Inside Ride Snowboards
22 Feb, 2010
Ride Snowboards has been a main component of the northwest’s snowboarding culture since 1992 with quality, innovation and fun as their motto. They have been constantly growing but keeping with their signature ideas and beliefs that it’s just about the Ride. They’ve experienced moves in the process but are still in the heart of Washington building snowboards, boots, bindings and outerwear based around uncompromised fun.
With a shared office in the industrial section of Seattle, Ride Snowboards isn’t far from the mountains where they can test, build and design products for a quick turnaround on feedback. Despite being owned by a larger corporation, the individuality still stands strong.
I arrived at the Ride Snowboards offices on Thursday afternoon to see what Ride Snowboards is like behind the doors and inside the company.
Inside the lobby is quite comfortable and you can see all the companies involved under the Jarden Corporation umbrella but in these offices it’s all the snowboarding/outdoor companies like Ride and K2. This visit was for Ride Snowboards so I’ll be back to get the K2 tour someday.
During my visit, I got to wear a visitor badge and sign in. I was visitor #452
My tour guide was Joe who came down to greet me and walk me through the offices until we made our way to where Ride is located in the building. It was big and easy to get lost on the way, but we passed by the customer service area for Ride where each person handles the calls that come in.
The signs outside of the area showed what territory we were in and it was time to check out the Ride Snowboards offices complete with the DH limited edition artwork series guarding the door.
Across the hall from it is older Ride memorabilia including an old Ride ad.
The first thing I noticed stepping into the Ride offices was the Space Needle, not outside the window but a replica built inside their offices. They definitely keep it true to the Seattle spirit at Ride.
Beyond the Space Needle lies the marketing desks
Conference table time with Jim Bean flying above
Hang out/waiting area for Ride Snowboards
Joe from Ride who handles internet marketing has the best job ever. He is the man behind the social media for Ride which is always a blast to check out. You can follow Ride Snowboards Twitter and Facebook for all the latest updates.
Line-up of 10-11 Ride products
At the very far corner was the bar with a keg (was empty during my visit). It was from Ride’s previous SIA booth and made it into the office.
This was classic, recycling and garbage station.
Plenty of artwork and memorabilia lining the offices
Building snowboards is many processes, graphics is just one key and they start from scratch and end up on your board. Here’s a look at their design room for printing out graphics, posters and anything else they want to create.
Snowboard Graphics hanging up
Ride Agenda graphics that will soon be on boards
Downstairs is where the designers have their offices and is easy to tell what type of product they design by what’s circling the top of their sections.
Ride’s boot designer Treu Hahnenberger was around to show off new boots. Treu was one of my 2009 Industry Profile interviews and I was finally able to meet him in person.
Paul helped deliver the tour and he’s ride’s board engineer so he gets to play all day with designing new boards and materials. On his desk he showed off the pop rods that Ride uses and the membrane material that is on their topsheets.
Ride pop rods
Ride Snowboards have their production factory in China where the majority of products are made but in their headquarters here in Seattle they have everything needed to build new products for a quick turnaround on testing, riding and feedback. Their testing production is bigger than most companies regular production that I’ve seen just to give a comparison.
After the boards are built, they go through a series of tests. Here’s a board with the tail cut off for inspection.
Work getting done
Inside this door is the freezer which was zero degrees and allowed for a series of tests on gear after being left overnight in freezing temperatures.
So they want to see what will happen to a board after it’s left in those conditions and make sure it holds up strong. Pretty cool to see the tests they do on the boards.
I’ve been to a handful of companies but nothing prepared me for the scope of the North America werehouse they have. It’s for all the companies but this is huge…HUGE!
Inside the warehouse, employees have access to their own gym set up
If the gym doesn’t cut it they have their own skate ramp set up for play
Inside this fence lies Ride Snowboards products
Each board that Ride builds is done without a graphic
Ride Slackcountry Topsheet
Ride Slackcountry Base
Side by Side comparision
A look at Carbon Array 3 in one of the boards without a graphic
For 2010-2011 Ride has a collaboration with Spacecraft including a snowboard, binding, boots and two versions of outerwear. There’s one piece of the outerwear that’s already a favorite of mine, it’s just beautiful bright colors with the spacecraft artwork that I’ve fallen in love with.
Inside look at the Spacecraft Jacket
Up close of Spacecraft Bunny zipper
Joe was my model for the new Cappel Newcastle Jacket for 10-11. Here’s the jacket in the waxed denim fabric
Natalie who handles Ride’s softgoods designs showed off her KISS action figure
A huge thank you to Joe for allowing me to tour Ride Snowboards and Paul for taking time from desinging snowboards to go through the entire tour, very educating. Everyone at Ride was great to meet!