A Tightboards Revival

20 Sep, 2010

When it comes to purchasing snowboard gear every customer decides where and who they will shop from and support.  During the past couple years snowboard shops hit rough times with the economy, fighting to stay alive and had to work even harder to keep customers coming back.  One shop in particular became well aware of just how important customer service and how consumer feedback can be to one company. I had watched Tightboards back in the days of snowboard.com when customers would complain about their customer service, return policy and online inventory having issues but Tightboards managed to rise from the ashes and rebuild a revival before crumbling.

I caught up with Luke Dodson from Tightboards to find out what they’ve done to regain their online presence, changes to improve their customer service and online inventory and what’s in store for the future.

Shay: One of the biggest complaints that Tightboards had was the return policy and customer service. What improvements and changes has Tightboards made to improve shopping for customers?
In the past, Tightboards was managed by a 3rd party company that suffered from the downturn and chose a return policy that was not in the best interest of the customer. Tightboards worked tirelessly to get the customer service terms changed going so far as to completely sever the relationship with the 3rd party company that operated the site and created the policy in the 2008-2009 seasons. Tightboards has now transformed the customer policy to a 100% satisfaction guarantee since last season. We instated a 30 day return for your money back or an exchange policy for all merchandise that is in its original condition, and we have also stream-lined the return process and it is now easier than ever to get the refund or exchange for the exact gear you want. We also have dedicated Customer Service Reps who will work for the customer to make sure they are 100% happy.

Shay: How has Tightboards improved their online inventory so that customers have a better idea of what’s in stock or unavailable?
Tightboards now offers total real-time inventory which means…. what you see on the site is what you get. If it is up there, we have it in the warehouse ready to ship. No guessing, or waiting. In fact, if we are even close to selling out of a product it says so right on the product page.

Shay: What changes has Tightboards as a company undergone in the past year?
This economy has been tough on every industry, and Action Sports is no different. We used this year to make sure that our customers are taken care of. We started with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, Price Matching and new ‘Pro-customer’ return policy. We have also focused on building out a robust Customer Service department, and we have expanded the hours our customer service agents are available on our 1-800 line. We now offer some sort of free giveaway with almost every order, which is always rad… and have increased our inventory to include Skis, Windsurfing, BMX & fixed Gear Bikes. We have expanded our brand offerings as well and now include Burton Snowboards in our offerings. Tightboards top priority is bringing our riders a wider selection of gear at solid prices with worry-free shopping.

Shay: What steps have you taken to improve the Tightboards image since dealing with past issues?
The policies that were carried out by the previous 3rd party company under the Tightboards name were in need of overhaul, in the past year we have really shifted to ‘pro-customer’ policies and now offer the highest Customer Care possible. The best thing that we can do is prove our commitment to our customers. Offering things like the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee policy with responsible Customer Care Reps is the backbone to a good business and happy riders. We have taken every measure to ensure that these things are of the highest quality and we work hard every day to follow through on them.

Shay: What are some future plans in store for Tightboards?
There are always ideas swirling around… but most immediately we are going to continue with our ‘Pro-Customer’ foundation and start offering free giveaways…. for no good reason! Just to say ‘thanks for shopping with us’. We will do this via email, on our blog and most often through our http://www.facebook.com/Tightboards and http://twitter.com/tightboards pages. So follow us… and get free gear! We also have plans to build out the site to be more interactive with videos, chats, live feeds, mountain reports, etc. As riders ourselves we have a long-term vision, and we want to continue to give our riders reasons to shop with us.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. Shawn Currail
    September 20, 2010

    I might be wrong, but wasn’t tightboards acquired by the-house when the original tightboard founders flaked on paying their vendor bills? Luke’s interview seems a bit misleading.

  2. Pierce
    September 20, 2010

    I would never fucking buy something from that website,the people who run that website are scummy pieces of shit, ordered a pair of pants and eg2 ltd goggles and waited 3 months for em, yeah they took my money but never shipped any of my shit out.

  3. Hanh
    September 21, 2010

    dude, tightboards had the worst customer service ever, they’ve been reported to the better business bureau of virginia or something like that and have been taken to court too. im sorry to say even though you have changed our policy on returns and customer service and even inventory, i will never by anything from tightboards.com or boardparadise or any of your other affiliate websites.

  4. Grinch
    September 21, 2010

    Dude sounds like a broken record. “Pro-Customer!” “100% Satisfaction”
    A 30 day, “in original condition” return policy sort of contradicts that, no?
    If my board splinters to shit 45 days after I buy it due to a defect, I’m gonna be pretty pissed.

  5. Brek Leines
    September 21, 2010

    Ive never gone through them but have always found it is best to go through the company if possible, or at least your local shop. But if not either of those, then Sierra snowboard or backcountry.com have always done me well. Good customer service, quick to ship, and good prices.

    See you at the next premier shay!

  6. September 21, 2010

    “100% satisfaction guarantee” = “a 30 day return for your money back or an exchange policy for all merchandise that is in its original condition”

    Woah, whats wrong with that satisfaction guarantee? So if you try it and dont like it you cant return it? Tightboards needs to take a lesson from REI if they are going to throw that around so much..

    Grinch – totally agree with you.
    Brek- hellz yea, support your local shop!
    Shawn – I want to see Luke Dodson clarify that

  7. September 22, 2010

    Just to clarify some of the comments that were posted in response to my interview with Shay:

    1. The-House did not buy Tightboards.  I own the company.
    I split with Boardparadise in August of 2009 because I was not happy with their customer service program.  All negative customer service issues were before August, 2009 when I split with BP.
    2. The-House is now fulfilling orders for Tightboards.  It is a drop ship relationship.   All customers service issues have been cleared up and I am very happy with how The-House has been fulfilling my orders.
    3. To guarantee Tightboards 100% satisfaction policy any customer can personally deal with me concerning any customer service issue that comes up. Please redirect any negative comments to me personally.  Just email me at luke@tightboards.com or call me at 512.623.0641.


  8. edshread
    September 22, 2010

    hey luke, maybe you can hire the jackass from sierrasnowboards!

  9. Shawn Currail
    September 23, 2010

    Luke….you sure seem to be on the wrong side of the truth here.

    You may run Tightboards, but all you have is a website that populates product from the-house. You are basically a web domain doesn’t own the product. How core is that?

    All you use is a data feed from the-house and when you get sale, you collect your measly 10% through some type of affiliate program. I guess anybody can start a online snowboard shop. All you need to do is follow the instructions from the-house: http://helpdesk.the-house.com/index.php?page=our_affiliate_program

    Way to go!

  10. September 24, 2010

    hahah! AMAZING!!

  11. September 24, 2010

    Respectfully Shawn, you are mistaken. If you would like to hear more about our business feel free to email me directly or call.


  12. Stephanie
    September 24, 2010

    Tightboards/Boardparadise robbed me hard last year after I returned my order. They left a poor taste with me, so I will continue to focus on only buying local and direct from manufacturer.

  13. James
    October 31, 2011


    any good local shop will really appreciate your business and will take good care of you