Matt and Pat from Rhythm Talk Shop (part 1)
by Carlos & Hanna
When we think about the snowboard industry we still have this idealized image of an underground, rebellious DIY culture. As snowboarding has grown as a sport and an industry that has certainly changed to some extent. But even as a large portion of the industry gravitates towards mass produced snowboards, there is a growing movement towards bringing production and ownership of snowboard manufacturing back to the people who ride them. Companies like Never Summer, Gnu, and Signal have all been at the forefront of this movement, but they also all happen to be located out West. We wanted to find someone more local to have a beer with and talk shop. Our search didn’t take us far since our home mountain of Sugarbush Resort is also the birthplace of a company that is pressing some well designed decks. Rhythm Snowboards is a company started by brothers Pat and Matt Griffin and it embodies the handbuilt culture and the essence of snowboarding’s DIY values. We met up with them at their Plymouth, MA production facility to get the skinny on the state of our sport and industry but we came out with much more. We came to realize that these two guys are true New England boys filled with energy and passion for the shred. They pride themselves on growing a business based on a totally hand built platform and their combination of talents is the engine that drives their success and growth.
Pat is an engineer and Pow junkie. He is the guy that can talk about cores, fiberglass, and epoxies for days. Matt is the artistic vision and marketing brain behind the company. He has an eye for design and also seems to know just about everybody in the snowboard industry. In Rhythm’s first year he simply walked around SIA in Vegas with a board under his arm and struck up a conversation with everyone in his path. But don’t get it twisted, these guys love to ride and any chance they get to go sideways they’re on. Their number one goal is to get people on snow to try out their boards.
The Griffins were extremely welcoming when we came to visit and in a matter of minutes we felt like we were part of their crew. That is what snowboarding is all about right? Check out our series of interviews with them and meet Rhythm.
Where did you guys grow up?
Pat:We grew up here in Plymouth, MA but as soon as the snow started falling our parents drove us up to Vermont every weekend.
Matt: Yeah we have been all over northern New England chasing snow all our lives. I used to ski and skateboard and one day I tried snowboarding and just fell in love with it. I was around 12 years old.
What did the parents have to say about the switch?
Matt: They were down man. They are die hard skiers, my dad is a killer bump skier and takes us down them all the time as joke but it was never funny. They always say snowboarders get such a bad rap and some skiers have worst attitudes. My Mom says: “I’ll be riding the lift with snowboarders and they are so polite.”
First Shred experience?
Shred pref : Park or Pow?
How do you end up at Sugarbush?
Matt: Both our parents went to Norwich and we are fortunate to have great friends that live in Barre, VT so they always had a thing for Sugarbush and then I started working there when I was 20. Once you get hooked its hard to go anywhere else. You guys know what its like? You get cliffs, trees, park. You get everything!
Pat: We are always bringing people over to ride with us and its very common for them to be like: ” I have been here before but I don’t remember it being this good” . It helps that we take them to our secret stashes you know.