Dear Nope, Pay Attention Please!

Companies come and companies go that’s how it has been since the beginning of capitalism. Much like the theory of Darwinism the strong are there to survive while the weak die. Snowboarding isn’t any different, it’s not special, it doesn’t get a free pass from this. Think about how many brands you have seen come and go. Hell think about how many companies have cut whole divisions whether it be outerwear, bindings, or accessories. There’s a reason for it.

Snowboarding and the snowboard industry is a lot like being in the cool kids club to many people. Image is key, especially when establishing presence and market share. After all the proverbial pie isn’t that big and we can only sustain so much with the limited amount of participants we have. Being in the precarious position I’m in with being a member of the industry, the media, and most importantly a snowboarder (not someone that snowboards but that’s another topic for another time) I get to see how and what brands do that both works and doesn’t.

Some of you might remember back to when I pointed out new up and coming brand Nope. Snowboards and their lack of understanding social media back in November. It showcased in my opinion a humorous situation where a simple question exploded across the blogosphere not painting a solid picture of them. Well alas history has been doomed to repeat itself as they’re once again not making themselves look good. I could beat a dead horse not getting a point across or I could direct this open letter to the founders of the brand in hopes that they would fully understand how they come across to people that share a lot of the ideals as myself about snowboarding. Below you will find my open letter to them and believe me I will send this to them once it has been posted.

Dear Brian,
I know you’re fully excited about your new career path as the owner of a snowboard company. Your level of stoke is the same as countless others that have decided to enter into the exciting venture of launching a snowboard company. No one can take that away from you in any way shape or form and more power to you for starting a brand. I know how difficult it is to do this and make it relevant to the world while conveying what your beliefs are. But here in lies the problem, your level of enthusiasm and stoke seems to cloud your judgement on making calls that are good for you, your brand, and above all else snowboarding.

I know you probably feel I’m a hater, what with me writing an article about how you blew it when I posed one simple question about your brand. I know you feel I have my head up the industries ass and hate the small guy. I know you probably will view this as some sort of attack on the company you have created which is your child. Trust me when I say this is not that but a letter to open your eyes to the way myself and countless others in the ‘core’ of snowboarding view you and your brand. You have to understand that before you, we were here. Before you created your brand, we were here. Before you addressed us, we were here. You see we and I mean that in the collective sense as snowboarders were here. We have seen brands come and go. We have lived through trends, marketing pitches, tech whether it works or not, and countless other things. What you are projecting about your brand is something we have all seen before.

Here’s where the problem is as we sit back and watch how you have come into snowboarding. Your message has been rather hypocritical. You say you’re pro American and want to keep jobs in this country. Yet you drive a BMW which as near as I can tell does not have any factories in this country compared to the likes of the automakers of Detroit which as you may know are truly American made products. * Upon further inspection it seems BMW does manufacturer here but still the image of BMW does not bring together American made products.  I will quote this directly off your website, ” At NOPE, we’re not “smoking” anything, we don’t cry and yell like some less-informed companies, or tell our sport’s founders to “F*&K off” in major magazines. Not our style. Our consumers are smarter than that. We just state the facts and we let you decide. Do you want to put your money down for products that were moved overseas for nothing less then greed? We say NOPE.” Yet if you go to your Facebook and follow your continuous spouting on your statuses and picture posts it is full of contempt and hate towards bigger companies. Do you see what I’m saying it seems rather hypocritical to spout this. Hell how you treated me alone for posing one simple question is hypocritical of this. When do I get to be unbanned from leaving comments? It’s great that other people can tag me in them and all but I would like to contribute to the social part of social media.

I understand that you and your partner Jonell fully cashed in your 401k’s to take 500k and form this brand. I know you have a seven year plan to make it all happen. But trust me when I say we see through you. You are as transparent as a pane of glass to those of us you are marketing too. You can spin it in whatever direction you want but we see through you. The comments on Yobeat in your Next for Nope campaign show just how people feel about you. We’ve seen contests like this before, perhaps you have heard of Liquid Boardwear? Just because you can buy riders doesn’t mean anything to us. Just because you can give out free boards, promo clothing, stickers, etc. etc. does not mean you are winning loyalty either. People love free stuff. Trust me from personal experience you can surround yourself with people that are takers of what you give for free and they will tell you how awesome you are but they are not your friends or even your fans.

I see you’re looking at a 12,000 square foot facility to house 10k worth of boards. I have heard a rumor you are starting your own production facility. I hope you understand that 10k of boards is highly advantageous for a brand that has less than 1% market share. Kudos for going all in but when your current business model is to sell direct and you only make 99 of each graphic or model that poses the question of how many SKU’s are you adding to the line?

Speaking of selling direct why is it you are not in any core shops? I fully understand not being in Epic Boards as the owner is fucking crazy, but you have two of the oldest and greatest representations of core shops right down the hill in Salt Lake. You’re pro American jobs yet this industry keeps killing off the retail sector of our industry. Is this more hyperbole or will we see you supporting core shops verse the selling direct method? This goes back to the point I made about being hypocritical.

Like any company with a tech story you are proud of that. Awesome, technological innovation drives this industry and without thinking outside the box we would have stagnation. But like the photo and the claim above makes I can’t help but question you. We know your boards are pressed by the Monson factory and therefore you are nothing more than an OEM brand utilizing catalog shapes and technology. This means you do not own your factory unless Ryan sold you his factory and you are now part owner, but this would be a wild guess on my part. We see you saying that you’re doing all these custom boards for bikini, booze, and tech companies. But it’s not you, we know that it’s the Monson factory and you’re just taking the credit. Sure you’re probably getting that account for them but it’s not you it’s them. You’re just the middle man. How much tech is Nope. Snowboard specific and not a product of this other facilities R&D which as someone that is a huge tech head can tell you is borrowed from countless other brands. Also I would be careful how you word your camber profiling like that as there are patents that you could be infringing on. Also to answer your question if you’re serious about putting your board up against others I’m running a little board review test called The Best Good Platinum Test Award Picks, there’s always room for you in it. Feel free to email me about the details.

I’m sure there’s other points I’m missing with this and I could make them, but this letter is getting long winded. As a long time snowboarder and someone that sees this industry and the players in it for what they are I hope you see where myself and countless others are coming from. We’ve seen it before and we’ll probably see it again. Also one final suggestion before you post on any social media outlet or make any claims please think it through before you talk. As much as we love bullshit we’re sick of putting our boots on.

Sincerely,
Avran LeFeber
Founder of Angrysnowboarder.com

Causes controversy!

Latest posts by Angrysnowboarder (Posts)

27 Comments

  1. Joey says:

    you misspelled post in paragraph 6. Noob
    Good letter. I know they will enjoy it as well.

  2. Stefan says:

    I don’t like that whole Nope. project at all, but I hope those fellas see this as “help”. Good work man.

  3. yep. says:

    nice job on the letter. didn’t think you were actually going to do it. anyway, hopefully they see it for what it is, a helpful insight.

  4. I’ve met Brian a couple times and talked with him at length about Nope and snowboarding in general. I’ve walked away with the impression that he is totally legit BUT he’s in an unfamiliar field. I guess if anything his “crime” is being over enthusiastic and honestly that’s probably the best crime of any to be guilty of. Hey I was that guy who wore a backpack on the hill the first season I started riding.. yknow all that kinda goofy stuff you do without realizing it. You point of “us” being here before is very valid especially for Brian to understand because all of the stuff that he feels is new and edgey is old news to us. I’ve talked numbers with him and I’ve talked concepts and beleifs and I really feel the guy is honest, loves snowboarding, and is trying to do a good thing . I think basically what it comes down to is that he has surrounded himself with some good solid folks locally to help but he needs one more important piece and that’s a right hand man to that he can trust to say “no this is dumb and here’s WHY people will think so. Once he can find that I think Nope can be a bit more focused and do something positive a la other legit but smaller regional board companies.. we shall see how he reacts to this.. I have told him on a few occasions that you in particular are not attacking him but rather defending snowboarding .. there’s a difference there

  5. george says:

    you put way too much time into this article. you should let people do there own, let others live and learn. you come across like a dbag when you present yourself like this. pretty wack brudda

  6. BroFontaine! says:

    Nice Work Avran, seems honest and heartfelt.

    On a lighter note I must say that I feel personally proud that my heavy use of sarcasm and smack talk may have helped to inspire Nope. to create an entire brand market strategy in opposition to it. Ironically the entire platform of our initial marketing was to force people to notice a brand that had a long established reputation of quality snowboards, producing great boards in their own factory for over a decade with little recognition or international distribution. By being loud and obnoxious we have undoubtedly turned some people off, but damn if they aren’t talking about us and getting our name out there.

    Although our critics may have mixed reviews of our image and hype, inevitably in the conversation the question arises; well how do they ride? I feel pretty confident that most people will enjoy the board performance and have a hard time denying they are right up in the front of the pack as evidence by 10+ board test wins. Is the direction flawed? sure is. Could we have grown with a clean cut attitude and safe graphics? maybe. But I think it’s a lot more fun to be able to laugh at yourself and at least spark some conversation, snowboarding isn’t supposed to be a detention hall. I hope everyone is able to have fun on their board regardless of who it is a billboard for or what agenda it may support. Shradical!

  7. Well George I’m guessing you didn’t snowboard in the 90’s, you haven’t seen the rise and fall of companies like I have, and you’re probably from Boulder. Also I wrote this between 1:10 and 1:25 a.m. 15 minutes isn’t a lot of time to me. You probably spent more reading this.

    Bro I hear you, you guys kill it in my opinion and I support you 100%.

  8. parkcityxj says:

    Seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen with their “non magne-traction” strategically placed bumps. http://monsonboards.com/house-tool-specs

  9. Ryan Monson says:

    Hey Parcityxj, I hate to bum you out, but we showed Mervin our c6 at the 2011 SIA show. Most domestic factories get along better than you think! Thanks for the plug to our site. You should try our c6 it’s fun.

  10. mick says:

    it looks like they haven’t read the e-mail or they don’t give a shit about it, actually here thttp://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=366731283351061&set=a.275905819100275.74033.272759786081545&type=1&theater there are 2 douchebags talking on a public profile busy to ostentate wealth about a gulfstream and porsches , what the charities that he was blabbing about will think of it? what a humble man brian is.

  11. mick says:

    ryan the guys at mervin must have been in a very good mood to have let you go with an almost exact copy of the magnetraction

  12. Ryan Monson says:

    The guys at Mervin are rad! In fact they have helped me with plastics in the past during times when I was in a pinch. I am eternally grateful for their contribution to the industry. In my 14 years of manufacturing snowboards, the only company to give me a hard time was Rome. It was awesome, I wish I could find the cease and desist letter to publish it. Back in the early 2000s’ when It was only me making boards, I had no employees, just me. I was going to launch a line of snowboards called “Syndicate by Monson” and I put a logo on my site. Well I guess Rome felt threatened by my use of the word syndicate (mind you at the time I didn’t even know who they were). So of course I stopped and never made a board in that line. I just thought it was funny that they paid an attorney probably $1000 to send little ‘ol me a letter! Why didn’t they just pick up the phone and call me directly.

    Anyway our c6 is actually substantially different, there is no dispute the concept is the same, but if you compare them side to side you will see the difference.

    We are working hard to get lots of core shops Humanity demos next season for people try. Keep an eye out so you can give them a shot, good or bad we would love to hear feedback!

  13. e says:

    mervin no longer has a patent on it, they are only going for the rocker with magnetraction patent.

  14. angry DBag says:

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Avran you got some serious issues!!! get a real job DBag!

  15. 415joe says:

    well put. looking forward to reading a possible response.

    …and of course, magnetraction becomes a topic of discussion. ha

  16. K. says:

    Just to clear the air, it’s a camrock, not a dual camber as the Nope post indicated.

  17. Ryan says:

    Going to take my jacket off. It is getting pretty heated in here.

  18. not him, again! says:

    Brian always rubs people the wrong way, in all ways. He tries to be a fast talker and dream big, and yet all off his other companies failed. Hmmm, wonder why this was? Maybe, because he has an aggressive attitude and will tell someone to F off before thinking things through. Or because he tries to hide behind glam (two BMWs, and what’s this talk of a plane?) and create what is essentially false advertising. Or maybe it’s because he falls for young girls (and decides to tattoo these girls names on his body) and get sued by religious groups. Bottom line: beware and watch your sisters around him.

  19. The contest was show us you’re Nope, not show us your hooch. Very tacky girls… sending half naked pictures to a perv who likes the youngin’s. Just don’t be alone with him unless you want your name tattooed on his body.

  20. just_dave says:

    Quote from Facebook “Dear Bloggers, yes we were serious, as we know you hate the BMW NOPE cars, we replaced them – maybe I will give a sneak peak later today at the new NOPE cars – damn, this is all too fun sometimes ”

    It seems that Brian’s getting fired up and feeding off of the criticism about NOPE. I predict a fiasco in the near future.

  21. if you only knew says:

    hey not him, again who are u talking about when it comes to him falling for young girls and getting their names tattooed on his body?? who did he get tattooed on his body?? how did u know he got sued by a religious group?? are you someone from the VARI group??

  22. 1 year? NOPE says:

    Hey Angry – don’t ya love it when you’re right?

    NOPE FACEBOOK PAGE

    2 hours ago
    Dear Nope Nation

    Over the last few weeks NOPE has been presented with several options for the company that would allow the original founders to return and/or focus on their chosen fields. We have decided to seriously explore these options and return our focus to our educational paths. With recent breakthroughs in B’s research, and J’s passion for her work we feel the options presented to us are best for us. NOPE was started for us and it ends for us.

    Our FB will come down tomorrow at 12 noon MTN -

  23. Yeah been laughing at this and working on something as a final farewell. I’m starting to wonder if I have a magic touch for calling this about companies.

  24. surprised? NOPE! says:

    Woah… all that hype about “NOPE” and how great they were and would become! Brian and Jonelle finally threw in the towel…. must have discussed it over a “nice dinner” when they were “out of the country”- alas, isn’t that how they came up with the unrealistic idea in the first place? Guess they bit off more than they can chew and have to go back to their “education”. Don’t worry peeps, the drama will be back before u know it, some where, some time, but it will be the same BS again and again.

    PS. guess he realized it wasn’t cool to have that name on his arm and decided to cover it up. I bet he’s VARI mad about people seeing the truth.

  25. 1 year? NOPE says:

    THEY’RE BACK!!!!

    http://www.facebook.com/nopeboards

  26. Like a bad case of herpes they just return to plague you.

  27. [...] that’s been written about Nope I highly recommend these choice articles: Social media? Nope. Dear Nope, Pay Attention Please Still in business? [...]

Leave a Comment