Parts & Labor 2017: An inside look at snowboarding’s new trade show
Back in July, we released a story regarding the formation of a new snowboarding trade show, Parts & Labor. In the months that have passed, western North America has seen one of its best winters in a decade, providing a much needed morale injection into the industry. In this midst of this outstanding season, an eclectic group of snowboard brands descended on Denver for Parts & Labor.
Parts & Labor is the creation of Steven Kimura of Owner Operator and United Shapes, and Joe Suta of Nightmare Snowboards. With the help of a small group of organizers, they brought over 50 snowboard brands together under one roof to do business and discuss snowboarding’s future. Some of these brands you have probably heard of: Lib Tech, Gnu, YES., Flux, Bataleon, or Rome. But the majority are small, independently-owned brands that are either just beginning, or have established themselves as a producer of specialty snowboard product. MOSS Snowsticks, Grassroots Powsurfing, Soulmotion Snowboards, Common Apparel, Public Snowboards, Franco Snowshapes, the list goes on. All were part of the new Parts & Labor marketplace, and all are true snowboard brands.
With some exceptions, what we saw was a selection of key products from each brand. There was not the extravagant booths that you would find at snow’s largest trade show, SIA—you can check out that gallery here—but rather a no frills arrangement that established an inclusive atmosphere. No walls. No back rooms. It was a format that favored the wandering observer.
The space was made possible largely with support from Denver’s burgeoning cannabis industry, with vendors also on site for those that wished to indulge in some of Colorado’s finest. So if you were into that, Parts & Labor was definitely a place you wanted to be.
While certainly not the behemoth that is SIA, Parts & Labor was welcomed and supported by brands across the spectrum of snowboarding. Boards, bindings, outerwear, goggles, streetwear, all were represented in one way or another across the showroom floor. Now with one year under the belt, we’re excited to see how the show evolves and continues to address the needs of a changing snowboard industry. Until next year…
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Photography by Owen Ringwall