There is something very spiritual about spending time in the mountains, especially during winter. The clean cold air and a board attached to your feet, allowing you to slide down a slope gives a sense of pure freedom. For us, that spiritual feeling extends to what equipment we purchase. Knowing that a snowboard was made in the U.S. gives us a deeper connection to the sport. It isn’t just a product but something that was built by snowboarders for snowboarders… not by someone who may have never seen a snowflake in their life!
Snowboards made in the US 2017
Let’s be honest – it’s a heckuva lot easier to outsource manufacturing to Asia than build it here. Every year there’s an ebb and flow of manufacturers that move back to North America or outsource elsewhere. Regardless of their reasons, we try to promote gear that is designed AND made by locals for locals. Besides helping the environment, you’re also making sure these people can live and breathe snowboarding. So, here’s the 2017 list of snowboards made in the U.S.
Our friends at TahoeLab have decades of experience in the industry. They build snowboards for the love of it. These boards are literally BOMB proof and new for the 2017-18 season is the Phantom construction. By eliminating the plastic topsheet and replacing the fiberglass layers with two additional full sheets of carbon fiber, they reduced the weight of their splitboards up to 20%. This new construction also reduces snow buildup on the board. And while your hiking, the board provides extra rebound while still maintaining their proven durability and ride characteristics. We’re excited to take a test drive this winter and see how these boards perform in the wilderness. Until the snow starts falling, we’ll just have to drool over them.
Up next is Notice Snowboards based out of the Northern Rockies. This year, they’re continuing to focus on cutting edge shapes and using only innovative composite materials. This is true for their custom made-to-order decks as well as their private label brands. Whether you want your dream board to be light and snappy or stable and damp, they can make it happen. And better yet, they are wrapping up their second season making wakesurf boards. They’ve successfully merged the two crafts together to add surf style shapes and finishing techniques into their designs. It’s an exciting time for Notice Snowboards as they continue to focus on:
- Unique shapes
- Ride characteristics
- Graphic combinations
All these attributes combine to separate their boards from the run of the mill twin tips and outsourced overseas cookie cutter boards. You can tell just by looking at ‘em, and once you strap in, you’ll “NOTICE” how they got their name!
Silverton is on our personal bucket list so it’s inspiring to hear Venture is still making decks in this remote corner of the state. New for this year are two splitboards: the Paragon and the Oracle (women’s).
Their regular counterparts were new last season and received such a great response that they decided to also offer them as a split version. They’re designed for all mountain riding and are their most playful, versatile models yet. The addition of TX30 glass and a mellower core profile reduces weight and helps increase flex between the feet, delivering a more playful, poppy ride.
In addition to a boat load of new technology, they’re also doing a video series this season called Rough Cut. It will take us deep inside their production process at Venture. The series will highlight that their boards literally start from a pile of lumber in the parking lot, and from there, are built out with components they make themselves. Talk about handcrafted!
Another Colorado company that’s making waves in locally manufactured boards is Unity Snowboards. They’re known for their custom shapes such as widths, lengths and profiles. If you’re a big footed person or looking for a deck designed specifically for your needs, Unity should be on your go-to list. And for those that just want to support a U.S. made snowboard, they offer stock models as well.
Michigan has always been a location known for its craftsman and pushing the envelope with manufacturing. From producing Model T Fords to boats like the Chris Craft, they’re also the first place to mass produce snowboards. So, it comes as no surprise to hear of a company making snowboards in Michigan – Marhar. New for this year, they’ve added a graphics customizer to their website allowing you to design your own board. This tool gives you the ability to create graphics directly on their website and then submit it for one smooth process. In addition to the graphic design feature, they’re also releasing two new boards: the Darkside Camber as well as the brother to the Lumberjack, the Woodsman.
Started in a small house in South Lake Tahoe, this brand has grown over the years to one of the premier snowboard manufacturers that still make decks state-side. Heck, our latest splitboards are the Pow-Wow and we have to admit it kicks ass in the backcountry! Need further reason to support them? Every year their decks are decorated with awards in all the major snowboard outlets. And for the 2017-18 season, it’s still true. The women’s snowboard – the Vixen, is a 5-time winner of the good wood award at Transworld Snowboarding, and for 2018, their Superpark model won the best jump board at Snowboarder’s annual event the Superpark! But the best part… you can pick up their decks at a local shop near you – like Shoreline of Tahoe.
Laguna Beach, California
Signal might be located in a surf town but they’re just down the road from the OG of park meccas – Big Bear, California. Besides sponsoring such major riders as John Jackson, they’ve also flipped the script on how to buy a snowboard. Instead of paying all the money up front, you can get a subscription. For $35-$55 / month, you’ll pick a NEW board every winter. That means you can easily build up a quiver in no time at all. I don’t know about you, but this is a cool way to get your deck game handled.