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About Aeromaster Innovations Inc.:
Aeromaster Innovations Inc. is committed to developing and marketing the RideUnit through whatever means necessary. We are interested in talking to companies and individuals who wish to participate in any of five ways:
From 1997 to 2002, Snowboarding and Skateboarding were the number one and number two fastest growing sports according to the National Sporting Goods Association 2002 annual report. Snowboarding enjoyed a 98% increase in participation and skateboarding a whopping 53%. There is no end in sight for the growth of these markets now that mainstream media has begun featuring "extreme sports". Snowboarding has become an Olympic sport. Together, skateboard and snowboard sales are estimated at over $500 Million in the US, and billions worldwide. One significantly less capable "wheeled snowboard" reportedly sells 23,000 units annually and the total market for alternative skateboards is presently estimated at approximately 100,000 units annually.
The RideUnit appeals to participants in snowboarding, skiing and skateboarding. For snowboarders and skiers, the RideUnit provides an off season simulation to maintain fitness of both body and mind. For skateboarders, the RideUnit opens up a whole new world of tricks and techniques yet doesn't lose touch with the raw simplicity of normal skateboarding. Most important, however, it is just plain fun!
New customers would also come from beyond the ranks of existing skateboarders and snowboarders. Many adults don't have ready access to alpine sports facilities but have expressed an interest in a product that allows the freedom of movement and enjoyment offered by the RideUnit. These people wouldn't otherwise consider skateboarding since a normal skateboard does not offer the RideUnit experience. Many teenagers see existing skateboards as old fashioned and long for a new experience that they can embrace as their own. RideUnit fulfills a basic teen need because it allows personal expression in previously unexplored ways.
The RideUnit is easily integrated into existing snowboard and skateboard distribution networks for several reasons. First, most skateboards and snowboards are already sold through specialty retailers. Skate shops and sporting goods stores are well positioned to introduce such new products by simply providing an educational display adjacent to existing products. Second, the RideUnit is immediately recognizable as a derivative enhancement. It would be more difficult to introduce a new product that had no direct relation to the existing paradigm. Finally, it can sell itself. The benefits are immediately apparent simply by viewing a demonstration video. Including a video as part of the educational display would be expected to generate immediate sales.
The total market for the RideUnit is expected to be huge. At the very least, it will render all competitors obsolete and immediately demand nearly 100% share of the existing 100,000 unit alternative skateboard market. Ultimately, a proportional share of the existing worldwide skateboard/snowboard marketplace would be expected. In the best scenario, the RideUnit would ignite the same frenzy that the Razor Scooter generated a few years ago. While these types of fads can never be created or predicted, the RideUnit actually has more to offer the average buyer than the Razor Scooter did. If such a fad resulted, sales would be expected in the millions of units.
The RideUnit is primarily sold as a ready-to-ride product. It would be offered for sale packaged together with an instruction manual and video.
The instruction manual would provide basic riding instruction and maintenance tips. The manual would also describe how to tune the "feel" of the board to the rider's individual preferences. This would further drive the market for tuning products such as custom springs, etc. Skateboarding is already a "tweaker" market where users enjoy working on their boards to customize them. Traditional skateboards are limited, however, in what can be accomplished. While the RideUnit would be suitable for most riders and tricks in its basic form, significant modifications are possible and would be expected to result in a large market for tuning products.
The video would provide basic and advanced riding instruction. The basic instruction would allow the customer to enjoy his board almost immediately. This is important to drive initial sales. The advanced riding instruction inspires the customer to ride more and tune more, thus driving follow-on sales.
Additional sales would be generated by the sale and merchandising of promotional clothing, stickers, etc. Teen fashion is often inspired by what products they are interested in. Showing your colors as a RideUnit owner would be a status symbol. An added bonus to the teens would be irritating the parents with a "Ride My Unit" tee shirt.
The RideUnit is manufactured using conventional materials and processes. The deck is presently laminated maple just like all other skateboards. This helps maintain the skateboard heritage. The deck could also be made from advanced materials to convey a more futuristic/snowboard look. The trucks are most directly compared with alpine ski bindings. The parts are similar in number, complexity and materials. Most parts are injection molded from modern thermoplastics. All large or complex parts enjoy the cost benefits of molding. There are a few metallic parts required, but all can be either stamped, cast, or extruded to keep manufacturing costs low. Purchased parts include springs and bearings. No exotic materials or processes are required!
Manufacturing costs would depend on production rate. A target cost of $40 has been established for the initial offering while selling tens of thousands of units at approximately $200 retail. Further cost reduction would be expected for higher production volume.
Manufacturing cost would also depend upon the board configuration chosen. The RideUnit can be scaled up or down in size and can be adapted for off-road use as well. It is likely that a range of products would eventually be offered encompassing all options from "street trick" board to the larger "hill bomber" and off road "dirt snowboard".
About Aeromaster Innovations Inc.:
Aeromaster Innovations Inc. is a closely-held, California corporation committed to the development of advanced recreational products since 1999. The company is at the startup phase. The founder and inventor of the RideUnit is Jeff Spitzer. Mr. Spitzer is presently employed full-time as a senior engineering manager for a major U.S. aircraft manufacturing company.
Jeff Spitzer is nothing short of an engineering prodigy. As a boy he was constantly experimenting with models and learned quickly what worked. Mechanical and electronic devices offered little challenge as he became the household handyman at a young age.
Jeff graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with an Aeronautical Engineering degree.
Upon graduation he chose to accept an offer from the world's technological leader in Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV's) for military use. This ultimately led to playing a pivotal role in the design and construction of several multi-million dollar aircraft capable of surveillance missions in excess of 38 hours without refueling.
This experience adequately prepared him to be recruited as Program Manager on a small development effort for a Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) UAV. With a staff of four, Jeff led the effort to turn only a few hundred thousand dollars into a totally new VTOL aircraft.
Changing jobs again, Jeff became Program Manager responsible for a $200M+ VTOL manned aircraft development program. Specific accomplishments included development of an extreme performance rotary engine and nacelle components such as fans and vectoring equipment.
Currently, Jeff is Manager of Mechanical and Powerplant Engineering at General Atomics, Aeronautical Systems Inc. Since arriving at GA-ASI in April 1994, Jeff has played four important roles. Initially, he was one of only three airframe designers tasked with rapidly developing the now highly acclaimed Predator UAV.
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