Boards mix function and flair

Snowboarder Kyla Henry shows off her board 

Snowboarding began its emergence in 1965 with the Snurfer — an innovation made by connecting two skis with a piece of rope.

In the ’70s, Jake Burton took the snowboard to the next level by inventing bindings, providing a much more secure way to attach feet to the board.

Since then, the sport has grown exponentially, and there are boards of all colors shapes and designs from aliens smoking a joint to a sasquatch lost in space.

Some, on the other hand, have just a logo and a single color.

There are different kinds of snowboards with different purposes — some with the goal of grinding rails and some designed to be ideal for powder.

But snowboards are not just an adventurous way to enjoy a beautiful bluebird day; they’ve become a means of expression. Cameron Rossi- Crete, a Castleton senior proficient in graphic design who’d love to design snowboards for Burton said, “I admire snowboarding because it’s a sport you can express yourself with your gear.”

Castleton student Dan Hathaway rides a Lib Tech Banana designed by professional rider Travis Rice.  The board is blue, black and white and Hathaway said,  “the blue has a wave feeling to it.”

But it is not just the aesthetics that drew Hathaway to his board.

“I have a serrated edge on it, which is good for the east, cause it gets icy here,” he said.

And the blue wave also has a sentimental connection with Hathaway.

“I really like the blue on the board because it has to do with my high school football team.  We had blue tide pride,” he said, while adding that functionality was still crucial while choosing his board.

“It’s an all mountain board; woods, park, I can do anything,” he said.

For some, the design is not as crucial as the functionality.  Castleton student John Everett rides a Never Summer Board Lock. His board has a very subtle and sleek design to it, though Everett describes it differently

“It has no design,” said Everett. “That is harder to find.”

A board’s design takes the back seat for Everett.

“The type of board I’m looking for is a powder board or carver board,” he said.

Kyla Henry, a Darkside Snowboards employee and Castleton senior, rocks a Gnu Stunt Puppy.  The board merges an in-shape gentleman and puppies.

“I saw on Instagram that a girl who I thought was rad at snowboarding had it and then saw we had it at work and knew I had to get it.  I chose it for the shape of it, the design on it was just a plus,” she said.

When asked if customers pick out a snowboard for its design or functionality, she said “we try to push people to buy boards for function.  But people always care about the designs.”

She said, “people will say ‘oh that’s too girly, that’s ugly,’ just random things when really we are always trying to explain why this ugly board is going to work best for you.”   

Snowboarder Dan Hathaway shows off his board 


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