Author Archives: rory

The ARENA Movie Premier

The Arena Movie Premier Poster

Friday, October 15 · 8:00pm

XTreme Sports Bar & Lounge – Grand Sierra Resort

Doors open at 8pm.

Movie is FREE for ALL AGES.

After party featuring MISTAH FAB & ROACH GIGGZ at 10pm, MUST BE 21.

$15 advance tickets available at ALL THREE ETERNAL BOARDSHOPS (Reno, Sparks, Spanish Springs), Porters Tahoe, and Beach Hut Deli in Reno.

$20 at the door.

The Arena Movie Premier Flyer Front

The Arena Movie Premier Flyer Back

A bit of history on Mervin Manufacturing – Lib Tech and Gnu

Some Mervin history and board building blah blah some dude wrote about Mervin for a Scandinavian Book:

They wanted it loose ‘Mervin style” and asked how a snowboard is made and for a bit of how Mervin got started.

How to make a good snowboard by Mervin Manufacturing.

There are many definitions of a good snowboard…every human is shaped differently, has different riding styles, muscle make-up/fitness, ideas on what should be done on a snowboard and how it should be done. We started the simplest way possible, we built boards for ourselves to ride. Mike is tall so he built long ones and am a little shorter so I built some that fit me. We built them ourselves so we wanted to use the safest non toxic resins and materials possible. We didn’t have any money, so we wanted to be as efficient with material usage as possible… no waste. We both grew up in the Northwest corner of the USA in the 70s during the first wave of environmentalism (solar, wind, electric power was big and the gas crisis hit, love canal and 3 mile island all made an impact on us). Skiing and mountaineering parents were also a factor, we wanted to use sustainable low environmental impact materials in the boards right from the beginning.

So back to making a good snowboard…you have to gather up all the materials…if you are doing it DIY this can be a bit difficult because a lot of the materials are not really for sale in small quantities or to consumers. Mike is really good at sourcing materials. He has a photographic memory and has the patience to spend weeks on the internet and phone comparing pricing, strength properties and safety data on endless different woods, fiberglasses, resins etc. If you can trick a supplier into thinking you are a big company you can often get samples for free…sometimes enough to last for years! Once we have nailed down the materials we think we want to use, ordering up some sample materials is a go…Mike tests all the resins, glass, and wood in house…sometimes what you read on the internet isn’t really what is going on. First hand testing is a must…you need to work on your recipe…how much of what glass you need with what thickness of woodcore and resin you want to have the right strength and flex properties…trial and error is usually the go here. You need to establish a starting point….build a board with the same recipe and change one variable at a time until you get the flex etc. right. Now you are ready to go…test it. Build, ride, refine, build, ride, refine, build, ride, refine…

• One highly skilled acton hero craftsman.
• One Banana “rocker between your feet”
• Two cambers located at each end of your board.
• One Beans Top sheet made from Bio-polymers and sublimated so you don’t need toxic clear coats that make
other boards shiny but cause cancer.
• Steel edges, tucked in and custom tempered at the tip and tail for flex
• UHMW Plastic tip and tail bumpers for light swing weight and excellent impact resistance. (Car bumpers are
plastic…steel is heavy…don’t ride a board with steel around the tips…you have a choice)
• Sintered base material sublimated so you can recycle the scraps (no epoxy inks)
• One vertically laminated wood core built with fast growing farmed eco timbers
• Rubber foil to keep the steel edges damp quiet and bonded.
• UHMW sidewalls…tough rugged fast and a Mervin first
• Stainless steel inserts…never pull out or rust.
• Basalt Fiber: tougher than kevlar, stronger than carbon and environmentally friendly. Made from volcanoes!
Lib Tech Skate Banana Wax made by One Ball Jay
• Handbuild Near Canada in the USA at Mervin MFG. The world’s most environmental snowboard company.

How Mervin was started.

Mike Olson built his first snowboard in 1977 in junior highschool shop class…he waxed it with as special wax he was gifted by a friend…turned out to be Klyster warm weather crosscountry ski wax and tried to slide…it didn’t work. So he thought snowboards didn’t work.

A few years later he tried again and this time he waxed right and realized he could surf and skate the snow.

As other boards began to show up at local resorts Mike realized his designs worked better than the board other companies were building. He thought maybe he was onto something.

Mike built boards in a garage under the name “DP Gravity Harness no Guarantee” and then “Gnu”.

Mike asked me to help him in 1984 and we both dropped out of college to build Gnus in a horse barn.

We built Gnus until 1988 when our distributor decided not to pay us and started Nitro snowboards instead…they asked us if wanted to join them…we decided it wasn’t for us. Our distributor left us $300,000.00 in debt and so we started Mervin Manufacturing named after our surfer friend and built boards under the name Lib Tech, our underground skateboard brand.

Every board had a skeleton graphic on it….this was when skeletons were dead and the skateboard world was all happy with brands like New Deal. We worked with the bank and payed all our suppliers extra for every material until we payed them back. We have been building boards as Mervin Manufacturing ever since…These days we are still pretty much the same as we were back then: a hands on board building shop. We have been a part of Quiksilver for about 12-13 years now and they have been really good to us through tough times in the industry and when things have been good. We have an incredible factory where we build all our own tools and presses, our crew is talented and experienced and we have access to all kinds of materials to make toys with and our favorite thing is to build things and go out and ride them. Skateboards, Surfboards, Snowboards and NAS. I think we make the world’s best skateboards, NAS, Snowboards and Mike is working on Surfboards that are pretty strong, environmental and incredible now…the surfboards should be coming out soon.

We have had some fun innovations over the past decade and it has been fun to be able to improve board sports and make things better for everyone. Magne-Traction serrated edges work great on the Snowboards and NAS.

Leading the way with rocker technology has been incredible…Banana Tech and C2 Banana Tech were fun projects to create. The surfboards are going to be awesome!

We have been able to work with some incredibly creative and great riders over the years: Jamie Lynn, Jacob Wilhemson, Travis Rice, Markku and Hampus, Eric Jackson, Sammy Luebke, Jesse Burtner, Danny Kass, Barrett Christy, Matt and Temple Cummins, Math Crepel, Zack Leach, Kaitlyn Ferrington, Torah Bright, Erin Comstock Blair Habenicht…etc. All these riders have helped us develop technologies and test their validity at the highest level of freeride, dork jib fun or competition. Now days our process is very refined and we have a huge base of knowledge to draw from when we design boards for other people’s needs from pros to first time riders.

Ride a Banana!

Eternal sponsored Auto-X driver took third in class Sunday’s web dude Rory (hey, that’s me :)) nabbed a third place in Novice class in the Reno Region season-ender SCCA Solo 2 auto cross event on Sunday. This was my second auto-x event ever, the first being Saturday.

It was a wet day, the course had standing water with a bit of sprinkling during the second run group in the morning (I was working the course during the first run group). The second run group also means the course was slick with tire “marbles”, making for limited traction for all. The Subarus were proving all wheel drive has its place in Solo competition all day long.

My ’07 WRX Wagon (that I’ve had for two and a half months) is bone stock suspension wise, with a set of 17×7.5″ wheels (.5″ wider than stock, negligible difference) and well-used 225/45 Bridgestone RE070 tires (original tire on Subaru STIs, awesome auto-x tires). The car received a “Stage 2″ engine treatment Thursday and Friday of last week – new Stage 2 Exedy clutch and ACT lightened flywheel, along with an Invidia V3 divorced downpipe and Blitz Nur Spec Touring exhuast (about as quiet as it gets for a full 3″ catback). A local shop also put a Stage 2 tune on the car, keeping it mellow as the car’s my driver, and while I wanted power, I wanted fuel economy and reliability more.

Anyway, My fourth run on the short wet-specific course was my best, nabbing a 42.6xx second time, about 3.5 seconds off the course best (also a Subaru wagon :)). About halfway into that run I started hearing a clunking out of the front suspension, so I backed off a little. I was ready to drop that time some on my fifth run (of six), but heading into the first corner the car was clunking, and after the second corner it was making a metal on metal scraping sound from the right-front. I backed off and limped the rest of the way around the course and parked the car, not making my last run.

Despite having some issues with the stock suspension, the car performed incredibly well given my lack of skill, and I’m quite happy with a third place finish. I’m fairly confident that I could have shaved some more time off, possibly putting me in a higher class rank, but that’s racing.

My results on Saturday were not nearly as good – my no-points best run put me in 11th, first being an Ariel-frickin-Atom (in Novice – wtf????), my points run was, well, no so good.

The 2011 season is right around the corner, and I’ll be ready. Dropping a new suspension package on the car soon, it will be entirely new (used, of course, I work at a snowboard shop after all), and ready to race. Adjustable struts and sway bars, uber stiff springs with probably too much drop, a healthy aggressive alignment, and much more.

Also hoping some of our motorsports oriented suppliers step in and help out with the funds, running every event of the season on a snowboard shop salary is gonna be tough.

Pics are… I don’t know. I didn’t get any, and not sure if anyone else did either :( I’ll post ‘em up if I can track any down.

Tahoe’s first real snow is here….

Not sure how long it’s gonna last, but the storms that have blown through in the last few days left some white stuff up on the mountains.

From Reno you can see the cap of Mount Rose is dusted – well, you could yesterday. There’s no visibility today with all the rain, clouds, fog, etc.

This is actually the second snow since the season ender last spring – we had a freak storm last month that left a dusting on Mount Rose that lasted a couple of hours. But, this one seems to be sticking around.

Anyone have any updates on mountains blowing snow? From the valley it doesn’t seem nearly cold enough for snow making, but we did hear a rumor that Boreal’s blowing as we speak.

Could this be another trick-or-treat shred fest year????

On another note – we posted a poll on the shop site – “What day-ish will Tahoe have first snow this year?”. Those of you that selected October 2 are full of win right about now :)

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