words: Matt Gormley
For years the snowboarding epicenter in Seattle hovered around SnoCon.
Snowboard Connection in Seattle closed its doors for good last Saturday. Facing a mountain of debt and a soft retail landscape, partners John Logic and Adam Gerken scrambled to find a solution. After exploring options and alternatives, the heart of the Northwest snowboard scene shut down after a twenty-four-year run. In an interview on Shop-Eat-Surf.com, John Logic talks about the challenges Snowboard Connection faced in greater detail. Always candid and open, Logic's tone in the article is admittedly forlorn, saying, "We were trying to solve this up to the very end. Who plans on failing?" SnoCon might no longer be in business, but their impact on the culture and lifestyle has been immeasurable.
"One more root has been pulled up from the tree." said Peter Line, shred legend now working at DaKine. "Snowboard Connection had always been a huge part of my snowboarding. From the beginning, SnoCon was a staple for many Northwest riders. They were a huge support base for me and other pros from the region."
John and Adam are always outspoken in the industry, sharing best practices while daring manufacturers and retailers to innovate and keep snowboarding vibrant. Their selfless approach and willingness to share tactics conveyed their philosophy: if it is good for snowboarding, it was good for SnoCon. Despite the store closing, Adam Gerken offered advice for other shops on how to avoid their missteps. How many folks are still looking out for others while coming to grips with the end of the ride? SnoCon is. That's just how they roll.
Johan Malkowski, chief bouncer at Capita, Union and Coal weighed in. "All I can say is that SnoCon was one of our top retailers. Period. They carried all of our brands from day one. They helped put us on the map. We are forever grateful for that. They were part of the culture. They loved being on the floor, handing beers to people and made personal connections. These guys straight up cared." Their legacy watched the sport grow from the era of begging access at resorts to big money events on the world stage. Throughout it all, SnoCon always kept cool, current and innovative. SnoCon sponsored so many riders and events, and gave so many folks their first job in the industry.
"I can’t imagine the Northwest scene without SnoCon. I owe such a debt of gratitude for all the doors he has opened for me and years of constant friendship," said Luke Edgar, first SnoCon employee and industry veteran. "I’m just one of the many Snowboard Connection alums who have graduated into other jobs."
Kate Craig, now the buying manager for accessories at Zumiez, shares a similar appreciation for her tenure at SnoCon. "Our staff, reps, and customers were truly family. There isn't a better job than one where you get to work with people who are passionate about what you have to offer. When I look at my life now I am surrounded by people that are in some way connected to the time I spent there. I'm so glad to have been a part of it," said Craig.
Longtime employee Kahe Richardson also remembers her time at SnoCon fondly. "John Logic supported each of us, not just through a paycheck, but through love and life experiences. He made me a better person, a person I can be proud to be. John taught me to live, live for the now and be happy with what you have. Words cannot describe the appreciation and love I have for him."
Jon Logic and his family of SnoCon employees have contributed so much to the local and national scene that this loss is deeply felt. From the art walks and photo gallery events, to helping customers arrive at a new board decision, the squad there always made you feel like you were part of the crew, a welcome guest, a thread woven into their scene. "Looking through the aisles of that shop opened my eyes to the snowboard culture since it was so rich in that place. I bought my first real board at SnoCon," said Northwest ripper Kurt Jenson. "When we started making movies for Sound Strait, John Logic was always stoked on what we were doing. He loved the NW scene and was one of our biggest backers every year. They sponsored our films, and made it a priority to look out for the folks in their backyard. SnoCon will be greatly missed."
The resounding sentiment is that John and Adam has a positive impact on so many people that passed through their doors. Their stewardship has been appreciated by so many. This one stand out shop affected so many lives in pursuit of fun.
Pat McCarthy, longtime rider for SnoCon and 686 remembers his first trip to Alaska, when Logic slipped some cash to get into a heli for the first time. "That's just what he represented with snowboarding: unconditional love to those who shared his same passion. I'm proud to have been a part of that," said McCarthy.
In quest to somehow qualify how vast and deep the impact SnoCon had on the Northwest, so many folks chimed in with great stories, comments, and tales of deep pow and vicious hangovers. Please be sure to share your favorite SnoCon moments on their Facebook page.