SuperShops: Putting the community first with Darkside Snowboards
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So many businesses define success by their profit margins and quarterly statements. It’s not a surprise that businesses fail after too many years of not making enough money. Defining success for Darkside board shop is different. The three-location shop based in Killington, Vermont is fixated on keeping the stoke alive by doing right by the community. “Our mission is to further board recreations by staying true to the values that define them,” says Evan Ricker, Darkside’s shop manager. “We invest in building the board communities around our shops.”
In many ways Darkside is like other shops, but what separates them is their involvement with giving the kids a place to shred. “We have built parks outside our locations for snowboarding and skateboarding,” Ricker explains. “They are open for anyone who would like to ride at anytime.”
Started by Bill Langlands in ’89, Darkside’s goal was to give snowboarders a home base and build the Vermont snow and skate scene. “There are events held throughout the seasons to help bring together our skate and snow communities,” Ricker says. “We have ladies nights at the shops to get the girls stoked on riding.”
Aside from their involvement in events, competitions and park building, Darkside sponsors local riding talent and even throws money to local youth sports teams. For a shop focusing so heavily on community building, they’re also heavily committed to the skate and snowboard industries themselves. “Darkside only carries companies that are by boarders for boarders. That’s something that is a point of pride for everyone that works at our shops,” Ricker says.
Above all, Darkside staff and management are deeply passionate about dragging knuckles. Seriously, these guys know their shit. “No two are the same, but they are completely alike. All have a love for the recreation and the knowledge that comes with years of riding,” says Ricker. “You want to know what song on the radio that’s in a snowboard video? We can tell you that.” For a shop with intense optimism, involvement and flat out passion, it’s hard not to get stoked on what this SuperShop is bringing to the table.
Maybe the best way to sum up the experience at Darkside is letting Ricker tell it. “The wealth of knowledge that you get from being served by one of our staff could be equated to quantum snowboard radness.”