GST Snowboard Manufacturing is Closing, Does it Matter?

GST Factory Blanks

Should North American snowboard brands be manufacturing equipment oversees? Personally I think not, and am happy to announce that the GST (Global Sports Technologies) factory in Austria is closing!

OEM manufacturing agreements – duh it’s called outsourcing 101.. Rumor has it lots of shred brands were having trouble paying on time. Factories in China are now requiring upfront payment before boards are being produced.

North American Snowboards

Why not build boards in North America? A plethora of other companies found it easy to build boards stateside. Why is everyone else working overseas? Are they selling more units in Europe and Japan then North America?

Global Sports Technologies CEO Thomas Berger had this to say in response to the Elan Factory closing last year “the market has too many production facilities considering the volume [of sales]. There are brands fighting mainly for volume with cheap pricing, resulting in too many closeouts.

After many years of decreasing prices it is time to bring board prices back to a reasonable level. This is more healthy for everybody.” – yikes, and yet a year later GST is closing their doors after taking on all the Elan customers including DC, Stepchild, Flow, Niche, Drake, Jones, Yes, Rome, and APO.

GST Snowboard Factory

Jones – Hopefully this will correct production issues that were happening in the past “GST will be finishing Jones entire order of 15/16 line of boards before closing later this summer. Jones is already in the final stages of selecting a new partner/facility to produce the 2017 line and beyond. More deets to come when the decision is made”, according to Dax Klem who does PR for Jones Snowboards.

Niche – Is a Salt Lake City based company making boards in Austria? Anna Van Pelt from Niche mentioned “Luckily for us, we produced our 15/16 stuff really early this year, so all of our 15/16 boards have already been made. So, we’ll be fine and we’ve got a bit of time to figure out where we’re going to go for 2016/17! As far as our plans moving forward, we’re currently exploring all of our options, North America included. “ – this is great news!!

Flow, Stepchild, DC and Rome

Capita Mothership

“Inventory and close-out products are industry talking points every year and fulfilling high production quotas doesn’t align with CAPiTA’s strategy of build-to-order. We feel like we can help the overall health of the industry by reducing gross production capabilities and ending this era of the mega-factory.” – Blue Montgomery, Learn more about this cool new facility over at Transworld Business

SWS Snowboard Factory

Yes is making boards in Dubai at SWS as is Arbor… Will Jones follow suit? Jones went Nidecker then GST now what? If the quality is legit coming out of SWS that’s rad, but again why can’t these brands make boards stateside?

Even Gentemstick is outsourcing these days…

Gentem makes ½ of their boards in Japan and the other half in China aka the Snow Surfers (oh the Irony), this was sort of sad to hear. Actually this really sucks to hear.. Even the original custom shapers are finding out that snowboard manufacturing is a business and needs to be run as such, it’s all about the dollar or yen or Euro.. Hmm

And in Similar News
Union will be moving its production facilities from China to Italy! Now that we like!!

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About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief.

5 Comments on "GST Snowboard Manufacturing is Closing, Does it Matter?"

  1. luke skywalker | September 2, 2016 at 8:53 AM | Reply

    oh the irony of it…how does jones snowboards claim they are protecting our winters when they make snowboards in a country that is a one trick pony in terms of their industry? Making boards in a oountry that basically exports oil, which they claim is warming the environment and causing the world to warm is hypocritical at best…pretty classic…love it…ideology versus conviction

    • it ain’t just Jones making boards in the oil fields.. Sort of like Patagonia being 1% but making everything overseas too.

      Appreciate the comment


  2. Have you ever been to the quiet, sleepy town in Antiesenhofen, Austria? The town of roughly 1000 people who laid out skill and passion in the products they made? Have you ever spoken with anyone there … broken English to broken German – where facial expressions made up for more then what words were spoken? It was a hear breaking experience to see capitalism work it’s magic shattering the small town – trumped by communist China or monarchial Dubai.

    Cost, quality, or time … You can only pick a blend of those 3.

    It is shameful to relish in the closure of GST. Their products are world class and bring their users joy – a premium many of us were okay in paying.

    The loss of GST will be sorely felt. I wish the people of Antiesenhofen the best and thank all the workers at Global Sports Technologies for their dedication and hard work.

    Much love from Canada.

  3. so yay! for GST closing in europe but not BOO! for Capita opening in europe? seems legit

    • Mike Hardaker | March 26, 2015 at 7:37 PM | Reply

      Well “weaksause” nice email address by the way, way to keep it classy online! GST isn’t a snowboard company are they? Hmm so we have other people make our product for us? Sounds right..

      -Mike Hardaker

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