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.