It’s called the Powdersurfer.
It’s the latest stand-out innovation in the snow industry and has caught the attention of many surfers, skateboarders and snowboarders worldwide.
And it’s made right here in Logan, Utah.
The progressive new product is a balanced blend of skateboard and snowboard construction, along with shapes similar to surfboard designs. This hybrid board, made for surfing mountains, has no bindings or handheld rope. The pressed wooden deck simply has a foam grip-pad on the top-sheet of the deck and a metal ring for a leash.
Grassroots Powdersurf Company started with Craig Stevenson, Brock Bitton, Jarvis Parry and owner Jeremy Jensen, making and selling skateboards in the summer of 2000.
The four friends with a love of standing sideways, whether on wheels, snow or waves, have been getting international interest in their new project, spearheaded by Jensen.
Grassroots has developed nearly 40 different shapes over the past three years. But so far, only three Powdersurf models have made it past the prototype stage and are available for purchase, with prices ranging from $299 to $379.
“I just wanted to create something new, that no one was doing and had room to progress. Once you take the bindings off something like a snowboard, the possibilities are endless,” Jensen said. “Just like skateboarding, you can skate on the front sidewalk or you can skate parks and mega ramps.”
Ben Pellegrino, Owner of Milosport board shop in Orem, Utah, has been instrumental in helping Jensen get the product on the shelves. And is working to educate his customers about the innovative concept.
“We are trying to get people to understand what it’s all about. We got a demo board to up-and-coming rider, Scott Stevens to play with when he rides in the backcountry,” Pellegrino said.
“It’s the closest thing to surfing that I have felt by far. You use your back foot turn the board, the tail is like your rudder and makes turning possible in deep snow. Whereas snowboarding, you pivot around your front foot and your back foot is not doing as much,” Stevenson said.
The idea started in 1999, when Grassroots owner Jeremy Jensen removed the bindings off his snowboard and added stomp pads for grip. Evolution of binding-less boards lead to cutting down old snowboards and adding foam pads. Grassroots member Brock Bitton created the first handmade Powdersurfer, using cinderblocks and books, to create the board shape.
Bitton’s board was the first of many steps Grassroots has taken in the last few years. Since that first design, the crew has been learning how difficult it can be to pioneer a new product. With their boards trailblazing the niche industry they “don’t have a standard of how the boards should be,” Stevenson said.
“Sometimes you will design a board, go up to the mountain and you’ll just think ‘man this isn’t working, back to the drawing board,’ then on the other hand it can be awesome and we try to see what we can take from it,” Stevenson said. “It’s hard to translate ideas of how you think it should work, to actual board feel. It has been a lot of trial and error.”
For the Grassroots crew, “it’s do or die time,” Jensen said about getting their Powdersurfers marketed and produced.
“I’m sure the big companies will latch on and they have money and resources to do it. Hopefully people will recognize who was there first and who created it, that’s really all I can hope for,” Jensen said.
“I don’t see it happening,” Pellegrino said. “I think it is such a niche market, that it won’t draw enough attention from the big companies but if it does, it will be better for him because he was the first one to do it.”
Powdersurfers can be found at Directive board shop, in Logan, Milosport in Orem and online at “http://www.powsurf.com”http://www.powsurf.com.
By Josh Ruggles. Kelsie Mason contributed to this article. Photo and video courtesy of: Jeremy Jensen Media.