Matt and Pat from Rhythm Talk Shop (part 2)

Snowboarding started out as very DIY culture retrofitting ski equipment or building bindings out of bent sheet metal. How did you learn how to build a board?

Pat: I have a background in engineering and that always gives me that curiosity for figuring out how things are built and building stuff myself. So we got tired of being frustrated with other people’s gear and decided to do it ourselves.

Matt: Years ago I met this guys that used to build boards at the Burton Snowboards factory and I wanted a much wider stance on my board so he would drill holes and epoxy the base for me so I could have a custom stance. That ignited the idea and we love the sport and always wanted to do something snowboarding so when the time came we went for it.

 

So when did it become real that Rhythm snowboards could become a legit company?

 Pat: On our second year we started getting people giving us feedback and telling us they saw one of our boards out in Maine, or Tahoe or wherever and we started thinking ” if people really dig our product we are gonna keep making it.” It was that simple.

But with the growth and demand comes a different set of issues. Is there ever a temptation to outsource your product as opposed to what you do which is hand built in the USA?

Matt: we run this company very much as a business and being a entrepreneurs we obviously have to think about each and every way to meet demand, but for us the deciding factor has always been the feeling of knowing we built those boards. We are also realistic in that we will need some people to help build in the near future.

Pat: The only thing I would add to that is we love building. This has become a lifestyle for us and we don’t want to change that.

Matt: These are principals we built this company on and we are not willing to compromise on that

One thing we noticed on your site is your focus on building boards as sustainable as possible. Can you tell us a bit more about these green initiatives?

 Pat: We are hand built and that allows us to control the amount of waste that comes out of every board and we keep it to a minimum. We also compost all our wood. Our Uncle, a straight up Vermonter, comes down with a truck and picks up all the wood scraps and uses them for his compost pile. In the early stages we made a decision to go pneumatic so everything runs on air, and a nuclear power plant, that services this area generates the electricity. There are some wind turbines that are being built very close to us so as far as carbon footprint that is as good as it gets.

Matt: The emulsion that comes out of our grinder is biodegradable. Sustainable apparel and an emphasis on biodegradable materials in our process is the next step. We also recycle Rhythm boards and give the participants in the program a discount on their new purchase.

If you are conscious about the environment you buy local, and Rhythm certainly couldn’t get any more local to New England and MA in particular. What initiatives are you taking to support the local markets?

Pat: Whenever we have an event we are always looking to include and work with other brands from other board companies, material suppliers, travel agencies, etc. We are always looking to collaborate with others to grow stronger as a collective.

Matt: Yeah whether we are throwing a rail jam at a college like Umass, or other events in Boston we are constantly partnering with other companies. At the end of the day we are all aiming for the same goal why not grow together and help each other out? From local breweries, Bean snowboards, to Snowriders-a snowboard destination travel agency, we work with them all.

to be continued…

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