Apex Composites Inc. was founded in 2002 as a supplier and repair facility for race car body work. We have evolved over the years, and our strengths have led us to specialize in complex aerospace and defence part manufacturing. Our experience and expertise in carbon fibre composites design and manufacturing has also allowed us to succeed with ventures in the high performance sporting goods market, namely, paddle and snow sports.
Commitment to Quality
Apex’s Quality Management System is ISO 9001:2008 registered and currently in the process of becoming AS9100C registered. Our process controls consist of 100% Critical Point Inspection; the use of standardized build instruction documentation that is issued for every part and the use of CATIA V5 Composites Design environment for optimizing layup procedures and material usage. The same commitment to quality, that is essential to succeeding as an aerospace manufacturer, is applied to our sporting goods products.
How We Got into the Snowboard Business
Credit (or blame) goes to Canadian national team member Michael Lambert, who was frustrated by the equipment that was available to him. Michael had a good idea of what he wanted in a binding interface plate but needed a carbon fibre specialist to make it a reality.
“I searched and searched and searched and I finally stumbled across these guys,” Lambert said.
As a former race car driver, Apex President, Gerry Kavanaugh could relate to Michael’s competitive drive and the need for more speed. Whether out of patriotism or a feeling of kinship with a fellow racer, Gerry wanted to help. Money certainly wasn’t the motivation. The project cost Apex about $75,000 more than we received from the “Own The Podium” program.
Working closely with Lambert and the entire Canadian snowboarding team, Gerry and Apex Manager, Matt Clarke, threw themselves into the project.
Gold Medal Results
Thousands of hours and more than a dozen prototypes later, Gerry, Matt and the Canadian Snowboard Team thought they had a winning design for the race plate. Disguised with duct tape and Mactac, the team put Apex to the test during the 2009/10 World Cup season.
The results were immediate and dramatic. At the season opener in Telluride, Matt Morison scored Apex’s first World Cup victory. This was quickly followed by an all-Canadian final in the next PGS event with Jasey Jay Anderson finishing first and Michael Lambert second.
On January 17, Michael Lambert earned his first World Cup victory with a win in Nendaz, Switzerland. On the women’s side, Alexa Loo and Kimiko Zakreski both scored podium finishes.
Four Canadian World Cup victories, four additional podium finishes – all of them on the Apex Race Plate. But, the real prize lay north of Vancouver at the PGS course at Cypress Mountain.
Conditions on Olympic race day were challenging to say the least. The steady rain meant that racers could barely see the next gate. But veteran Jasey Jay Anderson prevailed. With a stunning, come-from-behind victory in the final, Jasey Jay capped off a 20 year career with Olympic Gold.
"Honestly, you could drop a million dollars on my lap and take my plate away, and I would be the most miserable person on Earth because I would know exactly what that means,” said Anderson. “I’d rather have this plate than a million-dollar cheque.
Bringing the Apex Race Plate to Market
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”. In this instance, it wasn’t quite so simple.
First, consider that the snowboard racing market is tiny. You could visit a ski resort every day for an entire season and not see a single snowboarder riding an alpine or race snowboard. The market is a niche within a niche. Commercializing the product was going to be difficult. There very few retailers dealing in alpine snowboard equipment and because of high material and production costs, there was very little room for dealer margin.
Enter Toronto based entrepreneur, Henry Kim. An avid rider since he discovered alpine snowboarding in the late 90s, Henry followed the Apex story closely. With his expertise in start-up ventures, Internet marketing and e-commerce, Henry figured he might have the right formula to bring Apex Race Plates to market.
Henry has enthusiastically tackled the challenge of marketing the Apex Race Plate .
In Henry’s words:
"Years of experience in carbon fibre composites, a passion for quality and performance design, a world class manufacturing facility – what’s not to like about Apex? They just need a little help spreading the word and bringing the product to market."
That brings us to May 2010 and the launch of www.apexsnowboard.com.
- Quality: We will continue to make our race plates in our aerospace quality manufacturing facility in Burlington, Canada. We will not outsource to China or any overseas manufacturer where we cannot control and ensure quality.
- Customer Service: We will answer your pre-sales questions promptly and provide world-class product support and service.
- Commitment to Racing: We are committed to supporting alpine snowboard racing. Our products will always be specifically designed to meet the needs of the racing community.