Site Check: CAPiTA

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CAPiTA! You know how no matter what, there is someone who hates any given thing? Brands such as Burton, Flow and RuRoc are to varying degrees known as much for how much they’re hated as for what they actually do. But CAPiTA on the other hand, I can’t recall anyone actively hating on them. Indifference sure, maybe even a distaste, but not the same blind opposition it seems that every other brand will generate to some degree. Which begs the question, who are they Defending the Awesome from?

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For a few years now they’ve done this forced perspective thing on their website and in their catalogs, and it really bothers me. If you look at the ends of any of their boards, it looks like they’ve got a wicked asymmetric profile across their entire line. That isn’t it, that trend is already on the way back out, I think what they’re going for is making it look like you’re viewing the board on an angle. But they still print the graphics as if you’re looking face on, so the effect is this weird distorted amoeba board.

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Another year the “Volcom is going to make hardgoods” rumor proves false. Honestly I’m not surprised, the margins on hard goods is crap. Volcom is happy making $90 boardshorts, and I don’t see them changing their business model any time soon. But for some reason there is still demand for a Volcom board, and here it is. And they get to push off the boring/expensive design, research, construction, and warranty work to CAPiTA, so they’re really making out like bandits.

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Speaking of boring/expensive, The Mothership has landed. In case you weren’t paying attention, CAPiTA is opening a new factory in Austria to replace the giant one they bought from Elan a few years back. The new spot has an on-site hill for prototype testing, and it’s near a major resort, but the real buzz here is sustainability. Not only is it “greener” thanks to on site power generation, eco-conscious design, and a stack of other Earth-friendly decisions, it’s also economically sustainable. See the old digs was capable of putting out an insane number of boards, but whether snowboarding is shrinking or just staying the same, it isn’t seeing the kind of growth needed to support that capacity. So by “downsizing” CAPiTA is making a move to ensure demand for their product stays high, and that’s smart.

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I’m sorry to let you down, but the only thing I’ve got to run with on the team is a handful of one-off jokes. Kazu’s kid is cooler than you. Dan Brisse looks like the mugshot of a State Senator who got busted at a DUI checkpoint. And Cale Zima is just one heavily customized motorcycle away from completing his Jesse James starter kit.

But in the end, they’re coming up short in our little competition. Not a bad score, but somehow it feels like this site is less than the sum of it’s parts. It looks cool, CAPiTA always does, and they really are set up to make it easy to poke around and find whatever it is you’re looking for. The Mothership is awesome for industry nerds like me, though at this point I was hoping we could get something more than the same artist’s rendition we’ve been looking at since January. 78 is a respectable score, but I can’t help but think they could have done better.

Check the site for yourself-
The standings so far-

Rank Brand Score
1. Airblaster 93
2. Lobster Snowboards 87
3. Bataleon 86
4. CAPiTA 78
4. Endeavor 74
5. Rome SDS 72
6. Arbor Collective 71
7. DC Snowboarding 68
8. Holden 62
9. Gnu Snowboards 57
10. Burton 50
11. Technine 45
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