Central PA Company Makes Snowboards

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JACKSON TOWNSHIP -- Did you know a company in Snyder County makes snowboards and ships them all over the world?

While the ground is covered in snow, employees at Gilson Boards spent the day making snowboards inside their shop across the river from New Berlin. Gilson Boards has been in business in Snyder County for about a year and a half.

Vice President Steve Blackman says the company's president is from central Pennsylvania.

"We started manufacturing in his family's barn. We had the front half of the barn and the donkeys and horses still kept the back half. Now we've expanded significantly and we're in our own manufacturing facility just down the road," Blackman said.

Gilson Boards ships its snowboards all over the world. It uses local supplies to make them.

"We get all our wood from right down the street. We get a lot of Pennsylvania poplar, which is very convenient. It's cheap, but it's durable and it's affordable, too," Wesley Haines said.

Gilson Boards currently has about ten people on staff, but employees say the company hopes to hire more people soon.

The group plans to expand this year and is scheduled to be at almost 40 ski resorts demonstrating their products.

"People will say when they bring their board back 'can I keep it? I don't want to ride my standard board anymore,' so it's really cool. We're growing incredibly quickly," Blackman said.

The guys say they see themselves being in central Pennsylvania for a long time.

"We build boards for the people who are out there riding every weekend," Blackman said.

"It's very exciting when you go up to the lift and you see one of your boards flying by and you know that you created that, it's really awesome," Haines said.

Employees say so far this season they've made more than 100 custom snowboards.