As if you needed another excuse to support the three companies making excellent snowboards right here in Colorado, The Burlington Free Press reports today that snowboard giant Burton is closing shop on its Vermont manufacturing facilities in South Burlington, cutting 43 US jobs and moving the last of its US manufacturing business overseas to China and Austria (where it had been making most of its boards for the last decade anyway).
Nothing against Burton - I've been riding their boards on and off since I started snowboarding in 1986 and the Burton P1 bindings on my current setup are the best I've ever had - but let's all agree to take another look at some sweet rides made a little bit closer to home.
Here are the three Colorado companies we've recently featured in our Local Boards for Locavores series:
Never Summer: Take a tour of the NS Factory in North Denver before you buy your ride to fully appreciate everything that goes into the most popular of the made-in-Colorado board brands. Most of the materials that go into the boards - including Never Summer's signature STS-pretensioned fiberglass, sourced from Gordon Composites in Montrose - come from Colorado, and the boards are designed, built, tested, and distributed from the NS HQ at 5077 Colorado Boulevard. To get one for yourself, check out one of the 90 local shops that carry Never Summer's snowboards and skateboards. For more on Never Summer, check out our January cover story: The economy's on ice and snow sports have skidded off the rails, but Never Summer is riding high.
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Venture Snowboards: This season Venture Snowboards celebrated 10 years in Silverton, CO, making boards perfectly suited to the local terrain at Silverton Mountain and the surrounding San Juan Mountains backcountry, including the Storm Split, this year's Editor's Choice pick in the Backcountry 15th Anniversary Gear Guide and Snowboarder Magazine's Best of Test winner. Yesterday Venture announced it was bringing big mountain legend and Teton Gravity Research film star Johan Oloffson on board as part of the design and development team, so look for Venture to go even bigger in its next decade. To get one for yourself, check out one of the 16 local shops that carry Venture Snowboards. For more on Venture Snowboards, check out our On The Edge interview with Venture founder Klemens Branner from the SIA Snow Show.
Unity Snowboards: Unity team riders and Breck locals JJ Thomas and Zack Black just missed the cut for the Olympic Men's Halfpipe team but still managed to hang the Unity logo high all season long: Thomas won the Mount Snow stop on the Winter Dew Tour and the overall Dew Cup prize, and also won the Aspen Open in February. Black finished third at Copper Mountain in the first of the US Snowboarding Grand Prix events, sharing the podium with Shaun White and Louie Vito. Both were riding Unity's Origin twin-tip park board. To get one for yourself, check out one of the 10 local shops that carry Unity Snowboards.