A Visit to Dakine
23 Jul, 2012
Since 1979, Dakine has been making a variety of products from luggage to gloves, backpacks to accessories that are designed to be functional for any skateboarder, mountain biker, outdoorsmen, snowboarder or skier. The basic principals are quality, function and style which are present throughout their entire line.
The Dakine Headquarters are based in Hood River, Oregon. The perfect location for year-round outdoor adventurers and that clearly shows in the products they create, the offices full of toys and the people behind the brand. On my way back from Mt Hood, it was worth the drive to Hood River to stop in and see what the Dakine headquarters were like.
Upon entering the building, the walls are surrounded with images from surf to snow, bike to just plain gnarly. Their past, present and future are clearly defined on the walls throughout the entire building.
The Dakine showroom to get an idea of new patterns shown in the packs, outerwear, softgoods and accessories for the upcoming summer and winter lines.
Probably my favorite pattern was the blue/black space/starry night designs on the luggage here.
Inside the Dakine marketing offices. Marketing Manager Serene Pelletier just returned from a press trip in New York and came in to give me the grand tour of Dakine for the afternoon.
The door of Dakine stickers go back quite a few years. I recognized the first Dakine sticker I had from the late 90’s almost immediately. Pretty rad to see the collection present in the production room.
Here are the upper offices where a lot of the product work and development gets done by the product designers.
Inside the conference room upstairs were a mix of clothes that are being considered for fabric choices (not even color choices yet).
One of the best perks about being located in Hood River is designing a pack, building it and testing it within the same day. A lot of creativity and testing for future products goes on in Hood River before even making it to production.
Lead Pattern Maker, Lone Keopaseuth, started working at Dakine in the original sewing loft in Maui in 1987. When Dakine moved its headquarters to Hood River, he came to train the sewers in the production facility. That was in 1988 and he’s still at Dakine.
Many of the molds used are hanging up around the offices. Since Dakine has their hand in so many different types of products, you’ll see a good variety of samples around the offices.
The wall of Dakine gloves in the office
Dax Richey is the product developer for Dakine packs/bags was working hard on a Friday afternoon.
Through each door you are greeted by a welcoming dog at Dakine.
I missed visiting the Art Department during my tour but Serene snapped some photos to include for this write-up. It’s impressive to see the art influences that go into designing softgoods when it comes to pattern and color choices. Whether it’s trending or just something that stands out.
Dakine’s lead Senior Graphic Designer, Justin Mooney builds all the snow ads in addition to doing most of the Signature collab products with the team. This year, he worked with Austin Smith, Eric Jackson, and Elias Elhardt.
Dakine is in the process of collecting packs from their past including collaborative packs to showcase. Here’s a couple speciality packs from Mt Baker Banked Slalom, HCSC and COC.
I arrived in time for Bagel Friday in the lunchroom at the offices. However, Dakine is located centrally around a slew of brewhouses and restaurants that would make it hard to not enjoy the local fare for lunch.
A huge thanks to Serene for the tour of Dakine! It was great to be able to visit a company that has developed so many products in action sports and continues to deliver quality goods.