Tell us a little bit about your shop and its history in the shred scene.
Darkside was formed by Billy Langlands back in 1989 and quickly became a prominent entity in the snowboarding scene way back when skiers were still poking fun at us. Billy had started a ski shop in Killington, VT called blue moon sports two years prior and with the inception of snowboarding on the East attributed to Jake Carpenter, he realized the potential and legitimacy of snowboarding and closed blue moon shortly after opening the first Darkside. Since then Darkside has maintained a reputation nationally as one of the most core specialty shops in the East. Now, twenty-three years later we are three stores strong and still offer the best equipment, sales and service money can buy. All of our employees (including Billy and his wife Teeta) live, breathe, eat and S*%t snowboarding. Next time you’re in the neighborhood stop in and say what up, Stowe, Okemo and Killington since before snowboarding was cool…
What makes your shop different then all the others?
We only carry core snowboard brands, meaning of course we don’t sell boards, boots or bindings owned by ski manufacturers, we have always supported snowboarding and always will. On top of that all three of our stores are located on the access roads to each respective mountain. We aren’t selling our customers product just to make a buck, each member of our staff is a bitchin’ rider with extensive knowledge of all of our products, our goal is to put folks on products that will enhance their experience and inspire the same passion in them that we feel here at Darkside.
Do you have the “couch vibe” or is it more about the product? What is the vibe in general?
Whether you want to come in and rent thirty boards, drink a cup of coffee while you boot up, play a little NES or take a nap on the couch we encourage the shop atmosphere of offering a social scene where snowboarders from all walks of life can come and hang out. Stop in and watch a movie, skate the ramp or drop a cool grand, the choice is up to you.
Does your shop carry skate and surf or is it all snow? Briefly describe what we can find on the shelves.
Being landlocked in VT doesn’t exactly lend itself to Surf here at Darkside, however if you are looking for a new skate, longboard, boardshorts or other summer apparel you can find it here. Typically we have always been a specialty snowboard shop offering all of the best brands and ltd products in Snow. Moving forward we will be offering a wider selection of skate for all those ragamuffins out there lookin’ to crack some ollies.
What are three things it takes to work in the store?
- Undying passion for snowboarding and basic knowledge of products, brands, and media
- This business is based on relationships, strong people skills, positive attitude and love for life a must!
- Really good looking….
If it’s a hammering snow day and some of the best pow ever, what do you do to keep employees in the store?
I mean bottom line is, you can’t… Hahaha. Nah my philosophy is if you love snowboarding, you work hard and are a good employee I’m gonna’ make sure everyone is able to get out on the hill as much as possible. It’s all about respect, if I can make it happen for everyone and the respect is there then I can count on everyone to do what it takes to keep this store moving forward even on the best days ever! The fact is though that this is a snowboard shop, it’s our job to make sure that our customers can rely on us to be here for them even on those killer days, you win some you lose some ya know!?
Describe your crew that works there.
We have such a tight crew at Darkside, in all three stores, and all three stores are tight with one another. We’re like a family here; we all look out for each other.
What is the most played shred flick in the history of the shop and why?
Personally I’m a fan of Robot Food’s flick “Lame”, that sucker is timeless…
Who are some riders on the come-up that visit your shop... a rider people should look out for?
We have had so many kids move through the store; Lucas Magoon, Brian Regis, Hans and Nils Mindnich. I would say the dudes to look out for right now are Hans Mindnich, and Riley Nickerson, those kids are crushing…. However even some of our staff are disturbing on a snowboard, Ryan Getek, Tyler Mills, Evan Ricker, and Zach Beitz. Keep yer eyes open for all of these weirdos.
Where is the shop local hang out? The best place to grab a drink after hours, or chill with some friends?
Well a lot of our staff is (or was) under twenty one so most of the time it’s a homie’s flop house or chillin’ in the woods somewhere. For those old men on the crew, such as yours truly, it all depends on where the beer is coldest and the women are hottest…
If the Rome crew came through would you be cautious to let them in or does the reputation surpass them?
Well yeah! Those guys are maniacs, super good crew and such good friends of ours though; I mean I could ask you the same about Darkside’s crew!! All I know Is some of the best times ever have been with Rome Crew, Darkside friends and some bitchin’ rock N’ roll from Spit Jack…. Thanks for the interview Rome, look forward to tying on them party boots with ya’ll in the near future.