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our history

First Stop Board Barn was started in 1979 by Bill & Coral Elles with one goal in mind, make life more fun. Since day one we've outfitted first timers to world class athletes in skiing, snowboarding, biking, and paddling. Today we have a service center that can practically fix anything and a full rental & demo test center that allows customers to try equipment before they buy.  

 

Our flagship store takes inspiration from our rich heritage. Funky barn wood, old boilers, photographs, and a not so tiny Ski & Snowboard museum spread a feeling of respect and passion for those who conquered the mountains before us and inspiration for those who will pursue their dreams long after us.

We have helped athletes find success in Local, Regional, National, and World Championships. A few athletes have gone on to compete or coach in the Olympics. 

Ongoing market research and close relationships with key manufacturers like Salomon, Rossignol, Burton, Cannondale, and Trek have enabled First Stop Board Barn to offer the latest products; tried, tested and assessed before appearing on the store’s shelves. 

We test gear every single day in all types of conditions, it's what we have done every day for nearly forty years. We help people choose the right gear to get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer. We take our customers out skiing, snowboarding, biking, paddling, hiking, and give them tips how to improve their technique and knowledge.

Our passion for travel, the outdoors, and unique cultural experiences have opened up our eyes to seek out new adventures other people may not be able to experience or appreciate. We've traveled to places both far and near, from exploring the mountains, rivers, and lakes in our own backyard to powder skiing in Japan, mountain biking in Moab, snowboarding in Chile, to cross country skiing in Norway. 

As more and more customers do their business online, we continue to educate, explore, and reinvest into our retail store, service centers, and rental & demo test centers. While our online store has become a key component to our retail business we believe that the experience customers receive in person by far outweighs that of shopping online.  We utilize each employee's experiences and passion to help customers find the right gear for their next adventure. 

Few mom & pop shops can claim to be one of the oldest ski shops, the first bike, snowboard, and paddle board shop in their town. First Stop Board Barn offers Vermont's premier Salomon Test Center, Burton Premier Dealer, Cannondale Lefty Pro Shop, BootDoc Customer Boot Fitting Center, etc.

1979

Bill Elles opens First Stop Ski Shop in a small space that was once President Calvin Coolidge's meeting house in Killington, Vermont. They connected the former Triangle Motel to expand operations.

He hired his crush at the time Coral Wing as the head buyer, even though he had NO cash. 

"We got lucky, we opened the doors and it snowed all winter." -Bill Elles

1980

We opened our second location at the base of Sunrise mountain, the Northeast passageway to Killington Resort. Bill's little brother, aka "Uncle Tommy" helped us rent and tune alpine & telemark skis. You'll still see Uncle Tommy helping out with rentals on the busiest days of the year!

Fun Fact: At the time the Northeast Trip chairlift was longest ski lift in the world. We also became Killington's first Telemark & Backcountry XC Ski Demo Center.  A few years later realized Telemark skiing was pretty tricky for beginners to learn so we closed up shop and decided to lock it down!

1982

Shortly after the opening of Sunrise mountain Bill met Jake "Burton" Carpenter and we picked up a few of the first Burton Backhill snowboards.

While we couldn't use them at Killington the first few years we were able to try them out at smaller mountains like Pico and nearby Suicide 6.

Fun Fact: Suicide 6 hosted the first US Open Championships of Snowboarding before it moved to Stratton Resort. 

1984

During the summer of 1984 we brought the wild West back East and we opened Sunrise Stables in the 200 year old barn next to our flagship location for horseback riding tours. 

Not so fun fact: It turned out it was harder to teach people how to ride a horse in a day than it was to learn how to snowboard!

c. 1985 

We are an official sponsor of the Inaugural Killington Stage Race, a 5-day Professional Road Race with a signature fast finish on the "Sunrise Loop" behind our shop.

This event becomes a premier Stage Race event that professional road cyclists compete in over the next 25 years.

Fun fact: After a brief hiatus we become a Official Sponsor of the newly organized 3-day Killington State Race vent! We have loud music, cowbells and a crazy sale every year Memorial Day Weekend and offer neutral support to every competitor.

c. 1988

Team Athlete & Employee Mike Beauregard qualifies for the US Freestyle Ski Team and competes at the highest level for years to come.

Fun Fact: You can text your skills out every spring against Mike and other legends at the annual Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge, a true right of passage!

1990

While we had been selling for snowboards for nearly a decade in our First Stop Ski & Bike Shop location we decided to renovate Sunrise Stables and the farm house next to it and repurpose the space as the Board Barn, Killington's first true snowboard shop.

Fun Fact: US Open Snowboard Champion Jeff Brushie hosts the opening party by throwing some of the sickest grabs and tricks you could imagine on a giant trampoline. After the grand opening we introduced many local kids to the sport of snowboarding by allowing them to test out the trampoline!

c. 1993

Shane McConkey, the original wild man of big mountain skiing, designer of rockered powder skis, and all around bad ass spent the night hanging out and signing posters while on the Pro Mogul Tour. 

Fun Fact: Shane McConkey told Randy Elles (who only snowboarded at the time) that 2 edges were better than 4!

1994-98

We hosted the Fat Air Superjump Snowboard Contests on-site. While the amateurs sent it for great prizes and bragging rights, pros from across New England turned out for a chance to win the cash purse. This event cemented the Board Barn as a legendary snowboard shop for years to come.

Fun Fact: Pro riders that competed included Abe Teter, Pat Bridges, XX, XXX, and many more. 

Alberta Tomba

c. 1995

3-Time Olympic Gold Medalist and Italian Superstar Alberta Tomba is passing through Killington with Rossignol, the Coral takes him and the girls out for dinner, drinks, and dancing. 

Fun Fact: Turns out Tomba a.k.a. "Tomba La Bomba" likes his red wine and our Vermont cheese so much Coral and Maria convince him to show off his dance moves at the Wobbly Barn! #wobblytomba 

1996

Team Athlete and Employee Peter Ruprecht wins Junior Olympics in Giant Slalom held at Killington Resort. 

His athletic talent and good grades earn him a scholarship to Dartmouth College where he goes on to win multiple NCAA Championships.

Fun Fact: Peter has since become a successful Celebrity & Fashion Commercial Photographer. He recently was hired to photograph Grammy Award winning musician Usher snowboarding. #yeah!

c. 1997

We literally paved the way for Rollerblading in central Vermont.

After attending the first summer X-Games in Newport, Rhode Island Randy told his dad there were no safe places to skate that weren't dirt. So we poured a 50 foot by 20 foot concrete slab for kids to come and rollerblade. 

Not so fun fact: While the X-Games helped boost the popularity of the sport nationwide, it was rather short lived in Vermont. #bringitback

1998

Former First Stop sponsored athlete Evan Devbig qualifies and competes in the 1998 Nagano Olympics in Mogul Skiing. After a US National Championship, multiple top 10 World Cup finishes he suffers a torn ACL leading up to the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, he skis anyways and leads the US team to some of their best finishes. 

1999

Killington Chamber of Commerce Awards First Stop Board Barn the coveted Excellence in Customer Service Award.

2000

With families now consisting of both skiers and riders we decided to connect our ski, snowboard, and bike shop so all services could exist under one roof. Not only did this help us run our business more efficiently but it offered our customers a unique experience to crossover more easily. We believed skiers and snowboarders could co-exist and now a majority of our employees and customers have the opportunity to participate in every sport.

2001

Team Athlete and Employee Megan Hughes qualifies for the US Ski Team and skis alongside future Olympic champion Julia Mancuso.

Her efforts on the US Ski Team earn her a scholarship to Middlebury College where she went on to win the Slalom Title in the 2005 NCAA National Championships.

Fun Fact: Megan Hughes meets 2-Time Olympic Skier Gar Trayner, they fall in love and get married. We immediately offer their future children sponsorships.

2005

Team Athlete Stefan Hughes was a member of the U.S. Ski Team from 2005-06, and won the U.S. Junior Slalom Championship as well as the Junior Combined Championship during that span. He skied alongside Bode Miller, Ted Ligety, and Andrew Weibrecht. 

His efforts on the US Ski Team earn him a scholarship to University of Colorado where he went on to become a 2-time All American.

2007 & 2008

Max Elles wins back-to-back Silver Medals at USASA National Championships in Boardercross. Other team riders and future shop employees Wyatt Mosher, Will Mercer and Kyle Anderson all place in the top 10 in their disciplines. 

2009

After winning both Moguls and Dual Moguls at 2008 US National Freestyle Championships in Deer Valley, Utah Team Athlete Michael Morse takes 3rd Place in a World Cup Moguls event held in Norway. In 2010 he competed in the Vancouver Olympics. 

2010

Team Athlete Chelsea Marshall joins Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

While Chelsea didn't win, she was recognized for the "most epic crash" by ESPN! Cheers to sending it, we were proud! 

Fun Fact: You'll occasionally see fresh baked "Chelsea's Cookies" in-store and you'll also see her coaching the next generation of speed skiers at Killington Mountain School. 

2012

Max Elles sustains a life-changing spinal cord injury. With the help of surgeons at Dartmouth, rehab at Spaulding Medical Center and financial support from the greater Killington Community, our family at First Stop Board Barn and High Fives Foundation he get's back on snow in April 2012.

2015

Based on a recommendation from Jake Burton. We take part of the First Stop Board Barn crew on a Guided Adventure to the Far East with friends and customers on the trip of a lifetime.

"JaPOW" was filled with epic powder skiing, snowboarding, culture, food and adventure. 

Fun Fact: Interested in joining us on an epic adventure, let us know!

2014

Former US Ski Team athlete Kristen Legget returns to Vermont and decides to join Team First Stop Board Barn in the local Killington Ski Bum Race Series.

She beats every girl and nearly every guy in the field of 150 competitors over the course of the next 2 seasons and solidifies the team for Ski Bum Glory and late night bar bragging rights for years to come.

2015

Team Athlete Kirk Kardashian takes 2nd Places in the Vermont 50 Mountain Bike Race. The grueling 50-mile mountain bike race is something most people strive to finish, Kirk and the rest of the team dominated the field!

2015

Brand Director Randy Elles lands on the cover of Ski Vermont for a full-length feature of Killington powder skiing.

The following season photos of Randy shot by Justin Cash end up in both Powder & SKI Magazine.

Fun Fact: Randy Elles' most shared, liked, and commented on photo was of an epic Superman-like crash taken by Dave Young the following season. 

2016

Team Athlete and Employee Ian Clarke decides to try out skimo racing (an event where you race uphill, before skiing down). Turns out he was fast enough to qualify and compete in the 2017 World Skimo Championships in XXX, Italy. 

The following summer he raced across the US, Canada, and Europe with the Junior Pro Cycling Team CCB. 

2017

Team Athlete Mike Barton wins four of the biggest cycling events of the season in New England. Tour of the Battenkill, Pave Madness, Vermont Overland, & Green Mountain Stage Race.

Other rider's joke that he's the fastest dad with Twin toddlers, but it turns out he really is.

2017

First Stop Board Barn becomes an official sponsor of the Castleton Cycling Team. Team Athlete Andrew Borden takes top 10 in the Collegiate Division at the 2018 US Cyclecross Championships in Reno, Nevada.

2017

First Stop Board Barn hosts the 1st Annual Make A Wave Paddle Board Race to benefit the planning and design of a multi-purpose bike path that would eventually connect the towns of Killington to Bridgewater, Woodstock, Plymouth, & Ludlow. 

2018

Max Elles takes 1st Place in the 2018 Killington Ski Bum Series for Mens Snowboard Division. An astonishing achievement thanks to the support of our extended family of friends both near and far. 

2018

Second Generation Team Athlete Ian Beauregard qualifies 2nd in Dual Moguls at the 2018 US Freestyle Championships in Waterville Valley, NH.

This earns him a spot at Junior World Ski Championships in Åre, Sweden.