Monday, December 26, 2011

A couple of weeks ago a UK based advertising company with the sinister name of Captive Media, produced the world’s first piss-controlled computer games system. Finally we’re getting what we thought we were promised five years ago when Nintendo launched the Wii. The main aim of the system (or pisstem) is to find yet another way to squeeze just a few more advertising opportunities into the already advertising-saturated lives of the jaded public. One of the first games is a snowboard game where you control a screen by adjusting your aim. It's spawned a thousand pun headlines across the British press and now it’s spawned this article. We decided to see how this joystick-controlled ad fitted in with the other ambient or outdoor (out-of-home) advertising that's been produced, so here's the top 10 examples we could find...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Earlier this year the Rom-Com Chalet Girl was released. At the time we didn't go to the trouble of reviewing it, however it recently came to our attention that this seemingly charming movie had a surprising muse. Back in 2008 another movie called Chalet Girl was released and although it went unnoticed and unheralded by the mainstream snowboarding and movie media, the similarities between the two movies are striking. Today we compare them…

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Yesterday on the Facebook group - History of Snowboarding (which is a good group that you should all join), Snowboarding Legend Mike Ranquet (to use his full name) asked this question: 

“When, why and how did the majority of snowboard magazines turn into the equivalent of ‘Tiger-Beat Snowboarding’? When I look at Thrasher or most any skateboard and or surf magazines they don’t make me feel alienated and old; yet most of the major snowboard magazines do. The snowboard mags have the same MO as any pre-teen/teen gossip magazines; they don’t seem to care about where they came from or where they’re going, just living in the now. Wouldn’t in depth interviews or features including anyone over 30 (or 40 in my case) be of interest to most? 

When I open a new snowboard mag I have no stoke or excitement as too what’s going on because..... well I just don’t care, yet I know that when I open a Thrasher there will be photo’s and articles that I want to look at and read. Skate, surf and even rock/music magazines make me feel young and evoke a feeling that I’ve been harboring for years and it stokes me out, but snowboard magazines make me feel old. I know I’m old (41), but that’s not the point; the point is that these mags should make me feel young but haven’t for the better part of a decade. 

With the exception of the ‘token’ old guy 1/4 page shot here and there, the significant history of our sport has been swept under the rug. Not upset, just confused as to why other board related sports have been able to keep all demographics of its participants interested yet snowboard mags fall short.
Next thing you know it’s kicking off and there are 145 comments. We wanted to add our own 2 cents to the debate, but there wasn’t enough space in a Facebook comment to get across all the things we wanted to say on the topic so here you go…

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Started in 1872, back when science was still struggling to come to terms with concepts like dinosaurs, comfortable clothing and foreigners, Popular Science has spent the last 139 years trying to predict the future. In the early part of last century they really started going to town making some impressively wild snow sports predictions. Clearly the people of that era were made of seriously stronger stuff because some of the ideas they came up with were not much safer than being a Christian lion tickler in ancient Rome. Today we take a look at how accurate they were..

Monday, November 28, 2011

In the 90s the only conversation that anybody had in the world of winter sports was the snowboarding vs. skiing debate. Every single person had a fervent opinion on the subject apparently based loosely on something they thought they’d overheard someone say, one time in the pub. Over the years though, things have become more and more subdued as everyone slowly got a grip. Today the only people who still cling on to the hate are the occasional clueless punter (inevitably wearing a faded one-piece and rocking a pair of monstrously long straight-edge skis) who has somehow skipped an entire decade without noticing. Today there’s a whole generation of skiing and snowboarding kids that have no idea they should have an incredibly strong and misplaced opinion on the topic based on whether they happened to be given a snowboard or a pair of skis by Santa.

We wondered why everything had gone quiet and decided it was time to rehash this debate one more time. To spice things up we also decided that this time we’d actually look at the facts…

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

At the start of the month at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Scion Racing released a bonkers modified car absolutely smothered with various snowboard brands. It’s not the first car to be pimped up snowboard style, here’s a raft of other dubious collaborations…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This week we thought we’d try our hand at rewriting the history of skiing and snowboarding by pushing the invention of snowboarding forward by about 50 years and seeing if we can fool anyone…

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Today we take a look at Absolutely Radical, the World’s first snowboard magazine. Here are a few things we learned.
  • Snowboarding magazines today are 328% more expensive but on the plus side you do get 820% more pages.
  • The first edition of Absolutely Radical featured 61% of all the people who have ever received a Transworld Snowboarding Legend Award.
  • Modern snowboards are 2.5 times more expensive and yet they are also about $9,500 cheaper.
  • Halfpipes are 2.7 times higher, but they are also approximately 2.7 times softer as they are considerably less covered in shit loads of moguls

Come with us now on a journey of historical discovery…

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back in May the Angry Snowboarder wrote an editorial called “Played Out Marketing Pitches” where he rounded on some of the snowboard companies that use pointlessly generic sales pitches such as “by riders, for riders” and “putting the fun back into snowboarding” to sell their kit. One of the things he mentioned in that article was a company called Monson which builds snowboards for a whole bunch of brands who then flog the same snowboard to the public dressed up in a different graphic and smothered in great steaming piles of marketing crap. A few months down the line and with a new season upon us we thought it would be interesting to see how each of the companies  are selling this year’s fresh crop of Monson snowboards. 
As the Angry Snowboarder says in that article, “If you’re going to run a company you seriously need to bring something to the table beyond played out pitches and cookie cutter technology, otherwise it’s just a different graphic on the same old shit”. To test out whether people were following that sage advice we tracked one particular Monson board, the ‘C6’, to see what spin each brand put on their marketing of that board and what price they gave it. We found 11 different ways you can buy the same board, epic lashings of sales diarrhoea and amazingly depending on who you buy from you could spend anything between $300 and $570 on exactly the same snowboard…

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

After scraping the sordid depths of the snowboarding world with last week’s smutfest we’ve gone all highbrow this week and are reviewing a book. Wear that, newly acquired and now thoroughly disappointed audience.
Normally when we review books we judge them almost solely on the cover and although this one has a nice enough cover what really drew our attention was the weight…

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fact: People absolutely love snowboarding gear guides.
It must be true. Last year our first gear guide became easily our most read article, accounting for 13% of all the visits to the site. Every day people continue to arrive in their hundreds just to enjoy that article and learn more about last year’s snowboarding gear. The only odd thing is that they don’t spend long reading the article and in under 2 minutes they’re done. 
We want to make sure we provide the quality content our readers demand so without further ado, for all you gear guide fans, here is this year’s guide…

Thursday, September 29, 2011

With the gear guides and snowboard review season in full swing and people contemplating their next snowboard purchase its the time of year we hear a lot of blag from a plethora of snowboard companies about why their company is better than everyone else's, as they try to make their products stand out in a busy marketplace. To try and make sense of some of these claims we wanted to find a way to display the background of the different companies so that we could really see how they all compare.

We've spent the last few days researching the company histories of the major snowboard makers and putting it all into a pretty infographic. From the chart you can see how old the companies are, how long they've been making snowboards, which companies are independent and which are owned or licensed by other companies. Some of the things we found surprised us...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jonathan Beilke is a web developer for Active Sports Inc, the people who run The House and TruSnow snowboard webstores. In his spare time Jon steals the content from this blog and uses it to run a muggy little affiliate website. We contacted Jon two weeks ago asking him nicely to remove our content from his site, but so far there’s been no reply and no change. Assuming he just doesn’t read his emails we figured the best way to get Jon’s attention would be to write an article about him and his shady side business and make sure it appears in the one place we’re sure he’ll notice - all over his own site…

Monday, September 12, 2011

Shaun White rakes in about $9million a year for this snowboarding lark according to Forbes magazine. A top snowboard pro like White can earn about $100,000 a year in prize money and that makes up just over 1% of the the pot, the other 99% comes from sponsorships. To put things into context, Shaun White earned more money in 2008 from endorsements than every single baseball player and every American football player except for Payton Manning.

Shaun White appeals to a type of audience that is not normally interested in snowboarding and because of that he is attractive to companies from outside snowboarding looking to appeal to that wider audience. You can see that reflected in a list of his major sponsors, it's an eclectic mix that no other snowboarder comes close to matching; Burton, Target, BF Goodrich, Oakley, Ubisoft, Vail Resorts, Red Bull and Hewlett Packard.

In a similar way that Shaun White appeals to people and advertisers outside of the sport, snowboarding itself has that ability. Ever since snowboarding started to push its way into popular culture advertisers with nothing do with the sport have been keen to jump on the bandwagon. Today we take a look at some of the most interesting TV commercials that have come out of this uneasy relationship...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Earlier in the month a drunken member of the US skiing team was dropped from the team after he pissed on a 12-year-old girl during an overnight flight - a story covered by the New York Post in an article titled “Urine Big Trouble!”. 18-year-old Robert Vietze was also hit with a federal indecent-exposure charge and could face a year in prison and a $1,000 fine if he is convicted. 
In strangely coincidental news just one week later the actor Gerard Depardieu also found himself in trouble after relieving himself on a plane in France. 
This got us thinking; what kind of legal trouble have snowboarders got themselves into over the years? This week we’ve lined-up a veritable rogue’s gallery of snowboarding miscreants who have run afoul of the law for a range of criminal misdeeds…

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's mid August and already the first gear guides are in the shops. That's the internationally recognised warning sign that we’ll  soon have to pick up our blog production above our lackadaisical summer levels.
The fist magazine to come our way was Onboard's 2011/2012 gear guide and from our first cursory leaf through it looks like there’s a few other people still working on summer time in the snowboard marketing industry. Here's a few of the misguided advertising campaigns you can look forward to seeing in the early days of the new season...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Etsy has been around since 2005 offering a cosy online marketplace for people looking to sell handmade and vintage stuff. It's taken a while for them to get around to selling snowboarding paraphernalia but now there's an impressive array of tat available that you never knew you wanted. Let's take a look what you can get for your cold hard cash...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Popular Mechanics magazine was first published in 1902 and ever since then they have tried to predict the latest upcoming technology trends. Let's take a look at the snowsports they predicted over that 110 year period to see how well they did…

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Over the past few years helmet use in snowboarding has grown massively in the US and the rest of the world are not far behind.
Stats from the NSAA. Interestingly for kids under the age of 9 helmet usage has reached 91% and doesn’t look to be slowing. Makes you wonder whether these new helmet use laws that have been popping up around the US over the last couple of years are really worthwhile. Give it another couple of years and everyone will be wearing one anyway. 
This increase of helmet use has been matched with a growth of the options available and a rapid development of the technologies used. Over this period, for example, integrated headphones have become almost standard option with for snowboard helmets. Today we take a look at what the future might hold as this market continues to develop…

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some interesting snowboard designs all the way from Kazakhstan. They were produced as a design experiment by a marketing and PR agency called GOOD...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Britain has a long and proud history of invention. Tinkering Britishers have created many of the things that make the world as we know it today including the likes of; the television, the postage stamp, jet engines, gravity, football (proper football), the internet and the flushable toilet. Over the years the Britlanders have even turned their dabbling skills on the unsuspecting world of skiing, a sport that the British Isles is hopelessly unsuited to, and despite that the British are credited with inventing: 
  • Ski mountaineering
  • Ski package holidays
  • Slalom ski racing
  • International level downhill ski racing
  • The World Championships
  • Dendex
  • Snowflex
  • and Eddie the Eagle

You can't get it right every time
However in the field of snowboarding Britain has really been surprisingly off its game. Over the 25 years of snowboard history Britain has provided the world with just three rather poor inventions...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Being a snowboard entrepreneur isn’t an easy career. It takes ambition, a whole variety of skills, a lot of graft and a hefty dose of good fortune to turn a snowboarding passion into a successful business and a whole dollop more of all three things to really make it big. For every Jake Burton, there are thousands of people who crashed and burned like Lady Di at some point in the process. Today we take three of the early snowboarding entrepreneurs and compare the rise and fall of their fortunes, through the medium of a handy chart...

Monday, May 23, 2011

We didn't manage to make it to this year's Society for Information Display show, due to a significant list of very unimportant prior engagements, but fortunately we were spared the trouble by Engadget. At the show they found this snowboard of the future and it sounds good to us. 
Video after the break...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

There's quite a  kerfuffle in Russia at the minute as a result of a controversial advertising campaign that allegedly uses fascist-inspired imagery...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Got a bit of spare time on your hands now it’s the off-season? Why not while away the time constructing one of these - The top 10 architectural designs you can snowboard and ski on…

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

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...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It might be nearing the end of season for most of us, but for Snowboarder Mag and Mountain High resort last weekend was peak season – it was the weekend of the annual Miss Mountain High Bikini Pageant.
Everyone wins; Mountain High get buckets of free press coverage, the winning girl gets a free season pass, tickets to some heavy metal gigs and a bikini and Snowboard Mag get a massive influx of new site visitors. Last year’s Miss Mountain High is currently the most viewed set-of photos on Snowboarder Mag’s website and already this year’s event is in at number 4. That’s pretty bonkers given the quantity of other photographs that appear on the site. 
What really makes the photos though are shots of the dirty old men who flock to the event (and clearly to the Snowboarder Mag site). Here are the top three leery blokes from the Miss Mountain High competition...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

According the Daily Mail, sometime next year the first child with three biological parents could be born in the UK. As a result of this news the Daily Mail audience is as usual going mental, but I’m not sure they need to get their knickers in quite so much of a twist. There just might be something in this technique. It did after all work out well for snowboarding. 
Snowboarding evolved from three sports; skiing, surfing and skateboarding. We wanted to show what snowboarding had inherited from those sports and what it’s given back, and to do that we created this handy infographic…
Click on the image if you want to see a larger version
There’s more after the break

Friday, March 11, 2011

One of the main advantages snowboarding has over surfing is the distinct lack of monstrous predatory fish...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wikipedia’s definition of a B-list celebrity:
“Someone that somehow achieves a small amount of transient fame, through hype or mass media, is stereotyped as a B-list celebrity. Often the stereotype extends to someone that falls short of mainstream or persistent fame but seeks to extend or exploit it.” 
And in the snowboarding world Jesse Csincsak is that stereotype. If you want to know how he achieved these dizzy celebrity heights, or if you fancy becoming a B-list snowboarding celebrity yourself, here’s how it’s done…

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Writing an article on the internet is a bit like writing a book on a typewriter that occasionally prints out a page of hardcore porn. While we research our weekly articles we unavoidably come across some pretty strange things on the edge of the snowboarding world and because we are committed internet journalists, when we spot a trend, no matter how weird or offensive it is, we feel it’s our job to share them with you. This week we look at a very strange snowboarding niche developed by some pretty disturbing minds – Erotic Snowboard Art.  Warning - towards the end it’s definitely NSFW and very probably not much good for your soul either...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

We‘re currently in the midst of the snowboard industry’s glitzy awards show season and at this time of year everyone is busy ranking snowboarders. Transworld Snowboarding threw the latest show on the 29th of January when they hosted the 12th Annual Riders Poll Awards. In those awards 100 professional snowboarders voted for their rider of the year from a shortlist of just 3 people. That doesn’t sound like a great way of deciding these things to us. You wouldn’t, for example, want the presidency of the United States to be decided by 100 politicians from a short list of 3 people that Rupert Murdock had bodged together.

This week we decided to find out if there was a better way of deciding these things. We wanted to find a more scientific method of measuring something as intangible as snowboarding and we wanted to find a method that allowed us to compare a lot more than just 3 snowboarders. Here’s what we found...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Great offer. Function 4 Sports in Harrisonburg are giving away free snowboard set-ups until March. *

Thursday, January 27, 2011

If you ever happen to find yourself in Tokyo and you’re looking to buy snowboard gear you will end up in the district of Kanda, because every single snowboard shop in Tokyo is in that district. In fact every single snowboard shop in Tokyo can be found in a small area of Kanda called Jinbocho, all one on a single street called Yasukuni Dori. Go there and you’ll find 40 snowboard stores all right next to each other, all selling snowboard gear at exactly the same, suspiciously high prices. The one other thing all these stores have in common is that they all stock the same snowboard gear that you’ll find if you walk into any snowboard shop anywhere in the world, a selection of US and European brands dominated by Burton. Great news for the established brands but not so good for diversity, and as a result if you run into a snowboarder from any country in the world they might look different, talk oddly and eat very strange food, but they will be wearing and riding pretty much the same stuff as you.

There is however one country that does things different, a country that has a whole array of snowboarding brands producing some pretty unique gear that you’re not going to find anywhere else...South Korea

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We’ve looked at a few of Hollywood’s attempts to produce a snowboarding themed movie before, but today we look at every single one.

Here are a few of the things you should know about before we get stuck in:
  • We are only including movies where snowboarding is an important part of the plot, so we’re not including things like James Bond in View to a Kill, XXX and Jackie Chan’s Police Story 4 all which coincidentally have a short scene involving a snowboarding spy.
  • Art is subjective, but because we like to impose order and objectivity we’ve used ratings from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to compare the movies and to categorically determine if snowboarding themed movies were getting better or worse over time.
  • Keep an eye out for the one movie on the list is so bad it appears on the list of the worst 100 movies of all time on IMDb. That’s pretty good going because there are now over 755,000 films and TV shows on the site. Still at least surfing did worse because they have two on that list.
  • There have been 20 snowboarding movies over a 24 year period how many have you seen?...
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