Pressing Matters - Snowboards, Handmade in VT

Max Holzman standing next to his workshop with some snowboards

It's no secret we love Vermont. We knit our socks here. When we see top notch craftsmanship coming out of a Vermont garage, we want to draw attention to it. Plus, we think our snowboard socks and these snowboards are a dream pairing.

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.

A look at Max's workshop in Vermont

The above is 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….”

Max holding up a snowboard

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.”

"You Can Source Anything"

Max's press is 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.

Max pressing a snowboard

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.

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.

A Soul-Carver's Dream

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.

four of Max's handmade snowboards out in the snow

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.”

Hitting the slopes on a MTN local snowboard

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

For the Love of Snowboarding

The first board 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.

A split board Max is making

And the answer is yes, he makes custom splittys.

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?”

Meg Oliver riding a MTN local board

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

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.

Max riding one of his snowboard

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

We loved riding what he makes. And we get the idea of doing it yourself, your own way. Next time you're in VT, check out MTN Local Snowboards. You can pair your VT-made socks with a VT-made board for the perfect run. 

Darn Tough snowboard socks

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