Buy A Brick, Build A Park

Help build the Alix Rice Memorial Peace Park by purchasing a personalized brick with your name or business name on it! The park will have a 4 foot retaining wall, which will display 2,000 personalized memorial bricks detailing all the individuals and businesses that have contributed to the construction of the park.

For the Sponsor and Donation Response form, please click here to download the donation form. Please return the completed form to the Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation with payment and filled out information.

We cannot wait to finally break ground for the building of the park and provide a west coast-style skatepark to the Western New York area.

Bricks can be purchased at the shop which is located at 2889 Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda, NY. For more information on the Alix Rice Peace Park and purchasing a donation brick, please call the shop at 716-837-8743.

 

Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark Fundraiser

On Sunday, March 26th, there will be an Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark Fundraiser at the Main-Transit Firehall in Williamsville. The Fundraiser will offer a Chinese Auction, Silent Auction, 50/50 Raffle, Food, Music and Door Prizes. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in the shop with CASH only or online with Credit/Debit card.

To purchase tickets online, head to alixricefundraiser.splashthat.com.

This fundraiser will help maintain the Alix Rice Skatepark and keep it skateable all year long….kidding, that’s impossible. We live in Buffalo, it snows here so let’s temper expectations. It will be skateable at least 8 months out of the year. 9 months if you decide to brave the elements.

Do your part and contribute to the skatepark you’ll be hucking yourself around in. See you all on March 26th. Call the shop for details. 716-837-8743.

Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark Fundraiser Details:

March 26th, 1 – 5 PM
$20 Admission
Main-Transit Fire Hall
6777 Main St, Williamsville, NY 14221

Alix Rice Skatepark Fundraiser

 

Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark Will Be Built July

Yes, you read that correctly. After years of litigation, exhausting all resources, and some honest blood, sweat, and tears, the Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark will begin construction in April or May.

The final design of the park will be presented at an Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark Fundraiser on March 26th over at the Main-Transit Firehall.

We are beyond excited to finally have the Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark built. The location of the park will be right next to the Northtown Center in Amherst, across from UB’s North Campus on Millersport Highway. The park will be a great addition to the number of outdoor FREE skateparks that have been and are being built in Buffalo.

The Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark will feature two bowls and a street section. It’ll be the first skatepark that will offer a West Coast construction to it.

The Buffalo News offered a great write up on the park and how it finally came to fruition. Click here to check it out.

Below is a rendering of the Alix Rice Memorial Skatepark. It’s not the final design but it’s a pretty solid idea of what will be built.

 

Alix Rice Peace Skatepark in Buffalo

 

 

Phatman Goes to Jackson Hole

Low and behold, some of the Phatman crew actually left Buffalo and headed out west to the great state of Wyoming. More specifically, to the snow and Coors Original-filled town of Jackson Hole. Ever heard of it? You may.  Some of the steepest vertical in the country, home to the Original Cowboy Bar and Teton Gravity Research…probably one of the best resorts you can go to in the continental US. Especially if you’re looking to find some powder, drop some cliffs, and hike to some worthwhile chutes.

Of course we took some pictures and some videos. It doesn’t do the place justice but you get the idea.

Sidenote: Free mimosas when you land at the Jackson Hole Airport. Huge incentive.

Happy Holidays from Phatman!

From everyone at the shop including shop dawgs Ollie and Skadie, Happy Holidays! We’re excited to be entering 2017 with a calendar full of events, new products, and even more charisma than Sean Connery in a James Bond film.

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January 13th and 17th will be the Late Night Great Nights over at Kissing Bridge, so mark your calendars and skip that 3rd dinner date that you thought you were going to get some action on because on Late Night Great Night, everybody gets some action.

LNGN Tickets will be $10. I know, it went up $2 from last year but hey, times are tough and sometimes you gotta bite the bullet. Even if that means you can’t get an XL coffee from Tim Horton’s and you got to stick to the Medium.

Details to come. Stay patient and get out there. Lake effect this year has been a blessing. Happy New Years. Drink prosecco, not champagne, it’s cheaper and tastes almost the same.

 

 

New ThirtyTwo Outerwear & Boots Are In!

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa come early.

That’s right. The ThirtyTwo goods are in. From boots to pants to jackets to hats. And also socks. A lot of socks.

Socks for both men and women, because everybody’s equal. Don’t let someone try to tell you otherwise.

Check out some of the ThirtyTwo boots we have in stock below. Everything from the Exit to the TMTwo to the Binary Boa. Whatever your needs or wants, chances are we can serve them. You want stiff and supportive? TMTwo. You want something to use in the park? Lashed. Beginner or on a budget? Exit.

 

A nice, full view of the entire men’s collection of ThirtyTwo Boots. Don’t worry ladies, your pictures are on the way.


And for the first time ever, maybe not the first time, but the first time in a long time, we are posting pictures of the available outerwear. Whether it’s an insulated jacket or something lighter for the beginning or ending of the season.

There ya go. A nice preview of our 2016-2017 ThirtyTwo Boot and Outerwear line. For the full thing, you’ll have to come into the shop and see for yourself. Call us for details, prices, general inquiries. Sorry the photos aren’t professional but let’s face it, an iPhone 6 Plus is just as professional as a Canon EOS 7D Mark II. Not really, but we can’t afford those kind of cameras.

What’s in a Snowboard Jacket & Why They’re So Expensive

Buying a new snowboard jacket is like buying a new car. You want durability, dependability, a luxurious interior that keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the heat (why would you be wearing a snowboard jacket in summer? High Cascade Summer Camp? Oh, nevermind…continue), and the best bang for your buck.

However, it’s not always the easiest considering there’s a thousand different terms thrown around for the technologies involved in creating a snowboard jacket. Gore-Tex, DryRide, 10K, 15K, 20K…sure, it sounds appealing and attractive, but what does it mean and why do you need it?

You need it like a bear needs honey, like Kim Kardashian needs Instagram, and how I need my student loans to be forgiven.

But let’s break it down like this: Materials, Features, Accessories, and Jacket Fit.

Snowboard Jacket Materials: 

You have about 4 basic materials that are the major components of a snowboard jacket. They are Polyester, Nylon, Gore-Tex, and Microfibers.

Polyester

Polyester is like Lou Ferrigno. Strong, doesn’t shrink or stretch too much, dries fairly quickly, and has no interest in smelling like trash. This is why it’s such a great material for snowboard jackets. When wound up tightly, polyester becomes resistant against water and even more durable. Combine that with an applicable steroid (not really, it’s actually called Durable Water Repellant) and this DWR enhances the strength and waterproof characteristics of polyester. Think of DWR as the legal steroids for polyester.

Polyester also comes in different weights or densities. Now, to get any idea of these ratings, we’d have to discuss breathability/waterproofing grades. This is where the whole factory assigned 10K, 15K, 20K ratings etc…come into play. But that’s for later. Keep reading. Reading is good.

Nylon

You know The Mountain from Game of Thrones? Yes, No? If you don’t, look him up. A physical freak of a human being. Why is he being brought up? Because he is insanely strong. Like crush your head with one of his hands strong. Bending steel strong. Tearing encyclopedias in half strong. Okay, you get the idea. Very strong. But so is Nylon.

Nylon absorbs very little moisture, washes easily, and can be dyed into a variety of colors. No wonder why it found its way into the manufacturing of snowboard jackets. Like polyester, nylon needs just a little bit of love before being sent into the world. That’s why a nice coating of some chemical cocktail (the non-toxic kinds) are applied to nylon to increase its protectiveness.

Much like the measurement system of aforementioned polyester, you’ll have to rely on the factory or company to provide the specifics of the jacket. After reading this though, you’ll be able to decipher their meaning and make the appropriate purchase in your choice of jacket.

Gore-Tex

One of the snowboarding’s most popular words. Gore-Tex. Not to be confused with Tex-Mex (which is delicious, Frito Pie, are you kidding me? It’s like the all-star of Tex-Mex food), is a scientifically developed technology that is used from the medical industry all the way to snowboarding. If you can, try to imagine a hole that is 20 thousand times smaller than a bead of water. Difficult to do, I know. But with this kind of technology, sweat and body moisture are small enough to get through these pores and keep you nice and dry while its dumping outside.

This part is extremely scientific. So Gore-Tex tissue is applied to our friends nylon or polyester to create a shield that becomes the outer surface of your snowboard jacket. It becomes outstandingly resistant to snow, chilling rain, frostbite-inducing winds, and the month of February in Buffalo when it’s pants-shitting cold outside.

Gore-Tex. Savior of extremities, limbs, and lives. Provider of fun times in pow days, excursions, and backcountry debauchery.

Micro Fibers

Microfibers are essentially the finer fibers of nylon or polyester that are used in creating shell jackets. The fine fibers are spun very tightly to create high performing, durable like your ’95 Chevy Cavalier, and light as a feather outerwear. Great for resisting wind and water, microfibers are found in top of the line jackets. I’m talking the Cadillacs, Jaguars, and Maseratis of snowboard jackets here people. The most high-tech and protective jackets are made with microfibers. You got the budget? Highly recommend jackets made with microfibers.

You could layer it up all you want this season or you could work hard (like an adult), save some cash (like an adult), budget yourself (like an adult), and then purchase a jacket made with microfibers and be proud of all your hard work. Capitalism…it’s rewarding.

Sometimes.

Women's Outerwear

Women’s Outerwear

Snowboard Jacket Features

Okay, so this is the section where we’ll give you the nitty gritty on those ever elusive ratings that companies provide you on the tags that are attached to snowboard jackets.

The main two features of a snowboard jacket are water-resistance (waterproof) and breathability. You want a jacket that can keep you dry but you don’t want one that makes you feel like you’re sitting in the Shu (Solitary Confinement, for you folks who aren’t familiar with prison terms) in the middle of July in Alabama.

You wan’t the best of both worlds. Insulated is a plus as well if you happen to live in an area where winters are especially cold. Like Minnesota. Or the Yukon. Or Alaska. Or your ex-girlfriend’s heart.

Waterproof Rating

Moving forward, jacket manufacturers will usually apply a nice, loving coating to the nylon or polyester fabric of your future coat to increase its waterproofness. Gore-Tex? Not so much. It’s already got those high level waterproof genes.

So why do companies give out ratings and what do they mean? 10,000mm means that the jacket can withstand around 10,000 millimeters of rain over a 24-hour period before becoming wet or soaked.

So this means that a 20k (20,000 millimeters) jacket is more waterproof than one at 15k or 10k. Furthermore, just to give you an idea of what 20,000 millimeters of rain would look like…it’s 66 feet of rain. Which I don’t think could even physically occur. If I’m wrong, please enlighten me and comment on this, Howard Hughes.

Breathability Rating

Breathability. You want it. You need it. Do you want to look like you just ran a half-marathon in the steamy Congolese forest? No, because nobody finds that attractive or functional.

Breathability ratings are those other thousand number ratings you’ll find beside the waterproof numbers. Except, breathability is measured in grams. So take 15,000g, which means 15,000 grams of vapor or steam that can escape through one square meter of fabric over the course of 24 hours. Gotta love that 24 hour rule.

Now this will get even more scientific than you want but you took earth science right? Remember the hydrologic cycle? The journey that water takes from the ocean or land to the sky and then back down to the ocean. Image that going on inside your snowboard jacket but with your sweat. Your sweat goes through the gaseous phase of turning into water vapor and magically passing through the pores of the jacket into the air around you, essentially covering everyone around you with your stank.

Science is fucking great. But to the point, the higher the number of breathability rating the less humid you will be inside your jacket. The less humid you are, the less hot and sweaty you feel, the less hot and sweaty you feel, the more likely you’ll have the courage to try that backside lip 270 out or just talk to the girl whose been struggling to learn how to carve all day. Your choice.

Windproof

Wind makes you cold. The weaving of materials and fabrics stupidly tight prevents this. Most jackets should cover you when it’s windy but make sure you’re not picking up some $60 jacket at Target and thinking it’ll cover your ass when it’s blowing harder than Monica Lewinsky in ’96.

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Shell Jackets. Great for Impact.

Snowboard Jacket Accessories

Accessories, like anything else, are completely necessary. Snowboard jackets usually come with a thousand of ’em. From pass pockets and cuffs to powder skirts and armpit vents. Every jacket is going to have some combination of neat accessories or features that set it apart from its competitor.

Going back to the car analogy because I lack creativity to think of anything new, some cars offer more bells and whistles than others. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Want a ton of utility pockets and vents because you’re the go-to on mountain mechanic/buddha supplier?

Do you happen to find yourself eating shit more than others? Reinforced knees/seat in the pants are the way to go.

Only live for those powder days? Get yourself a jacket with a powder skirt, gaiters and cinch cuffs.

One thing that should be noted, especially if you’re a park rat and always feeling the need to pretzel, butter or tripod out of or onto everything…make sure you try to get a jacket with articulated elbows or pants with articulated knees. It gives you a little bit more wiggle room so you don’t feel constricted like I do at a cash bar wedding reception.

Snowboard Jacket Fit

How a jacket fits is a combination of your size and your style. Don’t think being 6’4″ and 225lbs, you’re going to fit into a medium or large. They make XL for a reason. Don’t be an idiot.

However, even if you are exceptionally large or small, there are different jacket styles. From baggy to tailored. A slim fit versus a relaxed one. It all depends on how you want to portray yourself on the mountain. Some think that having relaxed and baggy outerwear gets in the way and that’s why the slimmer, more tailored option may be your choice.

Conversely, some folks think the slimmer looking outerwear hugs the babymakers too much and makes you look like Tommy Lee in his prime.

You dress how you want to. I’m no judge; neither are any of us at the shop. Personally, do what makes you feel comfortable. You want to go all black with the tight jacket and pants? Go for it. You think relaxed is the way to go? Sure thing. I don’t care. But what I, and all of us here at the shop do care about, is that you like what you’re buying and it’s what you want in a jacket or pants.

WHY SO EXPENSIVE?

Ah the question you’ve been mindlessly skimming this whole blog for. I know, snowboard jackets seem crazy expensive and believe me, they are. But they are for a reason.

Severe weather needs a severely dependable jacket to keep you warm and dry. Ever been cold and wet? It’s fucking miserable. No one, absolutely no one, enjoys it. However, that’s what you might get if you decide to skip for some cheaply manufactured jacket. Bad jacket = Bad times.

Like we mentioned above, snowboard jackets offer a ton of technology and materials that are specifically engineered and design to keep you having fun all day or night long. If you want a jacket that can connect digitally via Bluetooth to your phone and has fully tapered seams with pit/thigh vents, multiple stash pockets and a powder skirt…expect to pay top dollar. You want the bells and whistles? You gotta pay for ’em. Life is a hustle, son.

Sure you can get the used 2002 Pontiac that will get you from point A to point B, but then there’s the new fuel efficient, wireless enhanced, weatherproof, comes with a free bottle of Courvoisier 2016 Audi.

It all depends on what you want…yet at some point, you have to realize that you will be spending 3-6 hours out in freezing weather sweating and moving around. Make a smart decision.

Invest in a good time. Not a bad one.

Furthermore, layering is also important. Don’t believe the jacket will be the only thing you’ll need.

DON’T BUY ONLINE

Sure, we’re a local shop and online sales cut into our business but we’re saying this because actually trying on a jacket in-store is monumentally significant in the buying process. You can’t try on a jacket online. Sure, you could do all the measurements and compare them to the online sizing guide but who actually does that shit?

When you get a snowboard jacket from us, you get the expert advice and information that you would come to expect from a bunch of guys who save up half their income, eat dollar pizza, and drink cheap beer in order to purchase a season pass.

Along with getting the highest level of customer service, you get personal style recommendations, a wide selection of brands, and get to speak with someone who shares the same interest as you. Not some online representative sitting behind a desk hating their life and regretting their decision not to pack everything up, move to Tahoe, and try to see where life takes them.

Okay, that’s the end of that. We miss anything? If we did. Comment or Call us. 716-837-8743. We’ll see you soon. Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

New Welcome Decks

We just got a new shipment of Welcome decks into the shop. All different sizes, shapes, and graphics. You know Welcome and Welcome knows you.

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New Vans – Kyle Walker Pro & Style 112

We just got in some new Vans. The Kyle Walker Pro and the 112. The Kyle Walker Pro has wafflecup technology to help support your feet while keeping the reputable boardfeel that Vans is known for. Super durable shoe with excellent cushioning and support.

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The Style 112 is Vans take on the current trend of toe cap shoes. There’s not too much rubber on the toe but enough to provide durability and protection. Duracap technology on the toe, original waffle sole, and Vans Vulc Lite construction. Get on it.

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Cupsole vs Vulcanized Skate Shoes: The Great Argument

An argument that has been hotly contested as much as is a hot dog a sandwich? Who really was JFK’s assassin? Did Yoko break up the Beatles? Is it considered blasphemy to eat pizza with a knife and a fork?

All of these questions have typically two sides. Much like the bipartisanship of skate shoes. Vulcanzied or Cupsole. Both equally represented by skaters but usually different in pricing and the manufacturing process. If you understand the conceptual difference between cupsole and vulc, then this article means nothing to you unless it’s a rainy day and you’ve somehow stumbled upon this blog. If that’s the case, crack open that tall boy of cheap beer you got by your side and enjoy the next three and a half minutes of scholastic writing.

If you actually are here to learn about the difference between vulc and cupshole shoes, then prepare yourself for a complete miseducation of the subject.

Vulcanized Shoes 

Vulcanized Shoes are:

  • Better boardfeel
  • Easy to break in
  • Insole makes the difference
  • Less expensive

Now to fully explain what vulcanized shoes are, you have to imagine yourself in a hot, steamy factory in the middle of the Guangdong province in China (and that’s not a dig at China, they just happen to have the world’s largest population thus leading to a comparative advantage in human labor intensity, thanks college). Moving on, vulcanized shoes are twice baked, like your mother’s potatoes she makes whenever steak is being served.  The rubber outsole of the shoes is assembled onto the typically heat-resistant upper part before the rubber is completely cured. The first baking takes place before the assembly and the second ‘steam baking’ takes place after assembly to ensure a tough, durable yet easy to break in shoe.

Vans Rowley Solos in Black

Vans Rowley Solos. Example of a Vulcanized shoe.

The important part to remember here is that many of the materials have to heat resistant, so that means no foam material such as EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) or TPR (Thermoplastic rubber). These kind of materials, however, you will find in cupsole shoes. Since vulcanized shoes are much easier to make, thus leading to mass production (if economies of scale exists…if you don’t understand what economies of scale means, check out microeconomics, it’s essentially the reason why the american economy became so fucking dominant) and a much cheaper price than you would pay for a pair of cupsole skate shoes.  Additionally, since vulcanized shoes do not typically have EVA or TPR in them, which act as a cushioning agent, the insole of the shoe is going to be the most important.  That’s why you’ll see Vans offering the Ultracush, Ultracush HD, and Ultracush Lite, which offer those pretty little feet of yours some protection when you’re hucking yourself down a ten stair. Footprint Insoles, which just creates insoles for both skate shoes and snowboard boots, found a niche market for people who wanted something more of out of their insoles for both vulc and cupsole shoes (just rip the liner out of the cupsole and you can put in one of their insoles).

So what does all of this mean for skating in vulc shoes? To make it simple and because I’m sick of typing already, it gives you a better boardfeel overall, quicker and easier time to break in the shoes, option to replace the insoles (most of the time), and usually a lower price tag which is easier on your wallet. Also, if you’re concerned about protection (I’m not, was raised Catholic but that’s neither here nor there), don’t go looking to vulcanized shoes for it. They usually have minimal padding which can lead to blowouts in the shoe but companies have been inserting second layers into toe caps to combat this.

If what was just written about vulc shoes tickles your fancy, then we’d recommend going down the road of Vans, Lakai (Selects), Emerica (Vulcs), Nike SB (Janoskis) and Adidas (Vulcs).

Cupsole Shoes

Think comfort. Think nestling yourself between two giant, all natural, warm and supporting…pillows. Could’ve turned this article into something your aunt reads on vacation but for time being, we’ll stick to cupsoles.

Cupsole Shoes are:

  • Supportive
  • Protective
  • Harder to break in
  • Offer less boardfeel
  • More expensive

Cupsoles are special. Special in the sense, they were specifically designed for skateboarding.  Skaters complained they kept getting heel bruises, designers listened, and voila, cupsole is born. Creating a cupsole is a lot like making pizza, put a solid layer down first, then some cushion and then finally a rubber layer sprinkling. Cupsoles, as mentioned previously, use EVA or TPR as a cushioning foam that is placed inside a rubber ‘cup’. The rubber ‘cup’ is traditionally bigger and filled with the EVA or TPR foam which gives more space between you and your board but more support to your foot and ankle.

What’s getting baked though? Am I baked? Why so many food metaphors? Cupsoles don’t get baked. This is mentioned before if you were reading carefully. Cupsoles are traditionally stitched to the top part of the shoe. Since there is no baking, companies can puts all sorts of technology and goodies into the cupsole before it is sewn to the upper portion. This is why you’ll see things like airbags, arch support, heel support, and any support you need besides financial and emotional in the cupsole. Moreover, the ability to put all this feet saving tech into a pair of shoes is why cupsole shoes are the preferred shoe amongst folks who jump down giant shit. Would you rather tie paper bags to your feet when you’re about to drop 15 feet in the air or foam reinforced bubble wrap? I’d go the latter but I’m a firm believer in libertarianism so you can choose whatever makes you sleep at night.

Nike SB Koston 1 (Red/Black/Gum)

Nike SB Koston 1 – Example of a Cupsole shoe.

Why do you cupsole shoes make the most sense to you? If you’re down for big stair sets, huge rails, and overall man-sized shit. Recommendations? Emerica was pretty much founded on cupsole technology, so getting a pair of those is always a solid move. Lakais with XLK or VLK technology (click the link to learn more about that, I’m not typing it, that’s plagiarism, and you should always be learning something new everyday). Nike SB’s such as P-Rod 9, Koston 1 and 2 (not the vulc), Adidas Busenitz, and any Vans Crocketts (Waffle Cup technology, again, look it up, it’s like a hybrid of vulc and cupsole).

I hope this article has answered some questions regarding the vulcanized vs. cupsole argument. Pick one side, or pick both, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re old and over the age of 30, I’d recommend cupsole. Why? Because your knees and ankles are on the brink of collapsing and cupsoles may prolong the inevitable demise of your lower body joints. You under the age of 25 and slightly healthy? Go vulc for the reasons of it’s easier on your bank account and your body can take the abuse. Or if you want to be a big spender and spring for a nice pair of P-Rods, go for it, I’m not one to judge.

Fortunately, here at the shop, we have an extensive selection (90+) of shoes that are vulc, cupsole and hybrids so you can come in and find the pair that’s right for you. Remember, buy a pair get the next pair half off. Questions? Call us at 716-837-8743.