Douchebags :: The Interview
After spending some time talking about Douchebags and their rad looking bag for skis, we decided to hit them up for some more information. Following are some details on what drove them to make it, the features, the weight and the amazing cars Jon drives…
*Weight is the big killer with airlines these days. How did you balance weight vs features in the design? Did you start with a weight target, or just keep trying to minimize it?
“Weight is definitely a killer. SAS, a Scandinavian Star Alliance member, just cut down ski bag limitations to 12 kg, meaning it’s super important! We tried to keep the design as minimalistic as possible, just adding the features we think is important. In a protective ski bag, a large part of the weight has been the extensive use of heavy padding. By implementing the patented Rib Cage Construction, we could remove a large amount of paddding while still protecting the ski equipment.”
*Any features you ditched in the development stages (sled tracks, helium filled cushioning, magnetic levitation)? Could we see any of these in MkII?
“We actually ditched a slick looking ABS back-end due to the weight limitation and because the functionality actually decreased, even though it looked great on the drawing board. Other than that, some have talked about making some deployable mini-skis so that the bag may be dragged on soft snow as well as firmer ground. But, this is sadly not prioritized, and we will still strive to make it as simple as possible. We think we’ve come a long way in making the ideal ski bag, and the adjustments will be mostly on fabric etc, and some minor adjustments to the width and height to accomodate absolutely all snowboards as well as skis.”
*Has it been a tricky process having so many different people involved? Has a big team ended up being a blessing or a head-ache?
“The process hasn’t been too tricky actually, as the involvement of external parties have been pretty sequential, and the control and decisions to the design has always been with the core team, even though we have listened eagerly to every voice along the way.”
*As part of the development, did you plan any snow trips through Russia or South America or somewhere that the baggage handlers can really give the bags a hiding? Those Euro baggage handlers seem too well behaved these days…
“Hehe we didn’t really plan on this, but I think Jon may have brought a prototype to one of those parts of the world. Not sure though, but it is a good testing advice, and a good reason for going on interesting travels!”
*How is the business side of things going? Getting the design is just part of building a brand, so we’re always curious to hear how the other pieces are falling into place.
“The business is going great! We’re in place in almost 30 Norwegian retailers, a few Swedish stores and the large chain Snow+Rock in the UK! Our first season’s limited batch is closing in on going empty, which naturally is great news for us. The response have been very good from stores, distributors globally, customers and the press so we’re just super stoked and working our ass off to make it all go as smooth as possible. Soon we’ll start working more on next season, but there’s still some left here, and in some parts of the world the winter is just around the corner (NZ etc).”
*Did you get to have a burn in any of Jon’s cars? Are you as envious of his life as we are?
“:D Unfortunately not yet, he’s an extremely busy man with a super tight schedule and Truls just managed to sqeeze some Lambo sitting time in at ISPO. Sometime this summer though, we’ll have some business days with summer glacier skiing in the west coast of Norway, where our hopes for some burning are more realistic. ”
*Any plans for other bags to follow? It seems like some of these design insights would rock in surf and other board bags.
“Yeah, thanks, we’ve got a lot of requests for surf bags etc, and we’ll definitely look into solutions for this when we have more time at hand for new designs and wholly new markets.”
all photos courtesy of Sebastian Berg Hestvedt)