We are back with Benoît and also Mathias (composite expert within mb-boards), and as promised, we will proceed with unveiling the new Albatros, and its evolution into the one board concept.
We will focus today on its production in Europe and its high-end construction.
Benoît you "teased" us a bit about these two subjects in our interview on March 3rd. Could you tell us more about your decision to repatriate the production for the wing boards from Asia to Europe? What were the requirements for choosing the ideal European candidate?
Actually, we have been looking for a high end production plant close to our major market which is Europe.
Having been convinced by the products and the reputation of this new industrial partner, it was obvious that we should enter into this new production relationship in Europe.
Their values in terms of quality and eco-responsibility for manufacturing products were exactly what we were looking for.
Another important point was that almost all people involved, either in the building of the factory or for the production of boards, are riders. Hence, they understand better than anyone else the needs of this kind of product.
Do you think that mb-boards have opened an industrial breach on the old continent for other brands?
We think that all the brands that want to offer high quality products, great added value, and better proximity between product and final customer, will turn to this kind of production.
On the know-how of this European production unit, you spoke to us about their mastery of "Infusion Carbon Technology". What are the advantages for your customers?
The ICT (Infusion Carbon Technology) is composed of an XPS type foam core specifically developed for Appletree.
It is made of closed cells and this is important for two reasons:
The first one is that if you make a damage during a session, the water will not infiltrate the board and therefore it is possible to finish your session before having to repair.
If exposed to heat, the board will not swell or delaminate.
The resin infusion allows one to control exactly the amount of resin in the fabric for an optimum strength to weight ratio.
Secondly, because the fabrics are all impregnated directly onto the board at once, the bonding between each layer of carbon fiber is far superior to traditional construction.
The finish of the boards is extremely clean and healthy, which allows the carbon to be visible, even on technical parts such as the reinforcement area of the foil boxes.
Generally speaking, isn't this high-end construction on wing and pump boards a difficult position to hold in the face of the economic situation and the competition which is focusing more on low-cost?
We think that everyone should have their own vision on the subject. As far as we are concerned, we prefer to opt for more durable products that are close to our customers' demand for wing boards. In our case it is Europe. To make our products travel halfway around the planet now seems absurd.
MB-Lab is seeing pre-series released in small quantities before going into production, is this the same construction that is found in your European series boards?
Sure thing , boards which come out of the LAB for pre-production are made in our European partner factory or Swiss mb-lab workshop, and have an identical 100% carbon lay-up.
How would you describe the technological advances in materials and resins in the next 5 years? Will the European wing and pump boards at MB always be ahead of the game?
It's always hard to predict the future, but it's sure that with Mathias Bavaud and the mb-Lab, we are continuously exploring new avenues also in materials and constructions.
Thanks again Benoît for these insights, we are looking forward to follow you in your Lab on https://www.mb-boards.com/f/mb-lab.asp, and to see what inspires you for the future of these sports