Fred Glackmeyer is a familiar face in the Canadian action sports industry, a veteran buyer and general manager at The Boardroom in Vancouver. His approach to running his shop is tied directly to the experience of boarding, with a focus on creating opportunities for his customers to share the good times. We caught up with him at Holy Bowly, the skatepark-influenced snowboard jam currently underway and pushing 4000 instagram tags, to chat about trends like accessible snowboard parks, unique shapes, and events that focus on fun rather than shock and awe.
SBC: Good to see you Fred! Stoked you made it to the Bowly. How fun is this?
Fred: It’s amazing. The course is so flowy– we got in here really early today, so rad to ride it when it’s all fresh and less hectic. It might even be as fun as those first runs on a really good pow day, which is something I never thought I’d say.
SBC: I know what you mean, it’s just feature after feature. So many ways to ride it.
Fred: For sure. It’s cool to see all these riders so into it, too, into an event that’s not just a mega jump line. Well, I guess some of the lines here are kind of turning into jump lines, but it’s cool that people are still exploring all the options.
SBC: It can be whatever you want it to be. So what’s up man, how was your winter? Any stories from the shop?
Fred: Mostly it was just nice to sell some snowboards! Definitely a nail-biter through October and November. But people came back, and they were excited to have a winter that could justify buying new gear. Everyone loves getting a new board. It was a huge relief!
SBC: I bet. Any shop events?
Fred: Yeah, we’re always talking about events and everybody wants to do the next banked slalom, but what we went with this year was a Demo day up at Cypress. Something where people could get out and have a really fun day getting psyched on new shapes, try out the weird stuff they’re seeing you know? We kind of started with that Big White experience we all love and get to experience in the industry, and tried to bring that to the public. The customers never get days like that, you know?
SBC: Wicked. And it went well?
Fred: For sure. We got super lucky with the day, it was the one good weather day in between rainstorms. A bunch of great brands came out and people were really into the shapes. We had some fun little contests and stuff, like the “run-skate-ootch.” You have to run across to your board, strap in one foot and skate back, then strap in the other foot and ootch. People loved it, it got everybody loose. And Cypress was stoked, it worked out well for everyone.
SBC: Just a fun day, eh?
Fred: Yeah, there’s this great vibe right now where people are over the circus approach to snowboarding, the crazy spectacles. I mean, that will always have its place, but I think people are thinking more like “yeah, that’s cool but let’s have some fun.” It’s everybody’s turn to snowboard.
SBC: So good. And are customers receptive to the shapes? Is that going to be a big part of your buy?
Fred: It’ll be there for sure, but we’re not going to go crazy on it. We’ll focus in on the stuff we really like. The shapes appeal to the riders who went back to camber a couple years ago, the guys that like to be ahead of everything you know? Even the more casual customers are into it, they like the idea that their board looks a little different, but people will still ride popsicle sticks for a few years.
SBC: Yeah, the twinnish boards work well for so many things.
Fred: Definitely, but looking around here half the people are ripping on some variation of directional or asymmetric boards, and those shapes are perfect for this. The two go really well together, the low impact parks and directional shapes.
SBC: For sure. Well Fred it’s great catching up with you, I’m sure we’ll see you around back home. Enjoy the Bowly man!
Fred: Thanks man, stoked to see SBC back. We’ll see you up north for sure!
The Boardroom has three locations in North Vancouver and Kitsilano, including one clearance store. Their categories include snowboard, skate, wake, surf, and lifestyle, and they’ve been in business for over 25 years.