After an unseasonably warm winter, the early thaw of ’95 that seemed to last forever finally came to an end. However, it takes a lot more than a little warm weather to melt away the enthusiasm of the East Coast snowboarder.
In fact, late-season bashes such as Killington Mountain’s Bump-Off and Huckfest Competitions sported large crowds as riders made the best of snow conditions in what turned out to be a couple of four-star events.
Darkside Snowboard Shops of Killington, Vermont had a large number of riders competing in the Bump-Off, with shop riders Tricia Sipola and Shawn Cole winning first in the women’s and fourth in the men’s final, respectively. Presently, shop-owner Bill Langlands is in search of an old 1950s-style delivery truck, which he plans to paint purple and use for promotions. He says that the store did great in its first year of business, and he’s looking forward to starting off their second year with a big tramp bash/concert/barbecue in late August.
Down in New York City, Yana Farrally-Plourde of Blades Board and Skate says they “managed to survive, and even prosper, despite last season’s miserable snow year.” Blades was involved in promoting quite a few contests in the snowboard park they designed for Hunter Mountain in the state’s Catskill region. Biweekly bus trips to Hunter turned out to be very successful, making it easy for city-locked riders to get to the slopes. The shop also started a magazine called Snowgun to help promote it all.
Nu-Wave Sports of Laconia, New Hampshire has been keeping cool this summer with their air-conditioned indoor skatepark. Chris St. Jermaine says that their shop is lining up Nu-Wave riders for the upcoming boarding season to hit nearby Loon Mountain snowboard-park Skid Row.
Joe McAndrew says his shop Boardworks, located in Milford, Connecticut, had customers requesting 1995¿96 boards in the spring. In its second year of business, the shop doubled board sales last season and is expanding by knocking down a wall to facilitate the customer demand for more product.
Dave Mills of Underground Snowboard Shops has been keeping busy this summer with huge skate demos and tramp bashes held at their Wellesley, Massachusetts store. The shop also hosted a few popular bands such as Fishbone on downtown Boston’s Landsdowne Street. The Boston store did well last year, selling a “ton of boards.” Mills says he even has sold a few more snowboards during the summer months. Shop-rider John Dale (sponsored in part by K2) returned from a trip to Japan with Dave Olcott, where they were promoting the snowboard-park design/consultant company Stimilon.
Many of the region’s shops will be getting together for Eastern Edge Magazine’s Consumer Expo Snowboarder Convention that publisher Neil Korn is planning for October 7 at Vernon Valley, New Jersey; October 21 at Boston University, Massachusetts; and October 18 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Last year Eastern Edge sponsored a similar event at Vernon Valley, with retailers and manufacturers giving consumers a preview of new product lines and an introduction to shops in the area.