The enlightenment of snowboarding

20 Jul, 2009

If there is one thing that snowboarding needs more of, it’s the understanding and spread of knowledge about snowboard equipment.  Each company can have the latest and greatest in technology, but if that product reaches consumers hands without the basic knowledge of how to use it, then what’s the point?  


For the past 8 years I’ve been in online forums and the most common posts in snowboarding forums are the ones seeking knowledge, seeking basic understanding of how to use snowboard products.   Online communities in snowboarding have become such a resource for asking and answering questions.  In 2007-2008, the average rider logged in 10 days of snowboarding and I think our industry has forgotten who our audience is over the years, that we speak to the 100 day a year rider but in reality the 10 day a year rider should have the ability to open a magazine, go to a website, ask questions and find information that they can use.  

The companies, websites and magazines that are willing to spread knowledge about products I think will benefit the most this year.  Spreading knowledge in the product category would be most beneficial with bindings. Which I’ve seen in online forums have the most questions on boot fit, sizing, adjustment, how to set up, how to get the perfect fit, the list goes on. The majority of snowboarders are progressing riders…they may be buying their first bindings or their first time adjusting the bindings to fit their boot. Why not directly show on your companies blog/website how to do that?  Especially if your product has more bells and whistlers than the average binding, if it’s rear entry or a new mounting system, it won’t take more than videos to show how to change them, adjust, fix, and get familiar with the product and pieces involved.   Maybe their local shop doesn’t carry that product or know how to fix it, it comes down to the consumer finding out how.


Earlier this spring, I got wind of C3 putting out product videos on their Superpro Industry Blog.  These videos go over the basics of what these bindings are, who they are used for and why to use them.  It’s a video that anyone wanting more information about the products that C3 sells can use, industry or not.  It also helps set the tone of how companies don’t need marketing budgets, models or actors to educate about products.  

Union Binding Clinic Tech Part 1

Capita Midlife Photo Product Video

C3 isn’t the only one taking the reigns and bringing knowledge to the consumer, Ride Snowboards introduced their 09-10 website which includes a mix of technology/product videos that help explain their technology. Shops like Porters Tahoe have created product videos that use employees to show, discuss and ride the boards.   It’s a great start to see that this is expanding out, whether it’s directly from companies or shops making a name for themselves and to me, making it more likely I will buy from them.


This goes hand in hand with women’s snowboarding as well, you can design a pink snowboard tool but you would be better off showing a video that give upcoming women riders knowledge not only how to tighten your bindings but how to adjust them as well.    Or why this product is beneficial to women, not just because it’s pink and says for women…but the reason why we should use that product over a men’s product.  The days of color-coding gear are gone and women are seeking knowledge just as much as men are, they want reviews, they want information and they might be riding more often than their boyfriends.  Giving them access to that information will continue to push women’s snowboarding and at least put women in positions where they know as much as men do on snowboarding products. 


In snowboarding we have so many sources that are capable of spreading knowledge and riders within snowboarding that are want to understand it.  It just takes some time and effort, a camera, words, photos, video and someone with a clear voice to teach an audience that is willing to listen.

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. July 20, 2009

    Well said. It’s true, I see gapers… I mean beginners everywhere on the internet, asking everything from the obvious to the useful, which is a good thing. It’s a universal truth – the internet knows ALL!!!!!!

  2. July 20, 2009

    Yes yes yes. I admire the companies that speak directly to snowboarders with good, useful information. Respect the consumer and they will likely be a customer for life.

  3. July 20, 2009

    From the retail side I see this as a double edged sword, a informed buyer is a smart buyer which makes the sale easy and fast. If a customer feels confident with their purchase and the process was not a headache they come back in the future which is my goal. But… A over informed customer can be a pain in the you know what, this particular customer gets hung up on gimics and technical mumbo jumbo, this customer gets set on something and even if the product isn’t the best for them they’re gonna buy it. This leads to a unhappy customer who feels taken and doesn’t return. There’s nothing like demoing a product or just getting your hands on something and feeling out the product yourself. Worse comes to worse. Listen to your local shop dude cause he’s just trying to help not trying to rip you off!

  4. Butress
    July 21, 2009

    I agree with all of that, Shay. Good post. I’ll be starting season 3 of being a beginner, and I think the kind of information that you are talking about benefits us beginners most. The simple facts about features and functions are always helpful.

    As a nOOb, I could ,and will, demo new boards, but, for the next few seasons, I doubt my skills will be to a level that I will detect a lot of the nuances of the different models. Those of us that are geographically challenged (read: wtf IS snow anyway), and, for the time being, stuck in the 8-10 day a year range sort of have to base some of our decisions off of information we can find, and not so much hands on.

    I may be a clueless nOOb, but I try to stay a little informed, try to keep the forehead covered, and promise to only wear jeans snowboarding if they are on my head… no pants no worries! woo woo!

  5. July 21, 2009

    I agree, especially when it comes to products such as Flow, the K2 Auto/Cinch and Ride’s Contraband. I saw a kid once bring his kit back so the rep could re-adjust his Contrabands since they had shifted; when that is happening it is clear that some instruction on the company’s part is required (and Ride did release a detailed video on dialing in the binding).

    On the other hand I’ve offered information and had riders of many seasons on forums tell me they plain just don’t care about the tech or how it works, as long as it’s “the best”. Some folks aren’t interested in being enlightened it seems.

  6. unsure
    July 21, 2009

    There’s a point in this article somewhere but I wasn’t sure if it was the faux feminism or general obvious statement that brands and shops are using blogs & videos. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. keep doing what you are best at.

  7. July 21, 2009

    Some interesting comments on this one. Earlier this year I helped a reader out when she mentioned her bindings had a pressure point and were causing her pain when riding. I asked her to take a picture of her boot in the binding and send them to me, the first thing I noticed was the strap wasn’t centered on her boot. She had rode them right out of the box without making sure the straps were adjusted properly to her boot size and that’s where the issue came from. It was something easy to spot cause I’ve dealt with adjusting bindings but to her it was a new concept and something that you don’t learn everyday but it wouldn’t take long for a site to do a video that shows that. Or even like the changing a BOA lace video that I did, just having something out there that shows how to use a product in case your local shop, employee, friend isn’t around to help you with it.

    Adrian, definitely see both sides of that. I definitely see those that want the best and most expensive gear in snowboarding which might not be the best option for them. Feeling out a product yourself is so key, but definitely learning about it first can help a lot.

    Butress, definitely helps the beginners the most and they take to forums to get the questions answered. The basics that we forget about it, are what they want to know morea bout.

    Lou G, Totally all of those bindings you mentioned are ones I’d expect to see videos for, more than a direction guide with multiple languages. I was stoked to see that Ride did that, makes it a lot easier for seeing how it’s done. I’ve seen that as well with riders on the forums not caring but eventually they come back when they struggle with it.

    Jonny, thanks for the unsure comment about the post. Sorry I didn’t get your attention or give you adequate reading material this time around. As an example, say a blog puts up next years photos but no description…is that informative? Does that help the consumer to just see a picture of a product? Even blogs, shops, companies can give more education out to the consumer about products. But I guess again I’m putting out the obvious.

  8. Andrew
    July 22, 2009

    I learned almost everything I know about snowboarding from either or blogs

  9. July 22, 2009

    Shay I gotta say I can’t stand most of those blogs out there that give you leaked photos and are full of video teasers,not so interesting cause products can change by the time they are released and with no reviews its a waste of time. and to be honest most of the mens blogs out there are just another way to pad their egos. I find your features and reviews informative, a lot of those other jokers just talk about how sick THEY were on the board and don’t really talk about the board. Keep up the good work shay!

  10. jonny
    July 22, 2009

    “and to be honest most of the mens blogs out there are just another way to pad their egos.”

    That’s a pretty big assumption. That’s like saying Shay writing about and modeling a new kit is just to pad her ego. I don’t believe that to be the case but based on your assumption that’s valid.

    Point here is Shay you do something good with you’re blog but this bland statement about resources is just stating the obvious. You should develop a resource center. How can people put all this information together. Think of it as a digital buyers guide that’s actually telling you something about the product beyond specs. We all know specs are limited in use w/o riding.

    As for posting images only – sure it’s useful from a design and aesthetic standpoint its one element that gives you a foundation of like/dislike. Seeing a picture may excite the consumer and be the initial driving point. Is it the end? or solution? Certainly not but it is a start.

  11. July 22, 2009

    A digital buyers guide would be rad and a resource center would be amazing, I definitely appreciate the blogs that go out and collect all the burton pics that make the rounds and link back. I made sure to put together a reverse camber/rocker post with all of the info I could get as a resource which is definitely a start.

    At the same time I’m limited on how much I can put out and I focus just on this blog, I never set out to do a resource center but I know companies have the capabilities and shops (as seen above) and if more of them were able to, then that would be great to see.

    If it was that obvious every company would do it and they aren’t.

  12. July 22, 2009

    A wise man once said that those who can’t blog.

    If my blog is about padding my ego then my ego
    is as padded as the hard concrete on a cold, rainy day in Boston.

    Like any other “product”, the masses shall decide where they receive their information.

    Lastly: a (wo)man dying of thirst would drink sand if stuck in the desert long enough.

    Ok think I filled my cliché quota for the evening. Back to surf and bike blabbing as it’s summer. Go Lance.

  13. A. Nony Mouse
    July 22, 2009

    Everybody is guilty of posting SIA pictures of boots but not the tech info associated with them.

  14. July 23, 2009

    If everyone is doing it, is it still wrong? Peer pressure!

  15. jonny
    July 24, 2009

    if it’s so wrong I don’t want to be right!*

    *Edit: somebody needs to invent a sarcasm font for Hoon.

  16. July 24, 2009

    Nerd alert!