Pressing Matters

Max Holzman is Carving Out his Own Snowboard Niche

Talking with Max Holzman in his garage wouldn’t be so painful if he’d just admit what he’s done is impressive.

He’s not the first person to hand build custom snowboards, or skis, in a workshop. Nor is he the first to do so with some kind of press. But what he’s built isn’t just “some kind of press.” It’s a full-on I-beam snowboard press, really not that different from what you’d find a few Vermont miles away the world’s largest snowboard company and the industry’s arguably most state-of-the-art prototype facility. Max has seen those, and so have we. His press is legit, and it’s in his garage. And when you ask “where did you get an I-beam?” his engineering response is barely palatable.

“You can source anything,” Holzman says with a matter-of-fact tone.

It’s the same with the fire hose airbag for even distribution of pressure, or the heating element, or the epoxy… go ahead and ask, his answer is always the same. And in the same tone.

But what’s not the same are the man’s wood MTN Local Snowboards. Each one is custom, and if one is exactly like another, that’s actually a bit of coincidence. His shapes – all the rage in snowboarding of late – are also not average. To his credit, he’s got a few originals that may have been the first look at a shape you would find at retail today. No claims, just giving the man some credit.

All said, however, if you want to give the man some credit, you’ll do so after riding one. Snowboards are built and shaped to turn – it’s kind of the point – but Max’s do it aggressively well. They’re a soul-carvers dream, and that was also kind of his point.

“I wanted to make something unique. I wanted a board that could really turn, carve. So I made one,” Holzman said. “My feeling, throughout my life, is why not be different.”

The first was small, and maybe a little sketchy. But he adapted quickly, and got serious. A good portion of what he learned, he did learn from the B – Burton Snowboards, to non-locals. He had a tour of duty there like a good handful of ride-addicted residents in and around Burlington, Vermont. That said, the man went to welding school, culinary school, and is simply one of those guys that makes, fixes and builds stuff. Luckily for some, he just happened to get into snowboarding.

Today, he takes orders and keeps a healthy number of decks moving – some of which go to some names that will make any snowboard enthusiast ask “no kidding?” The man is beyond self-sufficient, and his attention to detail is second to none. He loves riding, but it’s pretty obvious he loves making what he rides. He loves making what you ride.

We loved riding what he makes. And we get the idea of doing it yourself, your own way.


Holzman isn’t just the owner of MTN Local Snowboards, he’s a client.


This was one of the first pictures of Max’s garage we ever saw and prompted “um, yeah, I think we need to go check this out….”

The physics behind pressing boards is simple, the execution of perfection is not. Max has this dialed with a press a larger “company” would envy.

The bandsaw is possibly the oldest tool used in snowboard building. Vermont legend Jake Burton Carpenter has his own 1977 pics running his original decks through them.

At Darn Tough we don’t just take your word for it, we have to try it ourselves. Yep, these boards work.

Wait ... how did this get in here? Nice looking sock though. Next time remove the little hair off the ankle though.

Meg Oliver charges … like absolutely charges. Watching her rip a MTN Local board on a pow day was a day well spent.

Insert image here ... that's a dad joke.

You don’t need pow to rip on these boards, but it doesn’t hurt. Mid-hike role call so these boards could flex.

The answer is yes, he makes custom splittys.

Proud Dad, Max Holzman, owner and creator, MTN Local Snowboards.

But even prouder Dad with the kids out on the hill. That GoPro footy was never found.


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