Stomping Their Claim in the Sierra

"Tahoe-Truckee Companies Stomping Their Claim in the Sierra"

TRUCKEE, Calif. — With top brands like Burton, Salomon and others dominating the ski and snowboard industry, there is no shortage of options when it comes to purchasing quality equipment to enjoy the winter slopes here at Lake Tahoe and Truckee.

But did you know we have a few local companies dedicated to stomping their name in the snow? Below is a quick profile on [a company] dedicated to providing you a locally produced winter option.

 Thrive Snowboards



Recently celebrating its fourth anniversary, Truckee-based company Thrive Snowboards is ready to launch its fifth edition of products for 2017. Even though Thrive's distribution center is in Rocklin, California, and its manufacturing plant is in Taiwan (where Rome and Nitros boards are made), Thrive Founder Douglas Fagel says the business is at the epicenter of snow sports — at Truckee-Tahoe.

"I moved here in 2001 and launched Thrive in 2012," says Fagel. 

As an experienced snow educator, Fagel ran programs out of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, founded the resort's snowboard team, and was very much involved in snowboarding education.

"My mantra is to connect people to a mountain experience through community, coaching and education. It keeps me on the forefront of the industry," he says.

Fagel says what makes Thrive different from other companies is how the design of the boards connects with the body. Currently, Thrive has five snowboard models available (two women's versions and three for men), but Fagel says there are no hard and fast lines on who can ride what. To simplify things, Fagel only produces quality boards with the best materials to meet the needs of a wide range of riders.

Considering he works with a lean team (a staff fewer than five), Fagel says he was relieved with Tahoe's 2015-16 snow season.

"Last winter was such a great one for us," he says. "We were selling out of products and really saw a demand and increased sales, allowing us to increase production a little bit. He added that a good winter in Tahoe allows Thrive to test other markets in Europe, Argentina, and Asia.

Even though Fagel admits that he's a little spoiled in getting to ride all of the resorts at Truckee-Tahoe, his favorite thing to do still is going out in the backcountry with his dog Huxlie.

Mt Rose Backcountry Splitboarding - Photo: Alex Baker
Photo: Alex Baker

This article is adapted from the winter 2016-17 edition of Tahoe Magazine, a joint publication of the Sierra Sun, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, Tahoe Daily Tribune and Lake Tahoe Action. The magazine, which features loads of features and advertisements about all that the Tahoe winter has to offer, is on newsstands now across Lake Tahoe, Truckee and Reno. Go to to read it online, and be sure to pick up a copy today!

Link to the full article at