Bandit Boarders

Burton Vapor Snowboard 2008 A corporate/social power struggle has recently reached a unique zenith in the States. It could be called a battle between conservatives and radicals, and it’s led by Burton, makers of a line of snowboards and related equipment, including the Vapor seen to the right, called by many the best snowboard in the world (click on the image for details). Their opponents are the 4 US ski resorts that refuse to allow snowboarding – Mad River Glen, Vermont; Deer Valley, Utah; Alta Ski Area, Utah; and Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico. Burton is calling on snowboarders to go to these resorts and film themselves “poaching” a run – their “Poach for Freedom” contest is offering $5,000 for the best video from each of the 4 resorts. Snowboard/ski retailer evogear announced on Wednesday that they’re adding $1,250 to each of the 4 prizes. Their press release states that: “From the very start evo has given equal representation to skiers and snowboarders. Many evo customers participate in both sports and evo feels that itโ€™s time for resorts to recognize that reality.”

It’s a brilliant marketing program that I have no doubt will be hugely effective in terms of sales, but I predict that it’s not going to get snowboarders invited to the 4 resorts. Seeing even Burton’s promo video for the contest, I think the snowboarders who do show up will cement the resorts’ resolve to keep them banned. I wonder if the Yukon Sled Porn guys do boards as well – this sort of thing is right up their alley!

Do any Canadian ski resorts ban snowboards? When I lived in Germany snowboarding was a new sport (I had to ask what a snowboard was!) but there were already signs banning them – I wonder if that’s changed. In Whitehorse, our ski/board hill hasn’t even opened yet (!) and some snowboarders have taken to bumper-boarding behind cars to get their fix! ๐Ÿ™‚

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