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Bespoke boarding

What should be expected from the creatives born out of world’s adventure
capital? Lee Suckling checks out a new wave in extreme custom design.

How do young, athletic New Zealanders combine their love of extreme sports with a passion for design? By custom designing a snowboard, of course.

Candleman Snowboards, which made its first custom board 15 years ago, promotes the ethos ‘snowboarding is all about self expression’.

Once a year it holds a competition to design snowboard graphics, with winning designs joining the Candleman Snowboards range as official new season products. This year’s entries were open for judging online, with votes coming in from around the world. 

Architecture student Rhys Pemberton won the Girls’ design first place with his design ‘Retro Times’.

“I think white space is underrated and I have learnt this from studying landscape architecture, and have implemented this on the top of the board,” he says, also noting he believes there should be no gender in snowboarding; it’s a sport about individuality where anyone can have whatever colour, graphic or style they like. “I consider it as a unisex board.”

‘Yeti’, by graphic design student Adam Tan, won the Boys design first place. “I just wanted to depict something that represented the love for the snow (with the Yeti and girl),” he says. 

“I like to do customs, like painting skateboards and shoes, which is why I wanted to design something for a snowboard,” he adds. “[The board is something] people could also be proud to put on to their walls and be aesthetically pleasing.”


Candleman Snowboards


2009's winning entry




candleman 2010's winning entry, Yeti

‘Retro Times’


candleman 2010's winning entry, retro







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