Friday, November 8, 2013

The Snowboarder's Total Guide to Life - Is this the worst snowboard book ever written?

Over the past few days I've been slowly ploughing my way through this truly terrible book. It was one of the toughest and most miserable things I've ever done in the name of snowboard blogging. I didn't just have difficulties getting through the experience, there were times that I truly questioned my will to go on living. It's now my duty, as a warning to all of snowboarding, to share my experiences in the hope that others don't have to go through the same pain...

Here's the front cover. It looks fairly inconspicuous, a little dated, a bland font, a stock image and some dull captions.

The first warnings of what lay ahead of me came of the back cover. Have a read of this intro...

That was the first sign that this was an absolute bookius wankius

Other than the introduction being written by your embarrassing uncle, here are two other important important things to note:

1.   $12.95. This is a very pricey book.

2.   Bill Kerig can't carry snowboards

There might even be some reverse goggles-round-the-neck action going on here, which would mean he's also gone for the goggles/sunglasses combo. He shows all the hallmarks of being a bona fide douche. 

Despite all the warning signs I started to read the book. To give you a sense of what you get if you go that far her's a scan of a typical page. Things to note here include:

1.  Crappy cartoon of a girl wearing a skull cap. Do you remember the late 90s trend for snowboarders to wear Jewish regionalism head coverings? Halcyon days.

2.  This is page 12 and as you can see the single weak joke from the back cover continues.

3.  The massive text and huge margins they've cynically used to eke out a whole book from the most minimal content possible.

A bit further on here's an example of another thing they use to bulk out the book - irrelevant clip art. My favourite one is this dapper gent inviting someone to give him a blowy...
Page 48 and the same joke continues to stumble on

Holy shit. Look what tired snowboarding meme makes an early appearance on page 109

Another space filling device are the one-line "jokes" he casually exposes the reader to. Here's a couple of choice examples:

What does this even mean? Why are you torturing me like this Bill? Please make it stop

At this point I thought I'd compile the top 10 worst quotes, but it's all so consistently shitty, so instead I've just picked a few passages at random.

1. Rather, the North American Snowboarder has a 'tude. That's right, a 'tude. This is much more aggressive than any more schoolboyish "attitude." A 'tude is severed attitude.

2. There are eight subspecies in the mammalian category Singleplankus ripthehillicus. A species of Homo sapiens.*

* A fancy Latin name for you and me. No cause for homophobic alarm. 

I guess he's assuming that there is sometimes a good cause for homophobic alarm?

3. Since image is everything to the North American Snowboarder, choosing the appropriate pair of sunglasses is of utmost importance. These must not only protect the Snowboarder's eyes from the sun but also make the proper statement. "I am a Snowboarder, touch me and prepare to die."

4. Bollocks to this. I'll spare you the rest. 

I did end up reading the whole book and it's all just like this for 187 pages before the book just peters out. There is no punchline, no conclusion, no insight, nothing of any remote value at all. According to the back of the book Bill Kerig was a snowboarder at the time, but I've no idea who he thought the audience was, it's just unremitting dig at snowboarders. It's 187 seemingly endless pages all dedicated to one terrible joke, which has got to be some sort of record for the longest single joke in publishing history. For $12.95 it's easily the most expensive single joke in history and that was at 1997 prices. After barely making it through the experience alive I'm pretty sure it's no coincidence that 187 is the penal code for murder in California. It's a shitty twitter post that just didn't stop, no fuck that, it's a YouTube comment that didn't stop. 

In his career Bill Kerig has written several books, produced films, he was a pro skier, a stockbroker and he is now a CEO of an internet site. If his other output is anything like this miserable crap then he truly is the jack of all trades and master of none. Today Bill Kerig is no longer a snowboarder.

To be fair though, there was one good page in the copy I had...

I'm going to spend the rest of my life finding and destroying every copy of this book I can. If you want to help or if you are looking to acquire the finest snowboarder torture device ever created, you can find it here.

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