Alaska has the best mountains in the world and the raddest people; that’s why I’ve chosen to put everything I have into supporting this scene. ~ Jason Borgstede | Owner, Blue & Gold Boardshop
The History of Blue & Gold Boardshop
The late 90’s skate scene in Alaska was run by a tight-knit community of passionate friends who were eager to make a name for skateboarding in the Last Frontier. Out of this passion grew Boarderline, a local shop that was instrumental in bringing skateboarding and snowboarding to the 49th state. And one of the athletes involved with Boarderline at the time was pro snowboarder Jason Borgstede.
Growing up, Borgstede traveled traveled extensively between Anchorage and Tahoe; when he went pro he was a member of the Burton team, filmed video parts for Mack Dawg, and finished in top spots at the X-Games and Vans Triple Crown events. After leaving the pro circuit, Borgstede knew he wanted to stay involved with the Alaska scene and in 2010 began sketching out his idea for a snow/skate shop (building off his experience with Boarderline). A few years later on August 8, 2015, Blue & Gold Boardshop opened its doors for the first time.
The Blue & Gold Difference
Blue & Gold is locally owned–setting it apart from some of the other shops in the area. But Borgstede believes that the biggest difference is something else: “It’s our contribution to skateboarding and snowboarding,” he says. “We build the boarding community through events, gatherings, speaking engagements, and contests. We use local artists, we carry local brands, we collaborate with other local businesses, and we hire local companies to produce our goods when possible.”
“I grew up here [Anchorage] and feel I’m a product of our scene so I am dedicated to growing that scene.”
A Rainy Day in Alaska
About a month after opening, the shop hosted its first skate jam–in the rain. But Borgstede and his crew were determined to make it work, so they cooked up some hot dogs, showed skate movies in the shop, and held a powerslide contest in the wet parking lot. With about 20 skaters in attendance and no features to skate, not a single person complained.
“Everyone was just stoked to be out skating together, mashing some power slides,” says Borgstede. “That’s a testament to the Alaskan scene.”
The shop prides itself on having more knowledgable employees than anywhere else in town and maintains a philosophy that every crew member is key. The group always strives to make every encounter a positive one–and while it’s a small team, it delivers big customer service every time.
Want to learn something about a snow/skate product? Chat with someone at Blue & Gold who has used that product and he/she will give you an unbiased opinion.
“Tim is our main man, making sure everything is running smoothly from day-to-day,” explains Borgstede. Adding, “Drew, Nimba, and Kelsey are always ready to make sure any questions are answered and that our customers feel welcome and part of the community–no matter their experience level. And my wife Kelly is the behind-the-scenes mastermind that picks up all the pieces I drop,” he says with a laugh. “I drop a lot of pieces.”
The shop snowboard team is a rad group of rippers, shredding non-stop all season while maintaining positive attitudes. You can check out the Blue & Gold team in the (RIDE sponsored) video, “Evoke” dropping in October 2017. Keep a special eye out for Borgstede and Caleb Kinnear on fresh RIDE gear.
Fun fact: All of the snowboard team riders are sick skaters, too.
Blue & Gold (& BLACK)
“My favorite part about carrying and working with RIDE is the people,” says Borgstede. “These guys have been in this industry for decades and have literally dedicated their lives to being involved in snowboarding–just like me and my shop.”
“Topher (our rep), Jim (the main man), Tanner (the marketing and team manager), and all the product development guys I’ve met are down as can be. Just like us they live and die snowboarding and it shows in their care for the brand.”
He continues, “I love having great products in the store, supported by great customer service, and a company that is always willing to back us for events, the shop video, riders, and anything else that comes up.”
Thoughts on the AK Snowboard Scene
When asked about the local scene, Borgstede admits that it has changed a bit over the years but that some parts have stayed the same: “People just want to have fun shredding,” he says. “We hold a ton of events–in the shop and on the hill–and you can see that people appreciate getting together. Alaskan snowboarders are social and want to share the stoke; we see that come through at our events.”
“Alaska has the best mountains in the world and the raddest people; that’s why I’ve chosen to put everything I have into supporting this scene.”