Never Summer Snowboards was founded in 1991 by Colorado natives, Tracey and Tim Canaday. However, before they came up with the Never Summer brand, Tim and Tracey actually started shaping and manufacturing boards in their high school shop class. They soon moved on from their humble shop class beginnings and formed Swift Snowboards, which was of course the company that eventually led the Canaday brothers to the Never Summer Snowboards brand.
Somewhere in 1990 or 1991, after dumping the Swift Snowboards brand and moving to California for some fun in the sun, the Canaday brothers found that their love for snowboarding was too much for them to bare. Named after a mountain ranged in Colorado where you can find snow on the ground all year long and with an eagle logo that symbolized pride and quality, Tim and Tracey then formed their new company, Never Summer Snowboards and the rest, as they say, was history.
The Never Summer Snowboards Factory Tour
Last month we were lucky enough to score a factory tour of the Never Summer Snowboards facility, located right here in Denver, Colorado. When we arrived to the factory we were met by Vince, a long time retailer turned Never Summer employee, who gave us a quick history lesson on Never Summer before leading us to the room where the magic happens, aka the Never Summer Snowboards factory floor.
Once we were on Never Summer’s factory floor it was hard for me to listen to the detailed descriptions that Vince was giving us on the processes Never Summer takes to complete one Never Summer Snowboard. I wasn’t having trouble listening because Vince was boring or because it was too loud or anything like that. I was having trouble paying attention because there were so many things to look at and photograph. With walls lined with presses, stacks of wood cores, and workers on the move, the Never Summer factory was absolutely amazing and was nothing at all like I had pictured in my mind.
There were no robots or fancy pieces of machinery cutting and pressing snowboards but rather work stations with hand tools for the human workers that were dedicated to their craft. When Never Summer claims to have products that are made by hand, they really mean everything is handmade! No attention to detail goes unattended and every little part of a Never Summer snowboard is put together by a professional craftsman who has experience at what he or she does.
Never Summer Snowboards Chooses a Different Approach
Never Summer is an American owned and operated snowboard manufacturing company that has a focus on product instead of popularity. Many other snowboard companies that have fizzled out due to an inferior product had approached the snowboarding world with the idea that popularity would maintain their operation. They would promote a sub-par product with a big name athlete and hope that the popularity of that athlete would be enough to keep their company a float.
Never Summer Snowboards took the exact opposite approach to building and growing the Never Summer brand. They focused on product quality and industry innovation instead of trying to find a Shaun White or a Travis Rice to promote their products. Their time and monetary investments were all dumped back into the products that were leaving the Never Summer factory doors. This gave Never Summer an edge over many other snowboard companies that just couldn’t make it happen.
Approaching the snowboarding industry with a product focused mentality has definitely paid off for Never Summer Industries. They have some of the best equipment in the snowboarding world and have steadily gained a cult like following of consumers who will ride nothing less than a Never Summer Snowboard. They have also managed to keep their operation rolling in the United States which provides jobs for workers and instills a great sense of pride when you ride an American made snowboard that can crush the opposing outsourced competition.
We want to thank Vince and the entire Never Summer staff for letting us interrupt their operations and take a really gnarly factory tour! And for all the curious minds out their we have a few pictures below of our Never Summer demo at Keystone and our Never Summer Snowboards Factory tour.
Never Summer Snowboards Factory Tour Pics
There were many proprietary things we couldn’t shoot (for the obvious reasons) but the people at Never Summer were kind enough to let us grab enough pictures to give you an idea of how things work over at Never Summer Snowboards. Enjoy!