Wednesday, 21 March, 2018

Ilahu snowboards set to hit global market

14 Mar 2018, 20:00 ( 6 days ago)

DF Report
Jan Leutola, co-founder and board shaper of Ilahu is seen to work in his factory. DF Photo

Ilahu, a Rovaniemi-based snowsurfboard brand, now aspires to go global after winning the hearts of Finnish riders with the power, excellence, and beauty of its boards.

Established in 2014, ILAHU boards is an auxiliary business of Treeform Ltd, which won the Arctic Design Award in 2016, and posted as large a turnover as 197,000 euro in 2017 demonstrating its profitability.

The idea behind Ilahu was conceived two decades ago by Jan Leutola, a carpenter with a 30-year history in surfing and boarding, when he made his first downhill skateboards. In his own words, years of surfing the breaks of Cadiz left him with a hunger for adapting surfboard shapes to the frozen waves of Lapland.

The Lappish word ‘ilahu’ means ‘rejoice,’ which captures the pure joy of smooth, carefree gliding in the pristine nature.

Jan, co-founder and board shaper of Ilahu, teamed up with designer-maker Maxim Narbrough to bring that idea to fruition. Driven by a shared passion for crafting beautiful boards and love for the outdoors, they made it happen.

“I have been involved in snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing from my childhood and I enjoy these very much,” said Jan. Co-founder Maxim harnesses his fascination with natural materials to improve the performance and ecological impacts of Ilahu boards, said Jan, explaining the creative dynamics of their partnership and adding that Narbrough’s keen technical ability and affinity with nature serve as the catalyst in exploring new possibilities.

The Ilahu master shaper also said that, although in the beginning it was their hobby, now they are concentrating more on business, following the company’s success in the recent years.

ILAHU boards’ main focus is to expand to the international markets,” he said, adding that the main foci of their planned market expansion at the moment are Japan, Sweden, and Norway, which they envisage to gradually include Russia, Central Europe, and the North America.

Rooted in Finnish Lapland, Ilahu is inspired by its natural surroundings, Lapland’s fells, the Scandinavian mountains, and the North Atlantic coast.

According to the company sources, Ilahu boards are designed and made in the Finnish Lapland with all the boards carefully hand-finished to ensure the highest quality.

Ilahu also wants to promote the love for nature and the concern for the climate. Hence, it has partnered with Protect Our Winters (POW) Finland, to work towards a cooler and cleaner future. POW Finland encourages winter sports enthusiasts to make decisions affecting climate change in their daily lives, and to influence society more widely.

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