As a company on the leading edge of design and innovation, it’s no surprise that Venture Snowboards is once again pushing the envelope with the Shape Shack, an experimental division charged with dreaming up new and innovative board shapes.
“Pushing boundaries and trying new things is built into the DNA of snowboarding,” says Klemens Branner, Venture’s founder and design engineer, who is heading up the effort with creative input from big mountain legend Johan Olofsson and select guest shapers. “You never know where a good idea is going to come from, so inviting new perspectives into the mix is a great way to spark the creative process.”
Shape Shack boards are produced in small, limited edition runs and made available to the public through choice retailers and Venture’s online store. For 12/13, the three new Shape Shack designs are limited edition collector's items, with only 25 of each design produced.
What does Branner enjoy most about the Shape Shack? “Of course riding the finished product is the best part! But bringing a new board shape from concept to reality in a short period of time is extremely gratifying. It brings our whole team together, and because we own our own factory we have control over that process from start to finish. We can produce pretty much anything that we can dream up, and then walk out the front door and ride it right here in our backyard. It's an ideal setup for experimentation without boundaries.”
Here's the skinny on the different shapes, available for purchase now through Venture's online store:
Resident Shaper & Graphic Artist: Johan Olofsson
The Powder Pig is the second powder specific shape dreamed up by big mountain legend and pow surfing pioneer Johan Olofsson. Available in a 156 cm length, it has no edges and only two inserts - one near the tip and one near the tail - for attaching a rope. The flat “bat tail,” mellow rocker, and 33 cm width provide uncanny floatation. A true pow surfer’s dream. Say oink as you gorge on the deep stuff!
Guest Shaper: Skylar Holgate, Graphic Artist: Shanna Duncan
The Skylar Special is a big mountain twin designed by infamous Silverton Mountain guide Skylar Holgate. Available in a 160 cm length and 25 cm waist, with a true twin shape that offers greater maneuverability and effortless switch riding. While this deck’s slightly softer flex makes it fun and playful, quadratics still give it plenty of bite and grip for less forgiving conditions.
Guest Shaper: Aaron Brill
The Swallowtail Bomber is a classic swallowtail shape designed by Silverton Mountain’s founder and owner Aaron Brill. Lots of length for charging big lines and an elongated rocker profile for effortless float in the deep stuff. 180 cm length and 26 cm width. Go big or go home.
Photo above, from left to right: Powder Pig, Skylar Special, Swallowtail Bomber
Venture Snowboards and Ska Brewing are once again teaming up to welcome winter in style with their 8th Annual Season Kickoff Party scheduled for Saturday, December 15th (Silverton Mountain's opening day).
For the eighth year running, the two homegrown Colorado companies are producing a small run of custom graphics boards and a special winter brew, both of which will be unveiled at the bash.
The partnership between Venture and Ska started nearly a decade ago when the two businesses came together to talk about how they could collaborate. "We jokingly refer to ourselves as the microbrew of snowboards because we build high quality boards from scratch," explains Venture's Lisa Branner. "Ska takes the same approach in crafting their beer, so teaming up seemed like a natural."
This year's Season Kickoff features live music, Ska drink specials, and tons of product giveaways from a host of different sponsors.
The highlight of the evening will be the raffle for a coveted limited edition Ska/Venture custom snowboard. This year's deck features the Mole Stout graphic, and is destined to become a collector's item for beer and snow lovers alike.
The Season Kickoff Party gets rockin' at 8 pm at Silverton's Grand Imperial Hotel (1219 Greene Street). Cover charge is $6 and this is a 21+ event. Proceeds will benefit the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies in Silverton. For more information call 970.387.5527.
YOU COULD WIN THIS BOARD!!
For the fourth year running, Venture has taken home one of the most coveted awards in backcountry snowboarding - the Editor's Choice award from Backcountry Magazine. The 2013 winner is our Euphoria Splitboard - a pow surfer complete with rocker, reverse sidecut and a swallowtail ideal for those epic, deep days. Dubbed "Floatilla the Hun" by Backcountry's testers, here are some of their choice comments about this deck:
"Surfs like a dream. Incredibly agile and nimble for such a wide-waisted board."
"Merges snowboarding and surfing more than any other model...Ride it with bindings or without, as a solid or a split, and chase down the white wave."
The Euphoria is the result of a close collaboration between pow surfing pioneer Johan Olofsson and Venture’s founder and design engineer, Klemens Branner, and emerged as part of the company’s experimental Shape Shack division. “The idea is to take a bit of a mad scientist kind of approach, experimenting with designs that might normally be considered too wacky, and then testing those concepts by offering small batch releases to the public,” says Branner.
Olofsson was visiting the Venture factory working on other board designs when he spotted a board tucked away in the corner. It was a shape that Branner had created several years prior, inspired by classic surfboard design. “I had tinkered with a few different reverse sidecut designs but had put the project on the back burner. When Johan saw that prototype he got all fired up.” With a few modifications Olofsson thought Branner’s experimental shape would make a perfect pow surfer. They decided to resurrect a previous powder specific model, the Euphoria.
After several new prototypes were built and ridden, Olofsson and Branner settled on the final shape. It includes rocker, reverse sidecut and a swallowtail for unsinkable performance on bottomless days. A full insert pack allows it to be ridden with traditional bindings, though it is designed to excel when surfed bindingless. When asked what it is about bindingless riding that appeals to him, Olofsson explains: “Everything is kind of new, and you have all these new spices. It takes me to a level of snowboarding where I don't even care what anyone thinks about how I ride. I'm having fun.”
The Euphoria is the fourth board in the Venture quiver to receive an Editors’ Choice Award, following close on the heels of victories by the Odin Splitboard in 2012, the Zephyr Splitboard in 2011 and the Storm Splitboard in 2010. “Four Editors’ Choice awards don’t lie,” says Branner. “To receive such an incredible honor four years running is a huge statement about the quality and performance of our boards. Clearly the backcountry community feels we’re doing it right.”
For the 12/13 winter season the Euphoria is available through select Venture dealers, as well as the Venture webstore. Like all Venture’s boards, it will be offered in both solid and split versions, which will retail for $595 and $895 respectively. Available lengths are 156, 162 and 168 cm.
Put dibs on your dream board before we sell out! We are now accepting pre-orders for the 12/13 lineup through the Venture Snowboards webstore. Orders will ship on a rolling basis from mid-September through mid-November as boards come off the production line.
Just back from the SIA SnowShow in Denver, and wanted to share a little preview of Venture's 2012/2013 line with you all. Still staying true to our focus on big mountain freeride boards. Don't they look dreamy??
Venture's Zephyr Splitboard has received the prestigious Editors' Choice Award from Backcountry Magazine!
As the premier backcountry skiing and snowboarding publication in North America, Backcountry Magazine's endorsement is highly coveted within the snow sports industry. This year's annual product test was held at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, where a selection of boards from top manufacturers were put through their paces both on piste and off. When the powder cloud settled, Venture’s Zephyr Splitboard emerged as a top choice.
According to Backcountry, "Outstanding tester response, exceptionally high scores, and category-leading overall performance contributed to our selection of the Zephyr as a 2011 Gear Guide Editors’ Choice.” Additionally, they commented that the Zephyr splitboard is “the elusive quiver of one: an all-season, all-conditions animal that devours all-things powder.”
The solid version of the Zephyr has been Venture’s flagship board since the company’s founding in 1999. Designed as a versatile, all-mountain powerhouse, it performs well in a range of conditions. It has also received many accolades over the years, including Future Snowboarding Magazine’s Most Valuable Product award in 2007 and 2008.
The split version, introduced last winter, was well received by backcountry riders seeking a precise and controlled ride in challenging and variable terrain. Building on this successful design, the changes for winter 2010/2011 have boosted the board’s performance. A switch from camber to rocker has had the biggest impact, giving the Zephyr splitboard greater maneuverability and float without sacrificing edge hold or performance in less than ideal conditions.
The Zephyr’s victory follows close on the heels of the Storm Splitboard’s success in 2010. The Storm is Venture’s best-selling splitboard model, and also won an Editors’ Choice award from Backcountry last season.
Needless to say, we are stoked to have our splitboards receive such a prestigious honor two years in a row! Look out for the Zephyr's write up in this year's Backcountry Gear Guide, which will hit the newsstands in September.