Play Hard-Work Hard. Employee Perk: Building their own boards


This is part 1 of a four part series, highlighting the “perk” of working at Marhar Snowboards:being able to design, and create your own snowboard. 

There are a lot of different steps in manufacturing a snowboard, from the design, to the graphics, to the sublimation, to the routing, to the sanding, to the pressing, to the tuning, to the drilling, etc, etc, etc, the list goes on.

Snowboard building sidewall glue side walls for snowboard                                                                           

One of the challenges we face is helping everyone work collectively as a team to make the next step in the manufacturing process more efficient. We all make mistakes, machines break down, people are sick, so about a year ago we got the idea to let the staff build their own personal boards every year, start to finish.

We let them use any and all materials that are at their disposal, or they can order different wood species to try in their core, and they can change shapes, flexes, and basically be as creative as they want.  

cad for snowboard

I’m a big believer in hands on teaching, and when we say we let them build their own boards, they have to do every step. Now each employee has their own specialty station at Marhar, so it is a lot of fun to watch them all work together to help each other though some of the pain staking tasks in the board building process (mostly the edge bending, I have a special place in my heart for those guys.) But the bigger picture of having them build their own boards is to help them understand and appreciate the other processes, and their co-workers.  Each step is unique, and they begin to see and have the epiphany “oh that’s why we do that.”

I remember the first time I rode a board that I built. Now I’m married and have kids, so I don’t want to discredit those events in my life, but building and riding the first board I ever built was the proudest I had ever felt and I wanted to make sure our staff can share in that euphoria.   

It’s a great experience for our staff, and something that can all appreciate and will remember for the rest of their lives.   What Perks do you get at your place of employment? Or what perks do you give your employees access to?


If you are interested in Designing Your Own Board (DYOB) please e-mail, or call 616-432-3104


  • Dan Partenio

    Really cool idea! Teaching empathy, teamwork, cooperation, ownership, pride. The valuable lessons from this could go on and on. Great vision from locals, making it happen!

  • Kelsie

    hey folks,
    i have a couple questions;

    1) where are you located?
    2) are you hiring? (i’m not to set on any specific job, I’m always down for whatever! although, graphic design is my forte…)
    3) i requested and sent in a ‘design your own board’ application, last year around this time, i believe. unfortunately no one ever responded to me. just curious about doing that again?

    thanks so much, hope to hear from you guys… soon-ish!!!

    -lots of love from your
    hippy chick friend, *kelsie-

Leave a comment