Saturday, February 16, 2002

What's the Buzz?

Snowboard maker pleased by sweep

        This week's Olympic medal sweep by U.S. snowboarders in the halfpipe competition was particularly sweet news to the folks at Crown Plastics in Harrison.

        The small family-owned company supplied all the high-performance plastic bases used on the boards of the U.S. team.

        In fact, Crown, which employs about 50, is the only North American manufacturer of the sintered polyethylene base favored for snowboards because of its durability and ability to hold wax, said Gregg Ellerhorst, chief engineer and son of Robert Ellerhorst, president and co-founder.

        Snowboard manufacturers beat a path to Crown's door about 15 years ago when the sport started to catch on because the company had the only presses capable of making the high-performance plastic in wide sheets for the boards.

        Today about 60 percent of Crown's business is DuraSurf, the trade name for its snowboard base.

        “We're the world leader,” said Gregg Ellerhorst. “We have a niche, but it's not something you'd expect to find in Harrison.”

       — Mike Boyer

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