Every third Thursday of the month a little bit of genius comes into the world, courtesy of Signal Snowboards, a California-based “artistic company anchored in snowboarding,” according to its website. That is, if you consider a working xylophone you can snowboard on to be genius. Not interesting enough for you? How about an inflatable snowboard, or one that doubles as a working Fender guitar? We can even get extra-technical: a snowboard with a built-in, fully functional iPad.
Curious? You’re not alone. Since the start of Signal Snowboards’ Web show in 2010, aptly titled “Every Third Thursday” (ETT), the show has been viewed upwards of 1.5 million times. Today the show has birthed 20 unique and mind-bogglingly functional boards, and the company doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. With ETT moving rapidly throughout social media, including shares on Facebook, tweets, and its growing number of hits on Youtube, this looks to be only the beginning.
The company’s founder, Dave Lee, 39, and Marketing Director Marc Wierenga, 40, created ETT together as a way not only to have fun and create one-of-a-kind boards, but to help Signal become more innovative across the board. The core idea behind Signal is “turning the usual way of doing business upside down.” As Lee has said, “It’s easy to do what everyone else is doing.”
Every Third Thursday, then, is a perfect project for such a company. The Web show has already benefited the company in numerous ways: new materials for boards have been introduced, such as bamboo, and the company has experimented with different processes and shapes discovered during the production of ETT.
Another benefit of the Web show is that viewers and snowboarders, most likely both, gain a greater understanding of the process behind snowboard production. There is a sense of lifting the curtain, dispelling the mystery of the process, and in this way the show is reminiscent of MythBusters. Lee and Wierenga break down popular conceptions and limited thinking such as “It is impossible to make a working snowboard out of Legos,” or “There could never be a board that works as both a snowboard and a surfboard.”
Not only do Lee and Wierenga prove these notions wrong, but they do it in record time. Once a month Signal’s four-member ETT team collaborates and picks an idea to pursue, and immediately they get to work. In general it takes about three days, the first two for design, the last for building, before the mythic board is a tangible reality, and team members are trying it out for themselves.
Edited by Juliana Kenny