Michael Brooke of Concrete Wave sat down with Greg Kish, Moonshine MFG director of sales and marketing, to ask what’s been happening here at Moonsine’s Pacific Northwest headquarters.
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What have been some key developments for Moonshine in 2015?
Since 2015 was really our first full year of production/sales our plate was full with keeping up with growth. We started the year with 6 board models and will go into 2016 with 12 models and a much more robust offering across multiple longboarding disciplines. We’ve put together a great team of riders, set up distribution in multiple countries and sponsored several events; from demos to local slide jams to the Maryhill Festival of Speed. Lastly, we collaborated with Ronin Trucks to bring back their classic racing shape in the form of the Tucker and Pro Tucker (carbon) downhill models. It’s been a big year for learning and growth.
A lot of people ruin their boards by skating in the rain. That doesn’t happen with Moonshine. Why did you decide to make your boards waterproof? What has been some of the feedback?
The DNA of our boards come from the wake boarding and kite boarding industry. Our factory, The Distillery, has been building wake and kite boards for several years. Many of the guys on the factory floor are skaters – and they thought that constructing a longboard utilizing our existing technology would make for a great longboard.
The response from riders has been extremely positive. We now have riders sending us water, rain and snow photo’s all of the time on social media – it’s been really fun to see. Not only is the board waterproof, but the urethane sidewalls give the board added impact resistance and the urethane truck mounts provide a vibration dampening effect.That’s where the idea for Moonshine Mfg was born, and keeping the boards waterproof using our vert-lam composite construction along with urethane sidewalls and truck mounts made complete sense, since skaters ride in wet weather conditions all the time.
Where are some of your boards sold outside of the USA? What region has surprised you?
Outside the USA our boards are available in several countries including Germany, Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, Hungary and Poland, just to name a few, and we are working on several more distribution relationships in 2016. The region that has surprised us the most is Korea. They are huge fans of Moonshine Mfg and in particular our dancing board, the HoeDown.
What do you look for in a team rider?
Our team riders are definitely a key component of why our boards have been so successful. We rely on our team for product feedback and new ideas, so communication is important. Some of our board designs have come directly from the minds of our team.
We have intentionally grown our team slowly and carefully. We’re looking for contributors that will not only represent Moonshine Mfg out in public at events, races, demos, and so on, but they need to be great ambassadors for the sport, have a great attitude, a willingness to spread the Moonshine Mfg stoke and, most importantly, have fun – both online and offline.
2016 is an important year for Moonshine Mfg. We’re looking to grow our distribution into several more countries. We’ll be adding a new strategic partner (or two) and we’ll be launching some more new products – also keep your eye out for some cool new apparel.
What are some of your key initiatives for 2016?
We’ll also be focusing on creating more awareness for our White Lightning Wheel brand – market feedback has been very positive, so we’d like to get the word out. Last but not least, we’ll continue to R&D new materials, new shapes and constructions for the future.