Two big pieces of Eric Pollard news in two days, this perhaps even bigger than the last. Yesterday saw the news break that EP had parted company with Line Skis. If you read the article, you'll know that their arrangement actually came to an end more than 12 months ago, and Eric has been cooking up a new project, alongside good friend and former Line Skis boss Josh Malczyk, pretty much ever since. They are joined by two more long-time friends, professional snowboarder Austin Smith and Ski Designer Andy Hyjtan, formerly of Line and Armada Skis.
Today sees the fruits of their labor revealed to the world. Season Eqpt. is best described as a minimalist snowsports brand, offering 3 skis and 3 snowboards, designed by Austin. There is no park ski offering, but there is a mid-fat all mountain ski with a shape that it has to be said, looks to be trademark Eric. The skis will be all-black and there won't be yearly graphical offerings to try and reduce the pressure to buy new skis each season. In addition, lifetime servicing, discounts on repairs and more will be offered in conjunction with evo.
In their own words, "Season is the result of coming together, pooling experience and knowledge to offer a brand where snowboarding and skiing are equals, products never expire and service is included."
Eric continues, "My goal is to create a concise offering of versatile shapes that transcend categories. I believe this translates to better quality, and an easier choice for our customers. These three models are the result of a lifelong exploration into shape, width, length, sidecut, flex, camber, and materials."
I spoke to the guys at HQ to get a bit more info for you guys to salivate over:
I presume you and Eric made the decision to take on something new jointly. How did it come about?
JOSH: Not jointly at first but he’s good at convincing me to do irrational things. This was a new project Eric was excited to pursue and since we’ve worked together for over a decade with LINE in a dream scenario that rendered amazing results he brought me along for the ride. We could have continued that trend but like all things it became repetitive, it was time to do something new. The business came to fruition with a few industry partners and what better time to jump ship than right before a global pandemic!
How did Austin Smith get involved? Is there anyone else on the team we should know about?
JOSH: The goal was always to produce snowboards and skis. Eric and I have been snowboarding recreationally for most our lives (me, poorly and EP quite good) but Austin’s an actual pro snowboarder who has dedicated his life to snowboarding. He brings so much to the table in regards of our shared goal to create timeless equipment that won’t be out of style in a year or two, as well as the right perspective of commonality in the mountains. As Austin says, “One plank, two planks, it’s up to you. If you find a three plank option that’s cool too”.
We also have Andy Hytjan on board who’s been developing award-winning skis for over a decade.
You seem to have forgotten the end of the tail on the twin tip models, what's the deal with that?
JOSH: The Aero and Nexus actually are quite twin-like with a slightly chopped tail to give a little bit more directional feel but you certainly can go backwards on them. The Forma, well give it a try but those work really well in powder forwards.
ANDY: While we don’t have equal height or roundness nose and tails, we are confident they will work for you forwards and
backwards. There is still asignificant height to the tails and no changes to the sidecut because of that squared-off tail. The Nexus and Aero started as full twins and then we cut the last 1.5cm off with that straight line.
Where are the skis being made?
ANDY: Skis are made in Austria, at Amer. Snowboards are in Dubai at SWS. Both are world-class manufacturing partners that let us achieve the best final products. Eric and Austin have full product control and then we lean on the expertise of the factory to execute all the details. It’s a great combination.
How are you planning to keep things fresh while maintaining the same models?
JOSH: While we may not be developing a new graphic every year on the same shapes, the freshness comes from the experiences on the equipment and the stories that come from those experiences. With 30+ years of combined industry experience in film, photography, and events there’s so much we’re excited to do around the brand. All that being said we’ll be continually developing and iterating on new products that we feel are right for the company.