Thursday, June 12, 2014

Online Snowboarding Like It's 1999

 
At the dawn of the internet, a service called the Internet Archive started diligently recording the history of all websites. This week we use the Internet Archive to explore the early stumblings of snowboarding in the digital age and plunge into a wonderful world of intro screens, black backgrounds, gifs and step-in bindings...


Burton 1996

We start our exploration of the end of the last millennium with the big swinging dicks of snowboarding, who back then were sporting a classic intro screen, a website width that would just about work on one of today's shittiest mobile phones, and an incredibly styled-out crotch shot.

The crotch shot gave their demands to enter them now! a really sinister edge.

And as was a standard of the time, the crotch guy was magicked up using the very latest gif technology. Here it is in it's full gory:


OK. That was pretty underwhelming, but what they lacked in excitement, they made up for in volume. Here are a few other awesome examples. Keep and eye out for their strange focus on the awkward moments of riders trying to spot their landings. Maybe that was a much bigger thing back then.




The other thing that was big last century, according to the Burton site, were the use of the word 'hip' and Jake Burton's awful predictions:

"Who can say if the trend is more fueled [sic] by the freedom of expression and air time riding allows for, or the sport's winning number in the lotto of cool and hip. No one could have imagined it thus far, not even Jake Burton, owner of the world's leading snowboarding company. As he admitted in and ESPN interview, he was once unsure of snowboarding's future but he now sees it totally eclipsing skiing."



Mervin 1997

Mervin, made no promises, but still managed to beat the general trend and produce a website and marketing strategy that was 100% more epic than their current one.


"Since our founder Mike Olson, established Lib Tech based on the business philosophies of pollution, petroleum, and profit, we have led the industry on every competitive front. We not only realized huge profits developing plastic winter toys for children of wealthy capitalist pig dogs, but at the same time we've built a manufacturing/marketing juggernaut of daunting proportions. Furthermore, by expanding our manufacturing facilities and giving the guy in marketing a raise we've insured our future as the leader in the snowboard market."





Sims 1998

Sims had this awesome 90s team page, featuring a stunning combination of boring fonts, drab colours and crappy graphics


and they had another choice gif

I swear she almost got a grab in there



Here's a few more great old school gifs we found on our travels...

The Gifs That Just Keep Giving

Vans 1997


Scott 1998



Lamar 1997
Kevin Jones F-sid......, Kevin Jones F-side 720....., Kevin Jones F.. oh for fucks sake.


Ride 1998


And of course who could forget...

Device 1997


The late 90's were mad for step-in bindings, and Device is in here to represent that trend. They've got some classic gifs, some really strange snowboard boots with integrated spurs, and they were well chuffed about their latest win:  "Device wins Snow Country magazine Step-In binding of the year!"


Device and Snow Country magazine have since gone out of business.



Funny thing fashion. Step-ins ultimately never made it, but novelty hats, they're still going strong...

Screamer Hats 1997

Shitty intro screen: check

Shitty menu screen: check

Awesome 90's gif: cheek.


Screamer hats are very much still around, helping to clearly signpost twats by providing them with clear novelty hat markings.



Dipping to this century, just after every computer on earth narrowly avoided being destroyed by the millennium bug, there's a couple of sites that also need a mention:

Winterstick 2002 

The early noughties saw the simple website intro screen superseded by the even more time-wasting intro video. Winterstick's is the only one we can still find functioning and it's bloody brilliant. With some seriously grimey bass it's well worth a look.


Shaun White 2001


How old does thsi make you feel? We found Shaun White's website from when he was just a 14-yer-old whippersnapper. His whole snowboarding career has been and gone since then, but his website was pretty much the same thing; pictures of Shaun dressing up and gurning, and having an entourage of people working on his publicity.

"1.30.01 - I just got these skate photo's. They are of me skating at the YMCA. It was a super fun day and we shot photo's for a couple of hours. I had a wig on too which rocked. Check out these photos, also if you have aol don't click on the thumbnails yet, you will have to go to the photo section. Apperently AOL doesnt support the code that Microsoft does, my programmer is working on it. So hold tight."



Let's finish with the mags....

Yobeat 1997

Here's Yobeat introducing people to the future of snowboard publishing with their awesome background,  heinous logo and a site that's all lit-up like an electric blue disco Knight Rider

They later updated their logo, to this one inspired by a deflated cock.



Whitelines 2000

Whiteline's first website was short and to the point




Transworld Snowboarding 1998

Transworld launched into this brave new world with the worst menu they could possibly create


One of the multitude of pages they created was an actual, old timey chat room, which for some reason they have since thoroughly distanced themselves from. I wish their site had a little more of this sort of thing these days...

bumblefuck: Jim rippey is a fucking cocky, asshole!he is so damn generic too! He did a shit load of his stupid gay ass , trendy flips at the x games. is that all he can do!?? i'm glad the ass-fuck couldn't land a double flip at the big air. the dumb ass did a flip at the border x too, give me a fucking break, he thinks he rocks just cause he does flips all the time. what a fag. try something new jim any thing but thoseflips you do everytime! oh yeah victoria jealouse rules!i'd love to ride with her and some other stuff, he he. if anybody is gonna be a killington this week e-mail me. c-ya, ride on where the fuck is the snow???????

twentyfourseven: hey bumblefuck, youre right about the flips and stuff, they suck. But Rippey is still the UNDISPUTED KING of cliff seven twentys. thats all i gotta say. later

bumblefuck: that's true, but he's still an ass fucker

Charles Kenna: this piece that i write is the shit because no other can match it

One pissed skater: All so-called 'AGRESSIVE INLINERS' can eat a fucking dick. All you pussies do is take up space and time at the fucking parks. I don't want to hear you whine about not getting respect becuase you don't give it to us and you don't deserve it. Rollerbladers can eat a big fat dick.

Gay Bob: SKIERS SUCK THERE COCKY AND ALWAYS IN THE WAY. do me a favor if you see one kill em if you are one kill yourself.

DB5: THE CHAT ROOM IS FUCKED!!!!!!!!




Snowboarder Mag 1998

They went with your standard crappy intro screen with a gif


And also went with the mega menu approach




And finally, there was Snowboard Magazine who back at the start of the century brought a very different angle to snowboard reportage...

Snowboard Mag 2001









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If you love gifs, or gif-induced seizures then get some more hot gif action with our article Sequences of Sequences - Resequenced Snowboard Photography 


1 comment:

  1. The deflated dick logo was actually first. I made it in MSpaint, and as you can see, ran out of room. The snowflake logo was later done for us by Seth Butler (who went on to start the journal) but eventually we had a falling out because his design was "too artsy" for me.

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