2010 SNOWIDE SAS acquires the brand APO. The brand is one of the most valued brands in the snowboard industry and has a great fan base, thanks to its history (25 years of making boards), its original graphics and its constant quest for innovation (fhe patented “Dual Entry System” bindings).
2008 APO introcuces a range of skis.
2005 APO launches a new innovative dual entry binding system. (patent n°WO2004/073811)
Birth of APO 2003 After several difficult years, the Rossignol Group decided to reorganise it’s subsidiaries and therefore to close the “Grand Chavin” factory. Régis tried to buy back the brand but was rebuffed at the last minute. Thanks to the support of his customers in France and distributors abroad, he managed to launch a new brand: “APO Snowboards”.
On May 1st 1997, “R.R. Développement” (the company behind the A.Snowboards brand) and Grand Chavin Product (Hot & Hammer) signed an agreement (acquisition of cross share holdings between the two firms) and merged forming Grand Chavin Snowboards. This economic and strategic alliance allowed the partners to link their abilities in order to create a more powerful group based on a shared product and a strengthened development policy. The graphic identity, the technical specifications and the marketing policy of each of the three brands were preserved, each entity remaining totally independent. December 1999 After a period of financial difficulties, the French Rossignol Group bought Grand Chavin keeping it as an autonomous snowboard division.
From 1992 to 1997 A.Snowboards made its mark around the world (U.S.A - Japan - Australia - Canada and the whole of Europe).
1992 In a quest for independence, Régis went back to France to start a new venture in association with a French factory and “A.Snowboards” was born early in 1993 through R.R Developpement, Régis’s new company. Whilst the basic models were made in France in Ski Duret’s factory, Régis’s more ambitious ideas were manufactured at the Surf Politix factory in Canada.
1990 However, the European market wasn’t ready for snowboarding yet (and the ski lobby was already very powerful). Moreover, in 88/89 and 89/90 the Alps suffered from severe lack of snow. And finally management is something you don’t learn overnight. In 1990, Apocalypse Surf was bought by a US company and transplanted to New York. Régis Rolland, Bernard Gervasoni and 3 other Frenchmen tried their luck in the USA and spent 2 years in New York to relaunch “APOCALYPSE SNOWBOARD USA”. These 2 years were difficult but very interesting.
During the 1985-1986 winter, he built a press with his lifelong friend Bernard Gervasoni (Bernard built all the Ride factory) and hired a dozen employees. The first “Apocalypse Surf” snowboards came out looking almost like the ones around today. No fins, steel edges and soft bindings similar to modern ones. Régis & Bernard were responsible for some improvements in the manufacturing process of snowboards.
1985 After such success, Régis decided to dedicate more time to snowboarding and started manufacturing boards.
In 1985 and 1986, “Apocalypse Snow II and III”, the sequels, were filmed and shown all over the globe. He became “the gliding genie”.
1983 he started filming for the first time promoting Les Arcs (Ski Espace) and then started a long trilogy “Apocalypse Snow”, for which he designed his first prototype to ride on. “Apocalypse Snow” was a success across Europe and was distributed worldwide.
1982 Snowboarding was barely getting started in Europe and Régis hooked up with Utah’s “Team Winterstick” who had been invited to Les Arcs by Alain Gaimard (adventure film producer). Intrigued by what he saw, Régis tried out these rudimentary snowboards which at the time had fins, no edges and simple foot straps: “It was impossible to turn on hard-pack. We were constantly getting off the boards to get across groomed slopes”. Stubborn and dedicated, he improved rapidly, already thinking about developing his board and bindings.
1981 He became a ski instructor in Les Arcs, France.
1960 Régis Rolland was born in Grenoble, France. Living in Villard de Lans ski resort, he naturally started skiing at a tender age and was competing regularly. At the age of 17, he was lined up to become part of the French ski team.