Demo Day

A “Work Trip” to Vermont

Working at a ski shop has a lot of perks. Discounted gear and lift tickets, is so nice. It really helped me progress in the sport these past 3 years.

Each February there's a demo day, well demo week for all the ski stores in Stratton, Vermont. The ski and snowboard salesmen go up to Vermont and test brand new gear for the upcoming season. It's all paid by the ski stores and it's a lot of fun, well that's what I heard at least.

It was my second season working at the store, and one of our snowboard guys couldn't go to demo day because he had an exam or something and couldn't afford to miss it. I heard a couple of my coworkers talking about me possibly going. I just started selling snowboards that season, so this was a big opprotunity for me to learn more about the gear.

It turned out I could go and I was shocked, and stoked. There was a total of 6 of us going and we all split for a condo right on the mountain. Everything else was paid by the store. A free little trip to Vermont, how cool?

We'd leave Monday morning, snowboard at Mount Snow and then Tuesday through Thursday we'd go to Stratton and ride new gear. Cool.

Monday wasn't anything exciting. We packed the car and the 4 of us drove to Mount Snow. The other 2 coworkers were already there.

Tuesday morning, we woke up super excited. This was the first demo day for 3 of us. Before the trip we all talked about what boards we'd ride or what bindings and what we expected.

There were tents set up all over. Every snowboard brand had their own tent and same thing with skis. It was overwhelming. There were also so many other employees from all sorts of other ski stores from the east coast. The good boards we're always taken so we would have to wait or just have good timing to grab the boards we really wanted.

The first board I took out wsa the Iguchi by Arbor with Rome Katana bindings. Amazing. That was probably the best setup I've ridden that week. Basically we would go up to any tent we wanted and hand them a card with our name on them for whatever we took out. We had a board card for the boards we wanted to take out, binding card for the bindings, and you know what I mean. You hand the rep your card and grab the board. Same thing with bindings. We also had I think 2 brands of boots we could try, but it wasn't worth it. Trying the right size, and breaking in boots is a lot of work. We focused on boards and bindings.

We'd go up the gondola and take like 2 or 3 runs with the setups we had and then go back to the tents and try out something else. It was awesome. You're basically making your dream setups and then riding them for a little.

We got back to the condo the first day and hoped straight into the hot tub and later the sauna. It was outside too. Quality time spent with my coworkers. Never thought that I'd hang out with my coworkers outside of work, because if you know me I'm not that kind of person. It waas nice though, something new, something different.

I remember riding the Neversummer Insta Gator with Pete and that board was awesome. Pete took out the Rome Powder division. Really pretty boards.

Second day we had a powder day. This couldn't have been any better. The new trend in snowboarding is that a lot of the companies are taking inspiration from surfing and making their snowboards some wacky shapes. It's snowsurfing. These snowboards are usually really wide in the front and have a fish tail in the back. They range in all sizes. The best part is that these boards are gorgeous. They just look so cool and original. The deeper the snow, the better they ride and we just have a powder day in front of us.

Pete and I took out the Jones Lonewolf and Storm Chaser. Jones is a newer, upcoming brand in snowboarding, but they make great boards. First time I rode a Jones and it was amazing. We kind of "forgot" about testing any other boards that day and rode those Jones boards most of the day. We found untouched trails and everything. Such a great experience. Of course we gave back the boards eventually and tried something else.

We got home that evening and hit the hot tub and sauna again. Great therapy after a long day of riding. We had another day of riding ahead of us tomorrow. We were gonna ride up until noon and then hit the road home since we all worked Friday.

So the last day was just a mess around day. We tried out boards that we usually have in stock at the store and more lower budget boards to help the average consumer. It was still fun. Then we came home and went to work Friday.

This whole Demo Day experience was really cool and I'm thankful I was able to go. The otther guys I went with had to wait 5 or so seasons to even be considered, but because of the circumstances, I had an opprotunity to go and took it. It was also cool hanging out with these guys outside of work, definitely a different vibe, especially since I was the youngest one there.I met so many cool people and learned so much about each company and each board. Wish I could go again.