The Youth Shelter Supply’s annual Snowboard Swap sale was the biggest the shop has seen in the last five to six years, co-owner Mike Pettit said.
“People seem to be excited for the season,” Pettit said. He attributed part of the upswing in business to the economy, but said the boarding industry has also come a long way too.
The sale sees a lot of first-timers, Pettit said. It’s people who have never been on a board before or young children who are just starting out. Occasionally, he said, board collectors will come through, scoping out rarities that cycle through the shop. Mixed in with the used Snowboard Swap gear, the Youth Shelter Supply put out discounted merchandise.
People will buy gear just for the season, Pettit explained. The merchandise often comes from the younger riders who have outgrown their clothes, boots or other gear from the season before and are looking to get fitted from the upcoming season.
The first sale went on the first weekend of October and picked back up over the weekend, going Friday to Sunday, right next door to the shop in the vacant space.
The week before the sale, people bring their old gear into the shop. From there, people pick a selling price; Pettit said people at the shop suggest prices. Lastly, it’s deciding how to collect the earnings. If the gear sells, the people whose gear sold have a choice between in-store credit or cash. If they opt for cash, the sale comes with a 30 percent commission fee to the shop. Pettit said people often choose in-store credit.
Walking into the vacant space Saturday afternoon, customers saw boards stacked, boots lining the wall, goggles and more. Pettit helped customers as they came in, pointing them in the right direction or giving specs on the gear.
Standing near the entrance was St. Cloud State student Kale Daniel, who is working to start a ski and snowboard club on campus. Saturday afternoon, Daniel spent time at Youth Shelter Supply to inform people about the club and get them excited for the coming ski and snowboard season.
“The sooner we get people to find out about it, the happier people will be,” said Daniel, talking about the club.
Daniel used to run the Ultimate Frisbee Club, he said. With a passion for snowboarding and backing from the Youth Shelter Supply, Daniel thought it was a “no-brainer” to start a ski and snowboard club. To make the club official, though, Daniel said he’s still looking for officers to join the club’s board.
The club has two sponsors, including the Youth Shelter Supply and Outdoor Endeavors, and Daniel said he’s also working with a few more local businesses on potentially sponsoring the club.
Daniel and Pettit explained that the club is meant to get people riding. Daniel said skiing and snowboarding doesn’t always have to be at Powder Ridge either. He explained that there are nearby spots that would make getting out easy for students. He talked about nearby parks, like Hester and Riverside, along with a few on-campus spots for mellow, urban riding.
“College kids have a lot going on,” Pettit said, explaining that it was difficult to get the word out about the bus trip to Powder Ridge last year, which was organized by Outdoor Endeavors and the Youth Shelter Supply. What college students might need, he said, is something a bit closer and accessible like the ski and snowboard club.
During the upcoming boarding season, Pettit and Daniel said it’s unlikely they’ll organize a bus trip from campus to Powder Ridge Winter Recreation Area, but plan to give people other options.
In the future, the club might organize similar trips to the one put on last year, but speaking long term, Pettit talked about organizing trips out west or over spring break. But, trips like that are still in the works.
In case people are looking to take a trip, though, Daniel said he plans to use the club’s Facebook page to help organize carpools or other means of transportation to help get people boarding.
This article originally appeared in the University Chronicle on November 9, 2016.