It’s that time again, time for the Skis.com brand of the month! You may have seen some of our past choices for brand of the month such as 686 and 5th Element. But this month we’ve chosen a brand that’s dear to our hearts here at Skis.com, Marhar Snowboards. For those of you not familiar with Marhar, they’re a snowboard brand that is based out of Michigan, our home state! So not only is Marhar a Michigan company, they also manufacture and produce their boards here in the USA. So let’s take some time to give a little love to this all American and Michigander snowboard company.
History of the Brand
Marhar is a newer brand to the snowboard scene. The company was founded in 2009 by two long time friends, Nathan Morse and Josh Skiles. Nathan, who has a background in product development, came home from work one day and decided that the industry he was previously working in was not for him. So he went to Josh and said, “Let’s start a snowboard company”. After that conversation, they both quit their jobs and dove in head first, building the company from the ground up with their own two hands. As you can imagine, this was not an easy undertaking. The early days came with hurdle after hurdle and road-block after road-block. Their dedication, passion, and support from their families got them through all the aforementioned challenges that they came across.
The beginning consisted of the two of them handling all facets of running the company, from actually building the boards themselves to all the customer service and accounting pieces that are involved with running a business. Marhar’s original facilities consisted of a garage and a basement in a rental house, like how any good ski and snowboard company starts. The brand was built with an abundance of help from both families and the name Marhar is a tribute to Nathan’s mom, who referred to her children as “Marhars”. All aspects of Marhar’s business was and still is done in house right here in Michigan. This is obviously a major point of pride for the brand and a fact that brings us here at Skis.com a lot of joy and pride!
Passion for the Sport
Here is an excerpt from Marhar’s story on their Facebook page, “Snowboarding is about community, friends, adventures, experiences and the freedom to simply have fun. On the snow-covered mountains, hills, streets, parks or anywhere else you can shred, there is adrenaline, emotion and excitement that follows making rider progression endless. Whether you’re old, young or new to snowboarding, you can always learn a new skill; no matter the simplicity or difficulty it gives you that ‘hyped’ feeling. In other words, snowboarding is fun! We encourage you to get out and enjoy the snow!” Marhar eats, sleeps, and breathes snowboarding. It is companies like this that breathe new life into the industry and help push it to continue to grow. The brand was built by snowboarders, two guys that have a passion to make the best boards possible. They want that passion to come through in all aspects of their products, even the brand’s tagline “We Build Fun. We Ride Fun” shows their passion and love for the sport.
While Marhar doesn’t have the same quantity of models in their lineup as some of the larger companies in the industry, they have grown their product line to include boards for every type of rider on the mountain. Just like the snowboard industry, Marhar’s product line continues to evolve and expand in order to keep up with where the industry is going.
The 2017/2018 line includes 6 men’s models, 3 women’s models, and even a kid’s board. The line provides boards from easy riding all mountain boards, like the Archaic, to big mountain powder boards, like the Woodsman. A couple of the highlights are the Half Breed and the Katana. The Half Breed is a high-end men’s park freestyle board that still offers all mountain versatility. The Half Breed has zero camber and sideways rocker, the zero camber provides consistent flex, stability, and pop, while the sideways rocker provides a surfy feel with lots of float and an extremely playful ride. The Katana is a women’s all mountain freestyle board. It combines the versatility and responsiveness you need in an all mountain board with the playfulness of a freestyle park board. The Katana is flat through the middle of the board and is rockered at the tip and the tail, giving the board great edge hold while making it incredibly easy to enter and exit turns.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re going to say “yeah but they are in Michigan, what do those guys know about the snowboard industry?” Well let me tell you, we know more than you give us credit for. The Midwest doesn’t always get the same love in ski and snowboard circles as regions like the West Coast, the Rockies, or even the East Coast. But, Michigan has the second most ski resorts out of all the states in the U.S. So, it stands to reason that we would and should have brands right here making quality products for all to enjoy.
There’s a reason all the big brands in the industry are big, but they all had to start somewhere and they needed our support to grow into what they are now. Marhar is one of the many smaller “niche” brands on the market. Their passion and dedication for the sport of snowboarding comes through in everything they do and every product they make. It’s brands like this that will continue to grow the sport we all love so much. Just like the craft beer industry that we all go out and support, this is another local guy that is doing things a little bit differently and is changing the game for the better. Marhar is our local guy in the snowboarding world, and they are changing the game and are putting out an incredible product that is hand-crafted and hand built locally.
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