Zen & the Art of Creating the World’s Biggest Splitboard Binding Company: Will Ritter, Spark R&D (Ep.27)

Will Ritter is the founder of Spark R&D, the largest splitboard binding company in the world, and Spark R&D designs and manufactures all of their products in Bozeman, Montana.

This turned into such an interesting conversation with Will that we are presenting it in two parts. Here in part 1, we talk about the history of Spark R&D, and whether or not you’ve ever ridden a snowboard, if you have ever thought about starting any company of any kind, listen closely, because I promise you that you will glean some very real insights into what actually goes into starting and running a company.

And then we will be posting later part 2 of our conversation, where Will and I went deeper into Spark R&D’s specific products, we discuss hard boots vs. soft boots, how much room Will thinks there is for splitboards to improve, and more.

But for now, let’s get the origin story of Spark R&D, and listen to Will kindly share some real words of wisdom for anyone thinking of starting anything.


    • Trick or Treating & the myth of the Sugar Sprite?? (1:44)
    • When, where, and why did Will start Spark R&D? (3:48)
    • The many products Will worked on as an engineering consultant (5:25)
    • Working on the MFD ALLTIME touring binding with Jason Prigge (7:27)
    • The move from consulting to factory production (10:06)
    • The backcountry touring scene back when Will started Spark R&D (14:05)
    • “Making One” – and other major milestones (23:35)
    • How to have Zen get beaten into you (35:35)
    • The state of Spark R&D today (46:35)

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