THE PRIOR STORY

Since 1990, Prior has been focused on handcrafting premium products for the snowsports industry. Our aim over the last two decades is to consistently produce boards and skis that stand up to the test of time, as well as the rigorous performance needs of the most dedicated riders and elite athletes.

Shape, length, sidecut, flex, weight, camber, and material composition are all carefully considered and tested in Prior’s factory at the bottom of Whistler Mountain. Our unrivalled access to R&D leads to continuous enhancements of its full lineup of handcrafted boards, skis and splitboards.

From the beginning we at Prior have been driven by the singular goal of making the best boards and skis possible.

For more information on your origins make sure to check out Chris' story.

MEET CHRIS

Chris and the Prior Story

The first board Chris pulled off a press was in Nov 89 and a lot has happened since then! Our first board is hung on the wall as you walk up the stairs in our showroom in Whistler.  It was the first introduction for many people in the sport to Chris Prior's craftsmanship and is a testament to Prior's heritage.

Chris’ introduction to the snow sport world was expedited from his background as a very talented windsurfer. When he wasn't competing around the globe he spent his time creating world class sailboards utilizing the most advanced materials at that time and customizing the shapes to the requirements of the rider.

His production facility was a large two car garage in suburbia North Vancouver.  The first few boards under people's feet proved successful and the idea of surfing the mountains started looking far more appealing. The snowboard market was going absolutely nuts, over six hundred brands and all vying for that all so important market share. Literally any shape with  P-tex, edges and “sick” graphics would sell.

The market could not absorb enough products. Acknowledging this Chris decided to focus on the unique boutique custom high end market. That market was in its infamy in Europe but North America was wide open. Team riders were starting to approach their positions as any professional athlete would. In so doing they all required custom boards that were finely tuned to their needs. Many soon came knocking and the word rapidly spread that Chris was the go to for their needs.

Chris eventually retired his planer and closed the door on shaping windsurfers and directed his focused on building custom boards. The vast amount of knowledge that Chris absorbed from working with the top pros was ultimately being absorbed so that one day he would apply to his own line of boards.

By 1993 Chris had a full line of ready to build shapes that had been fueled by his custom board making. The line quickly started gaining momentum. He continued building custom rides for top athletes and veteran riders, and the demand just kept coming.

Big mountain free ride, half pipe and alpine world cup boards were all in demand. Alpine was huge during the 90’s. Prior alpine boards graced over ten first place’s and more than 40 podium finishes’ on the North American and International circuits.

From the beginning, Whistler had always been Priors testing ground. As time wore on it only seemed natural that Prior needed to move closer to the source. Being constantly immersed in the mountains, the culture, and the life style have all helped make the brand what it is today. In the fall of 1999 that’s what Chris did and he moved the facility to Whistler. There were a few nay sayers that thought production overseas should be “seriously” considered......

The Prior brand was on solid ground and the constant access to R&D and a wealth of local talented riders helped the progression of the Prior product line up. Chris introduced splitboards to the line in 1999 which has taken off in recent years.  Prior now has the most comprehensive line of splitboards on the market. Shortly thereafter skis were brought in with much anticipation and have been widely received. Winning numerous industry awards for material innovation and design.

Prior continues to hold true to its core values focusing on the quality, performance and the unique custom ski and board. Our success has always been determined by the virtues of our customers.   

 

Our Mission Statement

Our mission statement at Prior is "To grow a lifestyle business through the construction of premium snowriding products while providing excellent service to our customers and positive support for our various stakeholders including the community in which we reside, the mountains, and the environment." 

General FAQ
Are all your boards and skis made at your factory in Whistler, Canada?

Yes! All Prior products are manufactured in our one and only factory in Whistler.

What differentiates your snowboards and skis from other manufacturers?

First, we always use the finest materials available. Secondly, we have been handcrafting boards for some of the world's best riders since 1990 and this knowledge and know-how goes into every product we make. Third, the Prior boards and skis are made in Whistler by craftsmen whose lives revolve around the sport. The fourth, and most important differentiating factor, is the Prior ride. Prior snowboards and skis have been designed to provide unparalleled stability, control and performance in all winter conditions.

How does Hybrid Rocker affect the edge hold of my snowboard or skis?

Any Prior snowboard or skis with Hybrid Rocker will have similar edge hold to the same model built with traditional camber. Keep in mind that there is still camber under and between your feet and that the rocker or early rise in the tip and tail is minimal. The result is a ride that has excellent edge hold while providing an enhanced powder ride with more effortless edge-to-edge transition.

How long will it take to get my snowboard or skis after I order it?

If you order a snowboard or pair of skis that are currently in stock (ie. from the new in-stock/demo section), your order can be shipped or picked up the same day. The amount of time that an order takes to ship will depend on your location and which shipping option you choose. If you order a snowboard or pair of skis to be custom built (ie. you've specifically chosen certain graphics from our topsheet and base selections) the lead times will vary depending on how busy the factory is with other orders. Most 'custom build' orders can be completed within 3 weeks (plus shipping time).

How will I know when my order has been shipped?

If you placed your order online, you will be emailed a tracking number and shipping confirmation on the day that we ship your order out. If you ordered in person or over the telephone, please make sure we have been given your email address and you will be emailed your tracking number on the day that your order is shipped.

Where do you ship to?

Prior ships everywhere. We have more than two decades of shipping experience to Prior customers from all over the world. Since we partnered with Fedex, we were able to provide even more affordable, reliable, and timely service for Prior customers around the globe.

Can I pick up my snowboard or skis in Whistler?

Yes, you can choose to 'Pick up at Prior Factory' as your shipping method when ordering online. We will contact you via email or telephone to let you know when your order is ready and we will hold it here at the Prior Factory/Store for you to pick up at your convenience.

How do I get to the Prior Factory/Store in Whistler?

Click here for our address and directions. If you are still having difficulty finding us, simply give us a call at 604-935-1923 or toll free 1-877-93-PRIOR.

What is your exchange rate between Canadian and other currencies?

It varies depending on the economic conditions. Click on www.xe.com for current exchange rates. We charge all purchases in Canadian dollars. We list some common exchange rate prices on our site for quick reference only and exchange rates vary depending on the current daily rate.

What is your warranty policy?

New Prior snowboards and skis come with a one-year warranty against defects in quality and workmanship.
For more information please go to our warranty information page.

Can you repair non-warranty claims?

Yes. We repair Prior boards and skis for a reasonable price. Keep this in mind if you have some non-warranty damage, or if your warranty expires.

Do you make or sell bindings?

Yes, we sell a selection of softboot, alpine, splitboard and ski bindings and accessories. Click on accessories for more info.

Are sintered graphite bases faster?

Industry information says yes. Graphite reduces friction at moderate temperatures, thus increasing speed. In cold conditions and warm conditions this effect is negated. To ensure board speed it is most likely more important to keep your base in good condition and wax regularly.

Do you rent or demo snowboards and skis?

Yes. We have a full set of demo boards and skis at the Prior factory in Whistler that are available for C$25/day (+HST). We will take up to three demo days (C$75) off the purchase price of a new Prior board. Many of our Dealers also rent or demo Prior snowboards and skis. In addition, we perform free demo clinics at several resorts around the Pacific Northwest during the winter months. Check our demo schedule for dates and locations.

Do you have any used, factory seconds, or 'last years' snowboards and skis for sale at discount prices?

Yes. Please go to the Prior Ski and Board Rack for up-to-date product listings.

Can you tell me more about your factory in Whistler?

The Prior factory is specifically designed to handle small runs of high quality snowboards and skis. We produce a limited number of snowboards and skis to ensure that the integrity of our product is maintained. When you visit Whistler, please contact us to reserve a spot on one of our free factory tours.

Snowboard Questions
Do you have wide boards for people with big feet?

We offer several "wide" boards to help prevent heel/toe drag for those with bigger feet. "Wide" models that have a 26cm waist are the MFR in all lengths, the Khyber in 165 and 170cm, the Spearhead in 166, 172 and 178cm, and the Powstick in 176 and 181cm sizes. We also offer an MFR 168 "extra wide" board with a 27cm waist width which is suitable for riders having size 12 - 14 feet. A special note for those with feet larger than size 14, we can customize boards with a waist width up to 28.5cm and a tip/tail width up to 34cm. Click on Custom Shapes for more info.

What kinds of custom options are available?

All customers can choose between various topsheet and base graphics. Length, width, flex, materials and cosmetic appearance are all possible custom features available for additional surcharges. Please go to custom shapes or custom graphics for various prices and options or contact us for more information.

My screws feel like they are stripping the inserts when I am attaching the bindings. What should I do?

Are you using the correct screws? All inserts are tested in the factory before shipment. Prior uses industry standard 6mm stainless steel inserts. If an insert is giving you problems try inserting a screw without the bindings very slowly. Make sure the screw is pointed straight down. If you still are having problems try other binding screws in the problem hole. New screws often require more effort due to the locking material on their threads.
Contact us if the problem persists.

Do you make any boards for kids?

We do not make a 'kids' specific model, but our Brandywine and our Lupin Twin are both suitable for smaller, lightweight riders and come in shorter lengths including 147 and 150cm.

What should I do to take care of my Prior snowboard?

With a little care, your Prior snowboard can last several years. We recommend that you wipe off your board with a soft towel after you use it and store in a warm dry place. Regular waxing and tuning is also important. Go to Board Tuning 101 for some helpful tips. For those of you who would rather have your board taken care of by the pros we offer a Pro Tune done here at the factory in Whistler.

Ski Questions
How long has Prior been making skis?

Prior built the first prototypes in March of 2002. We then tested and refined them for 18 months before releasing the Prior 'Original' to the public in the in the fall of 2004.

What size of Prior skis are right for me?

As a general rule Prior recommends sizing customers for skis with the "Use your Head" method. The key to this rule is simplicity. For Type 1 (novice) skier, size the skis with the tip approximately chin height. For Type 2 (intermediate) skier, use approximately nose height. Type 3 (expert) skiers will be sized correctly when the ski tip is at forehead height. Note: There are exceptions to the rule to be aware of. Many of Prior's customers are experts and have various requirements which may mean even longer or shorter lengths than recommended above. Please email a Prior ski representative for more information.

What kinds of custom options are available?

All customers can choose between various topsheet and base graphics to customize the look of their Prior skis. Original, Doughboy and Sister ski models can also come with an optional flat tail section to facilitate climbing skins at no extra charge. Prior skis can be made stiffer or softer upon request too (nominal upcharge will apply). Finally, you can also completely customize with your own graphics for a surcharge - go to Custom Graphics at the bottom of a product page for more info.

Where should I position the bindings on the ski when having them mounted?

The recommended boot centre (B/C) mounting position is marked on the sidewall of each Prior ski. Note: You may wish to adjust the position of the binding slightly forward or back depending on your skiing style. Please discuss options with the ski technician who is mounting your bindings.

Do you stock ski poles?

We currently stock collapsible ski poles which are great for backcountry use.

Splitboard Questions
Does Hybrid Rocker affect my ability to ascend on a splitboard?

No. Remember that the most of your skin traction comes from the area below your feet and this area still has camber. Also note that the early rise (rockered) tip and tail is subtle so you will be getting skin traction and edge hold in this area of the board half too. Early rise in the tip is beneficial as it makes it easier to stay above the snow when hiking in deep pow.

Is there a significant sacrifice in performance when using a Prior splitboard compared with a solid board?

No. Prior splitboards are torsionally stable and have a similar overall flex pattern to our proven freeride models. With the connective splitboard hardware in place, the splitboard rides just like a regular board. (Note: a quadglass splitboard weighs approximately 8% more than a regular board, however an XTC carbon splitboard weighs approximately 9% less than a regular board.)

How long does it take to do the splitboard changeover in the backcountry?

Once you've got your system dialed, it will only take a couple of minutes to switch over from boarding to touring mode and vice versa.

Do the heels have the capacity to lock down when in touring mode?

No. The current Voile and Karakoram setup are for freeheel mode only.

What can I do to help protect the nylon tip/tail clips on the Splitboards?

Most tip clip damage occurs while the boards are split apart. We recommend rotating your tip clips in so that the board protects them while in touring mode. The tip clips fit under the skin bars when in this position which is added protection. Also, while skinning, run your boards with the straight sidewall (middle of board) out. This provides additional control while skinning as well as reducing the chances of making contact with the tip/tail clips.
If you do break a nylon tip clip please contact us to arrange getting a replacement.

Do you have any suggestions on how to use and maintain my splitboard skins?

When drying your skins, hang them up separately with the glue on the outside. Once dry, stick both skins to both sides of a cheat sheet for storage.

Can you downhill ski on the splitboard when it is in touring mode?

You can certainly 'ski' downhill as necessary, but keep in mind that you will be freeheeling with a setup that was not designed for skiing. The result is more of a cross country skiing experience versus downhill. Also note that the splitboard halves will have a straight edge on one side, so they will not have the same effect as a regular downhill ski.

Have a question? Please contact us.

BUILDING YOUR DREAM RIDE

All customers can choose between various topsheet and base graphics to build your dream ride!
Length, width, flex, materials and cosmetic appearance are all possible custom features available for additional surcharges. Please go to custom shapes or custom graphics for various prices and options or contact us for more information.
If you have an idea and want to see if we can do it then call us  1877 93 PRIOR or email info@priorsnow.com

 

Warranty Information

Prior Snowboard Manufactory Ltd. (Prior) warrants all products sold by Prior to the original purchaser to be free of defects in material or workmanship for a period of three (3) years from the date of purchase unless otherwise specified on the product.

If a product is found to be defective by Prior, Prior's responsibility shall be limited to repair or replacement of the defective product. Prior will not be responsible for any costs, losses or damages incurred as a result of loss or use of product or damages incurred in shipping.

This warranty is subject to the following limitations.

  1. The warranty applies only to Prior products purchased from Authorized Prior Dealers and is valid for the original purchaser only.
  2. All products returned to Prior for warranty inspection must have a return authorization which can be given over the phone or via email. Ship products freight prepaid and insured. Prior assumes no responsibility for products during shipment from the customer to our Warranty Department. Shipping charges are not refundable.
  3. Excluded from coverage under this warranty are the following:..
    a) Damage caused by misuse, abuse or neglect.
    b) Damage caused by rocks or any other impact related damage.
    c) Damage caused by improper mounting or adjustment of the bindings
    d) Damage caused from chairlift breakage
    e) Normal wear and tear.
    f) Damage caused by anything other than defects in material or workmanship.
    g) Damage caused by use of solvents, adhesives or LOC-TITE®.
  4. Repaired or replaced products are covered for the remainder of the original warranty only.
  5. All warranty claims must be accompanied by the original online order or purchase receipt.
  6. Prior product is not covered by any verbal warranties. In all cases this warranty policy will take precedence.
  7. The 3 year warranty policy was introduced on August 1st 2012. Purchases made before this date were purchased with a 12 month manufacturing warranty policy.
  8. Purchased Demo boards have a limited warranty of 1 year.

How to Make a Warranty Claim

STEP ONE

Evaluate the validity of the claim.

  • Confirm that that product was purchased within the last 36 months.
  • Confirm you are the original owner.
  • If the issue is not a warranty claim but you would like it repaired by Prior please contact info@priorsnow.com.

STEP TWO

Bring the product to the store where it was purchased OR email our warranty department: warranty@priorsnow.com with photos of the issue in question and a copy of your receipt.

In either case, Prior must be contacted to receive a Return Authorization (RA) Number.

  • Email our warranty department at: warranty@priorsnow.com
  • Tell us WHAT you are sending back (describe the product).
  • Tell us WHY you are sending it back (describe the problem).
  • Don't forget to include photographs and a copy of your receipt.
  • We will assess your claim and provide you with an RA number for return back to Prior for inspection, repair or replacement.

STEP THREE

Pack and ship the product immediately. Customer is responsible for shipping costs to Prior.

  • Remove bindings from boards before returning (for splitboards: do not return mounting hardware or skins).
  • Use a cardboard box for shipping boards. Plastic wrap will not protect the board in transit.
  • Include a copy of the original proof of purchase (receipt).
  • Include a brief description of the problem and the RA#.
  • Write RA# clearly on the outside of the box.
  • Mark the defect clearly with a piece of masking tape (do not use permanent marker to outline the defect).
  • Indicate that the boards is a warranty return to avoid any associated custom fees
  • Ship the claim to:

    Prior Snowboard Manufactory Ltd.

    Attention: Warranty RA#______________

    #104-1410 Alpha Lake Road

    Whistler, BC, Canada V0N 1B1

    Phone: 604-935-1923

International Returns

If returning a board from outside of Canada, write 'Damaged Goods Returning to Manufacturer' in the 'Description of Goods' area of the waybill and value the returning goods at US$20.

Claim Receipt Procedure

Within 48 hours of receipt of product, the claim will be handled in one of the following ways:

  • If the returned product is within the valid three-year warranty period and judged by Prior to be defective, we will contact the customer or contact person to confirm the warranty and advise timeline for repair or replacement. The warranty remains valid on repaired and replaced items for the balance of three years from the original purchase date.

  • If the problem is determined to not be covered under warranty but can be repaired, we will contact the customer with an estimate for the repair and to get authorization to proceed with the repair.

  • If the problem is not covered under warranty, nor repairable, the customer will be contacted with list of available options.

***We always work hard to have your claim repaired or replaced and returned as soon as possible so you get back on the snow with minimal downtime.

Shipping boards back to you from Prior

For all warranty approved boards we will return goods via the same method used to ship to the Prior factory (ie. if you use Express shipping to ship to us we will ship Express back to you; etc.) at our cost.

For all non-warranty boards the customer will be responsible for the return shipping costs. These will be outlined on our quote outlining the repair costs.

Returns Policy

Should you decide you would like to return an in stock product bought from us you are welcome to do so up to 3 weeks from the date of purchase. Items must be unused and in original packaging.

If, however, you would like to return a product that we built specially for you, a 25% restocking fee will apply under the conditions mentioned above.

Please contact us at info@priorsnow.com before shipping anything back to us.