Right outside of Denver, Colorado. Nightmare Snowboards.
Meet Joe Suta, co-founder of Nightmare Development…
and Tom Schneider.
A couple of years ago, Joe and Tom collaborated their mutual industry experience, smarts, and love of snowboarding and its culture, into a true DIY project called Nightmare. They literally started a snowboard factory on their own, without any prior know-how, financial backing, or resources. You can read more about their company ethos here on their site, but the idea was to stay pure and authentic to the people, to fight back against what the corporate snow and skate industry had mutated into, and do it all themselves.
Joe shows off a custom Nightmare snowboard with their trademark shapes that are reminiscent of vintage ’90s-era sticks.
This is one that his wife worked on.
and an original Sims board which started it all; the very first model, in-fact.
To give you an impression of Nightmare’s philosophy, this is their very first print advertisement in a magazine:
Here, inside a clubhouse of sorts – I liken it to NeverNeverLand – Joe and Tom constructed a virtual field of dreams for an organic, independent snowboard company. They scoured storage graves for ancient machinery, retrofitted industrial contraptions to pump out boards, and figured out the entire process themselves, without the aid of any advisers or guidelines.
Today I’m making my own customized Nightmare snowboard for The Hundreds. You can visit their website and build your own board with a Nightmare graphic, but to make a completely custom ride, you gotta step foot in the factory doors. This graphic – a collage of some of our greatest hits – is printed out on paper…
… and then sublimated for the snowboard’s topcoat. Even this wasn’t meant to be a sublimation machine, but the guys hacked it apart to act as such.
We let it sit for 5 minutes at 380 degrees…
and out comes a fresh layer to be sealed into the snowboard’s top.
Next, Joe takes us into the actual pressing machines, where the snowboards are shaped and cambered and concaved.
In the back of the shop, they actually cut the wood, which comes from their mill right outside the town.
Tom takes me through the process of implementing the sidewalls.
The process is lengthy, painstakingly handcrafted, and precise. For hours upon hours, they pour themselves into their work, having fun, learning more and improving during the operation. Tom admits that in 6 months, the process might be entirely different, as they are figuring this all out along the way.
Nightmare is not just a snowboard company, it’s a lifestyle. Fueled by the attitude and mentality of a local neighborhood skateshop, the warehouse and factory is a haven for local snowboarders and skaters who are alienated by the mall-streamed path of action sports, instead finding solace within the walls of this Lost Boys’ world.
And this is Tonka.