It’s not surprising that a region known for its snowfall would also be home to an industry-renown ski and snowboard shop. Locals who live to hit the slopes are certainly familiar with Mud Sweat n’ Gears Ski & Snowboard Shop, a family-owned business with major snowsports passion and expertise.
Mud Sweat n’ Gears opened its doors in Ellicottville in 2000, launched by husband and wife duo Miguel Azcarate and Kim Reading. Both Miguel and Kim had spent their lives on the slopes, developing a combined expertise that helped them to build a strong local business and a loyal customer base.
“I grew up skiing with my family at Holiday Valley,” Kim said. “I moved to Ellicottville in 1992 and began my industry career in the sales and marketing department at Holiday Valley Resort. Miguel grew up ski racing in Spain and moved to Ellicottville in 1987, and he’s been coaching the Holiday Valley race team ever since.”
According to Kim, their pride in owning their business comes from being able to build a life around something they both so dearly love. In building their staff, they sought to employ individuals with the same passion and energy for snowsports who could provide customers with a level of expertise that was second to none.
That approach has led the business to numerous industry accolades, including being twice awarded Ski Magazine’s “Gold Medal Ski Shop” award and also being recognized in Skiing Magazine’s list of a handful of “Expert Ski Shops” in the country. It also allowed them to expand their footprint in Western New York, opening a second location at 669 Main Street in East Aurora in 2018.
Mud Sweat n’ Gears provides products and services to skiers and riders of all abilities – from novice to elite racers. Customers looking for gear can turn to the staff for help with boot fitting, purchasing skis, snowboards, bindings, helmets, goggles, and clothing and accessories to keep them warm on the slopes. For customers who aren’t ready to purchase equipment just yet, the shop offers a unique gear lease and demo program that allows them to take their time testing out equipment and finding what works for them.
“We have a broad selection of high-quality equipment that can either be rented by the day or leased for the entire season – your choice, depending upon your specific needs,” Kim said. “If you’re only going to ski a few times, then renting might be the right way to go. If you’re intending to ski more, but aren’t ready to purchase, then leasing could be the best choice. Not sure? Ask us, and we’ll help determine what’s appropriate for you.”
Kim notes that the leasing program is a popular, more affordable option for families with kids who are still growing and might only get a year’s use out of their gear before graduating to a bigger size. They can lease new or used gear in a package, which comes with season-long free tuning, boot adjustments, and size upgrades for kids that keep growing. It also offers an affordable buyout option if they decide they’d like to keep the gear.
“New lease packages give the user the pleasure of skiing on all new equipment and putting in the first scratches,” Kim said. “Used equipment has one or more season’s use, but still in top shape. We also offer the option of leasing just a ski or snowboard boot, or renting just a ski or snowboard.”
In addition to gear, Mud Sweat n’ Gears has a variety of services for skiers and riders to make the most of the season and get as many miles out of their equipment as possible. Their tuning equipment is unique in the region, making their locations a key stop for those getting ready for the season or those in need of a mid-season tune-up. They also have the ability to turn equipment around fast with their overnight service.
“The ‘Speed Factory’ at Mud, Sweat n’ Gears is home to the most innovative tuning machinery from Montana of Switzerland,” Kim said. “Our back shop is home to a fully automated Montana Challenge service robot – the only of its kind in Western New York. The Challenge Robot allows us to comprehensively cover every step of the ski service process, minimizing turnaround time while maximizing quality service results. We are able to offer a wider variety of base patterns and edge angles for all of our customers’ needs.”
“In addition, our infrared “Wax Future” compliments the service robot,” she said. “This machine uses an infrared heat source to heat the base of the ski. This provides better and deeper wax penetration into the base of the ski, for longer and better gliding on the snow.”
Kim encourages local skiers and riders to make sure to tune their equipment within 15-20 days of first hitting the slopes for the season, but notes that those who go out more often than the average rider and tend to beat up their skis or board will likely need additional tune-ups throughout the winter. “You paid a lot of money for your gear, and you want it to perform well,” she said.
Mud, Sweat n’ Gears welcomes skiers and riders to come in throughout the season and take advantage of the opportunity to pick the brains of their expert staff, who love to share their snowsports passion with like-minded folks. She notes that their shop is “as much a gathering place as it is a store,” nestled in a community of supportive fellow business owners and surrounded by two beautiful resorts that attract the recreational enthusiasts that have made their business thrive.
“Both of our stores are character driven, staffed with outdoor enthusiasts who thrive on sharing their passion for winter recreation,” Kim said. “Our successes are attributed to our team, entirely. We’re here to provide the best service possible in a fun and friendly environment. As they say, ‘the only way to do great work is to love what you do,’ and we love what we do!”
To learn more about Mud Sweat n’ Gears, the services and products they offer, and shop locations and hours, visit http://mudsweatgears.com/.
Mud Sweat n’ Gears | 669 Main Street | East Aurora, NY 14052 | 716 652 7180
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