When locals talk about snowboarding in NC, it’s hard for the names Krista and Jason Hill not to pop up in the conversation. With a marriage born in snowboarding and skateboarding heaven, Krista and Jason Hill are the owners of Flipside Board Shop, with locations in Downtown Asheville, Hendersonville and Maggie Valley, North Carolina. The Hills are both snowboarding enthusiasts and they’ve turned their love of the sport into their business. Krista said, “My husband and I bring over 40 years of combined snowboard experience to our stores. I knew immediately snowboarding would change my life. I purchased my original location in 1999 when I had been a snowboarder for a little over two years. I met my now husband 10 years ago and we opened up our Hendersonville location within a year of meeting. This is our fifth season in Maggie Valley. My husband has been a skateboarder since his teens and a snowboarder since the late 80s.”

All that experience translates to great advice, quality products and next-level customer service for the snowboarders who frequent the couple’s shops. Their experience as snowboarders gives them insight into the best quality gear too. The couple attend trade shows and handpick the brands they carry in their shops. Says Krista: “My husband and I feel strongly about quality snowboards. We dedicated ourselves to find rider-owned brands that are staying innovative and pushing snowboarding to new levels. All of our brands have their own story and are supporting snowboarding in a direct way.”

Great Places for Snowboarding in NC

There are two great places in western North Carolina to snowboard and ski. These are the Cataloochee Ski Resort in Maggie Valley and the Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in Mars Hill, NC. Cataloochee Ski Area “boasts some of the best snowmaking in the country,” Krista said. “They are one of the highest elevations for a ski resort on the east coast with a summit at over 5400 feet. They provide options for skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels. They also have a beginner lift that runs a little slower to allow success to those new to navigating a ski lift.”

Insider Tips for Snowboarding Newbies

“What do you know now that you wish you had known in the beginning?” I asked Krista. “As a woman, I wish that someone would’ve suggested soft-shell knee pads and wrist guards. Women do not learn as well through fear as our male counterparts. I feel that women will progress faster if we are made to feel safer.”

“What is your best insider tip for someone who may be a novice at snowboarding?” I asked. “I like to suggest first to take a lesson. A lesson with a certified instructor will ensure you master the skill in the shortest time possible. If you get hurt the first day, you won’t feel like riding for the duration of your stay. I suggest soft-shell knee pads, wrist guards, and a helmet to keep you safe as you learn to snowboard.”

“How much time do you typically need for a snowboarding vacation? How much time does it take to learn?” I asked.

“A local instructor put it best by saying that snowboarding is a three-day sport. They suggest snowboarding on three separate occasions even within the same trip, as the learning curve can be a little more difficult for some people. Skiing sometimes can prove to be a little easier learning curve. You are able to get out there and cover more terrain more quickly in one day. Snowboarding really can require more of a commitment to master. Don’t give up if you don’t feel successful the first day. We also highly suggest taking a lesson as the instructors can help to make suggestions to improve your skill quicker than trying to ‘figure it out on your own’.”

Maggie Valley, NC, Snowboarding Packages

Flipside Boardshop partners with local businesses, too. “We love to link up with our local partners like the Meadowlark Motel to encourage our customers to shop and stay local,” Krista said. “We recently added a ‘snow links’ page to feature some of the relationships we have not only with our local resorts but lodging options that offer mutual discounts for our customers.”
With innovative local partnerships like these, for a snowboarding vacation package, you could stay at a cabin at Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley, NC, buy or rent your snowboarding gear at Flipside Boardshop, and get your tickets to Cataloochee Ski Area – with special discounts for the bundle. “That would be a great way to save money on your vacation,” I said.

Getting the Gear for Snowboarding in NC

Krista says Flipside Boardshop in Maggie Valley, NC, caters specifically to snowboarders in that they only carry snowboard hardgoods (boards, boots and bindings), but they also carry great brands of outerwear, layering pieces, facemasks and gloves that skiers stop in to buy too. They also cater to skateboarders, with an array of skateboards, longboards, and cruiser skateboards. You can buy a small sampling of the in-store inventory online at the Flipside Boardshop website, but Krista recommends that you come into the shop for the best selection. “A real snowboard shop can help the customer find the perfect gear for his or her personal riding style,” Krista said. “We take great pride in our customer service and have many repeat customers from all over the world.”

Flipside Boardshop sponsors all snowboard competitions at both of the local mountains, Cataloochee and Wolf Ridge. Krista said, “We also sponsor a snowboard team that competes in both local and national competitions.”

“What’s new at Flipside Boardshop these days?” I asked. “We are very excited to announce our brand-new rental/ demo snowboard program this year,” Krista answered. “We have many customers that may have their own gear but do not want to travel with it. They require a higher performance board than the basic rentals provided on mountain. We offer all new rental and demo boards from brands like Arbor, Never Summer, Capita, Lib Technologies, Yes, and Roxy snowboards, all featuring bindings from Union bindings. We wax and sharpen each board before it is rented to ensure optimal performance on mountain. We also offer daily, weekend, and weekly rates.”

Turn Your Passion into Your Business

“So how does it feel to do what you love to do as a job?” I asked. Krista smiled as she answered, “Owning a business in the field that you truly love is the best feeling in the world. There is rarely a day that goes by that when I put my key in the lock of whatever location I’m at for the day that I don’t pause to reflect on how grateful I am to be part of such an awesome industry and community.”

For more information, contact:
Flipside Boardshop

4920 Soco Road
Maggie Valley, NC  28751
Phone: (828)926-3699
Website: www.flipsideboardshop.com
Email: info@flipsideboardshop.com
Facebook: flipside boardshop, flipside boardshop Maggie Valley, and flipside boardshop Hendersonville
Instagram: flipside_boardshop

Meadowlark Motel

2878 Soco Road
Maggie Valley, NC, 28751
Phone: (828)926-1717
Email: reservations@meadowlarkmotel.com
Website: http://www.meadowlarkmotel.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Meadowlarkmotel/

Photo Credit: Photo by Pierre Herman on Unsplash