The first „Schnelle“ was a custom project for David Papaux in 2006. He was after a pure downhill deck in a similar style to the Rayne Avenger. The board was developed as such, and handed over to a big smile.
I can’t say for sure when the Schnelle became part of our standard lineup. In 2010 I surfed it down the bobsleigh track in Altenberg, and teamrider Tom Damann experimented with a twin tip variation, the Speed Weed. Despite these experiments, I didn’t press many of these boards, and even version 2 was mainly aimed at riders with big feet and a taste for big boards. The real potential of the board came later, with the development of the „Baguette“ for Olivier Gires and a spontaneous experiment for Kim Lange to mix the concave of the Baguette with the outline of the Schnelle. Under the codename „The Moped“ a few protos were sent to teamriders and back came a strong demand for the full development of the board.
Essentially the Schnelle 3.0 is a Baguette, but with the drop and wheel arches pulled back slightly so that the Winger (old school talk for the small cutouts) runs exactly with the form. Its extremely sexy. To be honest, its so sexy that I’ve never ridden the Baguette fast because I don’t find the brick shape so appealing. A matter of taste. As a consequence, I developed The Baguette flying somewhat blind for Olivier based only on his specifications. So much good feedback came back that I was pretty sure I hit the target with the board. The only thing was the shape. A lot of people had the same feeling as me, so in the summer of 2013 it was time to fly blind once again and cross the Schnelle shape with the Baguette form.
Exactly like the Baguette, I received so much good feedback from the teamriders that the Schnelle 3.0 was released into the lineup before I had even ridden it myself. An exciting experiment. First, you have a lot of time on a board and you dream of being able to make your own boards, but don’t have the resources to make it happen. Then, you have all the equipment you need and spend a lot of time developing ideas, but no time on your board. But it could be worse, and I finally found the time to take a test ride on the Schnelle 3.0. This is the moment that I see whether the idea has been realised or is still just a pipe dream.
My first run on the Schnelle 3.0 was on a fairly straight road, about 40mph. Nothing more than a half shell, my board and the opportunity. I slowly let myself roll. I become aware of every imperfection in the road, every movement in the trucks. The road calms me, my body becomes small and streamlined. Chill out. Open up, carve. Any small amount of pressure on the rail translates directly through the board. Interesting! Life gets in the way and I’m away from the board for a few days. Next time I have my leathers and a familiar 14% gradient to play with. I’m comfortable, in a good mindset and truly ready to skate fast. The new deck, my downhill home and fresh 78a Biggies. After a few runs I’m packing up the van with a feeling of deep satisfaction. Everything is as it should be. The deck nestles under my feet, quiet and peaceful. Just the idea of a turn is spontaneously created in real life in a 1:1 copy. Direct power transmission, full control. If I’d have had such a deck during my racing years, I would have been freaking out. Now it’s your time to freak out! The Schnelle 3.0 is a thoroughbred race board with everything a modern downhill board needs. I could have been no more pleased when Jakob Raab said to me, „The first run on the deck was like coming home at last“ . Only my own runs were perhaps even more pleasing.