Nestled at the base of the Sierra Nevadas lies a modest, unassuming factory that is anything but. After stepping foot inside and talking to Smokin Jay for all of 30 seconds, his undying love and passion for snowboarding was crystal clear. Not only does he employ a tight crew of fellow snowboarders, but he puts in some of the longest hours to not only run an entire business, but often times help build boards, print graphics, modify equipment, research new shapes and tech, and anything else this core company needs to keep the lights on.
Throughout an absurd amount of industry changes and trends, Smokin Snowboards has remained whole-heartedly true to its roots as a company that completely embodies their "Handmade in the USA by snowboarders" mantra. Before the phrase "handmade in the US" was about as hip as you could get, Smokin was on it. Before eco-friendly become a sales tactic, Smokin was environmentally conscious. And before every company ever was suddenly claiming to be "by riders, for riders", Smokin had a full factory of loyal shred heads making products they believed in.
Huge thanks to Jay for showing me around and the whole crew at Smokin for letting me stick my camera in their face. Exciting things are coming from this company in the near future, you're going to want to stay tuned.
The hardest working man in snowboarding showing off the new Team van...
...which wouldn't be complete without the secret stash compartment.
Photos and words by Jacob Malenick