ink”.
PHOTO: Sven Hoffmann, Red Bull Creative.
G. Artist Project: Just Ink. Page 35
Acrylic on Board, 24" x 36". ”BLUSH i ROCKA“
Women Freestyle Board, available from 138cm to 153cm.
Mixed media on a Frigidaire freezer door, 17" x 31".
Justin Kauffmann aka Just Ink is a painter, illustrator and a graphic designer living in Brooklyn, NY. His work has appeared in galleries around the world and numerous magazines, books and television shows. For a complete look at his work, visit his Website: www.justink.info.
Just Ink Studio
At Head Snowboards, we have always loved the artistic approach of snowboarding in every respect. Creativity, style and uniqueness are fundamental elements in snowboarding, and riders themselves can be seen as artists when expressing themselves on the mountains, just as musicians are while improvising, or a painter in front of his canvas. Just Ink was introduced to us by influential friends as an artist from New York with multiple inspirations. His fresh artistic approach and his creativity inspired us and we decided to give a new life and dimension to what Just Ink does and what we do. His creative work, both collage and painting, found a new life and support. The new Rocka boards were born.
G. Artist Project: Just Ink. Page 37
Christophe Schmidt is one of a special breed of people. Not only because he grew up in the town of Schliersee, with a great view of the lake of the same name and a stone’s throw away from the small but fine Spitzingsee ski resort. And not only because being a local probably played not too small a role in Christophe becoming one of the best snowboarders in the world today, placing 8th at the Olympic Games in Turin in 2006 (more than respectable in that star-studded field). But also because we’re sure his elementary school teachers referred to him as “bright little boy”, which – except for the “little” – hasn’t changed a bit. Christophe uses his head and stresses the importance of protection. Head is proud to be able to count him as part of the Protection Team and is hoping he’ll once again have brilliantly mastered the Olympic Games by the time this catalogue has hit the press. Nice of him, then, that he’s taken the time beforehand to answer a couple questions. What do the Olympics mean for you compared to other contests? The Olympics are very special. It’s just the biggest athletic competition you can participate in. It’s also an interesting experience to meet up there with all kinds of different athletes. It’s only logical that the pressure and public interest is significantly greater at the Games than at other contests. In Turin that wasn’t a problem for me, though, and actually spurred me on. I hope it’ll be just like that in Vancouver. What are you looking forward to the most? I’m hoping to be able to take part in the Opening Ceremony again. The March of Nations in Turin was something very special. I’m also hoping for a really good halfpipe and an exciting competition. Did you adjust your setup especially for the Olympics and along with Head make extra changes to your gear? Yeah, we’ve done a lot of work on the equipment. The Christophe board in the current Team series is designed exactly according to my wishes and I’m in constant contact with the R&D guys – for Head Protection, too. This part of my job is a lot of fun. After all, I benefit from it, too, when we improve the products I ride myself. And at the same time, of course, we’re doing it for the consumer too.
H. Christophe Goes Olympia.
Riding with a helmet: annoying competition regulations or what do you think? In a tough competition halfpipe, a helmet is always a must for me. It saved me from concussions and even worse many times in the past.
Head is proud to be able to count Christophe as part of the Team and is hoping he’ll once again have brilliantly mastered the Olympic Games by the time this catalogue has hit the press. Nice of him then, that he’s taken the time beforehand to answer a couple questions.
Which characteristics are important for you in a helmet and why? Of course, it has to be stable; apart from that, lightweight is most important for me. That way with a crash, there’s less acceleration on your head and you don’t get tired so fast. The heavier your head is including helmet, the greater the forces that affect it – both when you crash as well as when you just wear it. And a cramped or tired neck has never done anyone any good. How would you describe the progress of snow helmets from their beginning up until today? How does that go again with day and night? A real lot has changed in this area. Helmets don’t only look much better than they used to, but also their fit and functionality has really improved. Do you also wear a back protector? Usually, yeah. Since you hardly notice them riding and you can layer well with them, there’s not much of a decision to be made there. Do you have a different feeling riding – with and without protection? Definitely. It gives you a great feeling of security, especially when the snow is really icy, which is often the case at competitions. Many people think at a certain level of riding you don’t need protection anymore. Do you not know how to snowboard or why are you still wearing a helmet? Of course that’s a fallacy, since the better you ride, the faster you ride and the more difficult and dangerous tricks you do. And whether just messing around or on big kickers: things can always go wrong – after all, you’re usually not alone on the mountain and no matter how good you are, don’t forget about all the weekend skiers who’ve already started their after-ski partying on up on the mountain… Your favorite helmet faux pas? Absolutely, chrome helmet with sunglasses! Usually then they have a camelback, too. Which helmet designs do you like the best? I like helmets in matt colors and it shouldn’t look like you’re wearing a watermelon on your head. When do you have the most fun in the snow? In half a meter fresh powder, of course! And what do you like the most about your job? That’s easy – that my job is what I like doing best: snowboarding.
What do you tell people that still think wearing a helmet isn’t cool? I think you should always protect the most important part of your body when it’s at risk. There’s certainly nothing uncool about that. As to when the risk is actually high, whether it’s a normal ride on the slopes or doing a 1080 in the halfpipe, everyone has to decide that for himself.
PHOTO: Andreas Halser
H. Christophe Goes Olympia. Page 39
ÂŠ HEAD SNOWBOARDS 2010
All rights reserved. All items in this catalog are subject to change. Head is a registered trademark. Art. No. 379410 RIDEHEAD.COM