By Blair Pendleton

With the holidays behind us, and the winter fully underway SNOWboarding Business decided it was once again time to find out what’s going on in shops across the country-what products are flying out the doors, and which ones can’t seem to get off the racks?

We called fifteen shops from across the U.S. for an update on the current state of the snowboarding retailer-Here’s what we found out.

East

Vertical Urge, Raleigh, North Carolina

“People are more conscious this year in buying, so our main goal has been to hoan things down and buy things we know will sell. We didn’t want to overdo it here,” says General Manager and Head Buyer Todd Canipe. Sales are better by at least ten percent, according to Canipe. He also mentioned that the holidays were better than last year and business has been strong.

Board: “Gnu and Lib are the best riding boards out of the gates,” he says. “We experimented with Jeenyus and CAPiTA boards, but they’re still here in the shop, so obviously they’re not doing very good sales. The Burton Custom is popular, and for women, it’s the Feather and Troop. Plus, the Olympics seem to have people excited-we have the average frat bro asking for the Danny Kass board.”

Bindings: Burton

Boots: Northwave

Apparel: “We did really well with Burton, and with good pricepoints Ride had total sell through. Volcom is overpriced for what you’re getting-you’re paying 40 percent more for the same feature, for 40 percent less with Burton. There have been a lot of layoffs, so people don’t want to go crazy with a 500 dollar jacket.”

Season Outlook: “Snow started falling early, so in the next couple of weeks we’ll start to clearance stuff out,” concludes Canipe.

Sunny Breeze Sports, Falmouth, Maine

Operation Manager, Stephen Everett, says that sales are better this year than last year and that the holidays were rippin’.

Boards: Burton, Forum, and Salomon

Boots: DC-D3 and Phantoms

Bindings: Burton and Forum

Apparel: Burton

Season Outlook: “Crackin’!”

Cutting Edge Snowboard Shop, Berlin, Connecticut

“Snowboard sales have been wonderful. We have snow this year, and it’s scary how much that can change things,” says Owner Craig Pedemonti. “It’s always big for the holiday. With such a good December, we beat last year’s record by five to ten percent. At first we thought it’d be doom and gloom for the retailers, but it turned out well.”

Boards, Boots: “It’s pretty even across the board, with great sales-not one brand stands out.”

Bindings: “Flows. We’ve done tremendous with that product. It has finally clicked for customers and the brand is finally getting some respect.”

Apparel: “686 is number one, amazingly strong. It was definitely the biggest screw up, not buying more from 686.”

Season Outlook We’re taking advantage of close-out stuff from manufacturers,” Pedemonti adds. “We’re the only store left in the area with boots. People are calling like crazy!”

The B Side, Burlington, Vermont

“Sales have been decent, if not a little off from last year. Everyone bought until December like crazy, and we sold a lot of boards,” says Manager Brendon Foster. “Around the holidays it was hopping. We’re in downtown Burlington, so there’s tons of holiday traffic and this holiday season actually looks like it was better than last year’s.”

Boards: “Burton and Mervin sold well. For the new buys, we’ve had action with Rome and Never Summer and we’ve done alright with Capita.”

Boots: “Burton was best by far.”

Bindings: “Our best seller has been the Nidecker Pro 800.”

Apparel: “686 is doing really well for us. Sessions is in with the kids, and of course there’s Burton-it’s Burton country up here.”

Season Outlook: “We’ve been having a great year for snow, twenty inches in the past week-so, it’s looking up. Theinter’s just starting here, and the season’s now beginning.”

Alpine Ski Shop, Oakton, Virginia

“Our snowboard sales are on par with two years ago, with no comparison to last year,” proclaims Owner Chris Bunch. “The companies don’t have anything left when we call for products. As for the holidays, it’s down about three percent from two years ago. Selection is small, and the companies are out of the under 400 dollar start-up packages.”

Boards: “We’re completely out of Gnu. We put in a double order of Carbon High Beams and only have one left. Gnu just killed it! At the low end, Lamar is still pretty good-we reordered those twice.”

Boots: “Our number one seller was definitely the Northwave Legend, but the Freedom did well too.”

Bindings: “Ride is the best all across the board for bindings.”

Apparel: “686 is doing well. Its pricepoints are really good, and a 150-dollar jacket looks like a 300-dollar jacket, with extra bells and whistles. The Smartie pant with zip-out insulation for 200 dollars is great! For kids’ stuff, World Industry flew.”

Season Outlook: “We’ll start seeing the comebacks soon,” says Bunch. “We’ll start sales in February. As of right now not a lot of people are holding out for sale.”

Midwest

R.Q. Boardshop, Naperville, Illinois

Owner, Brian Quarles says snowboard sales have been good, yet a little down from last year. “The holidays were also wonderful-but shorter. With an extra week, we could have been right on target,” he says.

Boards: “The M3, Burton Custom and Dominant, and Option Mirror have all done well.”

Boots: “The Sabbath from Burton has been going off, along with the Kevin Jones from Northwave.”

Bindings: “The Mission has been doing well, and the Mikey LeBlanc from Drake is selling fast, too.”

Apparel: “Mission Six is going off. Kids come in asking for Mission Six, just from seeing its stuff on the Web. It’s like when Volcom first came out-it was all underground.”

Season Outlook: “Kids will ride no matter what the conditions. We depend on the winter customer waiting for the weather.”

Sunrise Sports, Flint, Missouri

“As for snowboard sales, it’s pretty much the same as last year, with a huge drop in step-ins,” says owner Bill Skaff. “The holiday was good because we had snow, if not it would have been average.”

Boards: “The Burton Dominant did well.”

Boots: “Vans reduced its supply of switch boots and we ran out before the first of December. The brand’s moving in the direction toward more straps and it seems like Vans’ strap boots are in.”

Bindings: “The Burton P1 is the hot item. We can’t keep them in stock. Even though it’s a 250 dollar binding-Burton’s out, too.”

Apparel: “It’s a mix, when it gets cold, things start selling. People seem to be waiting until the last minute to buy, with the economy down and all,” he says. “I have guys coming in here to buy equipment the day before they head to the slopes. Columbia’s still kicking-I don’t know why. People ask about the waterproofing, and I tell them it’s good when you’re twenty minutes away from the lodge, but in the backcountry-that’s a different story. As for the rest, Patagonia and The North Face fleece sells itself constantly.”

Season Outlook: “Unless it starts snowing again, we’ll be closing stuff out,” says Skaff.

Zeller’s Ski Shop, Green Bay, Wisconsin

“The snow sucks. We don’t have any, but we try to make the best of it,” manager Ryan Ropson remarks. “Snowboard sales have gone surprisingly well. We dropped our order after last year, because it slowed down a bit. So, at the beginning of this season, we were doing a lot of reorders. And, the holiday was one of the better ones we’ve had in a while.”

Boards: “Burton has always done incredibly well for us. There’s no more Rossignol stuff left-usually we have to do discounts, but not this year.”

Boots: “It’s Burton in the lead, and Vans sales have slowed down a bit.”

Bindings: “Salomon and Ride have gone off! It’s so easy to sell a Salomon binding with its many features and good pricepoints. As for Ride, I reordered and reordered them until the company was out.”

Apparel: “Bonfire is flying off the shelves, and Burton’s not so hot.”

Season Outlook: “We’ve reordered a lot of boots and bindings of all brands. We’re not too worried if it slows down. We’ll just take that into consideration next year,” says Ropson.

Northwest

Pete’s Ski Sports, Walla Walla, Washington

“Sales are slightly down,” says Owner Jim Sanders. “It’s the weather for us, it’s nothing to do with the industry-our local ski area just opened five days ago. It’s down 25 percent. From July to August, kids had money burning in their pockets-they tore up the shelves buying stuff. It’s been steady through the holidays, but not as strong as last year. There’s been more sales after the holidays because the area’s finally open but up until mid-December, it was pretty darn slow.”

Boards: “Burton goes out the door the quickest, and Salomon and K2 sold very well. There’s a good following with the tried and true Burton Custom, and for the ladies, the Feelgood and Dominant are pretty popular.”

Boots: “In the past, it’s been Salomon over Burton, but this year it’s different. Burton has tweaked the fit on its boots and people are finding them more comfortable than before.”

Bindings: “The Burton Custom does well because of a good pricepoint, and the Missions always do well. The step-in for Burton does well, too. K2 step-ins leave the store faster, at lower pricepoints. For Salomon, it’s the S4 that takes the top shelf.”

Apparel: “It’s Burton and Bonfire.”

Season Outlook: “We’re just waiting to hear from the weather. Big storms are coming in with decent snow and we should have a good rest of the season, if Mother Nature works with us.”

NorCal

Dave’s Board Shop, Tahoe City, California

“In sales, it’s the same as last year,” says Manager John Percy. “It started slow in December, but we made up for it during the holiday. We were going gangbusters with snowboarding stuff! We have a break in sales from Christmas until Martin Luther King Day-so, now we have greatly reduced numbers in sales.”

Boards: “We stock more Burton than all other brands, so they better be selling more.”

Boots: “Burton and ThirtyTwo sold fast. We always do well with Burton even when nobody else is.”

Bindings: “The higher-end bindings are going quicker, with Burton, Nidecker, and Flow leading. The reshaped high back on the Flow binding is really helpful.”

Apparel: “Mission Six, Volcom, and Burton are the best for sales.”

Season Outlook: Percy remarks that the rest of the season depends on cooperation from the weather.

SFO Snowboarding, San Francisco, California

“Sales have not been bad since the weather came. People were reluctant to buy until Mother Nature kicked in,” says Manager Brian O’Ceatlaigh. “The holiday was crazy! Weather blew up before Christmas, then all became mayhem.”

Boards: Burton Custom

Boots: Salomon, Northwave, and Burton

Bindings: Burton and Flow

Apparel: “It’s a fashion thing these days. We sell more Burton, but the kids usually just buy whatever fits their personal boarding style.”

Southern California

Hansen’s Boardroom, Encinitas, California

“Snowboard sales are down by 12 percent,” Sales Rep Brent Stephens reveals. “Once the local mountains got snow, we got business. Now people are just waiting to spend the money when the next snow falls.”

Boards: “More Burton boards are selling than anything,” he says. “We’ve sold a lot of girl’s boards, like the Feelgood and Luna. They sold out quickly.”

Boots: “We sold out of Burton Rulers quickly. ThirtyTts: “It’s Burton in the lead, and Vans sales have slowed down a bit.”

Bindings: “Salomon and Ride have gone off! It’s so easy to sell a Salomon binding with its many features and good pricepoints. As for Ride, I reordered and reordered them until the company was out.”

Apparel: “Bonfire is flying off the shelves, and Burton’s not so hot.”

Season Outlook: “We’ve reordered a lot of boots and bindings of all brands. We’re not too worried if it slows down. We’ll just take that into consideration next year,” says Ropson.

Northwest

Pete’s Ski Sports, Walla Walla, Washington

“Sales are slightly down,” says Owner Jim Sanders. “It’s the weather for us, it’s nothing to do with the industry-our local ski area just opened five days ago. It’s down 25 percent. From July to August, kids had money burning in their pockets-they tore up the shelves buying stuff. It’s been steady through the holidays, but not as strong as last year. There’s been more sales after the holidays because the area’s finally open but up until mid-December, it was pretty darn slow.”

Boards: “Burton goes out the door the quickest, and Salomon and K2 sold very well. There’s a good following with the tried and true Burton Custom, and for the ladies, the Feelgood and Dominant are pretty popular.”

Boots: “In the past, it’s been Salomon over Burton, but this year it’s different. Burton has tweaked the fit on its boots and people are finding them more comfortable than before.”

Bindings: “The Burton Custom does well because of a good pricepoint, and the Missions always do well. The step-in for Burton does well, too. K2 step-ins leave the store faster, at lower pricepoints. For Salomon, it’s the S4 that takes the top shelf.”

Apparel: “It’s Burton and Bonfire.”

Season Outlook: “We’re just waiting to hear from the weather. Big storms are coming in with decent snow and we should have a good rest of the season, if Mother Nature works with us.”

NorCal

Dave’s Board Shop, Tahoe City, California

“In sales, it’s the same as last year,” says Manager John Percy. “It started slow in December, but we made up for it during the holiday. We were going gangbusters with snowboarding stuff! We have a break in sales from Christmas until Martin Luther King Day-so, now we have greatly reduced numbers in sales.”

Boards: “We stock more Burton than all other brands, so they better be selling more.”

Boots: “Burton and ThirtyTwo sold fast. We always do well with Burton even when nobody else is.”

Bindings: “The higher-end bindings are going quicker, with Burton, Nidecker, and Flow leading. The reshaped high back on the Flow binding is really helpful.”

Apparel: “Mission Six, Volcom, and Burton are the best for sales.”

Season Outlook: Percy remarks that the rest of the season depends on cooperation from the weather.

SFO Snowboarding, San Francisco, California

“Sales have not been bad since the weather came. People were reluctant to buy until Mother Nature kicked in,” says Manager Brian O’Ceatlaigh. “The holiday was crazy! Weather blew up before Christmas, then all became mayhem.”

Boards: Burton Custom

Boots: Salomon, Northwave, and Burton

Bindings: Burton and Flow

Apparel: “It’s a fashion thing these days. We sell more Burton, but the kids usually just buy whatever fits their personal boarding style.”

Southern California

Hansen’s Boardroom, Encinitas, California

“Snowboard sales are down by 12 percent,” Sales Rep Brent Stephens reveals. “Once the local mountains got snow, we got business. Now people are just waiting to spend the money when the next snow falls.”

Boards: “More Burton boards are selling than anything,” he says. “We’ve sold a lot of girl’s boards, like the Feelgood and Luna. They sold out quickly.”

Boots: “We sold out of Burton Rulers quickly. ThirtyTwo, Vans, and Northwave have also done well.”

Bindings: “The Burton Custom sold the best.”

Apparel: “We sold a lot this year!” Stephens exclaims. “Planet Earth sells well, since they’re out of Carlsbad. When I go to Mammoth, I see so much Planet Earth all over the place.”

Season Outlook: “We have a huge sale in February, with 30 percent off of everything we have,” announces Stephens. “If it snows again, people will be back in here.”

K5 Boardrider Shop, Encinitas, California

“Sales are great, better than before,” says Owner Jergen Shultz. “The holidays were great but in the last three days, since it’s been 70 degrees, it’s been really slow.”

Boards: “Ride, Burton, and Elevation all did well.”

Boots: “It’s been a good boot year all around. Actually, the Vans Fargo Boa did well, but I think those things are going to break on the slopes.”

Bindings: “Burton bindings killed it.”

Apparel: “It’s FourSquare, Special Blend, and of course Burton.”

Season Outlook: “Depends on if it snows again. It’s hard with all the jerk-off retailers having sidewalk sales all over the place.”

Rockies

The Click, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

“Sales are close to the same as last year,” Manager Kasey McGlone says. “For the holiday season it was bangin’.”

Boards: Never Summer, Forum, Burton

Boots: ThirtyTwo

Bindings: Drake-Matrix, F70, and Mikey LeBlanc

Apparel: Volcom

Season Outlook “We’re just hoping for more snow-that’s where we’re at,” declares McGlone. “We didn’t order as much as last year and now our racks are dry. The store’s looking empty. We over ordered last year and sat on a lot of it over summer.”

Great Outdoor Shop, Pinedale, Wyoming

“Snowboard sales are about the same as last year,” says Manager Fred Pflughaft. “We’re selling more board equipment than ski stuff. Here in our area, boarding is the big thing.”

Boards: “It seems to be a crapshoot, not one sells over the other-but Burton and Nidecker went well.”

Bindings: “Burton, Rossignol, and Nidecker all did fine. Really, the lower end boards are selling faster.”

Boots: “Burton’s the best seller.”

Apparel: “We did most well with Oakley, Burton, and Betty Rides for the kids.”

Season Outlook: “Everything looks good, if we could just get some snow,” concludes Pflughaft.

Sportstalker, Snowbird, Utah

“At our store, sales are surprisingly up. I can’t say the same for the other stores,” claims Manager Greg Black. “We sold a lot of softgoods over the holidays because of lack of snow, but before that, we were missing sales because we didn’t have enough of the product in. A lot of reorders are coming in now, and we’re waiting for the Martin Luther King holiday-because right now it’s pretty dead.”

Boards: Burton Custom

Boots: Northwave and Burton

Bindings: Burton

Apparel: Mountain Hardware, Patagonia, Marmot, 686, and Volcom.

Season Outlook: “All I can do is be optimistic about the rest of the season. As soon as we get snow, all will be rollin’ again here,” Black says.

Worldboards, Bozeman, Montana

“Sales are down! We’re in the middle of a terrible donut hole, with no snow, its way worse than last year. The holiday was nonexistent,” admits Sales Rep Micah Depner.

Boards: Option, Gnu, Lib Tech, Nitro

Boots: Northwave

Bindings: Drake and Burton

Apparel: Burton and Sessions

Season Outlook “Jackets went like crazy! Whatever was in the store went, but with no snow, there’s no selling boards. The 686 stuff does really well. We should order more of that.”rtyTwo, Vans, and Northwave have also done well.”

Bindings: “The Burton Custom sold the best.”

Apparel: “We sold a lot this year!” Stephens exclaims. “Planet Earth sells well, since they’re out of Carlsbad. When I go to Mammoth, I ssee so much Planet Earth all over the place.”

Season Outlook: “We have a huge sale in February, with 30 percent off of everything we have,” announces Stephens. “If it snows again, people will be back in here.”

K5 Boardrider Shop, Encinitas, California

“Sales are great, better than before,” says Owner Jergen Shultz. “The holidays were great but in the last three days, since it’s been 70 degrees, it’s been really slow.”

Boards: “Ride, Burton, and Elevation all did well.”

Boots: “It’s been a good boot year all around. Actually, the Vans Fargo Boa did well, but I think those things are going to break on the slopes.”

Bindings: “Burton bindings killed it.”

Apparel: “It’s FourSquare, Special Blend, and of course Burton.”

Season Outlook: “Depends on if it snows again. It’s hard with all the jerk-off retailers having sidewalk sales all over the place.”

Rockies

The Click, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

“Sales are close to the same as last year,” Manager Kasey McGlone says. “For the holiday season it was bangin’.”

Boards: Never Summer, Forum, Burton

Boots: ThirtyTwo

Bindings: Drake-Matrix, F70, and Mikey LeBlanc

Apparel: Volcom

Season Outlook “We’re just hoping for more snow-that’s where we’re at,” declares McGlone. “We didn’t order as much as last year and now our racks are dry. The store’s looking empty. We over ordered last year and sat on a lot of it over summer.”

Great Outdoor Shop, Pinedale, Wyoming

“Snowboard sales are about the same as last year,” says Manager Fred Pflughaft. “We’re selling more board equipment than ski stuff. Here in our area, boarding is the big thing.”

Boards: “It seems to be a crapshoot, not one sells over the other-but Burton and Nidecker went well.”

Bindings: “Burton, Rossignol, and Nidecker all did fine. Really, the lower end boards are selling faster.”

Boots: “Burton’s the best seller.”

Apparel: “We did most well with Oakley, Burton, and Betty Rides for the kids.”

Season Outlook: “Everything looks good, if we could just get some snow,” concludes Pflughaft.

Sportstalker, Snowbird, Utah

“At our store, sales are surprisingly up. I can’t say the same for the other stores,” claims Manager Greg Black. “We sold a lot of softgoods over the holidays because of lack of snow, but before that, we were missing sales because we didn’t have enough of the product in. A lot of reorders are coming in now, and we’re waiting for the Martin Luther King holiday-because right now it’s pretty dead.”

Boards: Burton Custom

Boots: Northwave and Burton

Bindings: Burton

Apparel: Mountain Hardware, Patagonia, Marmot, 686, and Volcom.

Season Outlook: “All I can do is be optimistic about the rest of the season. As soon as we get snow, all will be rollin’ again here,” Black says.

Worldboards, Bozeman, Montana

“Sales are down! We’re in the middle of a terrible donut hole, with no snow, its way worse than last year. The holiday was nonexistent,” admits Sales Rep Micah Depner.

Boards: Option, Gnu, Lib Tech, Nitro

Boots: Northwave

Bindings: Drake and Burton

Apparel: Burton and Sessions

Season Outlook “Jackets went like crazy! Whatever was in the store went, but with no snow, there’s no selling boards. The 686 stuff does really well. We should order more of that.”