Moonshine MFG sat down with Boardsport Source, a leading magazine in Europe focused on skate, snow and surf business news, to answer a few questions about what makes us so special. Here’s the interview in full:
- Can you tell us about the history of the company? How did you start? What inspired you etc.?
Moonshine MFG is a grassroots brand founded on the factory floor. Workers at Slingshot Sports’ wakeboard and kiteboard factory in the small town of North Bonneville, Washington, saw the potential to apply the same materials and technologies used in Slingshot’s high-end twin tips to create longboards unlike anything else on the market. These workers were given the freedom to experiment in the factory on their own time, and before long it was clear that they were on to something truly different and special in the industry.
- Who is behind Moonshine Longboards (founders/managers) and what are their backgrounds?
The factory workers remain a key component behind the Moonshine brand and research and development. Officially, Moonshine MFG is a sister company of Slingshot Sports; both are operated under the umbrella of 7-Nation, a parent company created alongside Moonshine to facilitate operations of the separate brands. Slingshot was founded in 1999 by brothers Jeff and Tony Logosz, both of whom remain integral to the brand. The factory, called the Distillery, is managed by Bryan Trullinger and continues to manufacture the vertically laminated wood-core boards for both brands.
- How do you differentiate from the competitors? What makes your longboards special?
Moonshine boards truly are unlike any other longboards on the market. We using the same advanced processes for our longboards as for our kite and wakeboards, which include features like vertically laminated wood cores instead of standard maple ply, precision machined and 100% level truck mounts, compression molded and CNC machined wheel wells and, last but certainly not least, fiberglass finish and fully lined urethane rails and truck mounts that make all of our boards impact resistant and completely waterproof.
No other brand is employing the same materials and techniques as Moonshine MFG; when you see one of these amazing boards you can tell the difference instantly.
- Do you support/collaborate with any athletes and if yes, how?
Although relatively new in the industry, we already have a very strong following of riders collaborating with our brand. Our list of official team riders is growing as we speak, particularly in the racing arena, where we have quickly made a name for ourselves as one of the hottest new brands on the market. We have a core group of fully sponsored team riders who are paid for their services and provide direct insight and feedback to our R&D department. In addition, we have several Flow team riders who represent our brand, help test gear and create regular media content.
- How do you use local resources into your products?
We are very proud of the fact that all of our boards are hand made in the Pacific Northwest by local employees, from Pacific Albus wood sourced from a sustainable tree farm just up the river from the factory That’s as local as could be.
- How has the longboard industry developed throughout the years in your view?
We’re still the new kid on the block, and the industry has undergone constant change over the years, so this is difficult to answer fully. One development we noticed, and one that sets Moonshine apart from much of its competition, was the trend of brands moving manufacturing overseas to cut costs and increase production to maximize profit. This contributes to the cookie-cutter lineups we see from many brands; shapes and graphics might change slightly from year to year, but true change and innovation is lacking.
- How does Moonshine Longboards keep up with this development and what are your future ambitions?
Although our price point may be higher as a result of keeping manufacturing local, sustainable and uniquely high-tech, we feel the quality of our product speaks loud and clear to the benefits of our processes. As we forge ahead, we remain dedicated to these core values. Our future ambition is to continue innovation in the build of our boards as we expand our lineup to more sizes, shapes and styles.
- You are also present on the apparel/accessories market. How do you transfer the Moonshine spirit from the longboards to the tees, caps etc.?
Moonshine’s branding is catchy and has a good general appeal that we try to translate to our accessory line. Admittedly, our accessory line is still in its infancy, but as we grow as a brand and build a larger following, we expect that our accessory line will evolve along the way. Our new lineup of 2016 accessories is about to launch and includes several new designs we feel are rich with the Moonshine spirit.
- Where can we check out your brand on the web (social media, blogs etc.)?