It's all who you know.
It would be mechanical, chemical, and material science engineers who do all the R&D for that stuff. The scientists develop the theoretical stuff, but it is the engineers who put those theories into practice. If you really enjoy physics, I highly recommend going into mechanical engineering. It uses a lot of physics, but it is also one of the most versatile engineering degrees and allows you to go into a number of different fields.
As for getting into the industry, do internships/co-ops while you are in school for companies in the industry you want to work in. That is the best way to get a job once you graduate, because the you will have an "in" with at least one company and also have experience and know people in that industry as well. And don't worry about how much you get paid during your internship (if at all, but most engineering internships actually pay pretty well) because any experience you get will more than pay for itself once you graduate.
I'm speaking from experience here, I graduated from the University of Michigan in mechanical engineering, and I also loved physics in high school.
This is the best advice in this thread imo.
If I may, how old are you.
Yea I think you meant to ask the OP, which is a good question I was wondering.
If I may butt in here...I think Hobo said it right.
Regardless, bottom line is you should set yourself up to be happy. Ask yourself what that means and how you can achieve it.
But don't necessarily think that trying to break into the snowboard business as a R+D or board maker will make you happy. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to "open your mind to your goals" There are many ways to get what you want.
On another note, nowadays most young people jumping into the workforce move all over before finding their niche. That means moving up and down the ladder, sideways and even jumping off and starting new.
So i think SW and hktrdr here are kinda talking across each other and not actually on the same points, in terms of kinds of jobs, where you are at in them timewise, the way you each personally emote to your jobs, etc, this is a multifaceted argument.
For me, for example, the most pressing issue with this guy is age. My motivation to work 15 or 20 years ago was much different than it is now. Even though I have been in the same field, only in the last 2 or 3 years have I really come into my own, and its a whole new ballgame. Not to mention its one of the best choices aside from being pro or spoiled if you just wanna ride a shitload. (I'm speaking of the restaurant industry, I cook, make sushi, am the boss of my kitchen so I work whenever I'm not riding and hiking).
The answers here are just so many choices. How is the OP's work ethic? Is it inborn? Learned? The carreer choice for people who were in college with me 20 years ago taking pre-med, who went straight to med school, then became DR.s is going to be such a different point of view than that of a truck driver, hammer swinger or fish cutter (I drove a 24 foot box truck during summers in college and also roofed from like '97-'03 hehe). For some people its about money. Others its about kids. Others snowboarding.