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The Upside of the Downturn

The economy is in shambles, the dollar is weak (substitute Yen, Pound, Won, Euro, etc. for our international readers) and the pages of your favorite action sports mag look like the Wall Street Journal with talks of mergers, bankruptcies, acquisitions and layoffs. What happened to stories about Shaun White’s favorite flavor of Red Bull or Anne Flore Marxer’s beauty tips?

The down economy sucks, no doubt. But guess what? It’s snowing! It’s been snowing like crazy in places like Colorado, Utah, Jackson and even Vermont. Locals, weekend warriors and touristas have reported wicked awesome conditions across the board. If you haven’t scored a fun powder day, you need to move out of the Panhandle.

The combination of the high pressure economic conditions and insane weather conditions have created a perfect storm for snowboarders and skiers. You’ve got great snow from Wachusett to Whistler plus you have the best snow sliding equipment to date on sale for 30% to 50% off. You can have your powder and shralp it too!

Yes I understand that budgets are tight, and that these discounts are bloody murder on retailers and manufacturers, but like the stock and real estate market, for those with cash, now is the time to buy. If you’ve got the cash, you’re in a prime position to slide on some of the finest equipment we’ve seen since someone had the bright idea to add ptex to the bottom of those wood planks.

And now more than ever, brands need to flex their muscle to keep their current customers and try to entice new ones. Even in this shitstorm, it’s a chance to trounce the competition. Remember the last culling of brands back in the mid 90’s? Of course not, because you were probably 6.

This crazy environment will make even the most diehard Burton Ion boot wearer think twice and consider those Vans Cirros. Resting on your company laurels will result in a quick trip to the dumpster. Keeping customers happy is hard work! There’s a reason Johan from C3 is going bald. Brands will have to prove their worth in 2009 and 2010 to an increasingly skeptical customer. Don’t believe me? Look at any of the shred blogs and the feedback on the green movement. It’s brutal.

But I digress. Back to the consumers. Like David Caruso, it’s your time! Demand more from your gear than a cool topsheet and a solid team. Your gear should be high quality, work well and look damn tight. If not, vote with your wallet and walk to your nearest retailer and check out the latest and greatest. I guarantee you’ll find something that will make you have more fun on the hill whether it’s reverse camber, smoother ratchets or more supportive boots. Now that’s what I call economic stimulus.

Posted by Hoon on Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 in Snow.

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