I checked out the Boston Ski and Snowboard Expo yesterday to stop by and see some good friends who run Bean Snowboards and of course to pick up some new boots and bindings on clearance. Bean Snowboards is the creation of four friends living in Boston who wanted to create an east coast centric brand of boards built for people who know what its like to ride on the east coast, where its often more e ice than snow. Combining the talents of 3 Northeastern mechanical engineers, a graphic designer and an ex manager of a snowboard shop, Bean started out two years ago as mostly a hobby but has turned into a pretty interesting small business.
Bean snowboards is releasing two boards this year along with a slew of awesome outerwear. This seasons boards are the Violator a buttery soft true twin designed for hiking the park all day, and the Commonwealth a direction twin with a strip of carbon fiber in the base that's got just enough stiffness to let it shred all mountain without sacrificing too much forgiveness in the park. I rode a 153 cm Violator last season it rode great in all conditions and survived endless torture in the park, thin covered glades, and the occasional urban session.
The boards may still be built in a cramped Allston garage but they have definitely refined their manufacturing process this year, its nice that for the first time in a long time you can buy a board built by the guy who you just dropped in behind you. Best of all every piece used to manufacture these boards is sourced from a US company, most of them based on the east coast. The tech is definitely up to par in the boards although if doesn't feature the ridiculous terms of the bigger manufactures. Sintered bases, poplar and maple cores, Ultra High M )olecular Weight Polyethylene (Really Strong Plastic) sidewalls and 100% biodegradable green wax (you know its safe for the earth because it smells like patchuli) are used on both models. Best of all no reverse camber mumbo-jumbo.
Check out a good article on Bean Snowboards in Boston's Pheonix newspaper