When I needed a new snowboard, I knew who to ask: My younger brother, a veritable expert on snowboard gadgets and gear—not to mention a phenomenal powder shredder. He responded with a cryptic text: Never summer.
What was he talking about?
I hit Google to do some quick research. Never Summer  is a local company with nearly 20 years of experience. All of Never Summer’s production is done in the United States (on Colorado Boulevard, to be precise). As I browsed their selection, I kept in mind my riding style. I don't do tricks, but I like to go fast. I don't discriminate when it comes to terrain, except, perhaps, if it's something that requires a T-bar ride to the top. As a women's freeride, all-mountain board, Never Summer’s Lotus ($459.99) seemed like a perfect, albeit pricey, fit.
I called Chris Harris, the marketing and promotions manager for the company, for more information. If the stats  (rideable in all snow conditions, quick turn initiation, high speed, and gnarly carving ability) of my soon-to-be new ride weren't enough to convince me to buy, what Harris told me definitely did. Brothers Tim and Tracey Canady started making snowboards in high school and sold them out of the trunk of their car. When the brothers were blown-off by other snowboard companies at a trade show a few years later, they started Never Summer (named after the Fort Collins mountain range). Harris says the brothers were determined to build a company where they would “never treat anybody like crap.
That explains why I couldn't just walk into a store and buy a new Lotus (the company is just barely keeping up with demand). I had to pre-order and pre-pay for my new toy weeks ago at Thrifty Stick . I still need new boots and bindings, but I have the main piece of my snowboarding gear ready to go. Bonus: Never Summer has developed two boards to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and benefit the armed forces. A local company that truly does good for the community? Now that is something I can get on board with.
Chris Harris' Five Favorite Places to Rip it in Colorado:
1. Any of the (snow)cat access at Monarch Mountain 
 2. The summer snowboard camp at Woodward at Copper Mountain 
 3. Chair eight at Loveland 
 4. Loveland Pass 
 5. Any of the aspen tree runs at Steamboat 
—Image courtesy of Nick McCririck