It’s Friday, which means it’s time to shout out about some of the raddest British brands in the UK snowboard industry, as part of our Follow Friday series. This week is Manchester-based Park, who have developed an incredible range of super high-quality sweats, hoods, gloves, beanies and caps. We caught up with the lovely Joe Park as part of the Homegrown brands article we put together for GoneBoarding.
Kaz: Where are you based?
Kaz: Who are the faces behind Park?
The company is owned and run by two of us. Me (Joe Park) and Shay. If there’s something we can’t do ourselves we’ll find someone else who can…but basically there’s the two of us and an extended family of people (mainly riders) who help us out too.
Kaz: Where did the idea for your brand come from?
The first seeds of the idea started forming in 2007 when I was on a season in Whistler. I used to get comments because of my name and I think that’s what got me thinking.
When I got back to the UK I doodled a few ideas and showed them to Shay who was immediately into the idea. By the end of the first night we’d come up with our logo and it all just snowballed from there.
It all started with snowboarding but now we’ve an amazing BMX team who are KILLING IT at the moment and have just signed our first skater…a guy called Ross Zajak who is beyond dope.
Kaz: What products do you offer?
We do Gloves, Tees and Beanies but Hoodies have always been our main thing. We’re super proud of them…we don’t rebrand anyone else’s goods so a lot of thought goes into fit quality and function.
Kaz: What products do you hope to offer in the future?
We’re looking at outerwear at the moment but you won’t see anything from us until we’ve designed something that stacks up against the best in the market. Expect to see more technical gear from us in the future. We take our time to get things right though so it probably won’t hit until 14/15 at the earliest.
Kaz: Who designs your products?
We do…every aspect of them from the ground up.
Zip hoods but our pipe gloves are going great.
Kaz: Who do you aim your products to?
We don’t really think too much in those terms but obviously it’s aimed at anyone who’s into Snowboard, Skate or BMX.
We try and make something that looks sick and is great quality then hope people dig it.
Kaz: If you could collab with any other brand, who would it be and why?
Thats a good one…At the moment I don’t think we’d colab with another clothing brand but I’d love to something with someone like Capita or Union. A PARK board or binding would be rad!
Kaz: What makes you different from other brands?
High quality, we don’t rebrand stock items, we design everything from the ground up.
Kaz: What do you guys do when you’re not riding?
Shay’s crazy into his bikes and has just had a baby and I write music…but PARK takes up most of our time
Kaz: Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
Bigger…with a carefully expanded product range.
We’re in just over 20 stores in the U.K. I’d like that to be higher next year but they absolutely have to be the right shops.
We’ve been careful who we’ve approached and been very privileged that so many stores now stock us.
The Indy U.K store scene isn’t an easy one at the moment so we genuinely appreciate everyone that’s taken us on….luckily we’ve sold well.
Kaz: Where is your favourite place to ride?
Top 3 for me are Whistler, Mammoth and Morzine.
Whistler probably just nicks it…but I’m not massively keen on the village itself.
Kaz: What can we look forward to seeing from you this season?
New pipe gloves, improved cut and quality of the hoodies, an expanded list of stockists, our first national ad, a colab that I can’t talk about yet and we’ve also a couple of sessions planned but they’re in the early stages.
The snowboard team is:
Kaz: How do you go about choosing individuals to sponsor?
Its different every time. I’ve met people on the board test, had edits sent to me, mates on seasons have seen people killing it and recommended people, current team members have recommended others…There’s no rules. We don’t just sponsor individuals either. We’ve just hooked up the Hemel shaping crew (DWA)…we’ll be announcing that properly soon.
Kaz: Do you ever get involved with sponsoring events?
Yup, from pretty much the beginning we’ve been sponsoring comps in Domes and Dry slopes…I think we always will.
Kaz: How much of your life goes into the brand?
All of it. This is my job. There is no plan B.
Kaz: Can you sum up the company in a sentence?
An uncompromising, independent, UK based snowboard, skate and BMX clothing brand that offers unparalleled quality and value for your hard earned cash…
No. In the past we’ve lost money on products that haven’t been up to scratch so never made it to market. We’d do that again rather than sell something we’re not proud of. All our gear is also made in an ethically sound fashion.
Kaz: Would you like to give any shoutouts?
To our team, everyone who stocks us and anyone who’s ever bought a PARK product.
Kaz: Complete the sentence. ‘PARK’ would be nothing without…
The UK scene.