Interview by Matt Harvey
When did you start Line and what gave you the idea to start it?
Skiing was super lame at the time about 7 years ago. I loved skiing but at the time, the long straight pointy skis didn't allow me to do the things I wanted to do (ride fakie, slide hand rails, spin more, etc).
How do you go about selecting a team to represent your company?
I look for riders that are young and not known and not sponsored, that are not the best in the world at the time but riders that I can see having the creative vision and physical skill and understanding of style and innovation and self motivation to change the sport in their vision. It's a bit of a guess, but I have been lucky enough so far to just see it if a kid is going to stand out someday. I don't look for spin to win riders or huckers, I want skiers dedicated to bringing new innovation and style to the sport. I don't care if they win comps or not, if they do win...great but representing with style and innovation is more important. Of course they can't be dumb asses, they need to be able to talk and be responsible to show up on time, make an effort to promote the brand on and off the hill equally. If they have a 'I'm a rock star and too cool for everyone.' attitude...forget about it, We don't need that.
What can people expect from Line this season? What changes will you be making to the skis from last year?
It takes a long time to figure out how to make skis. Our first year of course wasn't the best, I admit that, but each year we make huge steps in developing better manufacturing processes and innovating new materials and construction combinations. All I can say is please don't judge us based on a ski we built 2 years ago. Each year we progress so much just like you progress your riding so much each year on snow. We build them in our factory so we have complete control over every detail of the product and after seven years now, our skis are equal or better in construction quality and performance to every brand out there. Plus we are a super focused company, we don't make race skis, snowboards, rollerblades, scooters, we only build skis enabling us to focus much harder and progress faster than those other corporate conglomerate multi sport companies. Support a real ski company...buy Line.
It seems as though Line is focusing more on skis rather than ski boards this season. Is this the case?
We have taken skiboards as far as possible. Most of the core skiboarders, which is what we are all about, have since moved to longer twin tips. To me, the only difference between a skiboard and a twin tip ski is the length. It just depends on what type of terrain and conditions you ride. Who cares about the length ride what you enjoy and fits you. We still offer more skiboards than any other brand but with the category classified as being under 100cm how many different lengths do you really need? I think we've got enough for everyone that wants them. Skis however; we have barely scratched the surface of all the different varieties and lengths there are to still create. Remember too, we came out with a 193cm twin tip the same year Salomon came out with their first Teneighty, so its not like we are doing it for the hell of it. We were right there from the beginning with all new product innovations.
How has Line changed over the years, and where do you see it going in the future?
Line has always had the same mission and will stay true to it: Develop innovative high performance ski products aimed at rejuvenating, growing and progressing the sport of skiing. That's it, that's all, very simple. How we go about doing that will always change; change is good. First it was skiboards, then twin tips, now a binding, I can't wait to work on what's next. Who knows what it will be, I'll have to get back in the time machine to the future to let you know but we are the only one's in the world who have a time machine so unfortunately I can't let you know what I've seen but you will see it soon...
If you were to give someone in the ski industry advice on how to run a business, what would you say the key to success is?
Never give up, nothing is impossible, everything is relative, be willing to give up 100% of your personal life to get your business off the ground, and think differently.
There is a lot of hype surrounding your new binding. Can you tell us what the advantages of the binding are, and any insider info you'd be willing to share?
The binding is sick! It's from the future! Everything I have to say about it is on our binding page of our website. Go check it out: http://www.lineskis.com.
People are talking about Armada taking away a lot of market share from Line. Do you think this is the case, and do you have any large plans setup to compete with a new ski company?
Yeah, I've been working on my plan for seven years now, it's a sick new ski company called Line, and this year's product is like nothing you've ever seen or ridden.
I'll let everyone in on a big secret. The size of the twin tip newschool ski scene is one very, very, very big illusion.
Here it is:
Over 90% of skis in mag photos and videos are twin tips.
However only 2% of the total skis sold North America are twin tips.
Twin tip ski sales are smaller than even skiboard sales in North America.
There are already over seven companies sharing this microscopic market.
The big companies have the advantage of using money that they make off of race and all mountain skis to develop, promote and market their twin tip category. Their sales from
the actual twin tips barely pay an ad.
I wish Armada well, It would be real cool to have a bunch of fresh new companies out there, it would be great for everyone. However I know better than anyone that the market is super small, in reality, making it super tough to just keep the lights on in the office. Maybe in a few years there will be enough skiers supporting progressive
newschool freeride ski scene for it to be as large a segment of skiing as freestyle is in snowboarding. But right now we need every possible sale to keep it alive until then.
Check our the new Propaganda page of our website it will have a huge 40 page history of Line, I just got done writing. I would also like to thank everyone that supports Line. Its a never ending battle and I really appreciate your help.