Forum Forever? Forum Snowboards is Back, Again—But For Real This Time

Nick DeRiso | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Forum Snowboards is Back
Via Forum Snowboards

Rarely in snowboarding is a brand as iconic and as widely loved as Forum. The brand was founded in 1996 by pro rider Peter Line and the Four Star Distribution company. Known for its unconventional marketing, product development, and overall influence on the industry, Forum was a snowboarding powerhouse in the 1990s and early 2000s. Ran for riders by riders, Forum revitalized the snowboard market and challenged companies to re-evaluate their strategy. They were provocative and trendsetting all while moving the needle on what was possible in the snowboard world.

And they’ve relaunched their website today.

Peter was credited for putting together what’s regarded as the most progressive snowboard team ever assembled. On top of that, he partnered with Mike MacIntyre, a.k.a. Mac Dawg, one of the most rounded and time-proven videographers in all of snowboarding. The highest-profiled team in the sport starred in Mack Dawg Production’s The Resistance’ – arguably one of the most impactful snowboard movies ever made. They were known as the Forum 8, consisting of JP Walker, Jeremy Jones, Joni Malmi, Wille Yli-Luoma, Bjorn Leines, Devun Walsh, Chris Dufficy, and Peter Line. In addition to hard goods, Forum and Four Star would successfully go on to launch technical outerwear brands Special Blend and Foursquare. 

Forum Snowboards Returns
Via Forum Snowboards

The Downfall

Due to some poor financial decisions, Forum faced troubling times in the early 2000s. On the brink of going under, Burton Snowboards jumped at the opportunity to purchase the family of brands in 2004. Burton respected the brand and their hope was to slow the trend of ski companies buying up snowboard brands. They didn’t want Forum to become cookie-cutter and end up in big box retailers. The intent was to keep snowboard companies in the hands of snowboarders. Preserve the culture and keep the brands thriving. 

However, after eight years under the Burton umbrella, things didn’t go to plan for The Program. Burton was almost competing with itself and realized the business failed to be viable. It was time to exit. Forum was met with its untimely demise, ceased production in 2012, and ultimately closed its doors in 2014. 

Forum Snowboards Returning
Via Forum Snowboards

Trademark Wars

The #GiveForumToPeter movement began and Forum sat dormant. But it didn’t take long before Patent Attorney Josh Schoonover, and his company Reeflection Brands swooped in for the licensing rights to the Forum, 4Square, and Special Blend names in 2017, capitalizing on nostalgia and the logos. The move seemed to be a cash grab, made apparent by their Amazon store, website, and poorly produced products. SnowBrains reported the full story back when it happened below. 

Forum’s Future

Ten years later and after six years of discussions behind the scenes, the brand is making its long-awaited comeback. The wheels are finally in motion only this time Josh wanted to come correct, enlisting a few original members who were key to Forum’s success in its early days. Giving Peter Line, Jeremy Jones, and Mike MacIntyre full creative control while taking a back seat and only providing the bankroll. Jeremy, Peter, and Mike will not be taking any salaries this year and pouring their heart into the project. So much so that Jeremy is scratching his current contract with Nitro Snowboards to pursue the Forum venture.

They plan to build the brand slowly as a startup. So don’t expect any old graphics to be revised as they are starting out fresh, launching the brand from scratch. Although there won’t be any pro models, they have a strong history to speak from. Their goal is to make enough money to sustain themselves from season to season and eventually build a team. Jeremy broke down the plans on the AirTime podcast with Jody Wachniak stating, “We’re not looking to take market share from competition or to disrupt the industry.” But rather be,

“A voice for snowboarding to support the community.”

Forum is a brand focused solely on snowboarding, concentrating on high-quality products, and collectively doing its best to contribute to the fun and progression of snowboarding. Whether you’re for ’em or against ’em, the brand has certainly landed back into hands who live Forum.

Here’s What We Know So Far: 

  • In an email sent to family, friends, and colleagues, Jeremy, Mike and Peter outlined a plan for FORUM 2022.
  • The website went live today, 10/26/22.
  • You can follow the progress at LoadingNext.Online or on the LoadingNext IG.
  • A limited run of boards for Winter 22/23 will be available online and in select shops.
  • The Mothership will house production (Capita’s eco-friendly factory in Austria).
  • No Special Blend or 4 Square – Only Forum, only snowboards.
  • JP Walker has a pro model with Santa Cruz, so he is not involved at the moment. Although JJ says the door is always open whenever when/if he chooses to jump aboard. 

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