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Mid-Season Release Boards
Thursday, 29 June 2006




A few companies have dropped into the market with a couple late-season releases this year. All will be available in limited quantities for the 2005/06 snow season. Rome announced its first pro model—The Lumbergh—in early November. The board has the shape of the Artifact, but core, laminate, and base-tech of the Agent in either a 153 cm or 156 cm length.
Lib Technologies is introducing the Travis Rice MagneTraction 2 Faced Donkephant series for this season. The board is available in two shapes: a pointy 161.5 cm and a blunt-nosed park/jib 153 cm or 157 cm. The brand has also announced that it will license the MagneTraction technology to Gnu just in time for an early winter release, Gnu Riders’ Choice. The board, now with MagneTraction, will be offered in a 157.5 cm and 154.4 cm size this season.
Shop Props
Even after the not-so-banner snow year last season, the barrage of shop closings, and the general dismay in the Seattle snowboard scene this summer, John Logic, Adam Gerken, and the crew at Snowboard Connection in Seattle have been very busy. The shop has opened two new locations—one inside the Skate Barn in Renton and, most notably, its new Bellevue space near the intersection of Main Street and Bellevue Way. Welcome to the East Side, guys.
Oakley Brings First Snowboard Event To China
A week before the Olympics go down in Torino, Italy, Terje Hakkonsen and his sponsor Oakley will bring The Arctic Challenge to China. Taking place at Badaling Resort, the Oakley Style Master By The Arctic Challenge will be a quarterpipe contest and the first professional snowboard contest to take place in China. “We are here to support the development of snowboarding in China, “says Pat McIlvain, director of sports marketing at Oakley. “For the first time, Chinese youth and dedicated snowboarders can see snowboard legends perform world-class action on Chinese soil. We believe this will be a fantastic inspiration for the snowboard community in China.”
No word yet on the contest attendees, but we’re going to guess that few of the Olympians will be risking much that close to medal time.
We Spoke Too Soon—Hjort Leaves Black Dot
Sometimes publishing things in print can be a bitch. Last month, due to the timing of an event beyond our control, the story on Black Dot was based on a hire that didn’t stick. We realized it when we received this e-mail from then-President Dane Hjort the day our November 2005 issue came back from the press: “Hi, Leah. Hope you are doing well. It was nice meeting up with you at ASR in September. I wanted to update you on my situation here, especially in that you mentioned there might be the possibility of a blurb about Black Dot and myself for the November issue. I will no longer be with BD {Black Dot} after next Friday, so I am hoping if you had planned to run something, you could omit anything about me with relation to the brand.”
They say “timing is everything,” and it looks like this month it wasn’t on our side.
Peter Knoll has left his position as the head of the ispo group. In the wake of that, a few positions have been rearranged. Tobias Gröber is head of the project group ispo Winter and ispo Summer in Munich. Mick Wallace is project manager of ispo Russia. Stefan Reschke is project manager of ispo China and area manager for the Asian-Pacific region. Armin Wittmann is head of the project group Golf Europe and Fairway. Marion Theil is in charge of ispovision, and Florian Weingärtner is head of marketing and communication for the entire ispo group.
etnies Girl has announced its expanded team. Julie Shumaker is taking charge as the brand marketing manager, Julie Gormick becomes the new domestic sales manager, Eunjoo Kim is the new apparel designer, Mathilde Avard is a new addition to the footwear design team and will concentrate on all women’s products including ThirtyTwo snowboard boots, and Tammy Checkwood is the new surf product manager.
Arbor is bringing on Chris Battis to the sales-rep team. The New Hampshire native will be responsible for generating sales in his home territory of New England. Also in rep news, Palmer is bringing on Nick Gotelaere for the Rocky Mountain region and Maximus James’ territory has been expanded to include all of California instead of just So Cal. Flow has brought back Brad Haverly to rep its line in New England. It also named Ray Lang as its new Rockies rep. Shelter Layering Systems has named its rep force, and if you haven’t seen these guys in your shop yet, you will. Scott Downing takes on the northwest, John Graham locks in NorCal, Rich Smith is taking over So Cal, Walter Lacey is overseeing the Rockies, Pete Harvieux will be cruising the Midwest, Wayne Dills is in New England, Jason Smith takes on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and JJ Katlett has the Southeast covered.
Marty Ward has stepped up as Bear Mountain’s new industry and public relations director from his former position as assistant editor for Snowboarder.
At Burton, Laurent Potdevin has been named president and CEO. In case you were wondering, this means Jake’s new title is chairman and founder. According to the press release, Potdevin will still report to Jake.
The Rocky Mountain resort PR groups have a few new people on board. At Colorado Ski Country U.S.A., John J. Urdi has been named to the new position of director of marketing—he will be relocating to Denver from New Hampshire with his family. At Ski Utah Hilary Reiter has been named the new director of communications. She replaces Nathan Rafferty who was named president.
Shock Doctor has reorganized its footbed division to reaffirm its commitment to the U.S. market. Evan Wert was named VP of sales and marketing, Jay Turkbas has been promoted to VP of product development, and Kristen Carpenter will assume the new position of National Inside Sales Manager.

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