Sean Martin's Donek Snowboards

Sean Martin

Using ShopBot to customize Olympic-ready boards on the fly

Donek, led by its founder Sean Martin, is a Colorado-based company with a very dedicated, creative staff of riders. They've been handcrafting some of the best snowboards and skis in the world since 1987 -- when Sean was still in high school.

Back in 1993, Sean earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering and took multiple graduate level courses in composites, design, and mathematical modeling. He combined his skills in engineering with passion for sport to run a business that has been growing non-stop. Sean's innovative designs, attention to detail and exacting standards have earned him honored status among Donek riders everywhere, including Olympic competitor Zoe Gillings of Great Britain, who competed in the 2006 Turin Games and 2010 Vancouver Games riding Donek boards.

Martin says, "Now we're working intensively with Thedo Remelink, the coach for the Steamboat Springs team, to develop a more competitive race board line. Coach Remelink has probably produced more World Cup athletes in recent years than any other coach in the U.S. We are serious about getting Donek riders up on the Olympic podium!"

Sean builds each board with the help of a full-size ShopBot PRSstandard that he bought back in 2007 . Sean says, "I needed to move to CNC technology in order to customize boards and still produce them efficiently. I wrote software that allows me to change the parameters and shapes of a board with just a couple of keystrokes."

"My ShopBot is invaluable to my business. I wouldn't be able to customize boards for the needs of each rider -- and produce the boards quickly --without it!"

When it comes to productivity and reliability, Sean's ShopBot takes a lickin' but it keeps on tickin.' Sean's ShopBot has been hard at work 6 hours a day, 4 days a week -- for the past eleven years! "I just now purchased a second new machine, another full size tool, to allow me to keep up with the volume of custom orders," says Sean.

Martin says that he's become a ShopBot "evangelist" to other snowboard and ski makers. "I'm happy to spread the word about these tools." He's also been very pleased with the responsiveness of ShopBot's support people. Sean explains, "I've had the one machine for many years. At one point there was a problem from a part that had failed over time. Even though ShopBot didn't even make that particular model of tool or carry the appropriate part, they spent time identifying what needed to be replaced and helped me solve the problem. That's excellent service -- the kind of attention that I am proud to provide to customers of my business."

View Donek boards and learn about how they're made at


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