The industry is spiralling outta control and we the consumers are to blame!
Snowboarding is my passion and no words can define how it holds me; it is my drug of choice but now I'm no longer a single dude bartending the nights away so I can get my fix! Now I have the responsibilities of keeping wifey, the two chitlins and dog happy. This means less shred time. I have no problem with this change from my hedonistic past but now... Now I see an industry mass-producing over priced, sweatshop induced garbage, marked up 500% above cost. This needs to stop because snowboarding should be accessible to everyone! I would like to outfit my kids with good gear that will last and be priced reasonably. The so called soul companies are gone or have sold out to big Corp. and the marketing sheisters..
We as consumers must take a stand and stop buying the overpriced hype! For example Burton's Method snowboard retails for $1800.00. It's just a snowboard people! As long as the moronic "it's gotta be the best if it's ridiculously expensive" mentality continue, so will the gouging from the snowboarding business.
Is there a solution to this conundrum? I know there has to be. Give me your thoughts and ideas so we can continue the shred an make it more affordable for the future generations!
throw the wife to the dog if she doesn't let you shred. :thumbsup:
Snowsports have never been cheap, they never will be cheap. It's an expensive hobby with a lot of costs associated. The companies that produce these expensive goods price them at what the market can bear. No snowboarding product is marked up 500% over "cost" if you truly understand what "cost" means. Cost is not the price of raw materials, it's everything that went into making that shit up until the point that the manufacturer delivers it to the retailer.
Making snowboarding goods is a business, there is no "soul" in it and there never was. If you think there was then you are delusional. There is a massive R&D cost, Marketing cost, Manufacturing cost, overhead cost, then the retailer has to get paid. It's not cheap by any stretch and there are a lot of people who need to get paid for doing what they do.
Sure there is the odd product or two that is wildly expensive, but they are labelled as luxury products, are marketed as luxury products and have limited manufacturing runs, chances are you will never see this $1800 snowboard in your local shops. I don't think $750 is unreasonable for a hand crafted snowboard with all these technological goodies that make my ride smoother. I don't think $250 is unreasonable for a POS made in china either. $600 for a 3L Gore-Tex jacket that will keep me dry to the core is completely reasonable once you see the manufacturing process that goes into it.
It sounds to me like you just can't keep up in this race for better gear if you want to gripe about it. So just stick to the cheap shit
I hear your pain, and feel for you. I have so far escaped responsibilities and continued working for passes in the winter, and managed to get past most of the worst expenses in the sport. On the surface, it is no longer affordable.
And while Bakesale may be right that it has never been 'cheap' to ride, i want to say that it wasn't always this expensive either.
Boards and gear have always been a bit of a killer, but a lot of the quality is suspect these days, with a lot of boards and gear engineered to be ridden a season, rather than 2 or three.
Lift tickets have been rising, and the average Joe who you used to see in jeans and a poncho trying to learn how to ski has pretty much disappeared.
Lots of reasons for this, but basically i think it has been greed.
With the boom of snowboarding and a rush of revenue into the ski industry, people have been trying to make a fast buck by cutting corners in a lot of places. Burton gets a lot of criticism for this, but also a lot of the ski hills that were once public and affordable have been privatized and milked.
My local hill of Kimberly used to be owned and run by the town. This brought its own problems (like having city council members try to run something they have no idea about), but at the same time life tickets were reasonable, and local people could come.
Now, even with enough snow, they don't open until Christmas season, so they don't have to run the lifts for just season pass holders. And day passes are getting ridiculous.
But don't fear, there are ways around this. You can still ride for cheap if you don't mind looking like you didn't step out of this month's magazine.
#1- Buy gear used. There are a ton of gapers who buy new just because its new, but don't use it. You can still find lots of great gear at the second-hands, garage sales and consignment stores. Keep you eyes out during the summer. My last 2 pairs of pants have been (barely) used, and same with a pair of gloves i picked up this season.
#2 learn how to repair instead of throwing stuff away or getting a professional to fix it. Not just with boards, but clothing as well. I have been having fun learning how to use the sewing machine.
#3- Get a part-time or volunteer job at the hill. For working a set number of days as an on-hill ambassador or guide, you can get a season's pass. Same for other work on the lifts, rental shop, or snowboard school.
#4 Go to Mike Basich's site and see how a pro works. He makes a ton of shit DIY style, from split boards to snowshoes. making some of your own stuff can free you up.
#5 Don't go to the hills, hit the backcountry. Its free and way more rad. And dangerous, so get schooled before you go. Take an avy course, and go with experienced people you can trust.
#6 Noboard. Get a cheap used board thats suitable for pow, and buy a nopad from noboard.com. Or make your own using a ton of stomp pads. THE ULTIMATE POWDER EXPERIENCE, i shit you not. And without all the training wheels and fancy boots. A pair of sorels with old snowboard boot liners will do it.
#7. Most importantly, duct tape is your friend.
I can tell you in most cases the gross margins on a lot of what you see in ski shops when it comes to hard and softgoods is typically not much more than 50% (i.e. the cost to the retailer is half of what you're paying). In fact.. for our head skis.. the margins a lot less.. about 30%. What's the actual cost of production? who knows.. but it probably isn't as cheap as you think.
Greed will be found in any industry though.. snow sports or not.
Take huge insurance policy out on the wife, kill her, feed the dog to your cat, harvest the kids organs and bone marrow, take money and flee country to a non extradtion country that has snow and shred your face off. Problem solved.
I've never actually seen a Method or T6 or whatever on the snow.
On a side note... I enjoy snowboarding so i ride a snowboard as often as realistically possible
I paid $140 for a season pass to my local hill (a one day special last spring)
I paid $300 for my snowboard boots and bindings that should last me for another 5 seasons like my last one (last years models of course).
All my soft goods I would own any way.
Thats about $200 bucks a year. Thats a couple of rounds of golf or a couple decent dinners out...
Granted, I am cheap. And I won't be the stylish person around. But if you want to go cheap you can you just have to know where to look.
A nice method indeed!
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