SNAP, a brief history lesson. At the end of the 90’s climbing was still a basically an activity linked to an outdoor culture. The creator of the brand, ‘Snapman’, was himself an addict of mountain sports. However, he was also fascinated by more urban sports such as skateboard and BMX, as well as ‘street clothing’. Increasingly he saw climbing developing as an activity independent of a purely outdoor culture, with an identity that could attract all youth. So, full of ideas about creating new products, he left his job as an engineer with an iceaxe manufacturer and set up Snap, a new brand dedicated to climbing.
VALORS Obviously quality and technical innovation were at the heart of this new activity, but also a desire to open up and diversify the market by offering original products, often radically different from what had gone before. Snap was to signify new designs, new shapes, a new way of looking at traditional products, and a move away from a traditional outdoor culture. Snapman wanted to develop a free thinking, independent brand that aimed to serve the modern climbing community, by helping both its activities and material to evolve in such a way as to put the emphasis on both performance and pleasure. For those of you who remember the arrival of this brand, it shook the climbing establishment in so far as it was neither a traditional family based company, nor a diversified multinational. From the outset fun and a sense of humour characterised the branding of Snap products, by using names and designs not usually associated with such material. In fact Snap was very much in phase with the evolution of the sport, as climbing came out of its shell with the explosion of bouldering, indoor walls, urban climbers and street culture. Snap wanted to accompany and encourage these new activities and these new adepts.
PRODUCTS The first Snap products such as carabineers and harnesses were made exclusively in France until 2003. From then crashpads and bags have been made in Vietnam, acountry where quality and knowhow can be counted on. Most of the materials used in production are bought in neighbouring Korea or Taiwan.It has been our policy from the start to work with a family owned factory where workers and working conditions are respected. This collaboration has created a mutual confidence, a friendship, that has led to a long term partnership which enables Snap to offer real value for money products.
DISTRIBUTION SNAP was contacted in 2006 by the American climbing shoe manufacturer MADROCK, who was looking for a new distributer in France. As both companies share the same values Snap did not hesitate to take on the product that was missingin its range. Snap is a French company with an extensive distribution network in France, but it also exports, in particular to Japan and the U.K.
HEADQUARTERS The company began life in Chamonix and then moved to the outskirts of Annecy. Its latest move sees it established in brand new premises, including warehouse, offices and showroom, at SaintJorioz on lake Annecy.
Snap is an independent brand 100% climbing, still in the hands of its founder nicknamed Snapman by Timy Fairfield.