Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Snowboard Propaganda For Kids

As we continue deal with the impact of the latest economic problems it’s become uncertain times for the usually dependable investments of property, pensions and savings. So what can you do to secure your future? You might be considering an alternative investment opportunity like accepting email offers from Nigerian princes or setting-up your very own Maddox-style Ponzi scheme, but today we look at one option that’s a sure-fire route to success – producing your very own snowboarding super-grom. Snowboarding superstars can rake in millions of dollars a year and all you need to get started is a kid and a small investment on some books. Here’s a look at the best snowboarding propaganda for kids...

Snowboard Duel
Robotic snowboards and hyper-aggressive eurocarve stances - the future of snowboarding.
Disappointingly set in the present day, here’s the story: The resort gets a new manager and the new manager’s son is a nasty piece of work. Said new manager’s son sets up a boardercross team that the kids have to join to get free lift passes, but he doesn't one of the main characters join because she is a girl. Girl challenges the guy to a race, the lad does a Jacobellis, girl helps him down the hill, and it’s a draw. They all live happily ever after.
It was a good fast-paced book and if I was trying to brainwash a 9-12 year-old kid this would be a good book to try.
Propaganda Value
The writer does use the right snowboarding terminology throughout the book so your kid will learn the correct words as part of their shreducation.
By page six a 12 year old kid is comfortably hitting 720s in the pipe. It’s aspirational stuff and will set the expectations for your super-grom. The downside is that the fictional kid achieved this level with very little work, which might not mentally prepare your grom for the brutally hardcore training regime it will actually require to get them to this stage.
There’s a history of snowboard cross at the back of the book and Lindsey Jacobellis is mentioned, so it’s easy to see where the inspiration for the story came from. There’s also a bonus set of interrogation questions at the back.
Published: 2007
Cost: $5.95
Here it is on Amazon.

Snowboard Maverick
A board called a Gizmo and a Top Gun reference in the title. This should result in an awesome 80s movie mash-up.
The tag line of the book is “Can a skateboard pro conquer the slopes?”
Spoiler - The cover lied. The book is about a 13 year-old kid with no sponsorship deals or competition wins. This is no pro. Guess we’ll never find out the answer to that question in this book but you can find out the answer here
Best line in the book: “Robbie had a mane of wavy red hair, with a face that was one big freckle.”
The story:  Skateboard kid gets a snowboard for Christmas, gets into a race with a bully and wins, before moving onto the half-pipe. The main character is a spoilt kid who sulks, whines and emotionally blackmails his parents into getting him a snowboard for Christmas. Very little happens in the book and most of the time is spent getting an unwanted insight into the pointless and irritating kid’s thoughts... It’s Twilight without the sparkly vampires.
Propaganda Value
Again the expectations are set high. This kid steps on a snowboard and within a couple of weeks he’s pulling huge tricks in the half pipe. I guess if he could achieve this without pushy parents then your kids will have no excuses.
Overall I’m confused by the purpose of this book and what the moral of the story is. Unless you are looking to produce a stroppy Machiavellian kid, you’d do well to avoid this one.
Published: 1997
Cost: $4.99
Here it is on Amazon.

Snowboard Showdown
This time the cover features a reverse camber board. The book was printed in 1999 and that’s pretty much a full 10 years before reverse camber was introduced to snowboarding. Did Matt Christopher invent reverse camber?
It’s another Matt Christopher book but this time it is ghost written by a chap called Paul Mantell. It makes you wonder how lazy Matt Christopher is that he can’t be bothered to write a short kids book.  Paul Mantell is apparently no snowboarder though, so some of the references are sometimes a little off. For example this is the second line of the book; “He fastened the leash to his calf so his board wouldn’t go flying while he was airborne”
Although it does frequently happen according to iStockphoto
The story: It’s a long and tiring story about two constantly feuding brothers, both of whom are little shits. The two brothers are competing for a girl. The younger brother rigs a snowboard competition to try and humiliate his older brother. The older brother get a job at age 14 to buy a new snowboard to give him a chance of competing. The younger brother then throws the standard Matt Christopher strop and gets his parents to buy him a new board. They relent and call it his early birthday present even though his birthday is in March. Blah blah blah...younger brother ends up being slightly less of a dick and gets the girl. Reading this book is like being trapped on an endless car journey with two fighting kids in the back.
Propaganda Value
The rubbish snowboard facts are not good but again it is the morals which are the big issue. Like the other Matt Christopher book the kids are whiny and manipulative brats, and even more worryingly in this book the parents were pathetically feeble minded and weak. Do not buy this book as any sort of training propaganda because it will only breed dissention within your intensive training camp.
Published: 1999
Cost: $2.39
Here it is on Amazon.

Jake Burton Carpenter and the Snowboard
Like the other books the front cover features some industry defining new technology. This time Jake is sporting a brush-tail board. I imagine we’ll see this hit the mainstream in about 10 years’ time.
Not sure who this is for. It says it’s aimed at 9-12 year olds like the other books, but given it only takes a couple of minutes to read I guess they are limiting themselves to the ADD market, and then the story is mostly about the drab intricacies of building a business which I can’t imagine is going to appeal to any kid.
The story: It is an accurate portrayal of the first few years of Jake setting up Burton snowboards, except for some reason they have decided to make him blond. 
story accurate, hair colour not accurate
The story works its way through Jake’s early years establishing Burton Snowboards until it gets to the early 1980s and then in a flourish of 4 pages of slightly more rushed artwork they quickly run through the last 25 odd years. I think they hit a deadline. Overall it reads like a Burton press release and it’s definitely not the snowboarding version of ‘The Social Network’.
Propaganda Value
They have training section at the back with a brief history of the sport and some internet resources, although for some reason they missed our site from the list.
It’s a good book if you want your kid to be a blond entrepreneur, not much good if you want to produce a snowboard-pro though.
Published: 2007
Cost: $6.95
Here it is on Amazon.

If you do plan to indoctrinate your kid so that they become the next Shaun White then we’d recommend Snowboard Duel.

Related Articles...
Find other training techniques in our exposé of Factory-Farmed Groms
Track the development of your kid by referencing our development guide - The Anatomy of an Average Burton Super-Pro 

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