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Clew Step In Snowboard Bindings
We are CLEW
We don’t just want to develop innovative and beautiful products. Our mission is to make the feeling of freedom and joy of life that we know from snowboarding tangible for everyone. The most important thing is that we never lose the desire to discover and positively shape our world. Every single day we want to be open to new and unconventional paths and never lose the appreciation for our environment and fellow human beings.
Our story. Since 2017.
We, Jakob, Johannes and Matthias, three former students, founded CLEW®. One thing we agreed on: We wanted to save ourselves the trouble of buckling and unbuckling after every lift ride, but still not give up the unsurpassed riding experience of a buckle binding. Until then, there was no snowboard step-in binding on the market that satisfied our needs.
As part of our university course "Methods of Product Development" in the last semester of our mechanical engineering studies, we were able to develop our first idea of a new type of step-in snowboard binding using 3D printers and make it tangible. The idea: The binding should consist of two parts. The baseplate should be firmly mounted on the snowboard. The decouplable highback should be easily strapped to any soft boot and firmly anchored to the board by a click mechanism. By keeping the classic ratchets, we wanted to ensure the well-known riding experience.
Our concept and first business plan were awarded "Best Business Idea from a Course" at the Munich University of Applied Sciences’ Ideas Competition “Strascheg Award”. In the first step, we tested more than 11 different prototypes on the slopes ourselves.
We presented our first fully functional prototype of our binding at the ISPO Munich sports fair in January 2019. Immediately afterwards we went on a months-long search to find the best suppliers, producers for every individual part, as well as machines and a suitable production site. Regarding the location for our production, we were unanimous from the very beginning. Our entire production should be based on quality work "Made in Germany". To achieve this, we wanted to use our thereby gained know-how for further development and rely on one hundred percent control, by ourselves.
In October 2019 we had an appearance on the German TV show “Die Höhle der Löwen” (comparable to “Shark Tank”). During and after the broadcast, we not only had over 90,000 shop visitors, but also numerous pre-orders for the upcoming winter. An early and groundbreaking milestone in our young company history.
In late 2019, we produced our first small batch – the “Pre Rider” model. Friends and family helped in our production, so that all bindings could be delivered in time. In January 2020, 42 jury members from 13 countries voted our CLEW® binding the “ISPO Award Gold Winner”, making it the best and most innovative snowboard binding in the world. However, we did not rest on our laurels and spent the entire first half of 2020 on further product development because we wanted to improve our bindings’ overall performance and manufacturability.
The result was our updated model “CLEW®20 Edition” which brought us a lot of important and positive feedback from our customers and pro riders. In addition, we were able to convince the German Snowboard Association of our technology and initially grew quickly in the German-speaking alpine region.
Since September 2020 we have been in close cooperation with the “Oberland workshops for people with disabilities” in Miesbach, Bavaria, which we are still very proud of. During the worldwide pandemic, we particularly felt how crucial our local production contributes to the success of our company. Because we were always able to act flexibly and quickly with our local partners, we were able to stay on schedule despite global delivery bottlenecks. Therefore, even in difficult times, we are always a reliable partner for all our dealers and customers. Our promise is that we will never stop working on progress and improvement. This can also be seen in our latest product release. With our CLEW® Freedom 1.0 (22/23) bindings we will take snowboarding to the next level and continue writing our history!