PRESTON, WASHINGTON (January 26, 2000) – Chuck Mason faced quite an initiation when he was hired on as Ride’s new US Sales Manager in mid November. After coming to Ride from Colo. based Christy Sports, Mason had to prepare for Ride’s International Sales Meeting in only three weeks time, submit to long, phone-ringing-off-the-hook days, and avoid outrageous charges to his room during the sales meeting – yet he managed to pull it all off with optimism.
“Once we smooth out all the bumps of the transition, we have no where to go but up,” insists Mason.
Over the next couple of months, Mason is focused on having a killer selling season and has already rebuilt the entire Ride sales program from the ground up with a more positive approach to retailer relationships. Combining this with a forward looking approach, Mason is dedicated to building a strong brand for the years to come.
Chuck Mason looked to stay within the snowboarding business because he loves snowboarding, the industry and the people. Since 1990, Mason has been and avid snowboarder and pushes 50 plus days a year on the hill – which has proven to create a common bond with many retailers.
At the time he came to Ride, Mason was in his 9th year working for the Colorado based Christy Sports which also owns Powder Tools, the specialty snowboard shops with more than 10 locations. Most recently, Mason was the snowboard buyer for all Powder Tools shops and the Christy Sports stores that carried snowboards, buying for as many as 38 stores at one time.
His career at Christy began straight out of college when Mason started working on the retail floor and then quickly moved up to the purchasing department as an assistant. During these years, snowboarding began to surface as a lucrative retail venture and soon after, the concept of Powder Tools was born. Mason paired with Johan Malkoski, currently the North American Sales Manager for Northwave North America, to pitch the idea of a specialty shop exclusively for snowboards to Keith Van Velkinbaugh the owner, and Keith Leifer the COO of Christy Sports.
During the time Powder Tools was getting off the ground, Christy Sports was undergoing a merger with another Colorado based retail chain, the SportsStalker. For the entire crew, the merger was tough, but Mason did not realize how valuable the experience of merger madness would be until coming to Ride.
While Mason insists that Christy was a great place to work, he had always envisioned himself getting into the supply side. “I looked around for a while and when the position here at Ride opened up, it seemed like a good fit,” he explained. “From my buyer’s perspective, Ride has potential to grow in the current market and was the most promising opponent to Burton’s market share. It is a full line brand that can stand on its own, it just hasn’t reached its potential due to setbacks along the way.”
Established in 1992, Ride is still headquartered at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Preston, Washington. For passionate action sports enthusiasts of all ages, Ride represents an uncompromised approach to fun and provides superior product and lifestyle experiences under the brand names: Ride, Liquid and 5150. Please visit our website at www.ridesnowboards.com.