Playing Ultra Natural Catchup

My apologies for being a bit late to the party, but I was on vacation during the broadcast of Ultra Natural and I still need to vent.

I love snowboarding. I love blue bird days, park laps, deep powder and hard carving. I don’t love commercials and flowery testimonials. I have already mentioned on this site that I do not like the delay between the event and the broadcast of said event. Within seconds of the completion of the event we all knew who made the podium, over a month before we would actually get to watch it. Now it is apparent that they needed 30 days to produce the space filling fluff pieces that make up three quarters of the broadcast “Signature Event”.  I loved last year’s Super Natural. We saw every rider and adequately covered the venue and comp styling. This year’s event was a forty minute RedBull commercial.

Let me preface the rest of this piece by saying my objections and disappointment are with the Broadcasting of Ultra Natural, not the competition itself. I think this comp structure is awesome and the future.

Does anyone remember the old saying that Budweiser was a marketing company with a beverage division? Lets change that saying from Bud to RedBull. Set aside the purchase of Anheuser Busch by InBev, the poster child for Marketing/Beverage crossover has got to be RedBull. Now lets back up a moment. There is nothing wrong with this business model, more power to them. The money that RedBull and other like companies pump into the sport has allowed unparalleled progression in snowboarding and other sports. What I as an independent rider will have a problem with is when the balance becomes too far skewed and begins to alter the landscape of the sport I love. Am I overstating it? Perhaps. Yet take a few minutes to read over the comments and you will see the general reactions by the viewers and core riders are of disappointment and almost completely negative. You will also see the disappointment these comments reflect comes primarily from a “Misrepresentation” of snowboarding, and the lack of actual snowboarding. Why do I believe this is altering the landscape of snowboarding? Look at the numbers. Ridership is falling, dollars spent falling, and days on snow per rider is falling.  All at a time where the media and social presence of the sport is at an all time high. I’m not trying to say one company or even one factor is responsible for the drop in these numbers.  The weather the last two years has sucked. Especially here in the Midwest. But at this critical juncture in the sports still relatively young life, where marketing budgets are at an all time high, a “signature” event for our sport should be more than an hour long commercial for a Marketing/Beverage company.

Now that I have stepped down from my soap box, lets talk about the actual snowboarding that took place. Congratulations to Gigi Ruf on a well deserved win. That was a huge back one. It was nice to see Mark McMorris surf powder. While not dropping perfection he wasn’t timid and did stomp a double cork over the park jump on his second run and earned 6th place finish.

Terje Haakonsen dropped what he’s known for, all but making the podium. He lined up a clean and killer top section. Highlighted by frontside bones and methods he pulled in a 4th place finish and a spot in next years comp. With the top eight invited back next year, and only space for 16 overall, will Travis Rice be back? I have to believe that he couldn’t be left off the roster. I mean it is his brainchild and he did win last year. He stomped clean drops and airs in the upper section, but the park jumps caused him shall we say trouble and he finished in 10th. Regardless, he will be back. Mark it down.

Some great snowboarding all around and I am not going to let the broadcasting of the event completely turn me off to the event. I still believe this style of competition is the future of the sport. Multi-faceted terrain and the best riders in the world, proving it.

#PassItOnProject

THE BOARD:
This is Travis Rice’s personal board – a Lib Tech 2013/14 Speedodeeps – ridden by Travis during the 2012/13 season. Really.

THE PROJECT:
Anyone who receives the #passitonproject board has 3 days to ride it, then they must pass it on to another trusted individual.

What it says on the board…

• Treat this board like it’s your own
• Do something creative with it
• Instagram and/or Facebook your photos
• Hashtag photos with #passitonproject
• Add artwork to the topsheet
• If you break it, fix it
• Ride at your own risk
• Pass it on within 3 days of receiving it to someone you trust
• Karma is a bitch – so don’t be a jackass :)

Remember, the fate of this board and this project is in your hands…

Brought to you by Asymbol, Brain Farm, Lib Tech and more.

 

High Five Threads

If you find yourself in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, one of the most beautiful places in the world. You should go check out High Five Threads. This killer shop carries Michigan centered products all 100% made in the USA. And now they carry some killer SnappedCore Dog Tags made with native Michigan hardwoods!

The High Five Threads mission: Create quality products that promote buying and supporting local small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Where is the shop you ask? Well it happens to be on the first floor of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. A re-purposed State Hospital that is just an amazing location. A multi-use property that was a boarded up mental institution that has become condos, retail space and more! Did I mention that the grounds still have some awesome boarded up buildings? So stop in either in person and see the awesome crew at High Five Threads, or visit them online!

Different Season, Same Spirit – Burton Unveils Fresh 2013 Spring/Summer Collection

BURLINGTON, VT  Today, Burton brings on spring with a breakthrough 2013 Spring/Summer apparel and bags collection that captures the spirit of snowboarding in styles for hot days and long nights. Available now in select stores and online, Burton’s new 2013 Spring/Summer line features everything to get your spring fever on, like woven tops, tanks, chino pants, shorts, casual dresses, technical apparel, accessories, packs, travel bags and more.

“If our 2013 Spring/Summer look book is any indication, Burton’s new collection of apparel and bags are ideal for that spring-break, ‘throw caution to the wind’ attitude that the warm weather brings out in all of us,” said Greg Dacyshyn, Chief Creative Officer at Burton Snowboards. “One look at our riders wearing styles like the Greenville Jacket, the Birdie Jacket and the Tully Dress, and you’ll see the new collection represents who we are both on and off the mountain.”

The new line celebrates the spirit of snowboarders in a different season, with playful clothes and transitional outerwear designed for good times in rain or shine. Lightweight, quick-drying jackets like the men’s Swift Jacket in Cardinal Tartan Plaid and the women’s Anthem Jacket in Navajo Print are ideal for late-night spring antics. And men’s and women’s lightweight flannels, hoodies, crews, tees, tanks, shorts, chinos and denim pieces are perfect for any adventures the long days and warm nights inspire. Also new for Spring/Summer 2013, select Burton tech apparel styles have been enhanced with Dryride Mist-Defy, a water-repellent, quick-drying and moisture wicking technology that performs while maintaining the soft, comfortable benefits of cotton.

“It’s cool that the riders are super involved in every product Burton makes, and the new Spring/Summer line definitely shows that,” said Burton pro rider Mikkel Bang. “The entire line is rad – the styles are perfect for hanging, traveling and everything in between. Two of my favorites are the Ravine Full Zip Hoodie and Polo shirt – check those out for sure.”

For Spring/Summer 2013, Burton also offers one of the finest collections of travel bags and packs on the planet, all backed by Burton’s Lifetime Warranty. Built to complement any transient lifestyle, stand-out styles include the vintage-inspired Tinder Pack, a new line of women’s lifestyle bags in Phoenix Stripe and travel bags in fresh prints like Navajo. Warm-weather favorites like the Lil’ Buddy double as coolers and have built-in, weather-resistant stereo systems. The 2013 bag collection also includes tour kits, photo bags, accessory cases, laptop and tablet sleeves in new colorways like ‘Birds’ and ‘New West’.

Like the line itself, Burton has ramped up the way users can experience the collection. On the digital side, Burton.com has a brand new look featuring every style in the new Spring/Summer line along with three videos that capture what spring is all about. Also new is an updated version of Burton’s interactive‘Bag Check’, which makes it super easy to pick out the perfect new spring pack or travel bag. Burtongirls.com also got a makeover, including a new design and fresh content that makes you think spring. And finally, Burton created its first consumer print catalog exclusively for the Spring/Summer collection, which is hitting mailboxes this week and is also available through Burton Rider Service by emailing info@burton.com.

To make sure you get in the Spring/Summer spirit, Burton’s offering a super cool, limited edition Burton domino set while supplies last. Consumers simply spend $50 or more on Spring/Summer apparel or accessories at a local retailer, send the receipt to Burton Headquarters in Vermont, and Burton will drop the dominos in the mail – it’s that easy.

Different Season, Same Spirit: Check out the 2013 Burton Spring/Summer collection at a local Burton retailer, a Burton Flagship Store or www.burton.com.

What Can/Should We Make From Old Skateboards?

We have a bunch of thrashed Arbor Collective Skate decks from their Pro Skate Team. We have begun salvaging the materials and are looking for suggestions on what to make. So far we have begun drawing up more neck bling, belt buckles, and phone cases. Anything that you would like to see us make? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.

 

Boards Of The Week

Sunday means Boards Of The Week. After Rome swept the podium last week we return to a diverse podium with 3 different companies securing a spot. Coming in #1 this week is the Arbor Coda with 1,355 views. #2 is the K2 World Wide Weapon with 1,321 views. Staying on the podium from last week, this time at #3 the Rome Cross Rocket with 1,298 views.

L to R: K2 WWW, Arbor Coda, Rome Cross Rocket

I hate spring

From Straight Lines To Triple Corks – Part One Humble Beginnings

The World Snowboard Tour and Swatch have got together to produce five free webisodes documenting some of the highlights from the history of competitive snowboarding. The WST digitized tons of footage from the archives and gathered interviews from some of the sport’s leading names.