A revolution in manufacturing and host to multiple feats in engineering, CAPiTA’s Mothership is born out of a desire to make snowboards of the highest standard. From start to finish, the operation is slick, detailed and precision-tailored to create snowboards that meet the demands of the CAPiTA team and their customers alike, continuing to position the brand at the very top of table of snowboarding.
“Beyond this wall, the best snowboards in the world are made.”
When the guys at CAPiTA offer you a chance to come and check out the Mothership and test some of next season’s boards at their Moonshot Facility, you don’t turn it down. You bolt out the door of Freeze HQ, hop on a quick tram to the airport, take a two-and-a-half-hour flight to Treviso, load into a £4-per-day Fiat Panda and pin it across the Italian/Austrian border. That’s what we did, and this is what we learned…
CAPiTA kindly put us up in the super accommodating Alte Post Hotel in the sleepy Austrian town of Feistritz – landing spot of the Mothership. Most people in this quintessential Austrian mountain town are employed by CAPiTA and they like to spend their evenings hanging out in the hotel bar – they were great value and we were lucky enough to be joined for the week by Brandon Cocard, Kevin Backstrom, Markus Olimstad and Phil Jacques too.
About half a mile down the road you spot the Mothership, and you can’t miss it – enormous, wood-clad and shaped like no building you’ve seen – it’s pretty damn obvious, yet far from an eyesore.
The Mothership is situated on the river Gail, allowing CAPiTA to be as eco-friendly as possible in their manufacturing process (more on that in a bit). On its doorstep, The Moonshot Facility - this local ski slope, amicably shared by CAPiTA and local ski schools, provides the perfect spot for their team, and lucky expletives like us, to test their latest offerings.
100% Hydro Power
CAPiTA are proud to boast the Mothership as the only 100% hydro powered snowboard factory in the world. The system creates an impressive 5 units of energy for cooling and heating for every single unit consumed. The NH3 natural gas system warms and cools the entire vessel – generating the heat required for pressing boards and for the topsheet printing process, and cooling to reduce snowboard press temperature, grinding machines and for conditioning factory air. Strategically placed skylights in the building’s construction eliminate the need for extra lighting in the building too, whilst using certified wood cores, water-based inks, plant-based resins and less solvent in finishing makes sure the Mothership does nothing to upset Mother Nature.
Being situated in the tree-covered, mountainous regions bordering Austria, Slovenia and Italy isn’t just handy for testing snowboards. The Mothership’s home provides it with 98% of the raw materials used in the manufacturing process, further lessening the factory’s environmental impact.
A Revolution in Snowboard Production
We’re not going to get into the nitty gritty, mainly because we’re not engineers, but there’s a lot of cool stuff going on inside the Mothership. The topsheet printing techniques delivers a consistently clean finish and outstanding durability. No fewer than eight presses working at one time seamlessly combine bases to those sustainable wood cores. A miniature factory in its own right, CAPiTA’s one-of-a-kind, multimillion-dollar topsheet application machine pressure-laminates topsheets instead of gluing them. This delivers unprecedented strength and seriously cuts down the chances of a delam. There’s much more than that – cutting edge machinery and techniques are used throughout the process, ending in a quality assurance room that only lets a perfect snowboard emerge for sale to customers. Every step, small or large, is meticulously considered and expertly executed.
The planning and process that goes into putting every CAPiTA snowboard together is incredible. The Mothership is a true ‘one-of-a-kind’ that ensures every board meets the impeccable standards set by founder, and all-round nice guy, Blue Montgomery and his team. And it’s a BIG operation too – at full capacity it’s capable of crafting well over 100,000 boards in a year.
Our biggest takeaway? When you realise how much goes into crafting a CAPiTA snowboard and consider the fact that they’re doing their utmost to look after the environment that lets us do what we love, it more than justifies the price we pay when we buy one. We’re stoked they could show us around.
Massive thanks to Dangler, Blue, Gavin, Jonathan Rogers, and Greg & Danica for their hospitality, beer and tacos!
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