The marketing-savvy millennials started out as middle school science teachers at a charter school in Nashville, Tenn. Royer says his plan was to teach science and perhaps do some environmental consulting work—that is, until he met Gilson and discovered their mutual love for snowboarding and shared propensity for invention.
During their second year of teaching together, the duo decided to have a science fair. Their students were not impressed by the idea. To encourage them, Gilson says, they decided to “practice what we preach and take on our own project.”
Based on a concept Gilson developed while he was still in middle school, they set out to make a radically different kind of snowboard—a board that can cut through the snow like a boat through water. At first, it was just for fun, a way of setting an example for their students. But before long, the possibilities began to take shape.
Although their first attempt failed, they forged ahead with a second and then a third prototype, ultimately developing a board that can travel 26 percent faster than the standard board on the market.
Their secret? A patented “precision contoured base technology” created with the coefficient of friction in mind, much like their logo. Royer says the logo shows off their “geek side.”
What looks like two mountain peaks is actually a stretched script of the Greek letter Mu, the scientific symbol for the coefficient of friction. And, as Royer explains, the 3-D base design lowers the coefficient of friction, allowing for a controlled drift and more fluid motion.
Armed with this innovative design and a new career path in mind, the duo returned to Royer’s hometown to begin production. Since then they’ve been crafting their all-American-made snowboards with materials and services found in the central Susquehanna Valley.