Arno RepaThere are many ways to be involved in snowboarding. @BrOADER we try to give you each time new visions, new ideas, new points of view…Since october and the launch of BrOADER, we managed to deliver BrOADER[views] with different people from the European snowboard scene. A couple of riders (Anne-Flore Marxer & Christian KIKI Moillen), a photographer (Vanessa Andrieux), a contest organiser (Drew Stevenson from TTR), a film maker (Olivier Pictet from Thermos), and some entrepreneurs (Seb from Aaven, Alix from Landing, and Stephen from Eesa)!!! Not too bad, no? 😉

Today we have yet another perspective: we are proud to present you our BrOADER[view] with Arno Repa, snowboard product manager at Rossignol Snowboards. This guy manages the full range of snowboards at Rossignol from product definition to marketing! If you want to know a little more about this aspect of the snowboard industry and get a preview at some 0708 boards from Rossignol including the Mathieu Crepel and John Jackson pro models…go ahead!!!

Hi Arno! Promess you will say the truth all the truth?

Why would I lie?

What’s written on your identity card ?

République française, you know: power to the people and presidency is not hereditary. Not sure that applies to everyone in France though.

What’s your current job?

Snowboard product manager (yeah right!?).

What the hell!! Acting for snowboard in a ski company? How do you feel? Are you OK?

I know, my parents and friends hated me for this!
I wasn’t born or raised this way but I love lost causes and the truth is that I’d rather turn this company inside out from the inside than try to do it from the outside.
I work with a tight crew of really mean old snowboarders and the challenge of designing products for everyone, cause that’s what Rossi is about, with this in mind makes everyday worth getting up.
Plus the ski guys look more into our direction everyday because they like what they see at the snowboard department, so the company is tweaking already.

OK back into your late childhood! Why did you go to USA and when was it exactly?

Jeremy Jones Rossignol 06-07 promodelThe only reason why I did study was to buy me some vacations and have my parents take care of all my expenses as much as I could.
I know it’s bad but I, at least, admit it! And this year in the USofA was the conclusion to it all. The only reason why i did go to college was because I knew that particular college had a student exchange program with several universities in the US.
I was, at that time, into Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, The Beastie Boys and Janes Addiction and had all this early 90’s US hip-hop/rock thirst for more.
So I waited until they gave me the authorization to qualify for it, until graduation actually, and I attended the M.B.A. program in detroit in 92/93.
I did not get the M.B.A. though, because I had to go back to France for the draft after a year, but I still got my degree in France though.
And I was in Detroit for the birth of techno with the likes of Jeff Mills and underground resistance and their skimasks and combat uniforms (just a few years after Public Enemy). So altogether that year was a bash.

How was it in the US back then? Tell us about the guys implicated in the snowboard scene you met there ?

Amber Rossignol 06-07Oh that’s a long time ago, I remember this guy Matt who had pro-formas from burton snowboards.

I had a Jimi Scott (Apocalypse) and he gave me his Brushie (the one with the fish).
And this other guy Tim who had bought a custom Lib-Tech snowboard through internet (or was it phone?) and who was getting it replaced in 2 weeks by sending it back to Mervin because their boards would break easily back then.
I also remember meeting up with the Joyride team in a pipe at Pine Knob, a super small ski resort 30mns away from my college, as some of their guys were on a jib tour out east.
I also remember listening to the Beastie Boys at Industry, a night club 15mns away from college, while MTV was shooting a video.
Or dorm parties where the whole floor was locked-up and beer cags piled up to the ceiling with girls giving away tickets for sex.
Or my roomate’s girlfriend pressing charges against him for rape 6 months after she’d broke up with him just because he had another girlfriend.
Or this girl suing the cleaning company because she’d slipped on the floor in the dorms and broke her elbow, and there were no ‘slippery when wet’ sign at that time.

Ok enough of that crazy life! At one point you decided to come back to your sweet France. And then in a few months everything happened!

Indeed. Snowboarding, consulting, snowboarding, Florida and Hammer snowboards.

So you’ve been Hammered! Does it hurt?

Not really, a little pain can’t be that bad.

Then, hop! You switched to Rossignol Snowboards, a much bigger firm than Hammer…

Can’t recall it to be firm but bigger for sure!

Now that Rossignol got bought by Quiksilver you are in an even bigger firm!
Have things changed since Quiksilver arrived?

Exactly, second buyout, new boss, same job, different feeling.
Everyone could see their influence the minute they were in control actually: less tuxedos, more flip flaps, tans and music.
It feels like everything we wanted to happen in the past can happen now.
But in the mean time everyone’s perfectly aware of the flip side of their laid back attitude.
There’s a good reason why Quiksilver is leading the outdoor market these days: it’s called determination. They won’t let anyone get in their way. Having a company like this with you can either be scary or highly motivating. But no matter you’re scared or not, you know they’re going to hit the target.

Could you tell us exactly what your job consists in?

I oversee graphic designing on boards, take part in the board development process, follow through production documents, do all the editorial for the dealer catalog (boards only), do all presentations (boards only) and occasionally work on communication and promotion.

What’s hot in the 06.07 RS boards range?

Decoy Rossignol 06-07The new Jones and Storm on the freeride segment, the new One on the allround segment, the new Decoy and Alias on the twin freestyle segment, the new Amber on the women line and the Mini.
The Jones (1st pic brown/white) and Storm, which is a lower-end Jones, were designed by the man himself so you know what you can expect.
The One was designed by Jonas for smaller-built or less experienced riders but we all know Jonas does not make a huge difference between someone who rides 15 days a year and his own schedule, so the One may be smoother than his signature, it is still pretty tight.
The Decoy (on the left) and Alias are wider and have a bigger stance width with more punch on tips for higher ollies and more stability on rails or landings.
The Amber (2nd pic white) is a thinner Decoy! That’s it, straight forward. Same board as the guys but only thinner because it’s women’s specific.

And we’re introducing the Mini this year: a short board, 121cm long, that has a 25cm waist width. Super fun to ride,HC 3000 bindins 06-07 by Rossignol super light, no swing-rate (how do you want a swing-rate if yo have almost no tips?), super cheap…You can learn how to ride in a day with it, you can carve with it, ride handrails (Mathieu Crépel even rode it last year on the rail contest in les deux alpes), ride slushy (this baby is sooo good in april) or groomed snow, have fun on the slopes at low speed or even go for an easy freestyle action on the sides. This board is so good for social cohesion it should be a political program: snowboarding to the people. The Mini is just the biggest thing in small.

Where do you find your inspiration for the design themes?

Everyday life: from TV shows to the clothing industry, via comics, video games or action sports.

Which gear is your favorite one?

I ride alias + HC 2000 + Crank because I like a softer gear but I love the style of the Decoy + HC 3000 (pic above black)+ Revolve.

You are probably linked by a contract with your company, but give us just a hot news on the 07-08 Rossignol Snowboard range !

John Jackson Rossignol 07-08 promodelMore Minis (last pic skate style), 2 new signature models the John Jackson (on the left) (featured here) and the Mathieu Crépel and we’ve integrated air bags in our binding’s top range HC3000 (pic below black/red) and boots. Jeremy Jones once said ‘there’s never too much dampening’ so here you go ! everywhere.Bindings Rossignol HC3000 07-08

Who is your biggest competitor? Is it Burton?

K2 more than Burton actually.
I consider Burton more like a league of its own.
K2 has a much more global approach on winter sports, and is closer to Rossi to this extent.

Which other brands or companies involved in snowboarding do you respect?

I respect every company in this industry. The only problem I have is with some men/women in this industry, not with the companies they work with.
But more than companies, I always look at what comes out of the UK and Japan even more than what comes out from the US.

The other brands (ex: DC shoes) of the new QS-R group are really implicated in snowboard softgoods. Do you think they’ll come harder?

Harder I don’t know. I’d really take it easy on the hardgoods if I were them so they’ll probably listen to me when they read this.

What are your plans for the next months?

Snow Avant Premiere in France, then SIA in Las Vegas and ISPO in Munich.

The Mini Rossignol 07-08OK thanks Arno, I really enjoyed this BrOADER[view] but before I leave you the last words, the tradition wants me to ask you what is your feeling about snowBrOADER? I heard that you are film & music enthusiastic. So which song and which film could be snowBrOADER?

Didn’t know you guys before this and I still don’t know who I’m talking to after it but I kinda like the idea of being blind interviewed.
That reminds me of a french TV show from the late 80’s called “Lunettes noires pour nuits blanches” (black shades for sleepless nights) where the host, who was interviewing his guests in a nightclub, was wearing shades. He was no one at that time, and got famous afterwards, but he, at least, always gave his first name (you rotten communists!).
I have the impression I know you from somewhere though… but I can’t recall from where. Bath tub in Barcelona?

Bath tub?? Hmmmm Ich dont think so!