FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We build for riders and skiers and not shelves because, honestly, originally we dealt with about 3,000 rejections from retailers in the first two years of starting this company. That forced our hand, but today it's something we're super stoked about. The reason is, number one, it allows us to invest a lot more money in our raw materials and into better build practices. Secondly, it allows us to build on American soil and pay good American wages. Then, thirdly and perhaps most importantly, it allows us to build boards for homes, not for shelves.
Typically it can take up to three years from when a board is pressed to when it's in your hands. That means there's a lot of boards that actually never really make it into a home which leads to waste. Here we're able to reduce our footprint and deliver a better quality product directly to you in a more efficient manner.
The answer is yes, absolutely. We build for riders all around the world and deliver skis and boards directly to your doorstep. We've built for New Zealand, Australia, South America, all across Asia, all across Europe, just to name a few. Wherever you are, feel free to reach out if you have any more questions, but we would love to build your board and ship it directly to you.
As you likely know, we build snowboards and skis for riders and skiers themselves, and not for warehouse shelves. This means that during our busy season, we can get pretty back-ordered. Fortunately, we have a state of the art manufacturing facility, as well as some super talented folks, working pretty much around the clock, which means that even in our really busy season, you are most certainly going to get your skis or board within two weeks.
We designed the Gilson board to flex entirely between your feet and not at all in the nose and tail to give you complete control of your flex and eliminate chatter. This allows you to have a contact point on either side of the flexibility, allowing you to do more with your board.
Further, when you get up to high speeds, by having that contact point on either side of the flexibility, it means that even with our most flexible models, they're going to hold a totally solid line around a carve and be incredibly stable with absolutely no chatter at speed.
Yes, the Gilson board absolutely feels different from the standard snowboard. In the middle, because of the soft edge, you've got a super playful snowboard that allows you to make surfy and drifty maneuvers. Then once you engage your steel, it bites down and gives you that aggressive carve that you need. Your brakes are there, with no delay. As soon as you want to engage a carve, you've got your steel edge right there.
This gives you the best of both worlds: the super playful board in the middle, and an aggressive carver on the outside. If you're apprehensive about the new feeling, please check out our reviews on Facebook or Google, or come see us at a demo.
For some people there is an adjustment period to the Gilson design, but it's typically less than three runs. That first run, you're like, "Whoa, what is this new feeling?" By the second run, your muscles are starting to click and adjust, and by the third run, it totally clicks, opens doors, and expands your horizons. If you are a beginner learning the sport, this will accelerate your progression and allow you to learn in a more forgiving and intuitive manner. If you're an expert, this will expand horizons and increase your potential, giving you way more forgiving landings, take offs, and way more forgiving slides on boxes. Regardless of your ride style, you'll be able to adjust to the soft edge in less than three runs and expand your potential.
All Gilson boards and skis are built with a high grade sintered P-tex as the base material, which means that you have a highly durable base. If however, you do get a scratch in your base, you can backfill it with a P-tex candle just like a normal snowboard, and run it over a base sander for the flat areas if it's on the runner or the butter pad. If in the unlikely even you happen to get a scratch through one of the contours, the soft edge or the pow channel, you can backfill that contour with the same P-tex candle. Then use wet sand paper to sand down to the contour.
At Gilson, we are actually based in the Northeast, and although we love to ride out west and all around the world, we definitely make sure our boards dominate in the East Coast ice and hard pack. That steel edge is lifted up, and so there are two different techniques that you can use to deal with ice. Firstly, once you engage your steel, you've got a steep angle of attack and a really strong bite and a super sharp steel edge that you never need to dull, which means that if you're going to be carving over icy patches, you're going to be better equipped with a Gilson board.
Secondly, totally new to this sport is that you can actually ride flat and fly both of your steel edges, which means that you're not leaning and you're not touching steel to snow. This means that you've got no forces causing you to slip out, so if you see a big patch of ice coming, you can actually flatten out, basically ride flat and butter across it, and then engage your steel on the other side, giving you a new strategy to deal with those swimming-pool-size ice chunks.
No, the pow channel is not just for powder. It actually enhances the board's performance on the groomers and hard pack, too. The pow channel here allows you to plane up on these runners and break contact in the middle in the hard pack, giving you a board that's really designed to have the right amount of surface area for a groomer.
When you hit powder, however, your board will sink in and make contact across the middle, increasing your surface area, kind of like switching to fat powder skis or putting on snow shoes. It drives up your surface area to give you more float in that light snow.
So, the pow channel is not just for powder. It allows you to have a board that's higher performing, both on the hard pack and in the pow, but I will say that when you are riding this board at top speed in the powder, you definitely feel the benefits of having that three dimensional shape.
The Fly is definitely our most unique design and it is meant for deep powder, although it will do well on the groomers on the way to that pow. If you look at the nose, we have a huge amount of surface area from the nose and a set back stance, allowing your nose to be super-floaty and never nose in. As you lean in to pow, it will actually flex and push you right back up, causing your nose to always stay up above the powder. If you look at the tail, we've got the opposite effect going on here. The tail actually has surface area removed, causing it to sink, instead of float. So the two of those effects together are going to allow your nose to rise and your tail to sink - basically, creating a rocket ship for those deep pow days.
The nose of our park board is flat to give you the benefits of a longer board with the benefits of a shorter board. Imagine that this board's nose was curved like a normal all-mountain snowboard. That would give you three centimeters in the nose and three centimeters in the tail that don't typically touch the snow. Blunting this board, we can give you a board that will, as a 149, will carve like a 155. It'll float like a 155; it'll support you like a 155, but it's going to measure and spin like a 149.
We very much believe that you should be able to test out our boards and skis before you invest. For this reason we travel 17,000 miles every winter on an epic national party to all of our partner mountains to put on completely free demos. We never have any sales people or any boards and skis for sale. We're literally just there to meet you, hang out and take some turns. Hope to see you out there!Current Demo Tour Schedule
As you know, we design all of our snowboards and skis with fluid dynamics in mind. This has presented a couple of new skills that tuners need to learn, but the good news is that any tuner worth their chops has been able to tune our boards anywhere in the world totally beautifully.
So the first step is to sand the outside edge on an edger. The second step is to sand the base of your snowboard (on a base sanding machine) with hand pressure. The third step is to tune your edge and sand the soft edge with your belt overhanging on the base sander. The fourth step is to remove any fuzz from sanding with a Scotchbrite belt and hand pressure.
Once you're done with these steps, your board is ready for waxing.
If you're waxing by hand it does take a little bit more love - or as Danny Jones likes to say, "One extra beer." If you're using a machine it's exactly the same. You're going to take your board, you're going to run it over the hot roller and then you're going to run it over the buffer after you apply that wax to remove any excess. If you see any wax buildup on your soft edge or in your pow channel use a scraper to remove it or a Brillo pad to take off that excess wax.