COMPLAINING OR GREAT RIDING - THE PROGRESSION OF ATB
In my first article, of what will hopefully be a series of regular columns on this site, I should probably open with an explanation of what I’m hoping to do with my column. Firstly I hope to be able to look at issues that mountain boarders face through their riding life and give impartial views on the issues risen, rather than giving praise to people that are kissing arse for a good review. In other words, if it’s crap I’ll say its crap because there is nothing worse in the sport that being misled and getting ripped off.
I also hope to start a lot of honest debate on the AT-Boarders message board about the issues I raise in these articles. So after you have read this article then head over there and voice your opinion, remember there is nothing more powerful than a large community when you want something changed!
Ok, onto my first issue. This article will look at the following question and raise issues which apply to all of the mountain boarding community.
Which helps the progression of ATB more, focusing on great riding or complaining? (you think you know the answer already don’t you?).
It’s easy to say that the great riders of our sport, the ones that are pushing boundaries and attracting new riders to the sport through inspirational riding, are doing more than the grumpy people complaining their gloves fell apart 3 days after purchase, but are they actually doing more?
There are great riders, who perform at a higher level than anyone, who will ride to the limits and 360 over them showing how far the human body and board can be pushed, and with this, pushing the very boundaries of the very sport itself. These riders create spectacle. The advantage of this is that within the first 5 minutes of a newbie seeing somebody ride like this they can be a complete convert to the sport, driven by dreams of been able to match in someway the ability they have just witnessed.
Great riders will also advertise for the companies that sponsor them, the companies which supply us with our boards, safety equipment and everything else which caters for our dirty needs. They promote ATB through a number of ways that range from winning competitions to making TV appearances.
Now, it’s pretty obvious they do a lot to promote the sport, but can we trust the influences of the better riders, for example, it is fair to say that the ‘MBS Comp 16 Pro’ is one of the top setups around and therefore many of the top riders are using them, but how does this help the name of an ATB company if the riders they sponsor are riding a ‘Comp 16 Pro’ over the free boards and parts they are supplied with. What are the riders trying to say, are they saying the supplied stuff isn’t good enough so they will just ride an MBS board because it’s better?
This is how most people see it, which is going to influence them to go buy a board from MBS not the company the rider is sponsored by. This is no good for promoting new brands and so it will stifle the competition and we will end up with only one make of board, a monopoly. Where are the new innovative board ideas going to come from then?
So, there are good and bad points in the professional riders case but what about the people who complain, how the hell do they help anyone?
There are 2 types of complainer, one has the ‘I’m not buying anything from you again’ attitude and the other has the ‘I’ve had a problem with… maybe you could…’ approach.
The first type of complainer is obviously a waste of an ATB companies time but the second can be very helpful. For example, if you visit a companies website, and you find it really hard to find what you want, if you tell the site producers what your problem is, provided it’s a genuine problem you could possibly get it changed, ATB companies always appreciate your feedback and want you to get involved. Another example would be that if you find the plastic plate on your wrist guard falls out, it would be helpful to inform the company that made them because if they have the same complaint from a number of customers, they may realise they have a problem with their product and get it changed, helpful suggestions and feedback is always useful. If a company can identify problems, what results can be a higher quality of equipment. This means better quality of equipment for everyone and another step forwards for the sport!
But be careful how you complain, complaining by making a suggestion may be the best way to get your word in without offending anyone.
So back to the question, who helps the progression of the sport more?
I guess this will be one of those annoying articles with no clear point but what we can say is that both top riders and complainers are needed, the complainers are needed by the top riders to complain about the products that suck and push for higher quality of production so that the top riders have the equipment to get out there and bring in the newbie’s. And when the newbie’s are in, if we all push for the higher quality, they should have as little bumps off the track as is possible.
Please take you time to comment on this article and discuss the issues raised in the AT-Boarders forum and have your say, you never know which companies are keeping a careful watch over the forums!
Have a comment or opinion on the above article? Send them to us below and we will answer any questions you may have and post your comments above for others to see.
Please fill in the short form below for any enquiries.
Please fill in the short form below for any enquiries.