Island Workshop Part 2

Round One is Done

In our last story we explained the beginnings of what was to become the home of Island Snowboards. This time we'll walk through how we've made it work over the last couple of years and some insight into the upcoming changes going on right now.

Crispy autumn

The journey of Island Snowboards didn't begin in this building, but rather in a 20ft shipping container, converted to a prototype factory. It took a few years of testing, failures, re-testing and plenty of head scratching before the solid idea of Island Snowboards came to life. It was after these first few years that the first big leap into a larger workshop/factory space became a reality.

Prototyping in the container

Fast forward a couple years and the paint is barely dry in the new workshop. The door to our one insulated room went on just as the first snowflakes were falling. Literally. It took the better part of the summer to plan out what had to be done, make it happen and now the time had come to start building boards. We had a warm room to house the press and layup table, but the rest of the workflow outside that room was a series of makeshift spaces pieced together with rough ideas and sheer determination.

This tiny wood stove was all we had for warmth....just about useless.

That first winter was cold. With only a small wood stove to heat the entire open plan space, we really could only work in short stints before rushing back into the warmth of the press room to thaw out. Numb fingers and frozen feet don't go well with power tools. It was a season spent figuring out how best to use the new space, with the tools we had, to get a production process started.

Base grinding in winter
Stacked cores and soot stains from the old pizza oven
Fridge with a view

After a couple seasons of working out our operations and getting more orders, the time had come to seriously look at improving the working environment. No more frozen digits in winter or leaking roofs in the summer. It's all or nothing if we were to get the whole building watertight and warm. So with a couple seasons of production under our belt, the hammers and crowbars were dusted off and we began the second phase of the Island Snowboard workshop.