Off the Lip: Some odd thoughts on snowboarding

Have you ever wanted to jump in to the middle of a conversation between two people you’ve never met before?

I ran in to this situation today on the train on my way home from the office. There were two 20-something-year-old guys seated behind me, and I couldn’t help but listen in. They were talking about work…not just about their jobs, but about the areas in their industry they wanted to get in to. I couldn’t help but cringe and shake my head to myself when I heard one of them talk about getting in to a certain stream based solely on the amount of income you can make from it. As his friend started talking about all of the awful things associated with this stream, I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I am to be involved (meagerly as it is) in the snowboard industry.

If you’re dreaming of one day working in snowboarding, and haven’t figured out yet that you’re not going to be pulling in six figures a year (or the fact that jobs are few and far between to begin with), I’m really sorry about bursting your bubble.

It sucks when you really think about it, but the fact remains that we manage to retain the people in our industry who are truly passionate about the sport (excluding the few chumps who just do it to party and to get free gear). You’ll never hear someone say, “I really like my cushy sales job, but I think I’d rather work my ass off, risk my life driving around some godforsaken region of Canada and then just make enough to get by on selling snowboards.”

If you still dream of working in the industry, don’t be jaded by the message boards, forums and comments on the sites you visit daily. There are people in snowboarding who just flat out don’t listen to the hate that our sport is inundated with. I guarantee you that Mikey Leblanc has as much respect for the style and skills of every rider on Technine, as he does for every rider he supports through Holden. These are also the people you want to work with when you do make it in the snowboard world. It’s impossible to get anywhere (and you’re gonna cut ties really quickly) if you’re constantly talking shit on one particular style of riding, so don’t be afraid to open your mind to what’s going on out there.

In the end, I couldn’t be happier than I am right now to be able to call myself an active member of the snowboard industry. And, while it doesn’t pay all my bills (yet at least, haha) there’s no greater reward than looking at your board tucked away in the corner of your room in the middle of summer, and thinking about all the great places it has taken you, the amazing people it has introduced you to and the places you’re destined to travel to with it at your side.

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3 comments

  1. Wow, very inspirational indeed. It’s always better to know in advance rather than enter into an industry and be disappointed and regret later.
    By the way it takes a lot of guts to jump in to the middle of a conversation between two people you’ve never met ! there is always the risk of getting badly beaten up or even worse 🙂
    How did they take it ?

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