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Old 02-03-2011, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is it impossible to make it as a snowboarder?

I know like many of you your dream might be to make a living off snowboarding. I am wondering that if this is at all possible? I know that many pros today have grown up either living on the mountain or close enough, or have either had the fund's to ride all winter and travel to other countries to ride in the summer. I know that people say just ride for fun and if it happens it happens. But I feel like there is something inside saying dont quit or never give up on your dreams know matter how long they will take. I am just wondering if it is at all possible to make it in snowboarding without the "connections" because I know that in todays society its all about who you know not how good you are. Is that true in snowboarding as well? Personally I ride three times or so a week and I know that every time I step out on the mountain that all i wanna do is have fun and get better. And also in the summer time I have the only snowflex in the US in my backyard. Im just wondering is it possible to climb up the ranks and make it in snowboarding with sponsorship contracts winning contest like Xgames and dew tours and every one in between that.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Impossible question to answer. Making it big in pro snowboarding is like going pro in any other sport, most people, no matter how much effort they put into it simply don't have the talent to do it. Sad, but true. Without knowing you, it's impossible to say whether or not you have the necessary talent to have a legitimate chance.

Also, the amount of pro riders who make enough from their riding and sponsors to truly be dedicated full-time pros is likely very small. Most "pro" riders work their asses off all summer at shit jobs to have enough to ride all winter. If that's your goal, it's probably a more reasonable one. Shaun White is the only pro rider who is legitimately balling ass rich from snowboarding.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Riding three days a week is not going to cut it. Why do I say that? Because practicing only three days a week is not going to be sufficient to develop elite, world-class skills in any complex, demanding activity in a reasonable span of time. Remember the 10,000-hour rule.

Beyond that, the biggest question is your age. Are you dreamin' these big dreams at age 30? Maybe it's time to consider an office job. But if you're 12, go for it.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Define your goal better. Is it to be a pro boarder, i.e. sponsorships and competitions etc? Or is it to make a living while snowboarding? If the latter, you'll have a lot better odds going for snowboard instructor. Doesn't pay great, but neither does going pro for most of them.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Eh if you want to do something for a living you're probably looking in the wrong place. I doubt the pros who do make a living off snowboarding envisioned it. And as Linvillegorge said, the only person who has more than enough money off snowboarding is Shaun White, but you've got to remember that half the reason he's as famous and rich as he is is his skill in both skateboarding and snowboarding.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linvillegorge View Post
Shaun White is the only pro rider who is legitimately balling ass rich from snowboarding.
If you wish to become wealthy, or even excessively comfortable , it's better by an order of magnitude to pursue a career in any big-time team sport than in an individual sport. That's true even of established, well-paying individual sports such as golf or tennis, and snowboarding is far below those on the pay scale. The world's 400th-best athlete in an individual sport will be scraping up funds to cover his travel expenses. The world's 400th-best athlete in a top team sport will make millions. Major League Baseball's bargained-for minimum salary for 2011 is $414,500. (Don't ask what the average salary is. ) The active rosters of MLB teams add up to 750 players.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeR View Post
If you wish to become wealthy, or even excessively comfortable , it's better by an order of magnitude to pursue a career in any big-time team sport than in an individual sport. That's true even of established, well-paying individual sports such as golf or tennis, and snowboarding is far below those on the pay scale. The world's 400th-best athlete in an individual sport will be scraping up funds to cover his travel expenses. The world's 400th-best athlete in a top team sport will make millions. Major League Baseball's bargained-for minimum salary for 2011 is $414,500. (Don't ask what the average salary is. ) The active rosters of MLB teams add up to 750 players.
That was my point. Most people equate being a pro athlete with being rich. If you're pro athlete with any type of sustained career in any of the main team sports, you're going to be set for life if you manage your money properly. Shaun White is likely the only pro rider who can say the same simply from his sponsorships and riding. When he's done riding professionally, he could ride off into the sunset and never be heard or seen from again and still be set for life along with future generations of his family. Shaun White is certainly the only pro snowboarder who can say THAT.

Most "pro" riders are simply guys at the mountain who compete well in local contests and have a couple of sponsors. Are they true "pros"? Depends on who you ask.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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if you wanna make it as a pro, you have to breathe, eat, drink and shit snowboarding..... EVERYDAY.

I'm going from experience as playing pro basketball for a short time overseas, and it's a commitment like no other. Games and competitions, or whatever you see on film, is maybe 5% of your overall work.

countless practices, conditioning, strengthening, perfecting your weaknesses etc ... it's a full time gig.

is it possible? absolutely YES.

it all comes down to you, how much you really want it.

I've played with guys who were very talented but didn't give a shit, and they pissed it all away. Then I also played with guys who had no talents but overcompensated with absolutely stupid level of hard work. The latter were usually harder to guard or play against, because they gave everything every time..

but again. Is it possible. Fuck YES. don't let other kill your dreams, it all comes down to HOW MUCH YOU FUCKING WANT IT!!!
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There's more than one snow flex place in the U.S. so might want to be a bit more specific.

Here's a lesson for you in snowboarding sponsorship status.

1. Get hooked up by the local shop, meet reps, get a regional flow sponsorship through reps, film a regional movie, win regional contests. Have a real job.

2. In house sponsored regional rider, film regional flicks, compete in some contests outside the region, get a hump day interview on YoBeat or in some other publication of that sort, get product from the corporate office, still deal with the rep from time to time. Have a real job.

3. Man Am meaning you're full in house, maybe a few photo incentives, film a movie that's a bit bigger than regional status, do some more notorious contests, get a spotlight in TWS or Snowboarder maybe Snowboard Mag, might get invited to be a tester in the good wood test, definitely have a job lined up at one of the summer camps, photo incentives are a step in the right direction. Have a real job.

4. Sponsored rider meaning you have a small travel budget, photo incentives, contest incentives, spend your time mixing between contests and filming. Have a summer/mud season job. Definitely working at at a summer camp. Getting shots in magazines, product catalogs, competing in bigger high profile events, maybe doing web edits.

5. Big Time status this means you're like number 4 but your sponsors pay you to ride with a full salaried position. Chances are you're riding for Redbull, Monster, or some lame ass energy drink on a big level as well as Oakley. You film banger parts, get covers, do high profile interviews, and people on the fringe of snowboarding near the mainstream have heard of you.

6. Shaun White status you fart and it makes you a million dollars. You hide from society and might have killed a hooker once.

Seriously to get anywhere in snowboarding you need to know how to market yourself, talk to companies, promote their product while promoting yourself, know how to be stern and effective in asking for a budget, salary, incentives. If you can't do that thats when you want a manager. They're the one that does all your grunt work so you can ride. But just remember no matter how good you are there's a kid in a t shirt shop in Breck, Park City, Tahoe that's better than you that doesn't give a fuck to be sponsored.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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These guys are all right. To become a top athlete in any sport you have to do it every day as much as your body will take of it. People like White, torstein, rice, kazi (snowboarding) or Kobe, parker, lebron(basketball) dont get there by snowboarding/playing ball 3 days a week. Boarders get there by snowboarding 200 days a year. Basketball players will be on the court 8-10 hours a day shooting, running, doing drills, practicing..... all freaking year, they play in offseason leagues where they live and/or overseas..... Snowboarders take 100' air, eat shit and do it 3 more times until they hit it, then they do it 1000 more times to make it look good and make it like its just another run.... It has got to be your full time thing unless your some kind of freak of nature and can hit these kind of runs on slopestyle doing 80' of air with 10 spins/flips in there or you can to a pipe run getting 15' of air with double mctwist 1260 or something better..... Then to top it off you have to be a good fit for the public so that sponsors want to use your image on their products........

My son is 10 and wants to snowboard for a living so I am going to go live up in vail next sept and get an apartment across from a lift pickup so he can go snowboard every day, he can do his school work after 5 when the sun sets.... I will then go up to PNW so we can be in driving distance to Hood and he can ride daily in the summer too. That is the only way he can live his dream and I know that. If he follows through and does it, great. If he doesnt then at least my wife and I get to ride with him.
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