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BomberOnline is located in Summit County, Colorado - Home to some of the best ski resorts in the U.S. such as Copper Mountain, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, and Breckenridge. All are approximately 15 minutes from one another and are all very "carve friendly". You are more than welcome to visit us at our shop in the town of Silverthorne, but we do ask that you call first as we do not keep standard store hours. Besides our dogs might bite you.
Official Greeters, Members of the Bomber Petting Zoo
If you are ever in our area and want some one to dig trenches with, please let us know. We are also always looking for excuses to go out and meet new people and see how they lay down turns in their home territory, so invites are welcome. Or if you just want to give us a ring and find out more information on where to stay and go when in Summit County, we'll help you with that too.
Through lack of a social life, 3 binding generations, the fall of the economy, and one GIANT leap of faith, Bomber Industries has managed to become what it is today. With someone like Fin Doyle as the owner and R&D designer/engineer, his brain never stops thinking about how to make things function more efficiently – even his own products.
Bomber started in 1993 with the ingenuity of 3 guys that thought “we can do it better”. Quickly outgrowing the space in the garage of the house they rented to make bindings, they soon decided it was time for a bigger space. Two rooms in a converted gymnasium was the first official home of Bomber. “Back then, every binding was made with hand tools. We finally had the cash to buy one manual CNC machine. We bent every bail and made each piece with limited equipment, but they worked” says Fin. The word spread among friends and local racers, and these guys knew that there was a future.
Fin bought out his partners and decided to pursue his dream on his own. With the launch of www.bomberonline.com in 1999, the transition had begun. Fin quit his day job and exclusively dedicated himself to making snowboard bindings that wouldn’t break. Even though Bomber and the TD1 had been around for 6 years, Bomberonline allowed people from all over the world to access the products. “All of this was happening when online ordering was getting very popular. I had no idea how it would all work, but I knew because our market was so small and spread out, we needed a place for everyone to come together”. Bomberonline became a community for hard boot snowboarders to gather and talk about ideas, issues, equipment – anything related to carving – around the world. Not only was there a forum for chatting, but articles were written and a one stop shop store was developed so that carving specific boardss, bootss, and bindings were accessible. At this point, there were so many possibilities. The real focus was on a new product.
“The TD1 worked great for it’s time, and it lasted for 10 years! However, I had so many ideas about how to make it better and leading edge. No one was making a binding completely suspended by a dampening system at the time. The TD2 was the beginning of the new generation” says Fin. The problem, as always, was cash flow and as soon as Bomber had it, the TD2 was launched in 2003.
The TD2 started people thinking, and the ability to carve got a little bit easier. This brought more people to the scene and it saw a slight surge of interest. However, the interest was small and the growth rate was barely recordable. “We were competing with the uprising popularity of XGames and Boardercross events which are both much more of a spectator sport. The general public wanted to jump higher and bank turns. Big companies were promoting soft boot snowboarding and half pipe, and alpine fell to the way-side.” However, Fin kept plugging along.
“Burton stopped making alpine boards, which was good and bad. Good – less competition and more room for the little guys to step up. Bad – it pulled all of the market with it, and before long no one even knew what hard boot snowboarding was”. There was no mention of alpine in any of the magazines or the media. Fin knew that there was too much interest to let it die, and there was many more possibilities to grow the industry. The SES event each year proved that there was a slight increase in new people becoming involved, but the sport needed something bigger and with bling to really give it a push.
Fast forward 5 years to 2008, and the TD3 Step in and Standard was born. All of the greatness of the TD2 plus some beneficial upgrades made everyone happy. There was a lot of testing, trial and error, and late night brainstorming before it hit production, but luckily the best of all of those shined.
The Fin Tec Heel also emerged on the scene this year, and the BTS kit had already been out for 2 years creating a lot of stir in the industry. “I had all these ideas running around in my head, and knew that I could create products that would help people get on a carving board, and have fun!” With everyone enjoying the new equipment, they were making better turns and other people on the slopes were noticing. Board manufacturers were thinking about new technologies on their end. Hard boot snowboarding had just gotten the well needed boost that would keep it alive.
There had been a lot of talk about developing a race binding for the World Cup athletes. Binding companies were making a fortune supplying them with equipment because athletes were breaking everything. “I teased that I was going to put a vending machine outside the Bomber front door so they could get these bindings (that were breaking) 24-7 – it was getting that bad” says Fin. Ideas were tossed about and finally a serious talk with the Steamboat team happened. “I got a list of what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what they hoped for in a binding. It was about time they had a binding they could trust in the race course”. In 2008 it was in testing phase and only available to athletes. “It was a rudimentary prototype, but it worked. We got a lot of great feedback from them, and from there I was able to make a production model” says Fin. In January 2010, the SideWinder binding hit the public market and was greeted with overwhelming response!
“Honestly, we made this binding because the racers wanted more flexibility for on course. We figured some people in the public would accept it, but we had no idea how popular it would become. Both the first and second year we sold out of every single one” Fin says. The SW gives the rider a bit of movement in the interaction between the boot and binding, making the binding have some flexibility without giving up control of that flexibility. It uses urethane E-Pads to control the movement that is created on the pivot point under the toe and heel of the boot. This product, as well as the TD3, continues to be a huge hit in the industry and the leading product for Bomber Industries.
Since 2009 the board manufacturers are also improving their technology with a metal construction. Companies like Donek, Coiler, and Prior are really making an effort to improve the hard boot experience on snow. But Fin’s brain was still churning, and a new product was in the works. “The racers wanted something that would isolate them from what was going on underneath the bindings - the board and snow. The idea had been tossed around a bit, but no one could nail the design” December 2010, prototypes were in the hands of racers and other testers, and the Bomber Boiler Plate was born. The production model was completed and ready for shipment January 2011. “It went so well, we had to make another run of product!” exclaims Fin. The product continues to evolve. Look for 2 new models coming out in 2012.
Currently Bomber sponsors 2 riders on the World Cup and works with many teams around the nation and the world to continue to make the products better. We have become the distributor for a few European companies, and now have distributors for Bomber Products around the globe. Things have come a long way since the few bindings Fin first crafted in the garage!
Of course, it’s not all about work. Everyone at Bomber is passionate about carving and snowboarding. We get out and ride too, although not as much as people think. “We’re lucky to live in an environment in which we are surrounded by 4 world class mountains, but someone’s got to make the products” sighs Fin. “I would love to ride every day, but the reality is about once a week”. Bomber also likes to have fun with both their retail customers and racers. “It’s all about the customers, no matter who they are”.
With the overwhelming response of all these new products from Bomber, and the new technology in the board making world, there is definitely an increase in growth in the industry. “Hard boot snowboarding, carving, is not dying. It’s actually quite the opposite, and we want to keep developing new products to make it fun and exciting for everyone – including us!” says Fin. There are still ideas running around in his head, to be extracted at a later date.
The future of our sport, is yet to be seen.