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No idea is too unusual for Signal

Snowboard manufacturer in Huntington Beach has experienced steady growth and a variety of wild designs.

April 29, 2013|By Anthony Clark Carpio
  • Stephen Rezendes builds a snowboard at Signal Snowboards in Huntington Beach on Wednesday.
Stephen Rezendes builds a snowboard at Signal Snowboards… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

On an early Wednesday morning, Signal Snowboards employee Stephen Rezendes applies a coat of epoxy resin to the board he's building, getting a head start for the company's 2013-14 season.

Gliding the scraper from nose to tail, Rezendes efficiently spreads the resin around, applies a sheet of triaxial fiberglass and another coat of the adhesive.

"We're getting ready to start production, which starts May 1," marketing director Marc Wierenga said. "We'll build from [then] all the way to October to ship throughout the world."

Signal could be considered a rookie in an industry filled with big-name companies like Burton or Lib Tech. But in just 10 years, the Huntington Beach business that handcrafts and ships their products from its factory has gained traction in the market.

Wierenga said the company sold about 10,000 snowboards last season, he said.

"It's a slow growth for us because we don't go necessarily to big box stores like Sport Chalet," he said. "We've typically stayed in a lot of the more core-demographic stores, so we're not going after the massive growth there, but the brand itself continues to grow."

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Signal started when former professional snowboarder and founder Dave Lee wanted to start his own company in 2004. The problem was Lee didn't have a factory, Wierenga said.

At the same time, Wierenga and his factory were in Huntington Beach and said he was tired of building boards for other companies that didn't have a clear vision.

After meeting with Lee and his art director Kellie Talbot Wierenga took a chance with them and hasn't looked back since.

"We all just clicked together really well," Wierenga said. "We all saw a vision that aligned and [Talbot] and [Lee] were all about manufacturing here in the U.S. and I wanted to work with people with a similar vision."

There are many ways for a snowboard company to expand its name. There's having team riders film video parts for movies, entering competitions and connecting with consumers through social media.

But Signal has taken it a step further with their Every Third Thursday videos on YouTube. Every month since 2010, the staff at Signal has come up with an idea for a new snowboard, but they're far from ordinary.

The first Every Third Thursday board made was constructed by using vinyl records as the top of the board with the next board being made entirely of wood.

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