Broz

Squamish, BC Now Has It’s Own Home-Grown Ski & Snowboard Manufacturer

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When I caught wind that there was a brand spankin’ new hand-crafted ski and snowboard manufacturer opening its doors within 4 minutes of Doglotion HQ, I almost pee’d my pants. Must find out more…

Enter KNWN Manufacturing, the brainchild of local snowboarder Jason Broz. Broz has been in the board building game for ages, first making high performance race boards for his professional bros, then for Endeavour, and most recently for G3 Genuine Guide Gear. Somewhere along the road he also found time and inspiration to spawn Fix Binding Co. So the guy knows a thing or two about the ski and board industry.

He’s worked with ski and board factories all over the globe, but every new factory visit just had him more convinced it could be done better right at home, surrounded by the mountains that inspire him most. He’s been working his ass off for the last few years to bring the ski and board manufacturing game back to North America, and he finally found a way to pull it off in style, right in his (and our) backyard.

I went for a sneak peek before this weekend’s grand opening, and immediately started drooling at how legit the machinery and set up was for a new brand that was yet to even launch.  This is no half-ass ‘maybe I want to build snowboards’ kind of summer project that some stoner thought of one night on the toilet. This is the real deal. Well, he might have been stoned, and who knows if a toilet was involved, but either way he did it right.

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Is he nervous about this crazy new gig? Nah. He’s chomping at the bit to install that bad-ass cappuccino machine at the front desk, but otherwise he’s got the ski & snowboard building thing dialled and ready to rock.

Broz says KNWN will be building skis, snowboards, and splitboards, in a healthy variety of categories from freestyle skis to big mountain backcountry chargers. He’s proud to be bringing the ski & board manufacturing game back to this side of the pond, keeping it local, and keeping it real. Hell, you could heli to the Tantalus Range from his shop in 7 minutes. Field trip anyone?

Skis in their infancy.

Skis in their infancy.

I asked if his skis would just be two snowboards with a different mounting pattern, but once we started talking details I saw there’s some fun times ahead for local skiers who get their hands on these things.

If you really want to get your hands dirty, it sounds like you could just roll in and make one yourself! Broz has pimped out the shop to be way more inviting than a massive warehouse in China. There’s coffee on tap, swag for sale up front, rentals available, and factory tours scheduled throughout the winter. He’s lining up different ideas for how you could customize your boards or help make one yourself, so that you can appreciate everything that goes into those sweet planks you play on every powder day.

Ski cores for days...

Ski cores for days…

Will he sell enough planks to pay for all those fancy machines in his factory? Hell if I know! But as a skier based in the Sea to Sky region, I’m pretty damn pumped to see this project come to life. Will Doglotion.com crank out a pair of ultra-customized, ultra fluoro co-branded skis? Only time will tell.

Until then, don’t miss the grand opening party this weekend, and see for yourself what Broz has cooking in his new ski ‘n board kitchen.

Fresh set of KNWN skis, almost ready for action.

Fresh set of KNWN skis, almost ready for action.

KNWN MANUFACTURING GRAND OPENING

When: Saturday, September 17th, noon until 6pm

Where: KNWN Mfg. Inc., 201-1201 Commercial Way, Squamish, BC, V8B 0V1 (same building as the climbing gym)

What: Open house. Come check out the new kid on the block, and ski and snowboard manufacturer right in your hood!

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