Inside Prior Snowboards
27 Apr, 2009
The Prior Snowboard Factory in Whistler, BC is located just minutes from the base of Whistler & Blackcomb Mountains offering up the ability to create and ride in the same day. Prior has been making snowboards since 1990, offering premium handcrafted snowboards for racers, freeriders to freestyle riders to splitboarders. Their factory is quaint, but they offer a friendly direct to consumer accessibility.
On Thursday I made my way down to Prior, just a bus ride away from the base of Whistler Village.
I took the bus which let me off right outside the Prior Factory
When you walk into Prior, you are brought up to the sales office and showroom.
In the showroom, customers can come and purchase brand new and demo Prior Snowboards or place an order for a custom made board.
Range of Prior Snowboards
The history of Prior is along the walk upstairs, pictures showcasing the history of the brand.
From the top of the stairs, you get the view of the Prior Snowboard Factory working hard below. It’s not a big snowboard operation, but the work they put into their snowboards makes them valuable. Their efforts in creating solid splitboards is recognized by the splitboarding community often.
I came to Prior to meet Theresa who handles the Prior marketing and get a glimpse of the snowboard factory. I was able to meet 3 of the factory workers, doing their various jobs for the day.
Just in case people aren’t familiar with a splitboard, it’s a snowboard that is split into two. It’s popular for backcountry riders who can ski up the mountain, but snowboard down to enjoy the powder. You get to use your regular bindings on it with a custom mounting system by Voile.
The factory today was busy with splitboards
The clamps securing the edges onto a splitboard in the making
The wall of cores ready to be made for each snowboard, splitboard or ski in the line.
The final pressing of each board beyond that door.
Safety equipment required to go in.
Splitboards and snowboards all pressed up and just needing to get the excess material removed
A look from the factory floor of the factory and showroom above
Finishing up a row of boards and splitboards
The tuning/repair shop for Prior. While we were there, a splitboard needed to have the voile system tweaked for the next day.
Prior is very big on demo’ing their boards and as my friend Marc put it, he needs to stop demoing them cause he keeps wanting one every year. At the Whistler Demo’s, you could try a racing board, a splitboard or their new AMF Rocker coming out.
Prior is another company open to factory tours and you can call them to find out when they offer them since they are on select days. Definitely worth the trip to check out how a snowboard is made during your time in Whistler.