The question is: “why wouldn’t you make snowboards in Dubai?”
In the spirit of transparency and getting ahead of speculation we thought we’d clear the air on our recent factory shuffles.
As many of you have probably heard, we will be moving all 016 sampling and next years production to the new SWS factory in Dubai. Currently this factory is building the 014/015 Basic, Emoticon and 420 production boards that are in shops now. All other production boards are being made by GST in Austria.
The quality, service and professionalism of GST is and always has been excellent. Every board they make (for all their customers) is of top-notch quality and we are proud to stand behind the product they build.
All 014/015 YES. boards are warrantied for life, regardless of the factory they are coming from.
Moving forward, SWS was simply a better fit for YES. for reasons a blog post can’t explain. No, it’s not simply pricing – many other factors come into play. But the important thing to the YES. customer is that quality and performance is remains our most important criteria.
Back in July I travelled to Dubai to finalize all the new designs, tooling, BOMs, flex patterns, graphics, scheduling etc… I can be quite an annoying bore to my hosts, so to lighten things up, Romain and JP flew down for a few days. It was their first trip down to the factory in person, and I think it’s safe to say they have been completely blown away by everything they have seen. – A few hours in the wave pool didn’t hurt first impressions either – http://www.wadiadventure.ae
The cleanliness, safe working conditions and passion for manufacturing the best product possible is evident everywhere you go here at SWS (and in Dubai in general). They have an employee retention rate that any European factory would envy and that no Chinese factory will ever achieve. (And no – they don’t take their passports away from them!) The snowboard area is all-new, as is the specific tooling/machinery required for production. The whole operation has been launched by 2 passionate snowboarders that have well over 20 years of snowboard manufacturing experience under their belt. That invaluable knowledge is plugged into a much larger, well-established manufacturing complex (almost 50 yrs in business) that provides unbelievably fast tooling and prototyping services.
For an example of what that means to us; soon after JP and Romain arrived we spent the day riding the indoor snow-dome, testing 3 newly designed models – The PYL, Jackpot and the all-new 20/20 (working name). We had 3 different flexes/BOMs/base-profiles for each of these models and were riding them in July, 30 minutes from the factory.
No other factory in the world can offer all of this, 365 days a year.
The drive to truly innovate, create and lead (not follow) the industry is what YES. is all about, and what the owners themselves have always stood for. We have found a home here at SWS that is truly in-sync with our vision.