At the end of September, early season sales and shipping in the Rocky Mountain Region were flowing smoothly and without grievance. While smaller resort towns typically had a slow start for sales in early fall, shipments were arriving as planned.
“I don't put a ship date on my orders until mid October,” says Marc Loeb, owner of The Board Room of Jackson Hole.
Loeb places a somewhat later date on products due to slower sales in September, but with that in mind he had already received product from Forum, K2, Never Summer, and Burton.
Sales, according to Loeb, had been mostly boards and boots early on with little interest in bindings.
This was not the case in Crested Butte, Colorado at Air Up There. Owner Dave White says he has seen sales going through the roof with bindings. “The Nidecker binding is dope for 199 dollars,” says White.
Along with Nidecker, B-Line clothing and Vans Snowboard Boots were among the first three companies to ship. White says the Vans boots have also been a popular seller.
In Carson City, Nevada, Owner Jimmy Koyama of 702 Skate and Snow names Santa Cruz, Four Star Distribution, and DC Boots as the his first three companies to ship this season. Four Star clothing had been the most sought after brand during the early season.
“Both the guys and women's Four Star clothing is so popular right now,” says Koyama.
Koyama says he had sold some boards, but the main sellers were the decks that were on sale from last season.
In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Northwave boots were one of the first deliveries and the top seller for early season sales at Powder Tools. Manager Tiffany Blake says they also received Burton and Ride, but haven't seen much interest in boards yet. They'd moved out last year's hardgoods and were suprised so many locals were looking for deals at such an early point in the season.
“The majority of people are wandering in and looking for sales,” she says. “The kids are back in school, the weather has been great, and people are not in that buying mode yet, so it hasn't gotten going.”
In Missoula, Montana, Owner Greg Caputo of Kind Snowboards has the advantage of catering to clientele in a college town, making early season sales coincide with students returning to town. The first three companies to ship to Caputo were Sims, Santa Cruz, and Never Summer-but Da Kine backpacks were his best seller.
“Backpacks can be used for school, and people are also buying the packs to cross over with skateboard packs,” says Caputo.
Caputo adds that he's been selling a great deal of Never Summer boards along with his private-label Kind snowboards, which he says are now receiving nationwide interest.
Joe Piche, who owns Joe's Board Shop at Higher Ground in Orem, Utah says shipments this year seem no better or no worse than other years, with Airwalk, Santa Cruz, and Ride being the first three manufacturers to arrive.
“I don't think complete orders have gone out,” says Piche, “and bindings haven't been shipped yet.”
Piche says he's been selling boards during the preseason months, and even sold eighteen during August.
“Everybody loves to buy last year's stuff,” he says.