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Breckenridge retailer on snow trends

John George, owner of Mountain
John George, owner of Mountain Wave in Breckenridge, Colorado. All photos by Shelby Stanger for Shop-eat-surf.
By Shelby Stanger
December 07, 2010 6:09 AM

I was in Breckenridge, Colorado this weekend so stopped by Mountain Wave, one of the longest running core shops in town. I got a chance to catch up with owner John George to talk to him about what’s hot in snowboard business and found out about the latest trends on the mountain

 

How is business overall?

Overall, business is awesome and we are pretty close back to the 2007 numbers we had. Since 2008, we adjusted our buys so business has been really healthy and on the up and up. Then again, I have never been that guy to care about wicked growth. I just want to live my lifestyle and support the guys who work for me.

 

What's hot now in the snowboard world?

I think the biggest surprise that a lot of people and media don't speak about is the effects freeride skiing is having on snowboard business. At least half the kids over in the terrain park are freeride guys. Today, there's not a lot of difference between freeskiers and snowboarders in terms of dress and attitude. That wasn’t the case years ago. I'd say half the ski kids are wearing Volcom.

 

How about helmets? I know sales of helmets have taken off.

That's obvious. We shifted helmets to our window display for the first time because it pulls everyone in the shop - parents, kids, skiers and snowboarders -- everyone wants a helmet these days.

 

What brands do well for you?

Volcom still kills it for outerwear for us. Salomon boots do really well and we have carried them forever. We also have Nike boots.

 

Burton has stepped up their program and it seems like their technology gets better every year. I think a lot of people throw a lot of hate at Burton since they're the big guy, but the truth is they have done more research and design for the snowboard industry than anyone can even come close to.

 

Any other trends as far as materials or colors?

PrimaLoft is a wonderful addition to this industry. It’s a material that's been around for a while, but it seems like its really gaining momentum now.

 

What about any smaller up and coming brands catching your eye?

CandyGrind Gloves are doing a good job around here in the Central Rockies and are well known and strong in this area. Union Bindings are doing well and gaining momentum, but they’ve been around for a while. They are definitely gaining market share.

 

See our slide show for photos from the shop floor

 

 


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