Honesty, Integrity and Proforms

08 Sep, 2008

“Think of Honesty and Integrity as sisters. Honesty is truthful and is well respected because she lives truth in her heart and offers it to others without compromise. Integrity believes in wholeness, goodness, and excellence, and is willing to serve as a praiseworthy example for others. Both are held in high regard. Practicing honesty and integrity is a two-fold gift. The first gift is seeing yourself as honest and having a high level of integrity. The second gift is offering your honesty and integrity to others. You become a respected person of integrity when you are unwilling to compromise your value.” quote
Chances are if you work in the snowboard industry, you’ve had your hand on a proform card at one time or another, allowing you a discount by a company. What comes with this proform is an opportunity to receive a discount, promote a brand and gain a level of trust with the company. Each year discounts are handed out to multiple people in the industry as a professional courtesy to those who work in snowboard shops, media, instructors and resort employees. An integral part of these proforms is the trust set forth by the company to the individual, a trust that is up to the individual to honor.

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.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

Related Posts


    September 08, 2008

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. right on shay, great post ! stoked.

  2. The Falken
    September 08, 2008

    Awesome post, you set the record straight and in a fair, eloquent way. Keep up the good work Shay

  3. Mike L
    September 08, 2008

    great subject and definitely one that more and more retailers are fretting over in these economic days!

  4. Jonny
    September 08, 2008

    Retailers and reps need to be the most on point with pro-forms. Ive seen both give out multiple proforms to people who haven’t put in the time working in the shop or repping. By paying the dues you appreciate the pro form that much more.

    End of the day both parties need to be accountable for what they put in the market place. Both product and pro form.

  5. Anonymous
    September 08, 2008

    I’m not sure i agree with the nitro guy on this. a proform doesn’t automatically mean a loss for a shop. the opposite might be true, it might free up cash that can spent on other things that can’t be proformed.

  6. dave
    September 08, 2008

    People in the industry actually pay for stuff?

  7. GraysOnTrays.com
    September 26, 2008


    Can you translate the word “spray” for 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.”

    Do you think that people who get proforms should disclose that fact? If so, when? Only when asked? When the subject of the product comes up (as in “yeah I like Whatzit Boots so much that I decided to be an ambassador for them, and they give me a good discount”)? Some other criterion?

    I suppose you could say that anyone on the hill should know that an instructor or (however you define it) “industry insider” gets discounts or freebies. On the other hand, what with all the emphasis of late on disclosure, I wonder if a preemptive move is best.


  8. Shayboarder
    September 29, 2008

    Spray is telling everyone they got hooked up…basically the people that really brag and tell everyone about it. Some people when telling others they got a deal make it seem as though they are sponsored and in turn represent that company…and that’s not the case. I think the best rule of thumb is just to receive it, enjoy it and don’t brag about it. But even still when you tell someone you get free stuff or discounted stuff, they can interpret that as bragging.

    It definitely is tough when to say it and the circumstances. I think I only dislose it when asked and I never give away proform prices. Definitely going around and spouting off to everyone you get proforms is not classy, like the person that shows into a snowboard shop…tries on 8 different boots and then says to the shop kid…No I can get these through my friends proform…but thanks. That’s not classy.

    I just saw someone on a forum trying to trade a proform card for another and then trying to trade the proform card for bindings…that behavior and attitude is what is hurting the partnerships. Today I just turned down a proform because I know I won’t use it and I went out of my way last year to ask for it. But I told the rep to give it to someone else cause the chance of me using it is very slim.

    The whole thing is tough on what to say and what not.

  9. Anonymous
    October 01, 2008

    Shayboarder – You said you went out of your wayHow exactly do you go about asking for a proform card. I don’t work somewhere that allows me to get one but you said you “went out of your way to ask for one last year”
    How did you do this?

  10. Shayboarder
    October 01, 2008

    I asked the rep last year at an industry demo, kept in touch from the spring till fall to make sure I’d get one. Typically with proforms i’m on good terms with the reps and I ask to get mine when the time is right. I’m still a certified instructor as well.

  11. Anonymous
    October 01, 2008

    how/who do you ask for a proform card?

  12. Anonymous
    October 01, 2008

    so…there’s probably slim to no chance that I can get one? I don’t have a job that offers that perk but I do offer free lessons to my friends and colleagues. My gear is like 4 years old – time to update…but I don’t have the $

  13. Shayboarder
    October 01, 2008

    Companies/Reps of companies. It’s an industry discount for those who work in the industry. Not just for anyone.

  14. Shayboarder
    October 01, 2008

    If you get a job teaching on the mountain, yes you might get one. If you are just teaching your friends how to ride…no.

    Today you can find very good deals online by late or early season sales…discount codes for shops you are on their mailing lists.

  15. Anonymous
    February 15, 2009

    solid. totally agree. I just recently became part of ski patrol, and once my ‘friends’ figured out that I could get discounts, suddenly i had many more friends.

    dont hook people up and dont get one unless you need one. its just the right thing to do.

  16. aksnowboardingrules
    November 14, 2009

    Proforms are not strictly given to people who work in the industry. But yes, I agree that it is important for people to not abuse proforms. The company/reps intention is that the person receiving the proform can promote the product to the average retail consumer in a positive way. Buying product for friends or selling on e-bay is obviously not the thing to do to promote the company, and it’s also bad for you karma 🙂