Making the most of dead wood, Weston Snowboards crafted its first hardgood designs with beetle-kill pine. Founded in 2012, the brand decided to experiment with variant ratios of the reclaimed blue-swirl wood throughout its backcountry boards. Now, that out-of-box ethos continues to evolve—and it just may push the snow-sports industry to a new level. This season, co-owners Leo Tsuo and Mason Davey blew up the old idea of the brick-and-mortar retail business model: They built a tiny mobile house, which will serve as their shop, classroom and networking pad.
Using nearly 100-percent sustainable, salvaged materials, the store-on-wheels will help the brand branch out from the confines of its current Vail Valley home base of Minturn (population 1,029), Davey says, and fulfill their wider mission: to introduce their products, cultivate community and give back to the snow-sports industry by providing education on backcountry stewardship and avalanche safety.
“I was going for a cabin in the woods look and an inviting feel,” said Davey, who spearheaded the rolling home’s construction and design. It worked. An A-frame with a lofty ceiling and complete with a wood-burning stove, the dream space is decorated with rustic interior features, giving it a warm and welcoming ambiance.
On weekends the shop-on-wheels will drive to various Colorado locations and events including snowboard film showings and splitboard demos. Davey hopes it will also sow the seeds for potential retail partnerships, since the space is large enough to host a dozen people, or more, for important backcountry safety discussions.
“We’re building our brand on core partnerships with companies that also stand for innovation, giving back to the industry and teaching people about the product they sell,” says Davey pointing to an REI partnership to team-up on educational sessions.
Every detail of the tiny-shop construction is intentional and thoughtfully designed. The space glows via solar power and the only exception to all of that interior and exterior beetle-kill pine wood is the 200-square-foot floor (and 100 square feet of loft space). Davey built them from maple scraps that he swooped from a Minturn lumberyard—he traded later for a pair of skis. In front, two sliding barn doors each open to a closet and a composting toilet. T-shirts hang in streamlined frames, hand-constructed from pallet wood. An elegant rack displays snowboards, flush against the walls and the fold-up workbench is made from Weston’s first-ever beetle-kill pine snowboard.
Heads up ladies. To top off all this news, Weston is developing two women’s boards—a split and a solid—for a 2017-18 debut.
You can learn more about the boards and mobile shop schedule at westonsnowboards.com.