Industry Profile: Snowboard Mag Online Editor Jonathan Glass
11 Sep, 2012
Job Title: Online Editor
Employer: Snowboard Magazine
Years on snow: 18
Days on snow: Roughly 50+ /year
Currently Riding: Lib Tech Trice 157, Union Contact Pro, Flow HiLite Focus Boot
Currently I am: Drinking
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Jon: I grew up just north of Boston in the quaint town of Manchester By-The-Sea. Yes, that is the real name, which was changed from Manchester by its residents some years back so we could be “different” from all the other Manchester’s in the world. I know, ridiculous, right?
Anyways, I grew up snowboarding a small mountain in western Mass called Bousquet where I originally skied for seven years. My grandfather was an instructor and wasn’t stoked when I flipped to “the dark side” at the ripe old age of ten.
I ended up at UMass Amherst where I found myself riding the “big” mountains of the East Coast and helped run the UMass Ski and Snowboard Club. Which was basically a club that subsidized the price to ride and party all winter. Bonus!
After college I traveled through Central America because why the hell not. Surfed a bunch, partied way to hard and generally enjoyed the third world lifestyle – probably because I knew it wasn’t permanent. I highly recommend going to Costa Rica; it will change your life.
Photo: Ben Birk
Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?
Jon: Growing up in the East Coast is great, but during the winters it’s a total shit show. The weather blows, which makes it quite depressing if you don’t have an outlet to enjoy during those times – probably why all those private school kids are hooked on painkillers and Adderall all winter. So if I didn’t have snowboarding during those times I’m sure I’d be right there with them.
Snowboarding truly gave me a creative outlet during the winter, and no matter what your skill level is, it’s the most fun thing in the world.
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Jon: After my time in Central America I found myself working for an advertising agency that shall remain nameless. I guess you could say it wasn’t the gig for me. So I quit and started working at Ski Market in Danvers, Mass so that I could be more associated with the snowboard industry. But living in the Boston area while your trying to be a snowboard bum isn’t ideal. So I moved up to Stowe, Vermont.
Once there I scored a gig with East Coast Snowboard Magazine to design and maintain its first website. I got to shoot local events and snowboard every day. That was the shit: living at the base of, in my opinion, the best mountain in the East and shredding 100 plus days was one killer way to spend four years. That’s where I met Adam Hawes and Laura Austin, both of whom also worked on the magazine. We all worked for free but didn’t care because we were shredding.
But, as life goes, bills needed to be paid and I wasn’t going to bartend for the rest of my life. So I kept my ear to the ground and found an ad on Malakye.com for the Online Editor position at Snowboard Magazine. The rest, as they say, is history.
Photo: Hank Lambo
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Jon: I’m more of a do it yourselfer and love to learn things on my own. My major at UMass was graphic design and marketing in the BDIC department, which stands for Bachelors Degree with Individual Concentration, aka the make your own major department.
It really fit my personality and I believe it helped me learn the skills I have today. You basically took two years to design your own major, convince each academic department that you’re worthy of their classes and lastly, convince the school that what you are studying can be applied in the real world. I welcomed the challenge and I’m very happy with the outcome.
Shay: Tell us about your role at Snowboard Magazine and a description of the work you do?
Jon: My official title is Online Editor, which means I control all the content on the website. I manage contributors and plan out the editorial calendar so that we have interesting, fresh content on the site for our readers to enjoy. From travel pieces to rider interviews and product reviews, we try to cover everything in snowboarding.
On the other side of things I have my hands in a lot of custom projects for clients of Storm Mountain Publishing, our parent company. From designing and implementing micro-sites and contests to helping put on events like our kick-ass party at SIA every year. I love the diversity of the job, and working at an independent magazine gives me the freedom to have my hand in everything and always be learning.
Shay: If you had to make up a job title that most accurately described what you REALLY do, what would it be?
Jon: It’s funny you ask that. The coolest one I’ve seen so far has to be “Director of Gnar” whom is Alex Hunt at Silverton Mtn, CO. So since that one is taken I’ll have to go with I’m not CEO, bitch!
Shay: Describe the craziest day/moment you’ve had at your job?
Jon: My first year with Snowboard Mag we threw a raging party at SIA in Denver and got RZA of the Wu-Tang clan to play, and since we were the media sponsor I got to party it up with him and his crew. It was all time. I won’t go into to much detail but you can imagine what happens behind closed doors with one of the greatest rap groups of all time.
After the show ended, we found ourselves at the Ink Monstr warehouse where Del the Funkee Homosapien was playing. I ended up being RZA’s drink bitch, a title I took absolute pride in, as we partied hard until all hours of the night. He likes Red Bull Vodkas and no, I don’t believe Red Bull sponsors him.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Jon: Shredding some of the best spots around the country, interviewing Travis Rice at the Asymbol Gallery in Jackson, raging with the Brain Farm crew as they toured through Colorado for The Art of Flight, premiere season, calling Stowe and Aspen my home mountains, being on tour with The North Face Masters, competing in the Crystal stop of The North Face Masters against some of the best big mountain shredders in the world, and the list goes on…
I must say I really appreciate everyday I wake up and realize I get to do these things and get paid for it. It’s something I’ll never take for granted.
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Jon: Weather is a major one. Even though it’s uncontrollable, it’s the biggest thing this industry faces year in and year out that affects every aspect of the industry. From resorts to shops and even magazines; when the snowfall is good, business is good. When the snowfall is bad, well you get the point.
As for the future, I just hope it snow more…
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Jon: Work your ass off! So many people, for some reason, think we all just party hard and shred everyday. Even though that’s part of it, I find myself working many weekends, at night after I come home from the office and whenever shit just needs to get done. I worked for free for four years to get my foot in the door and waited for the right opportunity. Also, remember to have fun, because if your not then what’s the point?
Banner Photo Credit: Shay Will