Industry Profile: Pitcrew Manager and Shred Soles Founder Nate Musson
26 Jul, 2011
Job Title: Owner, Manager, Buyer, Marketing Director, Sales Director, Snowboarder
Employer: Shred Soles Performance Snowboard Boot Insoles & Pitcrew Skateboards and Snowboards
Years on snow: 22
Days on snow: I don’t count… Many but, never enough. Lots of the guys at the shop have started logging hours instead of days. It’s kinda like a joke because they may make it up to the mountain but, only actually end up on the snow for a short amount of time. Due to long lift lines, short runs, and the cheap beers at the secret resort bar!
Currently Riding: Lib Banana Magic 157 / Union Force / 32 Sonic
Currently I am: 1. Stoked on learning wheelies on my motorcycle! 2. Shook from falling 25 feet while “lead climbing” yesterday. 3. Addicted to Words With Friends 4. Psyched on life!
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Nate: I grew up in Northern Montana. Started snowboarding at real resorts with a real snowboard (I had a Black Snow plastic toy snowboard previously) at age 11. My uncle (who was sponsored by Checkered Pig Snowboards for racing at that time) took me to Showdown on a powder day. I caught my edge a few times but, as soon as the trail got steeper I got the hang of it. I was blasting airs and slashing pow turns before the day was over and I was hooked for life! The next time I went to the resort it was an ice day…I got destroyed, it was like I didn’t know how to ride anymore!
I still prefer riding powder over anything else but, I’m also into a bunch of other activities…. too many if you ask my wife! Been skateboarding pretty much as long as I can remember. Runner, I survived a marathon 26.2 mi! Biker, I started riding a road bike to rehab my knee from a torn PCL. Biker again, I love riding my motorcycle , to quote my friend “it’s like a street dragon!” Climber, rock climbing is so humbling!
I’m a Vegan, I figure that if I can live healthy and reduce suffering of other beings then why not?
Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?
Nate: Snowboarding hasn’t “changed” my life as much as it’s shaped my life. Snowboarding has been on my mind since if first strapped in… I still think about making powder turns every day of my life!
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Nate: I was pretty over High School in 1995 so I convinced my principal to let me graduate early so I could start “college” early. I went snowboarding for a couple weeks. Then my uncle (same uncle that got me on the snow the first time) offered me a job at Ski Chalet in Chantilly Virginia. From there I bounced around to a couple different shops in the Washington D.C. area. Finally, I met Tim and Mal at Pitcrew…They’d been sales reps in the skate/snow industry for years while running Pitcrew at the same time. They’ve always invested (given) back into skateboarding and snowboarding and taught me to do the same. Thanks guys!
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Nate: I’ve learned that most important thing for successful business is exceptional customer service. This applies to all (business) relationships, reps, vendors and mountain employees, not just in-store customers. Treat everyone well and give them more than they asked for!
Shay: Tell us about your role at Pit Crew and Shred Soles and a description of the work you do?
Nate: Developing a snowboarding specific insole is an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. I first had the idea for a canted insole from my uncle, he used to preach about canting bindings. Working in shops for years doing snowboard boot fits…..the idea just kept “bugging” me so I slowly took steps to get it where it is today. I’m currently working on a “E Book” about snowboard boot fitting and/or how to purchase the best boots for your feet. Beyond that I do everything from filling orders to talking with shops/customers, Facebooking, Twittering, and constantly testing and learning!
Pitcrew’s awesome, it’s a family more than a structured job. We all do a bit of everything but, my official title is Snow Manager. Purchasing, receiving, shipping, inventory analyses/management, loading products to the website, tuning, oh and actually working on the sales floor!
Shay: What’s an average day like at work for you?
Nate: Currently it’s summer so, my wife and I ride our motorcycles to work together, she works a couple blocks away from the shop. Get coffee, ship orders, load new products to the web and hopefully sell stuff! Then grab lunch with maybe a midday beer or margarita. Back to work, play a game of stationary (not rolling) S.K.A.T.E. on the carpet and beat everyone or get beat by a kid half my age. Finally, I set up an elaborate prank to get whoever is opening the next day. Like rigging rubber bat with fishing line, the bat was set up to “attack” as soon as the door was opened. Currently there’s a rubber snake lurking about just waiting to strike!
In the winter I make a few laps at the local hill before work, I live right across the street. Then get into the shop, check the work load in the tuning room, process online orders, analyze sales and place reorders/special orders. I do lots of snowboard boot fitting (of course) in the winter and snowboard sales. Finally, I try to make it home in time for some night shredding under the lights or a late night mini ramp session.
We have a ton of fun at the shop but, we work REALLY hard too, it’s a good balance!
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Nate: Partying with Jason Dill, Danny Way, and Stevie Williams at the DC shoes video premier in NYC…Insane! Dave Downing handing me a Burton Dom 154 (which I thought was way too small for me) at the Stratton on Snow Demo. I rode it and had fun, returned it and he said “now try the 150, that’s what I ride.” I hesitantly tried it (I couldn’t say no to DAVE DOWNING), even though I’d NEVER ridden anything that small ever. I actually had a blast hitting boxes and rails on it but I slammed freeriding! When I got back to the Demo tent Dave was gone and the tech that I returned the board to said, ”Wow, this board’s a little small for you!”
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Nate: The snowboard industry has it’s challenges just like all industries right now. Snowboarding went through an exponential growth cycle and has since leveled off. That’s OK, exponential growth is unsustainable. As for the future, I’ve got my eyes on snow skating. It’s hard, I can barley do it but, kids are ripping and it’s more accessible (cheaper equipment) than traditional snowboarding. Didn’t every kid take their trucks and wheels off their skateboard and try to use the deck in the snow? Or was it just me?
Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Nate: Experience, education, passion, and persistence are all important!
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Nate: Work hard, snowboard as much as you can, treat everyone well!
Find out more at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Shredsoles and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pitcrew
Twitter: @natemusson @pitcrew207
Website: www.ShredSoles.com www.pitcrewskateboards.com
Shred Soles Dealer Inquires: Nate@ShredSoles.com