After spending a few decades of his life living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming—one of the more idyllic places for an avid snowboarder to reside—Mikey Franco sound himself on the pro snowboarding circuit in Tokyo, where a season-ending injury left him down and confused. While recovering, he met legendary Japanese snowboard maker Taro Tomai, who inspired him to begin making his own snowboards when he returned stateside.
And that’s exactly what Franco did: he started Franco Snow Shapes, a high-end snow board company that constructs their snowboards in the Japanese Gentem style also known as snow surf. These boards have purposeful curves, weight and style that is ideal for surfing on top of the snow, not just beneath it. With this inspiration and knowledge, Franco’s snowboards have become some of the most sought-after and revered in the world of snowboarding. Every Franco board is hand-built at the base of the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, by craftsmen who also appreciate snowboarding themselves and know the subtleties associated with making a really good snowboard into a great one that will last. Boards are all designed to specifications from locally sourced wood in the Wyoming area and all boards come with a 3 year warranty against manufacturer’s defects.
With a Franco Snow Shapes board, you’ll have entered a whole new level of riding. The Japanese call it zen.