If you’re looking for a new snowboard brand to try out this season, chances are you’ve come across 686. But, is 686 a good snowboard brand? Let’s dive in and find out.
First off, let’s talk about the brand’s history and reputation. Founded in 1992, 686 has been around for nearly 30 years and has established itself as a leader in the snowboard industry. Their focus on technical innovation and attention to detail has earned them a dedicated following among snowboarders everywhere.
But reputation alone isn’t enough to determine whether a brand is truly good. So let’s take a closer look at the quality of 686’s products. From jackets and pants, to gloves and beanies, 686 offers a wide range of snowboarding gear that has been praised for its durability and functionality. Plus, with collaborations with major brands like Gore-Tex and Polartec, you know you’re getting top-of-the-line materials and construction. All in all, it’s safe to say that 686 is a good snowboard brand worth checking out.
History of 686 as a Snowboard Brand
686 is a brand that has been at the forefront of snowboarding apparel since 1992. The brand was founded by Michael Akira West, who was nicknamed “Cruiser” due to his snowboarding style. West had a passion for snowboarding and saw an opportunity to create snowboarding apparel that was not only functional but also stylish.
The name 686 was derived from West’s favorite ski run at Big Bear Mountain in Southern California. The run was labeled “Runway 686,” and it became the inspiration for the brand’s name. From this point on, 686 began producing innovative and trendy apparel for snowboarders all over the world.
Key Milestones in 686’s History
- 1992: Michael Akira West starts the 686 brand
- 1994: 686 launches the first-ever waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex jacket designed specifically for snowboarding
- 2003: 686 introduces SMARTY, a groundbreaking 3-in-1 jacket system
- 2011: 686 creates Hydrastash, the world’s first integrated hydration system in a snowboard jacket
Innovative Designs and Technologies by 686
686 has always pushed the boundaries of snowboarding apparel design through its innovative technologies and materials. The brand’s SMARTY system, for example, allows for jackets to be worn as three separate layers, providing unmatched versatility and customization. 686’s patented infiDRY fabric technology also ensures that its garments are 100% waterproof, windproof and breathable, while its Hydrastash technology revolutionized the way snowboarders hydrate on the mountain.
Despite its continuous innovations and focus on high-quality apparel, 686 has also maintained a reputation for producing stylish and fashionable snowboarding garments. The brand’s collaborations with other streetwear brands and artists have resulted in some of its most iconic pieces, further solidifying its status as an industry leader.
686’s rich history and innovative approach to snowboarding apparel has made it a popular brand within the snowboarding community. With a focus on functionality, versatility, and style, 686 continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in snowboarding apparel design and remains one of the most respected brands in the industry.
|Michael Akira West
|Los Angeles, California
|infiDRY fabric, SMARTY, Hydrastash, Thermagraph
Sources: 686.com, Transworld Snowboarding
Types of Snowboards Offered by 686
686 is a well-known brand in the snowboarding industry that offers a variety of snowboards suitable for every type of rider, from beginners to advanced. Let’s take a look at the types of snowboards offered by 686:
- All-Mountain Snowboards – These snowboards are perfect for riders who want to explore different terrains. They are versatile and can handle any type of terrain, including groomed trails, powder, and even some park features.
- Freestyle Snowboards – If you’re looking to hit the park and get creative, a freestyle snowboard is what you need. These boards are designed for tricks and jumps and have a soft flex that makes them forgiving and easy to maneuver.
- Freeride Snowboards – For those who prefer deep powder and steep terrain, freeride snowboards are the way to go. These snowboards have a stiffer flex and a directional shape that makes them stable at high speeds and turns.
686 also offers a line of women’s snowboards designed specifically for female riders. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate different riding styles and skill levels.
Additionally, each type of snowboard offered by 686 comes in different lengths and widths, ensuring that riders of any size can find the perfect board for their needs.
686 snowboards are known for their top-notch quality and state-of-the-art technology. Some of the key features that set them apart from other snowboard brands include:
|686 snowboards feature a hybrid profile that combines camber and rocker to provide the perfect balance of stability and playfulness.
|Carbon Fiber Laminate
|Carbon fiber is integrated into the snowboard’s core to make it more responsive and durable.
|The multi-radius sidecut allows for smooth turns and easy maneuverability.
|Extra Wide Waist
|Some 686 snowboards are designed with an extra-wide waist to accommodate riders with bigger feet.
These features, combined with 686’s commitment to innovation and design, make their snowboards a top choice for snowboarders around the world.
686’s Reputation Among Snowboarders
When it comes to snowboard brands, 686 has established itself as a significant player in the market. Over the years, the brand has managed to create a strong reputation among snowboarders across the globe, and this is due to several factors.
- Innovative designs: One of the reasons why 686 is highly regarded among snowboarders is due to the innovative and practical designs they offer. The brand is known for its focus on functionality, quality, and style. This has earned the brand numerous awards over the years, including multiple TransWorld Snowboarding’s Good Wood awards.
- Quality Materials: 686 prides itself on utilizing superior materials in all its products. Whether it’s jackets, pants, or accessories, the brand employs top-notch fabrics and technologies to ensure that their products can withstand the rigors of snowboarding.
- Commitment to sustainability: In recent years, the importance of sustainability in snowboarding has come to the fore. 686 is one of the few brands that have embraced this cause wholeheartedly. The brand has a reputation for using eco-friendly materials in their products, and they also have a take-back program for old snow gear.
Overall, 686’s reputation among snowboarders is one of excellence. The brand has managed to balance style, function, and sustainability to provide riders with the best possible experience while on the slopes.
Comparison of 686 Snowboards with Other Brands
686 is a well-known brand in the snowboarding industry, but how do their snowboards compare to other top brands? Let’s take a closer look.
- Burton: Burton is often considered the industry leader in snowboards. While 686 may not have the same level of recognition, their boards are definitely comparable in terms of quality and technology. Both brands offer a range of boards for different skill levels and riding styles.
- Rome: Rome is known for their innovative designs and high-performance boards. 686 also offers advanced tech features such as reverse camber profiles and hybrid constructions, making their boards a great option for those looking to push their skills to the next level.
- Capita: Capita is another well-respected brand in the snowboarding world, known for their durable and versatile boards. 686 offers a similar level of durability and versatility, with boards made to withstand even the most challenging conditions.
Overall, while 686 may not have the same level of recognition as some of the bigger brands, their snowboards hold their own in terms of quality, design, and performance.
When it comes to specific features and technologies, let’s take a look at how 686’s snowboards compare in the table below:
|Flying V camber profile
|P2 Superlight core
As you can see, 686 offers similar, if not identical, technologies compared to other top brands in the industry.
Top 10 Best-Selling 686 Snowboards
When looking for a high-quality snowboard, 686 is one of the most reputable brands in the market. Here are the top 10 best-selling 686 snowboards that you should consider for your next winter adventure.
- 686 Men’s Woodland Insulated Jacket: This snowboard features an infiDRY waterproof and breathable fabric, 80g insulation, adjustable powder skirt, and PJ connect system.
- 686 Men’s Smarty 3-in-1 Cargo Pants: These cargo pants feature a removable liner, infiDRY waterproof and breathable fabric, and a jacket-to-pant connection system for maximum protection in any weather condition.
- 686 Women’s GLCR Explorer Thermagraph Snowboard Jacket: This jacket features a 2-layer Gore-Tex fabric, adjustable powder skirt, helmet-compatible hood, and a Thermagraph body mapping insulation system for ultimate warmth.
- 686 Men’s Gore-Tex Linear Glove: These gloves feature a Gore-Tex outer shell, infiDRY waterproof and breathable fabric, a wrist cinch, and an adjustable gauntlet.
- 686 Men’s GLCR Essential Bib Snowboard Pant: These bib pants feature a Gore-Tex fabric, fully-taped seams, integrated boot gaiters, and a 100% Bemis seam construction for maximum protection and durability.
- 686 Men’s Smarty Cargo Snowboard Pant: These cargo pants feature a removable liner, infiDRY waterproof and breathable fabric, and a jacket-to-pant connection system for maximum protection in any weather condition.
- 686 Men’s Infinity Insulated Cargo Snowboard Pants: These cargo pants feature an infiDRY waterproof and breathable fabric, 40g insulation, and a jacket-to-pant connection system.
- 686 Men’s GLCR Satellite Bib Snowboard Pant: These bib pants feature a 2-layer Gore-Tex fabric, adjustable shoulder straps, and a Thermagraph body mapping insulation system for ultimate warmth and protection in cold conditions.
- 686 Women’s GLCR Geode Thermagraph Snowboard Jacket: This jacket features a 2-layer Gore-Tex fabric, adjustable powder skirt, helmet-compatible hood, and a Thermagraph body mapping insulation system for ultimate warmth.
- 686 Men’s GLCR Hydra Insulated Snowboarding Jacket: This jacket features a 2-layer Gore-Tex fabric, 40g insulation, fully-taped seams, and a helmet-compatible hood to keep you warm and dry in any weather condition.
If you are on the market for a new snowboard product, 686 delivers with their high-quality and durable products, especially these top 10 best-selling snowboards.
Materials and Construction Used in 686 Snowboards
When it comes to snowboard brands, 686 is a name that stands out for their focus on technical features and high-quality construction. This commitment to detail is reflected in the materials and construction used in their snowboards, which are designed to provide riders with a balance of performance and durability.
- Carbon fiber: 686 snowboards often incorporate carbon fiber into their construction, offering a lightweight but sturdy material that helps with stability and responsiveness on the mountain.
- Fiberglass: Another common material in 686 snowboards, fiberglass adds strength and rigidity without adding significant weight.
- Core materials: 686 uses a variety of core materials in their snowboards, including poplar, bamboo, and ash wood. Each material offers unique properties, such as poplar’s light weight or bamboo’s natural flex.
- Base materials: The base of a snowboard is critical for its overall performance, and 686 uses a variety of base materials, including sintered and extruded bases. Sintered bases are denser and more durable, while extruded bases are easier to repair and maintain.
- Edge materials: Snowboard edges are typically made of steel, but 686 uses a specific type of steel known as “Magne-Traction” that features multiple contact points for enhanced edge hold and control on icy or hard-packed terrain.
686’s snowboard construction incorporates several different techniques and technologies to optimize performance and durability. Some common construction features include:
- Sandwich construction: This technique involves layering different materials together to create a sturdy but flexible board. Sandwich construction helps to distribute stress and shock across the board, reducing the likelihood of cracks or delamination.
- Full wrap steel edges: 686 snowboards have full wrap steel edges that provide extra protection against impact and wear.
- Hollow core technology: Some 686 snowboards use hollow core technology to reduce weight without sacrificing strength.
- Poplar wood strips: In certain models, 686 incorporates poplar wood strips around the edges of the board to increase responsiveness and pop.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the materials and construction used in 686 snowboards are aimed at creating high-quality, functional boards that can handle a variety of riding conditions. Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced rider, a 686 snowboard is a solid choice that can help improve your skills and take your riding to the next level.
|Lightweight material that adds stability and responsiveness to the board.
|Adds strength and rigidity without adding significant weight.
|Poplar, bamboo, and ash wood offer different properties like lightweight, natural flex, and durability respectively.
|Sintered bases are denser and more durable, while extruded bases are easier to repair and maintain.
|Magne-Traction steel edges provide enhanced edge hold and control on icy or hard-packed terrain.
Combining these materials and construction features result in a high-quality, functional board that can handle a variety of riding conditions on the snow.
Awards and recognition received by 686 as a snowboard brand
686 is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after snowboarding brands in the market, thanks to its quality products that offer a great outdoor experience to users. Over the years, the brand has received lots of awards and recognition from various entities in the snowboarding industry, highlighting its commitment to offering high-quality products to consumers.
- In 2018, 686 won the ‘Editor’s Pick’ award from Snowboard Magazine for the Men’s GLCR Hydra Thermagraph Jacket. The jacket impressed the editors with its versatility, warmth, and waterproof capabilities.
- In 2019, Snowboarder Magazine named 686 as the ‘Most Eco-Friendly’ snowboarding brand for its continuous efforts to promote sustainable practices in the industry. The brand’s products are designed with recycled materials and eco-friendliness in mind.
- 686’s Men’s GLCR Gore-Tex SMARTY 3-in-1 Weapon Jacket won the ‘Gear of the Year’ award from Outside Magazine in 2020. The jacket integrates Gore-Tex waterproofing technology, which provides users with ultimate protection from cold and wet outdoor conditions.
These awards and recognition are a testament to 686’s commitment to excellence in the snowboarding industry. It shows that the brand is not only producing quality products but also that it cares about the environment, a factor that is crucial in promoting sustainability in the outdoors.
Here is a table highlighting some of the awards and recognition that 686 has received over the years:
|Award or Recognition
|Editor’s Pick – Snowboard Magazine
|Most Eco-Friendly – Snowboarder Magazine
|Gear of the Year – Outside Magazine
Overall, 686 is an excellent snowboarding brand that has won the hearts of many outdoor enthusiasts worldwide. With its commitment to quality, sustainability, and excellence, 686 continues to receive awards and recognition from various entities across the snowboarding industry.
686’s Impact on the Snowboarding Industry
686 is a brand that has made a significant impact on the snowboarding industry. Their commitment to designing high-quality snowboarding apparel and accessories has helped elevate the sport and improve the experience of riders worldwide.
- Commitment to Innovation: 686 has never been afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to innovation. They were the first brand to use Gore-Tex in snowboarding apparel, and have continued to introduce new technologies to the market.
- Industry Collaboration: 686 has collaborated with a range of other industry leaders throughout the years, such as Burton and Gnu, to create limited edition products and apparel lines. This has helped to build a stronger sense of community within the snowboarding industry.
- Sustainability Efforts: 686 recognizes the importance of sustainability in the snowboarding industry, and has taken steps to reduce their environmental impact. They use recycled materials in their apparel, and have partnered with Protect our Winters to support environmental advocacy efforts.
Commitment to Innovation
One of the hallmarks of 686’s impact on the snowboarding industry has been their commitment to innovation. The brand has never been afraid to take risks and push boundaries, whether it’s through introducing new materials or using cutting-edge technologies.
Their approach to innovation has helped to elevate the entire snowboarding industry, as other brands have followed suit and worked to improve the quality and performance of their products.
686’s collaborations with other industry leaders have helped to build a stronger sense of community within the snowboarding industry. By working together, brands are able to create unique products and apparel lines that appeal to a wider range of snowboarders.
These collaborations have also helped to introduce new technologies and materials to the market, further elevating the industry as a whole.
686 recognizes that the snowboarding industry has an impact on the environment, and has taken steps to reduce their own environmental footprint. The brand uses recycled materials in their apparel and accessories, and has also partnered with Protect our Winters to support environmental advocacy efforts.
|686’s Sustainability Efforts
|Use of Recycled Materials
|Recycled polyester, recycled insulation, and other eco-friendly materials.
|Support of Environmental Advocacy
|Partnership with Protect Our Winters to advocate for environmental policy change.
686’s dedication to sustainability sets an example for other brands in the snowboarding industry, and helps to ensure that the sport can continue to thrive for years to come.
686’s team of sponsored professional snowboarders
One way to gauge the quality and reputation of a snowboard brand is by looking at the team of professional snowboarders they sponsor. Being sponsored by a brand is a significant achievement for a professional snowboarder, and the brands typically choose only the most talented and promising athletes in the sport to represent them.
In the case of 686, the brand is known for having a diverse and impressive team of sponsored snowboarders. These athletes not only help promote the brand but also contribute valuable input and feedback to the development process of 686’s snowboarding gear and apparel.
- Forest Bailey
- Camielle Litle
- Austin Hironaka
Forest Bailey is one of the most notable athletes on 686’s team. He is a seasoned professional snowboarder who has won many competitions and is known for his creative and unique style on the slopes.
Camielle Litle is another well-known snowboarder who is sponsored by 686. She is not only a talented athlete but also an advocate for women’s snowboarding and works to create more opportunities for female riders in the sport.
Austin Hironaka is a versatile snowboarder who is known for his dynamic and fluid style. He has competed in many professional events and has also been featured in numerous snowboarding films and videos.
Overall, 686’s team of sponsored professional snowboarders is a testament to the brand’s commitment to quality and innovation in the sport. By partnering with some of the best athletes in the world, 686 is able to create high-performing and reliable snowboarding gear and apparel that are trusted and respected by both professionals and recreational riders alike.
Sustainability efforts of 686 in snowboard production
686 is one of the leading snowboard brands that takes sustainability seriously. The company uses eco-friendly materials in their production process, and they have implemented various sustainability initiatives that aim to minimize their environmental impact. Here are some of the sustainability efforts of 686 in snowboard production:
- Use of recycled materials: 686 uses recycled materials in their products, including recycled polyester, which is made from post-consumer waste such as plastic bottles. This helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and oceans.
- Partnered with bluesign®: 686 has teamed up with bluesign® to ensure that their production processes are environmentally friendly. The bluesign® system is a comprehensive solution for sustainable textile production that covers the entire supply chain. The partnership helps 686 to reduce its impact on the environment and promote responsible production practices.
- Reducing waste: The company has implemented measures in their production process to reduce waste. For instance, they use laser-cutting machines to create more precise cuts, which helps to minimize waste. In addition, they recycle their paper and cardboard waste, and they use reusable bags in their packaging to reduce plastic waste.
686 has also taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint. For instance, they have implemented energy-efficient practices in their facilities, including the use of LED lighting and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. In addition, they have reduced their air and water emissions by using eco-friendly materials and production processes.
To showcase their commitment to sustainability, 686 has created a Sustainability Collection that features products that are made with eco-friendly materials and processes. The Sustainability Collection includes jackets, pants, and accessories that are made with recycled materials and utilize sustainable production processes. By offering sustainable products, 686 is encouraging its customers to make conscious choices about the products they purchase and use.
|686 sustainability initiatives:
|Use of recycled materials
|686 uses recycled materials in their products, such as recycled polyester made from plastic bottles
|Partnered with bluesign®
|686 has teamed up with bluesign® to ensure that their production processes are environmentally friendly
|686 has implemented measures in their production process to reduce waste, including the use of laser-cutting machines to create precise cuts and recycling paper and cardboard waste
|Reducing carbon footprint
|686 has implemented energy-efficient practices in their facilities and reduced their air and water emissions by using eco-friendly materials and production processes
Overall, 686 is committed to sustainability in their production processes and products. By partnering with bluesign® and using eco-friendly materials, the company is taking concrete steps to minimize their environmental impact. Through their Sustainability Collection and other initiatives, 686 is encouraging its customers to make conscious choices about the products they use and the impact they have on the planet.
Is 686 a Good Snowboard Brand: FAQs
Q1. Is 686 a good snowboard brand for beginners?
A: Yes, 686 offers a range of snowboards suitable for beginners. These snowboards are easy to ride and maneuver and come at affordable prices.
Q2. Does 686 make high-quality snowboards?
A: Yes, 686 makes high-quality snowboards that are durable, versatile, and perform well on different terrains and conditions.
Q3. Does 686 offer a wide range of snowboard styles?
A: Yes, 686 offers a wide range of snowboard styles, from all-mountain to freestyle, to suit different riding preferences and abilities.
Q4. Are 686 snowboards good for park riders?
A: Yes, 686 snowboards are great for park riders as they offer a good balance of flexibility, pop, and stability that come in handy for tricks and jumps.
Q5. Is 686 a trusted brand in the snowboarding industry?
A: Yes, 686 is a well-known and trusted brand in the snowboarding industry, and its products have received positive reviews and awards from riders and industry experts.
Q6. Does 686 offer any warranty or return policy?
A: Yes, 686 offers a warranty on all its snowboard products, and you can return or exchange them within a specified period if you are not satisfied with them.
Q7. Where can I find 686 snowboards?
A: You can find 686 snowboards online on the company’s website or other retail websites, or at a physical store near you that sells snowboarding gear.
Thanks for reading our FAQs about is 686 a good snowboard brand. We hope we have answered any questions you may have had about the brand’s quality, range, and suitability for different riders. 686 is a reliable and reputable snowboarding brand that offers high-quality and stylish snowboards for riders of different levels and preferences. If you are planning to buy a new snowboard, check out 686’s collection and find the perfect fit for you. Don’t forget to visit us again for more snowboarding tips and advice. Happy shredding!