Sponsorship; the culmination of hard work and exquisite marketing to attain free product so as to not have to pay to do something you love. There used to be a time when sponsorship meant you really worked to get it and to make it out of the relative obscurity of a regional rider to the amateur phase of your career. This is where the saying ‘pay your dues’ really came into play as it isn’t something that was entitled but deserved. Today sponsorships are given away at an unprecedented rate and sometimes to those that haven’t paid their dues or even done the work necessary to deserve it.
What makes a sponsorship special isn’t that you are given free product but how you act and what you do with it. Being a self entitled asshole really doesn’t do anything for the companies that have invested in you nor does it do anything for how people perceive your character.
Having a strong opinion isn’t for everyone which is why we’ve constantly pissed people off that can’t deal with what we’ve had to say. This isn’t anything new and there’s definitely more than a few posts full of peoples inability to stomach a strong opinion or at least debate it without getting personal on the site. Our latest involves a young rider named Garrett McKenzie who felt that my personal belief on a certain fashion trend being stupid wasn’t going to fly in his young and impressionable mind that has been influenced by the Cult of Milberry.
Evidently kids only know how to talk in hashtags now.
Here’s the edit he mentions. It’s a fun summer slush edit, but not mind blowing.
Now maybe you don’t agree with the conversation or the fact this kid is now part of a satirical article on this very site. That’s fine, that’s your opinion and we can always debate it. We live in a time when talented riders are a dime a dozen, sponsorship is given away on a whim, and there’s no differentiation amongst the lower to mid level riders out there. The last time that snowboarding was truly unique and original was the 90’s, I don’t say that to be nostalgic, but because it was this fresh new thing that hadn’t been done before.
If you’re a rider in this day and age and don’t think being humble matters; you would be sadly mistaken as there are easily 20 kids at your local hill that are just as good and want what you have. On top of that there’s definitely kids out there that understand those that are older than them have lived through trends, seen riders come and go, and still ride because the passion is more important than the glory. Snowboarding will always have sponsored riders, but it needs true solid ambassadors not arrogant self entitled assholes.