Oregon is firmly established as a skiers and snowboarders paradise, with 13 ski areas across the state and the frosty peaks of the Cascade Range always within view. It should come as no surprise that Oregon is also home to a number of ski and snowboard companies. The offerings range from skis and snowboards to outerwear and accessories. These brands make products that are inspired by and built to excel in the uniquely Northwest snow and weather conditions brought by the Cascades.
Not only do these brands support the livelihoods of Oregonians, they’re integral to fostering our ski and snowboard culture by sponsoring and promoting local athletes and some of the great winter events we all enjoy. Learn more about these Oregon-born and -bred winter brands that you can support below.
Skis and Snowboards
SnoPlanks started in 2012 with co-founder James Nicol building a custom snowboard for himself. Now the brand has a complete in-house production facility and a line of six unique snowboards and four skis. Their ski and snowboard shapes reflect the surfy terrain features at nearby Mt. Bachelor and in the neighboring backcountry. As a small builder, the brand takes chances trying out unconventional shapes, some that even utilize a “hybrid edge” in lieu of metal edges. These ones are just for powder, which fortunately, we have plenty of in Bend.
The facility is just miles from the Three Sisters Wilderness outside of Bend, allowing the brand to test all of the skis and snowboards locally. The SnoPlanks look is distinctive featuring solid wood topsheets across the line, which makes for beautiful boards, but also lends different flex patterns to the shapes. SnoPlanks uses a variety of woods, including Oregon pine on the new Relativity Twin, which adds a splash of Oregon flair. SnoPlanks is also answering the call for backcountry-access snowboards with a new splitboard design available for winter 2020.
ON3P (pronounced oh-ehn-three-pea) was founded by Scott Andrus. In 2009 he started hand-building skis in Portland. In the 11 years since, the business has grown from a 2,400 square-foot factory into the now 8,400 square-foot factory in northeast Portland. ON3P employs a crew of skiers to build each and every pair of ON3P skis from start to finish. They also sponsor a robust crew of skiers, from Olympic athletes to X Games competitors locally and worldwide.
The brand is well established in the ski industry, earning Skier’s Choice callout the Powder Magazine Buyer’s Guide. For the 2020/21 season, ON3P is offering eleven distinct models of skis in freeride, touring, women’s, park, freestyle, and youth categories. The brand also has the ability to make custom skis with turnaround time at just about three weeks. Some of the customizations available include base graphics, sidewall color, core layup, ski stiffness, and adding a park detune or skin clip tail. New this year is a touring ski with a new lighter-weight profile.
ON3P sells direct to consumers through the ON3P website, as well as through stores worldwide and online at EVO.
Deviation stands out in the world of ski manufacturers for its completely custom model. Officially relaunched in 2014, this small Portland-based manufacturer sources local lumber, including purple heart, ash, and poplar, to create one-of-a-kind high-performance skis and snowboards. Customers are able to select everything from the model, size, flex, topsheet and base, with the ability to add a custom graphic. Deviation also offers lines of “Ready Made” skis and snowboards which includes park, freeride, women’s and youth models, plus a noteworthy touring splitboard. All are available for purchase online.
This winter marks the launch of Season Eqpt., a brand-new ski and snowboard equipment company. The project is the brainchild of Bend-based pro snowboarder Austin Smith and Hood River-Based pro skier Eric Pollard. Season Eqpt. offers skis and snowboards in three models each, all in the same blacked out graphic and base which carries over from season to season. The idea is to disrupt the annual buying cycle by creating something timeless, that doesn’t need to be replaced every season. The brand adds to the longevity goal through a partnership with the retailer EVO, which has a storefront on MLK in downtown Portland, to offer a service package that includes unlimited waxing and an annual tune.
Outerwear and Accessories
TREW is an outdoor apparel company born in Hood River and now based in Portland. TREW started in 2008 with one model — a snow bib designed to stand up to the varying weather and demands of the Pacific Northwest. The brand expanded from there to make a full line of apparel for backcountry skiing and snowboarding including pants, jackets and bibs in the brand’s signature bright colors with lots of pockets. The brand has a unique sales model with a focus on online sales, with a major exception being the beautiful storefront in downtown Portland. TREW is so confident in its outerwear that the brand offers repairs and replacements for the lifecycle of the garment.
The Airblaster outerwear and base layer brand was founded by professional and dedicated snowboarders in the early 2000s at the Mt. Hood summer snowboard camps. The focus on fun at Airblaster comes across in both the apparel and the marketing. One of the most enduring and popular offerings is the one-piece Ninja suit base layer. Those looking for extra warmth can splurge on the merino wool Ninja suit.
The brand also has complete lines of men’s, women’s and youth outerwear. The Beast Suit is a new one-piece outerwear kit that is seemingly the final answer in weatherproof protection. Fun fact: The brand also makes some epic holiday sweaters. You can find Airblaster at retailers across Oregon.
Crab Grab is a glove and accessories company born and bred in Bend. The brand launched in 2010 offering snowboard traction, which continues to be a top seller as way for snowboarders to personalize their boards, to add foot traction, and a handhold for grabbing their boards in the air. The next logical step was grippy mitts. Crab Grab founder Preston Strout says, “Crab Grab mitts are designed and tested in the cold, wet, snowy conditions in Oregon.” They dub their mitts Northwest-Proof. With that said, the brand carries 10 distinct models that are made to perform in all winter conditions.
The CiloGear factory in Portland is where 100% of the backpacks are made. The brand originally established itself with super-versatile alpine backpacks, and more recently introduced a line of ski packs ranging in size from 26- to a hefty 45-liters. These packs are targeted at backcountry users with dedicated storage for avalanche safety gear and ascent gear. The ski packs come in sizes from small to large and are sized for men or women. CiloGear packs are available direct through the website and through select retailers.