"We embodied rebellion, thrashing around the mountains, and ruining all order that had been established by the then majority on the slopes [skiers]. We came from a place they didn't understand, that place was the Darkside." - Darkside Snowboards
Darkside - is this a Pink Floyd hit? Where’d the name come from?
The name Darkside is a product of the early days of snowboarding. We embodied rebellion, thrashing around the mountains, and ruining all order that had been established by the then majority on the slopes [skiers]. We came from a place they didn't understand, that place was the Darkside. Add some 1970's college experience from Founder Bill Langlands (Yes, Pink Floyd and Dark Side of the Moon), a touch of Star Wars reference and you have Darkside Snowboards.
There are three locations - Killington, Okemo, Stowe. Which came first?
Killington, established in 1989.
With nearly 30+ years of business since ’89, Darkside is the epitome of Sessions campaign Always Have Always Will. What was it like back then, what’s the difference now?
Back then, it was a time when we could count the snowboarders in Killington on two hands - time when we could only ride Pico, Killington's sister peak, and had to pass a test to be allowed on the lifts - a time when we brought creative freedom to the mountains and the skiers just didn't understand. Today, snowboarding is widely accepted in mainstream culture, but the passion for that creative freedom remains the same. Those handful of original snowboarders are now Rad Dads and Rad Moms who have a pack of groms following them around the slopes. The skiers come in and buy up all the outerwear because snowboarders have “cooler” style. As the campaign states, we at Darkside Always Have and Always will support the lifestyle and passion that comes with standing sideways.
You’ve seen many lines from Sessions to Burton come and go, what the secret to a top seller? Anything you’re digging specifically in the new Sessions line?
The secret to a top seller is function, timeless style and now more than ever, sustainability. We're digging the 1983 jacket, homage to the origins of the Sessions brand.
East Coast's rap is Ice Coast - is that just to keep West Coast kooks out? How’s the riding on the regular over there?
The Ice Coast is real! Between all of the snowmaking snow, unpredictable temperature fluctuations and howling winds, there are definitely days best suited for ice skates, not snowboards. That said, we still get to enjoy fresh powder days (we got a foot of snow on Oct. 27/28 this year), packed powder groomers and soft slushy spring days in the park. With a season that extends from October to May, we experience all types of snow and weather conditions that only make us better riders.
Beer: before riding, during riding, after riding?
Depends on the situation, but there's nothing better than an apres beer or two in the parking lot of the Superstar Glacier after slashing slush for hours in May.
Craft shit is taking over the world, atleast the West Coast. Has Dunkin launched any craft donuts yet?
I haven't experienced a craft donut yet, but Vermont is home to some incredible craft beer. Take a quick walk from our Stowe shop over to the Alchemist or quick drive from our Killington and Okemo shops to the Long Trail Brewery and experience it for yourself.
Best park, best pow, best apreski in New England?
Best Park- The Stash to Dreammaker (“Stashmaker”) at Killington.
Best Pow- For us to know, and you to try and find out.
Best apres- The Dark Park, where creativity flows like beer and the lights stay on til the session ends.
Darkside has stayed very relevant with ECOMM and its’ web sales platform, but not at the expense of the in-store experience. For those trollers not willing to buy on the spot, do you incentivize purchases through your website?
The biggest incentive to buying from Darksidesnowboards.com is knowing that you're supporting a family run business that is fully invested in all things snowboarding, and has been for the last three decades. Free shipping helps, plus you can buy bindings and a board from the comfort of your home and bring it to one of our shops for the same setup and service you'd receive if we helped you pick it out.
What’s the next big sales strategy?
We don't give away Darkside secrets.
Who’s hot shit right now? Any shout outs on the team? Website, or videos our readers should visit?
Shout outs to all of our employees and team riders who possess the passion for the shred. Keep your eyes on Tim Major (@chevandtimsexcellentadventure) Jesse Gomez (@bigguccigomez), Thomas Westcott (@thomas_westcott) and the @okemodeathsquad for your fix of raw, skate inspired shredding at Killington Parks, Okemo Parks and in the streets of New England. Our crew down at Mount Snow Max Lyons (@maxlyons) and Joey Leon (@_chooch_) will be putting on a clinic in Carinthia Parks and topping podiums all over the East. Pete Cimmino (@pizzmeknow), Will Steller (@polopants_momsvisa ) and Bobby Van Houten (@vanhouten17) can be found ripping around Salt Lake City and the surrounding Mountains.
What's the deal with the Dark Park?
In 2006, when the new Darkside location was being built in Killington, there happened to be the perfect hill in back for a few rails and boxes. Fast forward ten years and the park has become a full on competition venue. Hosting events such as the Smith Grudge Match and team demos from Volcom, the Dark Park is a must stop if you're in Killington. We've recently installed new lighting to allow access to the whole park at night, and acquired new features for a constant rotation of fresh setups. When the lifts stop, stop by Darkside, grab a shovel and session with your friends til you land that new trick.
Visit darksidesnowboards.com for all of your snowboarding needs and wants.