Industry Profile: One Ball Jay Owner Matt Cummins

05 Jun, 2012

Job Title: Snowboarder, Designer, Business owner
Employer: Oneballjay, Northwest Snowboards, Mervin Mfg
Years on snow: 25 yrs
Days on snow: Thousands
Currently Riding: Lib Tech La Nina 156
Currently I am: Ready for summer. Surfing, Biking, and trips

Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Matt: Hi, my name is Matt Cummins. I currently live and grew up in Gig Harbor, Washington. I am 43 years old. I started snowboarding, and helped start Northwest Snowboards and Oneballjay all around the same time in 1988. My winters are spent watching storms come in and trying to score powder days. My down days are in the office. In the summer I like to surf, ride bikes, golf, build things, go boating, and travel.

Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?

Matt: Snowboarding is my life and all the activities and opportunities that have come from that. My family and friends all snowboard, surf, or ride bikes. It’s great way of life, there is always something that needs attention and always someplace new to go.

Photo: Endo

Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Matt: I bought my first Gnu snowboard from Mike and Pete in 1986. I went to a couple snowboard contest and did pretty well. They asked me to be on the team and the rest is history. I have been with them since. My family opened up our first Northwest Snowboards in 1988 – I started making snowboard wax and surf wax with friends in 1986, we even built some of our own snowboards out of plywood from tree forts, torn apart. All of these things have led to meeting people, snowboarding, and traveling as a part of the job.

Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Matt: My work experience has been gained just from living the lifestyle, working for Mervin, getting the opportunity from them to design boards. Oneballjay and Northwest snowboards has been a huge learning experience.

Photo: Endo

Shay: Tell us about your role at One Ball Jay
Matt: Director, Northwest Snowboard- Helper, Mervin- Team rider

Shay: How did you come up with the name One Ball Jay?
Matt: An old friend of mine Jay Rota, we made our own snowboards, surf wax and snowboard wax. We originally were calling the surf wax we were had made, 6 bars or so, Sap Wax because it contained some tree sap we harvested ourselves. Jay and I were heavely into vert ramp skateboarding then and one day Jay had an accident where the board nailed him in the balls, the rest is history.

Shay: If you had to make up a job title that most accurately described what you REALLY do for Money, what would it be?
Matt: I work to play

Shay: Describe the craziest day/moment you’ve had at your job?
Matt: It would be amazing powder days and surf with my friends, skipping the desk job.

Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Matt: Lots and lots of travel and friends from all over the world.

Photo: Endo

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?
Matt: Online retailer killing local retailers, people not doing enough to support local companies. Larger companies not supporting local retailer enough. Wal-Mart, Target, the Depot’s of the world killing local communities. I would like to see people living more local with what they buy. I would like to see people doing more research into the companies and brands they support to see what is really going on. I would like to see more people being less concerned with the “Jones” and doing something original and interesting for themselves. Money is not the most important thing, living life is.

Shred till you can’t! Put that trip on plastic !!!

Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Matt: Move to a mountains now and ride as much as you can, get a job later.

Find out more at:
Twitter: nope
Instagram: MattCummins@smashingpowder

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. June 05, 2012

    “Move to a mountains now and ride as much as you can, get a job later” – damn, wish the rent’s had embraced that philosophy! Does this apply to education too? cuz you can get that later also!

  2. Frank
    June 05, 2012

    Nice interview… nice business too
    I will be curious to know how he likes his Lib Tech La Nina 156 too? 😉

  3. Gags
    June 11, 2012

    The legend speaks truth. Support local biz and ride as often as possible! Word