Snowboard season is just around the corner, and we’re all chomping at the bit to get out there and shred some powder. This is also the time of year we start looking at our gear and realize that we NEED a new snowboard. While the major snowboard magazines tell you that all decks are made overseas, in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. Snowboarding is coming into a new renaissance as it pertains to snowboards made in the US. Here are not just one or two but THIRTEEN snowboard companies that still are waving the made by locals for locals’ flag. From affordable decks all the way to custom built, you’ll find a company that fits your needs.
South Lake Tahoe, California
Last year brought major changes to TahoeLab’s design with the introduction of the Phantom construction. They eliminated the plastic topsheet and replaced it with two additional full sheets of carbon fiber. Outcome? It lowered the weight of their splitboards up to 20% AND reduced the snow buildup that typically happens on standard topsheets.
For the 2018-19 season, their focus is on helping those shredders “well-endowed” in the foot world. If you have a boot bigger than size 11, you know that your choices are limited so be sure to check out TahoeLab. To see these decks being pushed to their limits, tune into the Freeride World Tour and see John Penfield and Blake Hamm get after it. Wanna try their decks in person? Head over to the Back Country in Truckee. They’ll have a full size run of their splitboards available for demo and purchase.
Founded in 1972 by Dimitrije Milovich, Winterstick is THE Original Snowsurf Company. Inspired by the pure experience of riding powder snow, it’s now owned by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Seth Wescott and big mountain legend Tom Burt. Winterstick continues to honor Dimitrije’s innovative spirit by designing unique, high quality boards ranging from the Original Swallowtail to custom race boards.
Handcrafting decks in quite possibly the ONLY factory in the WORLD with a chairlift coming out of it, you know they’re passionate about making them. Made one at a time by local Mainers with nearly all materials sourced from the US (except race board bases), you can expect a product that will take a beating and keep on ticking. Being environmentally conscious, they’re also making sure all of the solid hardwood lumber they use for core material comes from the Northeast, meaning less of a carbon footprint to get to the factory. And, if you want custom artwork, they can make it happen because they use real wood veneer topsheets. By pushing the concept of progressive shapes with the best materials available, Winterstick Snowboards will allow YOU to experience a higher level of creative interaction with gravity and nature than ever before.
MTN Local Snowboards
The green mountains of Vermont have always been one of the major hotbeds of snowboarding’s culture. The US Open and Waterville Valley Quarterpipe Championships come to mind that really showcase this region. It’s exciting to see a company that’s keeping the tradition alive by proudly designing and hand building quality snowboards in Vermont. MTN Local Snowboards sources high quality responsibly forested hardwoods and designs their own custom composites. Striving to maintain a low environmental impact, they use only eco-friendly Entropy Bio Resin and attempt to minimally use plastic components where possible.
In addition, their hand laminated wood process makes for a lively, damp and responsive feel on the snow. Attention to detail is key for MTN Local Snowboards, and they make sure to cater to each individual rider. They do this by creating each board unique and one-of-a-kind to satisfy each snowboarder’s personal needs. Simply put… to carve trenches in corduroy and float effortlessly in deep snow. If you’re looking for a durable, unconventional option with a different riding experience, check out MTN Local Snowboards. You won’t be disappointed.
The “Disneyland” of Outdoor Recreation, Bend offers you infinite ways to find adventure in town and in the surrounding area. With the second largest single mountain ski area in the US, it’s logical that there would be a company manufacturing snowboards, splitboards and all designed for the ultimate powder riding experience. SnoPlanks are produced entirely in Bend, Oregon U.S.A. They take pride in handcrafting and shaping their own bamboo snowboards and skis which are tested throughout the Central Oregon Cascades. They are truly by riders, for riders.
With the emergence of the gig economy, it’s crucial to think forward. The biggest hotel chain has no properties. The biggest taxi company has no cars. Why not apply these ideas to the snowboarding industry? The owner of Wi-Me is a “mad scientist” when it comes to building & designing decks so he’s decided to take these ideas and push his company into the “Brave New World”. The goals?
Make Boards In The US & Help Train Future Generations
Wi-Me stands for “Wisconsin-Maine” because that’s where the owner spent his formative years growing up. For ’18-’19, they’re bringing it back home to Maine. Always looking for ways to involve the next generation, they noticed that the local vocational school in Maine has a composites lab. So, why not get the young people involved and skilled so that they can push the design aspects forward?!
Reduce Waste / Build to Order
We all are trying to “Protect Our Winters” and one easy way to do this is to use only materials that will actually be used. To accomplish this, they’re offering you a chance to pre-order with a three week turn around, in limited quantities.
Take on issues that need to be spoken about like suicide awareness
Living in a mountain town can be “Fun” on the surface, but it also has a dark side… suicides are happening at an alarming rate. To help, they will be creating a board for suicide awareness and donating to organizations that help with mental health.
These are just the first steps of many to bring manufacturing back to the US and back home to be “made for locals by locals”. In the end, it’s not just about making “Cool” decks with WI-Me. It’s about paying it forward with proceeds benefiting organizations.
Two decades in any biz is A LONG TIME, but especially in the snowboard world. 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Venture handcrafting premium quality snowboards from scratch in the mountains of Colorado. New for this year, they’re coming out with a doozy – the Carbon Paragon Splitboard. Winner of the 2019 Backcountry Magazine Editors’ Choice award, they’ll be running a limited series of sizes. So, if you want to pick up a deck, do it now before it’s too late. Here’s to another 20 years of doing it right. Still on the fence? You might want to plan a trip out to the 8th Annual Silverton Splitfest in late April. From Venture product demos, touring clinics and so much more, you’ll really get a chance to understand why their boards are so good.
Donek Custom Snowboards
One of the only snowboard companies who manufacture boards specifically for every discipline. This includes decks for park, boardercross, backcountry, alpine boards for race and freecarve. Even adaptive riders look to them for customized models which support their various needs to ride.
Layout Carves Like A Pro
Always wanted to “layout” a big carve but have a bigger than normal boot size? Check out Donek’s flagship carver the Knapton twin. Designed with Colorado native Ryan Knapton, it features an extra wide construction to support deep, full body, layout carves without booting out. Check out what this board does in his YouTube channel.
New for 2018-19 at Donek
This season, they’re also debuting the B1, a world class boardercross board. This board has already proven itself on the podium at the Jr. Worlds with Livia Molodyh. The board has been developed with Ross Hindman, head coach of ISTC, to compete at the World Cup level. Be sure to keep your eyes on the Boardercross circuit. Their main rider Senna Leith will be charging on the B1 with Beijing 2022 in the cross-hairs.
Growing Young Snowboards By Aloha
Growing Young Snowboards by Aloha was founded in 2011 by Jared Hill and his engineering mastermind father. Together, this duo has managed to create snowboards of uncompromising quality and craftsmanship with a genuine passion for boarding and the true spirit of “Aloha”. Their boards were the first product certified California Made™ by the state of California. The small but mighty crew carefully handcrafts each & every snowboard to perfection from their factory in Amador County, California. Their boards are constructed not in the standard layup, but with their patented H-Tech Base, a uni-body design with seamless sidewalls built to withstand repeated beatings on the slopes. This helps enhance performance while remaining watertight.
It’s always cool to see a company thinking outside the box when it comes to designing their snowboards. Their patented “Soft edge” that has a metal edge that sits 1.5 mm above the snow. This provides riders a more “surfy” feel even in firm snow. In addition, the slightly raised portion makes it easier to butter and slide rails. With stunning reviews from Bloomberg Business, Outside Magazine and Snowboard Magazine, if you want a taste of the “quiet revolution” or want to make snowboarding a bit more fun, you should check out Gilson.
Culver City, California
Originally, they started out as a company looking to change the mindset of skateboard sales and distribution by offering a zero-discount philosophy. Now widely accepted in the skate industry, they’ve taken this philosophy to the snowboard world. Why is this important? It’s because they can manufacture in California and produce the highest quality products possible without sacrificing the final outcome.
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. 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.
Based out of the Northern Rockies, Notice Snowboards is continuing their focus this year 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 producing 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!
Started in a small South Lake Tahoe house, 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 they kick butt 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 2018-19 season, it’s still true.