The word is out — the winds of change have been blowing at Elan Snowboards. Brian Brand, the former division manager for North America, has rejoined Elan Snowboards as the Global Brand Director. Joining him are former Fuse Marketing Account Manager Tyler Barnes, and former Pro Rider (formerly with Sims, Dragon, Reef, and Elan) Dylan Farr. Farr has stepped up to the Global Team Manager position, while Barnes slides into place as the new North American Division Manager. All three have been previously involved with Elan Snowboards in some capacity. Brian launched Elan Snowboards in ’97, and served as the North American division manager before leaving to work for SIA’s Sales and Marketing program in 2000. Farr, a former Pro Rider for Elan, had his own signature model, the 158 Paragon. Barnes also worked for Elan in ’98 as a marketing assistant, and rode for Burton and Joyride before working for Fuse in 2000.

The re-tooling of Elan Snowboards has already started to create significant buzz among both industry insiders and riders, domestically and abroad. At the forefront of the revolution — the ARTEC Project. Radical tranny-specific shape & flex design, and urban assault features drive Elan’s obvious departure from the status quo and define the ARTEC Project. ARTEC 1.1 incorporates the new Omega sidecut. As the name suggests, it’s the ‘last’ word in sidecut, unlike anything the industry has seen. ARTEC 1.2 – a real jib and park board that you can ride off jumps, boxes, rails, metal, wood and what ever else that gets in your way, straight out of the factory. A contemporary deck made for jibbing that can be used to cruise the whole mountain – boards with no edges are sold in WalMart. “In case people haven’t noticed, the industry is stale,” says Farr. We’re doing something that’s relevant to how we’re riding. Spend 5 minutes in any park or ski area and it is obvious where and what kids are riding. The days of marketing driven designs are done. The industry and the decks being ridden are stale. We have a design and production capacity unlike anyone else. We can go from concept to prototype, and paper to snow without a lot of effort. The ARTEC Project is testament to that.”

Developments abound elsewhere in the Elan board line. The 04/05 Inverse is the lightest board in the industry — 600 grams lighter than a Burton T-6, and 450g lighter than a Palmer Honeycomb. What’s more, Elan construction methods allow the Inverse to feature a true tip-to-tail wood core as in the rest of the entire Elan line. No funny honeycombs, helicopter blades, airplane wings, or other tricks which can compromise integrity and feel, are used in its construction; they don’t need to be. Instead, the Inverse features a complete tip-to-tail wood core, with special ultra light pre-peg laminates, and the second generation of Elan’s DG topsheet. Simply put — the Inverse rides jut like any other deck, only its 30 to 40% lighter.

On the rider front, Farr has signed Finnish up and comer Anssi Manninen to their International Squad, where he’ll join heavyweights Aleksi Vanninen, and Stine Brun Kjeldaas, amidst a host of other international talent. Evidence of Manninen and Vanninen’s hard work last season manifested itself in the form of two covers of the first two issues of this season’s ONBOARD, Europe’s largest Snowboarding Magazine.

Farr is also currently filling rider positions for their North American and European Development teams. Look for more domestic riders to be added, on both the left and right coast.

Expect more announcements about Elan and ARTEC Project team riders soon.

Pressing decks since 1988, Elan Snowboards owns and operates the largest volume single output snowboard production factory in the world. Numerous innovations that have revolutionized the sport have been developed in the Elan factory, including the first production twin-tip, the industry-standard four-pack insert pattern, integrated riser plates, and the first women’s booard to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Elan continues to develop cutting edge technology from its factory in Furnitz, Austria. For more information, check out WWW.ELANSNOWBOARDS.COM