In the 10th year of its existence BigAirBag® was featured in a full episode of “How Do They Do It?” Produced by Wag TV for Discovery Channel the program explores how ordinary objects are made. The video gives an entertaining insight into the technology and advanced production facility behind BigAirBag®. It meant a serious milestone for BigAirBag being broadcast throughout the world and regarded as actual product category besides only a brand-name. We’ve had champagne during the first live broadcast in the UK and it has further motivated us to keep innovating and improving our products and the ways we’ll provide a save landing for freestyle sports and the leisure industry.
”Some might think that it is weird that a product first used for freestyle snowboarding/skiing was created in Holland. But if you have been riding our indoor slopes, then you will know just how unforgiving the landings there are!
Marcel Kraan knew these landings far too well and after years of hard falls, broken bones and injuries, Marcel — an avid snowboard enthusiast from Holland — set his sights on designing a safe training platform for freestyle athletes. In 2005 Marcel’s BigAirBag® made its debut to the freestyle sports scene at the indoor snow-sports facility, Snowplanet in Holland. The BigAirBag® was an instant success and before long Marcel was invited to host events at Europe’s largest ski resorts in Austria, France and Switzerland. Recognizing the potential of BigAirBag® as an exciting commercial attraction for ski resorts, the French ski resort, “Les Deux Alps” was 1st to order their very own BigAirBag®.
Professional riders community
As freestyle snowboarding grew in popularity, soon pro-athletes were competing for large cash prices and lucrative sponsorship deals. BigAirBag® was quickly recognized by the cutting edge of freestyle snowboarding as the best way to progress safely and satisfy the public and commercial demand for bigger and more dangerous tricks. In early 2006 Red Bull asked BigAirBag® to join the ´Red Bull Gap Session´ in Garmisch Partenkirchen to offer the biggest names in snowboarding a safe landing platform to practice never seen before tricks. The session led to Travis Rice landing the worlds 1st “double back-flip 180” and David Benedeck landing the previously unseen “front-side double cork 1260”.
The worlds first unassisted car backflip
In 2014 Monster energy and Mini turned to BigAirBag® for assistance with one of the craziest stunts in history – The worlds 1st unassisted back-flip with a car. Before the stunt could be landed on dirt, it would have to be attempted using the BigAirBag® Revolution. Once again BigAirBag® would be tested to its death defying limits, proving itself once more as the strongest and most durable freestyle airbag out there!
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Interview with Marcel Kraan – Founder of BigAirBag
To give an insight of the story behind our products, we’ve interviewed Marcel Kraan – an avid snowboard enthusiast from Holland who is the official founder of BigAirBag back in 2005.
How did you come up with the idea to start with BigAirBag?
”Back in the day, my son always wanted to go to Ballorig, a huge indoor playground for children with inflatable trampolines. During that time I was often practising all kinds of snowboard tricks with a group of friends at Snowplanet, a huge indoor ski hall in the Netherlands. One day, we came up with the idea to reshape a snowboard so we could start practicing our flips on the trampolines at Ballorig. Imagine a group of adults throwing backflips at an indoor children’s playground… After a while, we decided to go out to Austria and try our flips in the snow, which resulted in a couple of injuries. That’s when I decided to look for a solution and create a safe training platform for freestyle athletes.”
What was the first project you’ve worked on with BigAirBag?
The first project was an event at Snowplanet, because I had a lot of friends there. The event attracted so many people from all over the Netherlands, which led to a lot of other indoor ski halls investing in our airbags.
What was the biggest project you have worked on during your time at BigAirBag?
The biggest project we had at the time was Red Bull’s Gap Session. In early 2006 Red Bull asked us to join their event in Garmisch Partenkirchen to offer a safe landing platform. Garmisch Partenkirchen was known worldwide, because of their Great Olympic Hill. The best snowboarding & skiing athletes of the world came to the event, testing our airbag. This raised worldwide awareness for our products and really put BigAirBag on the map.
What is your most memorable moment of working at BigAirBag?
I definitely think Gap Session. It was unreal to be a part of an event of this size, which eventually became worldnews. When we started with BigAirBag, we focused on having fun and enjoying the little things, like meeting people and having a beer with our friends, never expecting this to happen!
What feeling did you get from working at BigAirBag?
We had a lot of joy in what we were doing, but at the same time we worked very hard to keep the company moving forward. I was really focused on premium service by delivering to every client as fast as we could, which was kind of stressful at some moments.”
Interview with Tomas Huting – CEO of BigAirBag
An important part in the history of BigAirBag, is the moment Tomas Huting and Hans Weeren decided to take over from Marcel Kraan. We’ve interviewed Tomas Huting, current CEO of BigAirBag about his vision on the company.
How would you describe BigAirBag?
A company who’s helping athletes to redefine their limits by offering airbags as a safe training platform. Next to that, we use the fun factor of adrenaline to create turn-key attractions, entertaining people of all ages.
What was the first biggest project you have worked on?
The biggest project i’ve worked on in the beginning of my career at BigAirBag was world’s first backflip with a car in the french ski resort Tignes, performed by Guerlain Chicherit.
Which event/project has put BigAirBag on the map?
Red Bull’s Gap Session in Garmisch Partenkirchen in 2006. The combination of the safety of an airbag with branding was a perfect opportnity for sponsors to raise their brand awareness. There is no way of branding a slope. The airbag was seen as an interactive billboard.
What is your most memorable moment of working at BigAirBag?
Installing the biggest Landing BigAirBag we have ever created in GB Park & Pipe in Livigno, Italy. This project was in co-operation with Mottolino and Schneestern, two of the world’s leading companies in the funpark industry. Installing an airbag of this size was a massive challenge and took over three days. It was absolutely amazing to see the British professional snowboard team jumping on our product!
Why is BigAirBag special?
The combination of passion and experience of 15 years which makes us unique and diverses us from competators in the market.
What feeling do you get from working at BigAirBag?
The feedback from our clients about our products gave me the energy I needed to keep moving forward. It’s lovely to see the joy of people while using our airbags!
What do you expect from BigAirBag in 5 years?
To be more allround, meaning that we’ll be focusing more on selling the complete package or a turn-key attraction instead of just an airbag!