Heat Wave: High summer temps forces creativity in the Northwest

When August temperatures soared to more than 100 degrees in the usually cool Pacific Northwest, snowboard manufacturers were left scrambling to find relief.

Morrow Snowboards got employees out of the sweltering factory for a water-balloon tossing contest that turned into the mother-of-all water fights. Before the battle, President Blair Mullen lived up to his promise to shave his head if Morrow got its new loan on time. At least he kept cool.

At Rift Snowboards, CFO Jamie Murray had employees arriving hours before dawn. “During the heat wave, we did our compression molding between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m.,” he says. “It was so hot during the day that the catalyst in the resin was activating. Boards were actually getting hard before we could get them in the presses.”

Elsewhere, retailers said the heat was leading to some short tempers. One store, which will remain anonymous, was predicting a fist fight if the August temps didn’t break soon.