Is the future of snowboard production in Canada localized?
Snowboarders are the worst consumers of them all. Year after year right around this time as the new gear starts filling our minds and our Instagram accounts with what will be in the future. New “ground breaking holy shit balls better than the banana craze” technology comes out every year, people drool, and make up excuses on why they should shell out a mortgage payment or 2 worth of new gear. “My ankles are sore, my double corks are not tight enough, my belly is too large because there is not a low calorie rider owned micro brewery beer Company”. Fucking lazy snowboarders! With this being said there are a lot of products now in a rather saturated industry and people are looking for boards and gear that stand out. One of these trends that you do see is people shopping local for boards, gear and everything in between. Keeping those shred dollars in the dry hands of the community of dudes that rip locally. Keeping home boy at home.
Trapper in Revelstoke is on the other spectrum of things keeping it really close to home while sourcing local timber from the region of Revelstoke (They have oak side walls for Christ sakes) and the local community seems to be eating it up. They also source out dudes from the local gnar-scape to help design their boards. Locals like Al Clark who has a heavy influence in designing their binding-less shred sticks. The local shred community is really helping at to the success of brands that really Taylor themselves to what the locals needs. “300% growth in 2 short seasons of being in business. January 2011 Trapper was born R and D wise. Incorporated June.21 2011. Lots of local support! We started in the garage…moved to the Revelstoke local farmers market for the summer of 2011 and pre-sold enough boards to justify kicking it up a notch and becoming a legit snowboard company that is actually from Canada. Which as we both know has been a dying breed since the boom of the late 1990’s. Lots of Kootnay support, Whistler , Northern BC, and all around Alberta, and some US/Europe, and Australia/NZ sales first year as well….which we were completely stoked and floored over!” says Tyler Riddell co-creator of Trapper. A company that is keeping it real in a very real place of Canada.
Another Example of keeping it local is Prior snowboards straight out of Whistler. Having one of the most world renowned Research and Development facilities in the World (Whistler DUH!) and many board bums to assemble the boards throughout the year. They even offer up a bit of a tour, so if you and your bro’s (or broettes) want to see some boards being built you can. They have survived a lot of the ups and downs of a very volatile industry and lots of products (too many bro’s on the bro boat). Keeping it local Prior uses local artists to make their boards pop and sponsors a lot of the events you see around that area (Whistler Search and Rescue Fundraiser, Whistler Film Festival, Canadian Avalanche Foundation fundraiser, Canuck Splitfest, Mount Baker Splitfest,etc. ) and have been pushing the tech front with being the first company to introduce a carbon fiber layup on all its lines and one of the first companies to split a freestyle board in two and make all those poor bastards in Whistler get to the pow (AMF splitboard)
Meanwhile in Quebexico we have companies like Republic that are more on the urban side of things. With all R and D done in Quebec. A collective of riders, artists, photographers, all inspired in the lifestyle we like to call snowboarding. They are in charge of everything from building these shred decks to testing them out in Montreal and Quebec City.
If we look into the future with rising transportation cost, caps on carbon credits, and rising material costs will these local companies be the ones that withstand the future of uncertainty? Will the financial system collapse and will we be trading 3 chickens and 4 goats to get our shred on? Will we all just say fuck it and turn to skiing (fuck no!)? Will there be no snow in the next 30 years to shred on? No one knows so quit reading all this shit and go snowboard and if you want, support some dudes that are your neighbors.