Honesty, Integrity and Proforms
08 Sep, 2008
With the easy-to-get-anything internet upon us, there are countless topics on the subject of proforms. Whether it is the new rider wanting to know how to get one or someone curious as to what it is exactly. Often on snowboarding forums, these topics are set straight by snowboard industry people who understand this is an earned discount and not granted to anyone. It’s not rare to see a proform card show up on ebay through the winter as someone finds that making a buck or two is more important. It is unfortunate that such a privilege is taken for granted or assumed that it’s for everyone. Not only does it eliminate the possibility for the hardcore supporters of the industry to obtain discounts, but it’s also harmful to the shops. Seth Quackenbush, Nitro sales manager says “the abuse of Proforms is one of the greatest disservices the industry has done for it’s self. The over saturation of Proforms dilutes the market and hurts the shops that rely on selling our goods to make ends meet.”
The decision of who receives a proform is up to the company or the representatives of the company. Often jobs that impact customers like frontline sales staff will receive cards as a way to promote a companies product. Instructors like Scott Mitchell at Mt. Hood Meadows understand that “Being in the industry, we represent and promote their product which is why companies offer it, because we advertise their stuff for them.” Resort jobs receive cards as a token of thanks and offering a discount to those running the mountain lifts or daily operations that without it wouldn’t be able to afford snowboarding. The Burton proform program says specifically,”and as always, please remember that this priviledge is for you and you alone.”
Gaining respect from the reps might allow you to spread out the proform love to friends that are deserving of recognition but do not hold industry jobs. One rep once said to me, “If you know peeps that you think are worthy let me know. I just want good riders that will help preach the brand on hill with out spraying that they got hooked up or that they are sponsored.” By gaining the respect of the rep and the trust, I was able to use my proform for someone else under the condition that it would not be abused.
There are some people in our snowboard industry that believe a proform is for everyone and willing to share the discounts with anyone. Earlier this month I had someone tell me that “reps do not care what you are buying in proform because the company is getting paid and that’s what matters.” This person in question wanted to use a proform I’d earned to hook up a friend of his by lying in the process. In the end, this former friend forced me to choose between my integrity and his friendship…I chose to keep my integrity.
For some of us it isn’t a matter of hooking up everyone, it is a matter of keeping your integrity and honesty while earning a discount and continuing a relationship with a company you support. It is important for people to respect proforms, as an honor based system and without honor, it will collapse thereby eliminating pro deals for everyone.