Saturday, December 20, 2008
The Perfect Women's Comp
Advancements in women's snowboarding have done well, but some companies still suffer from Barbie syndrome: Just like Barbie, ladies prefer draping themselves in fluffy material and prancing in the snow like babies.
Don’t make me puke.
Marketing women’s snowboarding has gone all girly. Events are the same way: There’s still a lot of “glitter” and not enough “cool” in female competitions. Enough is enough. The female shred biz needs to adjust their rose-colored goggles and get with the now.
To help put event directors on the right path, I have a vision: The Perfect Women’s Comp. It’s more than just bluebird days and perfect snow; the perfect women’s comp can be achieved if five easy steps are followed. When done correctly, it’s an event guaranteed to go down in history as the best thing to happen on planet Earth.
1. Kill the lollipops
Let's face it, take away sponsor names and women comps sound like a bowl of cheap candy: Gummies and Rainbow Rail jams, Strawberry Lollipop freestyles, Bunnies and Chickies halfpipes.
Lame. Freestyle comps ain't no tea party with dresses, so feed sweets to the birds and rough up the names. The perfect women's comp would have a title with enough attitude and ferociousness to attract and stand out as the most ass-kicking event of the season. Titles can still hint at an all-female event, just add more fire. My top three picks would be:
A) Good Girls Go To Heaven, Bad Girls Go To Pipe Comps
B) Bitches Ride Harder Rail Jam
C) Leather and Whips Freestyle Contest
See what I did? I just turned Brittany Spears into Joan Jett with a mere title change. It's cooler to be a badass babe than a princess pussy. No more Girly names and Chicken logos when dealing with pro events for pro riders, let's get hardcore.
2. Charge a pink tax
It's funny how the stereotype of girls liking pink has gone out of control in an industry that claims to support an alternative lifestyle. Sponsors with pink banners or pink products to symbolize being for women are so insanely incompetent and clueless they need to pay for being idiots. Literally.
If you're a girl and you like pink that's great, but don't be a sucker and fall for the color companies love to slap on labels “For Girls”. That's why the perfect women's comp would charge a tax on pink. Not the singer, the color.
“Brand A has a new Pink Stiletto binding to display? Ouch, that will be 1,000 euro please. Ridiculous price? Well so are pink bindings called Stiletto.”
“Wait, Sponsor B has a purple tent with lots of feather boas and sequined snowflakes? You're right, it's not pink, it's worse than pink. You've missed the point, and you're not even coming in with that.”
You get the idea. Snowboard life prides itself on edgy design and style, and we're not girls with pony pillows and pink parasols. We're extreme and inventive. There is a big, decorative color wheel out there, and the perfect women's comp should embrace it.
3. Men are the sex symbols
The Winter X Games is a giant, crazy drunkfest with pro hos running wild every day. Wet t-shirt contests means girls who are wasted off strawberry vodka end up getting topless for the crowd. Which is cliché crap, because the perfect women's comp would have wet t-shirt contests with lots of wasted topless MEN instead.
Ah yes, topless men not just on the stage, but everywhere. They are the sex symbols and pro hos at this event: Shirtless servers, bartenders, pipe and park groomers. They've spent all season bronzing their skin and tightening their six-packs, just for this women's comp. Flaunt it boys, flaunt it.
At the perfect women's comp, pro ho men are the ones who walk around in fur coats and moon boots, feeding us ladies free shots and flirting with pro female riders. In the bathrooms, men would gel each other’s hair and say,
“Oh my God, I think Torah Bright is SO taking me home tonight!”
“Yeah right, you'd have better luck with Cheryl Maas!”
“Hey, like, do you have any gum?”
“I know one thing, Kelly Clark is looking HOT in that red jacket!”
Oh guys, we'd say, stop being so chatty and fetch me another slice of pizza and beer. And they would.
4. Think “Girls just wanna have fun”
That Cyndi Lauper song wasn't a hit for no reason: take an average comp and turn it into a nonstop party on and off the mountain. And I don't just mean with drink specials.
The perfect women's comp would be a constant explosion of entertainment. Rock gigs, free stuff, live art shows: if you want to be super sweet you're going to offer as many flavors as possible.
Keep product demos but expand the variety. All rich snowboard brands have a women's line. It's time for them support one of the fastest growing markets in the industry by showing up to events with gear that will blow our minds. Women’s helmets with MP3 players, the lightest female outerwear invented, the perfect park board for women: we know this stuff is out there, so bring it on.
Trick tips from pro riders are great, but it doesn't have to be basic park runs on kid slopes. The perfect women’s comp would add kickers into foam pits, air-maintenance on giant trampolines and crash landings on massive air bags for practice.
P.S. Yoga workshops are so three seasons ago, the perfect women's comp would replace them with breakdance sessions taught by Anne-Flore Marxer.
5. Make it for women, by women
The perfect women’s comp would be organized for women and by women: Sponsors, athletes, media workers, course designers and event workers. Getting the female shred industry involved is putting 100 percent girl power into something motivating and encouraging.
The perfect women’s comp would take place somewhere accessible to the masses. No more mid-mountain location in the middle of nowhere. The course would be innovative and pushing women’s pro riding to its limits. Women announcers would pump audience’s ears with trick talk and smooth charm.
Now is the time for businesses to strut their stuff when it comes to women's progression. If we really want women's riding to be taken seriously, we need the support and creativity to make it happen. Women's snowboarding is to bring symbolism to the rebel females who zip around mountains instead of shop at malls on the weekend. It’s about creating a community of female athletes who inspire one another to be stoked on snowboarding. It’s simple, let’s do it.