This winter we celebrate the silver anniversary of 686 and NRI’s 25 years of partnership, success, and growth. 


686 launched in the early 90’s and brought the spirit of LA skateboarding culture to the local mountains where the emergence of snowboarding was taking shape. Thirty years and hundreds of innovations later, 686 remains founder-led and strives to live by Mike’s original ideals. 


In 1998, 686 joined NRI as the brand was looking for help in penetrating the lucrative Canadian market. The international border between Canada and the USA was proving challenging for 686 to navigate in the early days, and NRI’s expertise in this arena was recommended to the brand by a prominent Vancouver snowsports retailer. The 686 and NRI teams found immediate common ground on enthusiasm for snowboarding; quality gear; and strong, supportive partnerships.  


“Time flies when you’re enjoying what you do. Put simply, NRI has completely changed how we do biz. As a brand going into its 31st year in business, we concentrate on our core strengths and enable strategic partners like NRI to do what they do best. They’re the engine to our success and I couldn’t be more grateful for what we’ve accomplished together.” Mike West, Founder and CEO – 686 Technical Apparel 


Today NRI manages 686’s full Canadian fulfillment (plus supplementary US support) with the same care and attention we did 25 years ago.  


“We have pushed endlessly at NRI to innovate, just as 686 has, in our technology, processes, and service offering. Having partners like 686 with common values, goals, and drive makes business evolution much more valuable, exciting, and efficient. Not to mention fun. Viewing each other’s achievements as our own has been key to success in both our great ideas.” Ryan Dale-Johnson, VP Business Development – NRI   


Here’s to many more years of keeping it real and making sure 686 feels the love. We’re not just service providers; we’re partners. 

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