On a fall evening in 2015 I had some beers with Roy Brönnimann. We were talking about plans for the upcoming season. When Roy told me about the idea to produce some pow boards my first thoughts were: Really? Aren’t there already enough players in this small niche? Well, if you have a degree in business administration – like Roy and I do – these are maybe just the normal questions that come up.
Photos and Text by Kuno Egli
(unless marked otherwise)
During the season 2015/16 I met Jürg Bührer. He told me that designing and producing a snowboard from start to finish was his project at university of applied science. I must admit I felt a bit stupid when he started explaining the technical details of different shapes and the production process to me.
So, there was an idea, a motivated duo, but more know-how was needed. Since Roy and Jürg are well connected in the scene in the Berner Oberland, it was obvious that Reto Neiger was the guy to talk to regarding technical questions, shapes and to acquire some material that can only be bought in bulk. For those who don’t know him: Reto was a successful freestyle rider in the Swiss contest scene who started building his own boards – Zen Snowboards – in 2011 (check David Birri’s article in Whiteout No. 24 for more information).
With the first pow sessions, pictures of the prototypes being tested started to appear on social media (@paengsnowboards). After a late season dump I met up with Roy and Jürg to shoot some pics. We got really lucky with the conditions and just by looking at the big sprays they were throwing and the big smiles on their faces you could tell that the boards really did perform well! I’m happy with the shots I got that day, but I still don’t understand why I did not ask to try one of their prototypes. Speaking of prototypes: I really liked the plain white base with just the black letters P – Ä – N – G and the exclamation mark on it. Roy and Jürg however knew that there is room for improvement and brought Simon Baumann on board. If you’re a regular reader of this fine publication you will certainly remember last year’s beautifully designed photo issue. This is Simon’s work. With the addition of Simon the PÄNG! team was complete.
On the 2nd October PÄNG! hosted a tune in event for Travis Rice’s new film. I think everyone in attendance will agree with me that this event was a success. What’s next? you might ask. PÄNG! is hosting a release party of their boards in Interlaken on December 16th. So mark your calendars and join them at the Kunsthaus in Interlaken.
It’s great to see all the energy those three guys put into PÄNG! and I can’t wait to have my initial skepticism about this idea proven wrong. See you in Interlaken!