SEQUENCE MAGAZINE interviewed some of the strongest pros of recent years who have been brave enough to develop their idea of snowboarding in their own brand, often going against any logic that the market imposes. Here comes Amplid founder Peter Bauer...
Text by Denis Piccolo
In which moment of your life did you decide to start your own snowboard brand?
I had been working at Burton for 16 years and went through the full transition from a team rider to being heavily involved with R&D. It was actually one of the factory owners who produced for Burton back then who triggered the thinking process of starting 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 character, not necessarily love-or-hate boards, but definitely not everybody’s darling decks. And that starts with a different design approach, and also with taking different materials.
Why should a snowboarder buy an Amplid board?
Our brand claim is “Next level riding”. And we really respect this as our main mission statement. We want to provide riding sensation which gets you onto your next level. Sounds a bit inflationary at first sight, or like hot marketing air. But once you get on one of our boards, you will understand.
How does a board design come to life in your head?
First of all I am obsessed with making things better than they currently are. I love it playing with different materials which are lighter or more responsive, more dampening, more sustainable. Sometimes I have a geometry idea, so I get on my computer and see how it would look in a 3D model. Then I need to let it rest for a while. I have a look at it one or two days later, with a certain critical distance, and then go on from that. Next step is the prototype. Perhaps this prototype totally sucks, perhaps it rips. But this is the try-and-error part of an empirical development process. You always get lessons, even if it throws you back.
What will be the trends of the snowboarding industry in the next few years?
Splitboarding will continue to grow, as a natural consequence of overpopulation. Look at surfing, People are ready to practice sports in less comfy environments because being alone on the wave is more important than surfing in shorts. The snowboard equivalent is the search for untracked snow. Now people are ready to invest five hours of hiking in order to get to the virgin goods. Another positive development is that the snowboard culture has now legalized “carving” again. When you look back at snowboarding 10 years ago, everything was about riding rails in urban environments. But today snowboarders look for a high speed turn, either on the powder or on a groomer.
Will you 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, every brand is fighting for market share. But many “trends” in the past turned out as short-lived fads, I feel we are able to identify those upfront and instead of simply following trends, rather initiate them.
My goal was to design and produce boards
with character, not necessarily love-or-hate boards, but definitely not everybody’s darling decks. And that starts with a different design approach, and also with taking different materials.
What do you think about “competitive snowboarding” vs freeriding and exploration?
Competition is good, because it has a productive input onto the development of both equipment and riding technique. I have been through this, but for the actual competing athlete it becomes too important at some point, so that the risk of loosing the spirit of breathing nature gets pretty high.
Your all-time favourite snowboard?
The Amplid Surfari. From 80 km/h groomer carves to sick powder turns, it’ll always be the perfect weapon.
Any special future project?
Somebody just asked me recently how many years I have been designing boards now. I did the maths and it seems like it will be 35 years this season. So I thought I will do myself a little present with a special board. Too early to let out more details, but stay tuned!