There’s a certain level of introspection that comes from constantly reading articles about snowboarding’s demise or that it is dying. These articles can with a certain level of guarantee promise to fire up the snowboarding populace to retaliate, it’s probably one of the last few things that unites snowboarders for one cause. It’s weird that these articles are what unify the tribe, but the more serious plaguing issues result in a round table of playing pass the blame and remaining ununified.
While the actual act of snowboarding is not hurting and most certainly people will do it regardless if the snowboard industry exists or not, it’s the industry that is broken. But this is a multi-faceted topic no one inside the industry wants to talk about. Why? Because every one of us that is in it would finally have to admit we fucked up somewhere and caused the current state we’re in and that is too hard of a pill to swallow for most.
If you look at it from the top down there’s so many fragmented arguments that have never once been put together into a cohesive thought. It ranges from lack of retention, cost barrier, climate change, manufacturing flubs/late shipments, online vs big box vs core shops, decline of core shops, a non-unified competition tour, a lack of pay for riders both female and male, the rise in non endemic brands entering snowboarding, brands that bring nothing to the table, too many skus, selling out, cashing in, mainstream acceptance, overproduction, lack of money, fear of change, the Internet, the death of the soul of snowboarding, keeping it core, warranty abuse, pro-form abuse, and I’m sure there’s a few more that are missing, but you get the gist of it. It’s a vast array of micro arguments that just get rehashed over and over in a circular pattern that goes no where. The industry is broken and it needs to be fixed. Now might be the time for everyone involved to get their heads out of their asses, wipe the shit from their eyes, and do something about it.
While some might find the idea of a column devoted to issues that effect the snowboarding industry incendiary, I find that it’s time to just say fuck it, lets fix this now before it gets any worse or at least pinpoint the problems. As this column progresses we’ll take a deeper look at many issues ranging a broad spectrum of topics.