Whether you’re looking for a snowboard, skateboard, wakeboard, or paddleboard, there’s only one place in Fernie to go – Boardstiff. The board shop has been supplying locals and visitors with all the winter and summer sports gear they need for 15 years.
“It got started when my cousin Mark and I decided that we wanted to get into business for ourselves,” explained owner Geof Hare. “I came from Vancouver and Mark came from Whistler, and we spent a season here in Fernie and found that we loved it, so we decided to open up a shop.”
He added, “The deep winter powder is kind of what drew me here, but you spend one summer in Fernie, and that’s really when you get hooked.”
Fast forward to today, Geof has opened up a second location in Kimberley, and the original store is still going strong in Fernie.
“Fernie’s a diverse community, lots of different kinds of people come through every year, especially with our travelers, so there’s lots of good influences that way,” shared Geof. “I have three kids now, so it’s an awesome spot to raise kids. You have the rivers, the mountains, all of that outdoor stuff makes for good influences, but then you also get lots of good restaurants and good people, so you don’t feel like you’re trapped in a small town.”
After 15 years in business, Geof admits there have been some ups and downs over the years. “We’ve had to deal with changing seasons, changing economies, Fernie becoming busier with people, but also a little more crowded on Main Street with other stores like ours,” he said. “We’re kind of always changing and just trying to make sure we’ve got what people are looking for and trying to compete with cross-border shopping of course.”
No matter what obstacles the store has faced, Geof is always thankful for loyal and local customers. “We love Fernie and Fernie’s been so good to us. This is one of those great communities that in the shoulder season, like right now, the community does shop really local, and they do support us a lot, so we’re super stoked to have that for sure.”
You can check out all that Boardstiff has to offer at their storefront on Second Avenue, or on their website at www.boardstiffgear.com.