2014 is over and that means it’s time to take a stab in the dark at the predictions for 2015. What will happen this year in snowboarding? Are there big changes ahead on the horizon. While some say it’s too early to predict this as SIA and ISPO haven’t happened, we’re fully content to make predictions now.
While the snowboard world is still reeling from Nico Müller leaving Burton for Gnu, it should be noted that more big changes are ahead. Jeremy Jones [jibber] will be off Burton. He more than likely will either remain flowed some product or perhaps join long time partner JP Walker over on Stepchild. Expect to see more wall ride shuvit action. Joining him in receiving a pink slip will be John Jackson who is rumored to be going to Arbor joining other big mountain slayers like Mark Carter and Brian Iguchi.
Alek Oestreng on the other hand has somehow managed to preserve Forum’s lasting legacy. In what can only be described as a Christmas miracle Alek competed at the Breckenridge Dew Tour on a old Forum. This now begs the question of will a social media campaign start called #giveforumtoAlek or perhaps it is already in the works. Is the snowboard world ready to resurrect another dead brand? It seems to be working for Funky Snowboards.
Ride snowboards will continue on its quest of sucking up urban talent. This means that on any given week Hyland Hills and Trollhaugen will be visited by talent scouts. If you can ride rope tow and hit a down rail, you’re probably going to get sponsored.
Yes will cut their young team and proceed to pick up only riders over the age of 32. This will create an industry first where older riders are marketed more. In doing so the over all marketing of snowboarding will change and finally retention and growth will become more sustainable.
As no surprise Nike riders are now left without boot and outerwear hook ups. Expect to see Halldor Helgason jumping on the creative train and starting yet another company to fill that lost sponsor void. While a boot line might seem too far out of the question, creating an outerwear line isn’t. As Lobster piggy backed off Bataleon it should be noted that Mr. B’s company does do outerwear. This makes it more of a possible reality to have Halldor or Lobster create an outerwear line. Boots on the other hand, that’s just an expensive headache that no one wants, just ask Vans.
Adidas might be going strong for 2015, but the real thing to watch out for is that Reebok is rumored to be entering the snowboard world. One can only hope that after they hire yet another one of DC’s fired boot designers we’ll see another version of The Pump. Expect yet more on hill track suits. Fila is now putting out feelers to see if the snow sports industry is viable.
2015 will also be the year of some serious industry shake ups. Big established brands will have financial difficulties, this means more “we don’t have money” being spewed. This means movies and rider projects will take a hit. As Too Hard proved, Kickstarter is a great way to get funding. Absinthe films being the last of the mega snow porn producers and having two projects in the works will now be forced to film funding videos. Imagine what a 4k filmed video of someone asking for donations will look like. Things will really get interesting when Brain Farm gets on this after Redbull decides to leave snowboarding. Oh wait, Redbull doesn’t make its money in snowboarding they make it off bars and grocery stores. This will never happen.
With almost 100% certainty I can guarantee that someone, yet again, will decide to reinvent the snowboard binding so that it has rotational movement. This idea is the equivalent of snowboard industry herpes.
Going along with bad ideas, we’ll see the rise of more mediocre brands that make marking
promises pitches about putting the fun back in snowboarding, being by riders for riders, or something about core values. As an add on there will be no less than 5 new companies that try to strike at the Made In America coalition of people. What these companies will actually offer is cookie cutter crap that does nothing for snowboarding. Perhaps we’ll do a review of their products.
On the rider progression front 2015 will be the year of the quadruple cork. The spin to win mentality will take full effect and someone [Maxence Parrot] will go around 4 times in an off axis rotation. The mainstream world will stare in awe while the rest of the snowboard world just shakes their head and says, “why?” Expect Bodie Merril or Scotty Vine to be the first to perform a triple one footer in some backcountry or urban setting to offset this tragedy.
So there you have it, this are the predictions for 2015. Are some going to happen? Probably. Are some off the wall? Certainly. But as always there is a probability of it actually coming to fruition.