When your product stands out among the competitors, people take notice.
That is exactly what happened for Brittan Ellingson, owner of Notice Snowboards in Whitefish. He started the custom snowboard shop online three years ago and now offers his top-selling boards at Great Northern Cycle and Ski in Whitefish.
“It was such an unexpected surprise,” Ellingson said. “They’re very selective, so for [them] to ask is such an honor.”
This winter marks a new chapter for both companies. Great Northern Cycle and Ski has expanded to showcase a winter selection of alpine ski and snowboard lines, offering seven or eight different snowboard styles from Notice at all times.
“Our team has 60 years of combined experience in ski and snowboarding,” Craig Prather, owner of Great Northern Cycle and Ski, said in a press release. “This season, we will start putting that experience to work, serving the Flathead Valley.”
Ellingson and Prather have long supported one another in their separate ventures, as both are involved in snowboarding and bike racing, so the business partnership was natural, according to Ellingson.
“[Great Northern] has a lot of custom stuff all geared toward the outdoors,” he said. “It’ll be a great place to showcase our boards.”
As an avid snowboarder and outdoor enthusiast, Ellingson founded Notice Snowboards three years ago out of his home in Whitefish. At the time, he and his wife ran the business, but now it has grown to include employees, test riders and a marketing team.
The company started as an online store, and with elite and professional riders across the country seeking out the gear, the name eventually grew to be synonymous with high-end custom gear.
“I had instructors in Colorado or at the mountain here that would ride on our boards, and that spreads to their students,” Ellingson said. “You know how it is with kids — whatever the cool instructor is riding, they want.”
The biggest selling factor for Notice Snowboards is the ability to completely customize each snowboard every step of the way, including rocker or camber profile, edge design, flexibility and graphics. While Notice has several artists on staff to help design anything the customer desires, the team also accepts graphics from riders who are Photoshop or Illustrator savvy. Anything can be printed on the boards right in the shop.
The customizing doesn’t end there. Ellingson and his team take it a step further and are able to create custom shapes that are perfect, no matter what the hill is like.
Boarders at Whitefish Mountain Resort are likely to choose a shorter board that is easier to turn and maneuver around Big Mountain’s many trees, while those riding the long runs at Vail Ski Resort in Colorado likely will choose a longer style that is indicative to high-speed carving.
Ellingson has continued to innovate in the boarding industry, constantly changing the shape of boards in an attempt to adjust the ride. Sometimes the experiments are horrible failures. He once tried to create a board that was too wavy, and didn’t have enough surface area to slide downhill. However, sometimes he ends up creating something great.
The Favorite Day, Smashing Ghost, and the Lumber Jackie, a board designed specifically for women, are some of his signature creations that will be sold at Great Northern. Eventually, Ellingson hopes to get the Everyday board in stock as well, but he said for now, he’s just trying to keep up with orders.
“Right now, we’re just trying to grow the company organically,” he said. “This was the right time for us to partner with Great Northern, and it seems like it’s the start of a great thing.”
For more information on Notice Snowboards, visit online at www.noticesnowboards.com, and for more on Great Northern Cycle and Ski, located on at 328 Central Avenue in Whitefish, visit www.greatnortherncycles.com, or call 862-5321.
Notice Snowboards founder and owner Brittan Ellingson works on a custom snowboard in his Whitefish workshop. The boards are made entirely in Montana with as many local materials as possible.