Blank Snowboards located in Layton, UT has been making boards for a few years now and although they don’t totally fit the “local” profile, we wanted to include them in the Get Local! series because they have a unique approach to branding their boards and they are doing things differently than the status quo.
Rob Foy, owner of Blank Snowboards took some time to answer the who, what, why and how of Blank Snowboards, here’s what he had to say:
When and why’d you decide to start another snowboard company? Aren’t there enough of them already?
The concept of Blank snowboards has been in my head since probably about 1993. The company was founded in 2008. In 1993 I was riding for snowboard companies and I would get prototype boards the year before they came out. I was so stoked to get them because they were different than anything that was on the market and I could make it my own. However, I was never too stoked on many of the graphics that came out every year, so I thought if I ever had the opportunity to create a company, that is what it would do. There are definitely more than enough snowboard companies out there, but I feel we are truly different from all of them. We create black or white boards free of graphics which helps us cut down on costs and leaves it up to the rider to add their own style. Snowboarding is a very expensive sport to get into and unless you’re buying used or 1-2 year-old new boards, you can’t beat our prices. You get a lot more than what you pay for when buying a Blank board. We don’t sell retail so there is no mark up. You get the same price that shop owners pay for boards.
Is your goal to be the next big thing, or are you focused on carving out your own niche of loyal riders & fans, or do you have something completely different in mind?
We love what we do. One of the reasons we started this company was because we wanted to continue to snowboard year after year without going broke on passes and equipment. Essentially, we needed to start selling to support our habit.
We are focused on making great products at good prices. We do our best to stay core and not get wrapped up in corporate thinking. Every company needs support to stay around. We all need money, but we want to grow at a sustainable pace. Our hopes are that in the next five years the word on the streets will be “Blank snowboards is a solid, reliable company.”
Who are you building snowboards for – weekend warriors, 100-day riders, park rats, pow princesses? All of the above?
We build boards for all of the above. When we were creating molds for Blank the main goal was to create a board that would function in all areas of snowboarding. I feel we have accomplished this with the boards we have on the market today. We have ex-pros and new comers to the sport both riding our boards.
What’s your approach to social media & what’s your take on the snowboard social media community, in particular? Does it influence your marketing strategies? Do you think it influences your customers?
We are all for social media. We have been able to connect with a lot of really cool people through Twitter and Facebook that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to meet. Social media has definitely influenced our company and continues to shape it. The snowboarding community is not afraid to go online and voice their opinions and we love that. We are able to find out what our customers want on a more personal level and then do our best to deliver.
Give me the basics of your board construction: where & how are they made?
Our boards are made of materials that are strong and reliable. Basically we have 100% poplar wood core mixed with carbon beams and triaxial fiberglass to keep it poppy and durable. We chose an extruded base for the durability and ease of repair. However to give riders an option, we will be offering sintered bases as well in the near future.
Without divulging any trade secrets, is there anything unique about your boards you want to mention (green manufacturing, etc.)?
We sell a $400 board for $200. We offer the opportunity to create your own artwork on your board. We sponsor art contests in schools. We donate to reforestation projects. I could go on, but our main goal is to be unique.
What’s your favorite aspect of your boards?
The fact that they don’t have any ridiculous graphics on them. I can take a BoardStix marker and create any graphic I want and make it my own. I also love how responsive they ride in all conditions.
Best and worst thing about working for an independent?
Best thing is that I call the shots and work with my best friends. Worst thing is insurance.
Trip-corks or backside 180s?
I am always satisfied seeing a huge styley backside 180.
What is your favorite mythological beast?
Boxers or briefs?
Aside from self-appreciation, what other snowboard brands do you like? Any riders or companies that have had positive influence on your brand?
I like companies that make great products that have put the time and research into what they are developing. I feel Lib-Tech has done a good job with this with their whole reverse camber and magnatraction. I definitely appreciate the founders of styles such as Jamie Lynn, Noah Salasnek, Mike Ranquet Terje, etc.
Where can people get your boards? Any awesome shops you want to pimp out? And for those of us who aren’t local, do you take phone or web orders?
Since we don’t sell retail you can buy all our boards online at www.blanksnowboards.com. You can also contact us online through our site or call us with any questions. I would like to throw a shout out to Blindside Snowboard shop. If you want a core shop and great deals go to Blindside.