Following last year’s strong response to their line, OneSnowboards has opened its first Production Center inOceanside, CA. Featuring extensive digital automation fortooling and printing, the “micro-huge” factory packs fourdecades of board building experience into a mere 7000 squarefeet. Nearly 30 models comprising the 2002 line beganproduction in January.
The new factory is the first step in a novel approach toboard building, says One COO Scott Patterson. “We keptasking people why they had to have multimillion dollarfactories to build snowboards. Here they were, spending allthis money on promotion and giant rooms full of equipment,but they have to go offshore because they’re not making anymoney. It just didn’t make sense. We started looking at itand said there’s got to be a better way.”
Patterson interviewed dozens of industry suppliers andinsiders to determine where the typical factory swallowshidden losses, then took aim. “A lot of it is in theequipment. Some factories were spending 40-80,000 dollarsfor just one custom press, which was still hard to changearound for a constantly changing market. We just couldn’tsee paying good money for that kind of headache.”
All of their presses and fixtures were designed and builtin-house to be simple, low cost solutions with built-in jobflexibility. Every press can build every model, forexample, ranging from a 90cm kids board for three year oldsto a 185cm monster for Shaq-size shralpists. “You’ve got toput the money where it counts if you’re going to make aquality product,” Patterson says.
Where it counts according to One is in computerized millingand shaping equipment, along with state of the art digitalimaging hardware. Both technologies provide the ability- andthe incentive- to innovate on a year-round basis whilemaking room for custom runs and smaller clients. OneSnowboards can embed high-resolution graphic images directlyinto the subsurface of their topsheets and bases, and changethem at a moment’s notice. Recognizing their earlycommitment to this emerging technology, a major ink supplierhas designated them a test center for new inks that improveon existing standards for UV fading.
Patterson believes ‘fast and flexible’ is the future forcompanies who want to compete in the maturing snowboardindustry. “We’re here because our boards rock. People whoride them can tell they were designed by riders who knowtheir stuff. But to stick around, we have to be just assmart about running a business.”
One Snowboards is among a handful of rider-owned andrider-driven companies still growing and prospering in acorporate world. Patterson says it will stay that way.”Everybody’s closing down factories or heading to China orMexico or somewhere. That’s just not us. We’re like the lastones left. And we’re just getting started.”
Five Riders Named to 2001 Team
One Snowboards has named five rising stars to their teamroster for the 2001 season.Todd Pearson, of Whitefish, Montana headlines theonediscovered talent of the Team. Todd will be filming andcompeting in freestyle disciplines throughout the year,including the Vans Triple Crown events where he made his Prodebut with huge backside sevens in the Big Air prelims.
Jason Toone, of Ogden, Utah was dragged out of the shadowsand into the spotlight for his unimpeachable riding skillsand unpretentious style. Jason will be doing whatever hewants to do wherever he wants to go. The guy’s cool.
Paul Michalchuk of Calgary, Alberta signed on after testingearly prototypes of the Supercross line. Paul will be racingBoarderX events at venues across the US and Canada. BrotherMike will be proud. (And second place.)Dana Shirra of Harrisville, UT owns and operates his ownskate company, and knows a good ride from the first railon. Dana shares rock-solid truth in his rock-solid ridingand sensational fiction in his larger than life. Rock on,Shirra.
Rob Langfield, of Fernie, BC, will be hiking, filming,testing, and tweaking every little product detail that canpossibly be improved. The guy’s an artist- on the ground, orin the air. Don’t forget to thank him for making all yourstuff better.