On the Hill with Smokin' Snowboards

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SPARKS, NV -- If you're thinking about buying your loved one a snowboard this holiday season, you might want to shop local. A snowboard produced in Sparks was recently rated as one of the best in the business by three industry magazines.

For the most part it looks like any other snowboard: 156 centimeters with some flashy graphics on top, but the technology behind Smokin' Snowboards is anything but ordinary.

"It rides a lot more stable than anything else in the past," said Jay Quintin, whose life mission is to perfect snowboarding. He started Smokin' 20 years ago in his Lake Tahoe basement.

"The technology in the past 10 years has really changed," said Quintin.

What happens on the mountain starts right here in town; Smokin' Snowboards has been producing boards in Sparks for 5 years.

"We start from raw materials, from raw lumber and raw unaltered materials, to a finished product all in this factory," said Ryan VanDuyn, spokesman for Smokin' Snowboards.

The boards are hand-made from start to finish. Workers shape drill, press, and grind them into perfection.

"We're physically in contact with the entire board building process with our hands. Which is what makes us able to control the quality a lot better," said VanDuyn.

The quality and technology seem to be a winning combination. This year, Smokin's 'Awesometrical' board was named one of the best boards around by three snowboard magazines.

"I think that these awards are definitely going to bring us over the top," said Quintin.

Moving forward, Quintin hopes to grow the business to double what is today but he says he'll keep it local and he'll keep improving the technology.

Smokin' Snowboards start at $500. They are available at several stores in the region including Bo-Bo's, Tahoe Dave's and Eternal Snowboards.