Got the love? It’s offensive at Vail Resorts

27 Oct, 2008

I flip open the newspaper today to find yet another article written about the Burton Love and Primo. But this time I notice something more important being said from Vail Resorts regarding employees and your snowboard graphics.

“Plus, Vail Resorts has prohibited its employees from using the “Love” snowboards while on duty at the resorts, spokeswoman Jen Brown said in an e-mail. That rule pertains to all snowboards with offensive or inappropriate graphics, she said.” Article

“Smugglers’ Notch, a Vermont ski resort, says employees are banned from using the Love and Primo boards.” article

Props to Aspen Skiing Company quoted in this article for being unfazed by the designs, “I know there have been some discussions informally,” said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle. “We don’t have a policy one way or the other. I don’t know if we will.” article

So first thing…it’s only pertaining to snowboards? Thanks Vail for the equal opportunity oppression of graphics.

Second thing…who determines if it’s offensive or inappropriate?

Does that matter to only graphics, what about stickers? If I have a sticker on my snowboard (which I do) that says Go Home Gaper, does that mean that it is prohibited? What about a sticker showing my love for a presidential candidiate…could that be inappropriate?

That statement doesn’t just apply to Burton anymore…it applies to a few other companies (ski and snowboard) out there.

What do you think? 
Should resorts be able to prohibit what graphics your boards have? 
Does it make sense for on-snow jobs, like instructors, to not have boards with non-family friendly graphics? 


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!

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  1. J. Smith
    October 27, 2008

    I think dumb rules and regulations go hand and hand with corporate resorts anyways so it was just a matter of time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s right or wrong to them- if it diminishes the image of a cookie cutter, family-oriented paradise then the resorts are going to fight it. Plus most of them are skiers anyway so they’re bound to be lame… gotta love corporate America though. Mediocrity all the way.

  2. GraysOnTrays
    October 27, 2008

    If that’s what they want to do, let ’em do it. Companies act with an eye towards image all the time. On a purely personal level, “cookie cutter, family-oriented paradise” doesn’t offend me at all.

  3. kelly
    October 27, 2008

    I think the key is that they’re prohibiting EMPLOYEES from riding the board while ON DUTY. Several resorts have announced similar policies, and I think it’s partly just a cover your ass thing – I’m sure just about any lawyer could find a reason to sue the resort for allowing these.

    It seems pretty standard, a lot of companies have codes of conduct designed to prevent sexual harassment that would not allow these boards anyway.

  4. hoon
    October 27, 2008

    has vail never had an attractive female or male scantily clad in ANY of their advertising???? hmm i seem to recall a few images of low cleavage evening dresses or GASP… bikinis and short mens bathing suits when swimming or hot tubbing… those offend me as an ultraright chicken wing, isolationist, holier than thou, 100 million year old pedigree idiot.

    Note to Vail employees: no hot tubbing as the guests might find it offensive to see your boobies or butts.

  5. a-man
    October 27, 2008

    they must be getting a cut from Burton. Why don’t the wannabe-bookbanners and “I’m outraged” parents ever understand that they’re only going to see more when they do shit like this?

    Most offensive on-snow graphics: K2’s Seth Pistols.

    1993: I think the lil black Bas I rode at Vail had a naked chick on it. Nobody said anything back then (they were too afraid we were going to pull Uzis out of our Carhartt jackets).

    Vail was the resort of Republicans, bankers, Gerald Ford, etc… I guess it’s not surprising.

    But of course, if you’re really looking to get rid of dirty pictures, moves like this can only backfire… I’m seeing a tenfold increase in sex graffiti in the bathroom stalls, more actual nude skiers, and Kobe will return to rape.

  6. ShralperD
    October 27, 2008

    If it only applies to employees then I think the rule is fine especially if they’re teaching young kids or something like that.

  7. Shayboarder
    October 27, 2008

    So far it only applies to employees at Vail Resorts (Breck, Keystone, A-Basin, Heavenly, Vail) as far as I’m aware and only when they are on the clock.

    I’d think people in some jobs like instructors might use common sense in board graphics that the boards might not bring in the best tips or hey could bring in great tips if you teach to pubescent boys…you know they’d be watching your board when you show them how to turn.

    A resort does have to set up an image. But at the same time who is the resort to tell you what board graphics are acceptable?

  8. hoon
    October 27, 2008

    Last comment of the day:
    funny thing is. there’s about 3 or 4 different ski graphics that i can think of that have bikini chicks or similar graphics to the love (but the chicks are circa 2000 not 1980) from Rossignol, Head, Line and a few others and there was zero mainstream freak out over it… zero… goes to show you, i guess, how big the burton name is…

  9. Lou G.
    October 27, 2008

    I’m not angry over Vail’s decision. It makes perfect sense… as much sense as it does when my employer tells me I can’t have certain tattoos or piercings, or that I need to shave or get a haircut.

    Sure I have an argument as to why I don’t need/want to do that stuff, but if I want my job and money then I have to buckle down and represent the company as they see fit. That’s life.

    But to the whole debate in general; definitely retarded. Coppertone sunblock has made a little girls butt public for decades, and yet nobody seems to complain.

    I’m over hearing about how this board is ‘objectifying’ women. Because the board isn’t doing that… it’s kids peers, television, movies, music, magazines, internet, and most importantly the parents (you are the ones responsible for teaching kids what’s right and what’s wrong).

    The funniest thing is that while all these parents are doing news interviews, protesting and writing letters to save their children’s innocence, little Johnny snuck into dad’s closet and found his old nudie magazines.

    Pleasant reading, little Johnny.

  10. Jonny
    October 28, 2008

    Ah, if it’s an employer to employee thing that’s fine. I imagine it’s a first year d-bag who wants to be caught up in snowboard politics and is thinking this applies to their small universe after reading the headlines on TW Business.

    In reality this is all starting to smell like a well crafted media campaign. In the last 15 years of snowboard graphics we’ve had shit Wwaaaaaaay more offensive than the Love boards.

  11. Anonymous
    October 28, 2008

    Does this mean Jamiy Lynn cant paint anymore bad ass artistic naked blue girls and put them on his board?

  12. Shayboarder
    October 28, 2008

    Smugglers Notch just joined the list of resorts prohibited employees from using the love or primo boards.

  13. Shayboarder
    October 29, 2008