I can’t believe that we’ve reached the crescendo of yet another season of Onboard. From the pain and anguish of the product guide to the delights of pawing through stacks of fresh pictures for the photo annual and on into a new season of short winter days with their benefits of riding and snow.
When you are a cog in the machinery of a magazine, schedules blend into one continuous clatter of keys punctuated by the pleasure of seeing an issue when it’s finally printed and resting in your hands, although each time the pages read like a distant déjà vu. But looking back over the season, an evolution to our labours, spanning small changes to shocking milestones, becomes apparent. Just take for example the cover of the photo annual. It was touch and go for a while if a cover which at first glance appeared to be a picture with no title would make it onto the shelves and more importantly would it leave once it was there.
On any given Sunday they can all be found on mountains across Europe shedding the rad.
Many of the changes in Onboard have come about thanks to the addition of new staff to our clan. Tom Copsey joined us from his previous job as editor of Snowboard UK, as much for the German beer as the work, and we somehow dragged our new designer, Justin Day, off his beloved dirt bikes and kiddies jumping bikes at Moto and Dirt magazine. Also new to the fold are Simone Felsberger as the German editor/translator and Alex Roberts our junior designer. On any given Sunday they can all be found on mountains across Europe shedding the rad.
Snowboarding too has gone through changes that were sometimes innovative but often re-hashes of styles of old. Take the rewind which this season has been so prevalent (check footage of Air & Style for proof) and then dig out a copy of TB2 and check the masterful Daniel Franck twisting his legs around the dial of sweeter threes. The hand plant was also omnipresent, appearing in every guise imaginable throughout our ‘original’ media. Remember Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ and the classic line “we are all individuals”?
Let’s resolve to love all the weird and wonderful aspects of snowboarding.
Neon too made a brief resurgence at the trade shows, as did one-pieces, but thankfully these were just knee-jerk reactions to what can only be described as an universal obsession with camo and we have not seen much of either on the hill. That is unless you were riding over the Christmas holiday in Spitzingsee, when the weekend warriors took to the slopes in outfits that were reminiscent of panto on poppers with headwear borrowed from the cast of Punch and Judy. I hate to be a fashionista but capital punishment should be reinstated where felt jesters’ hats and fake hair rug-tops are concerned. Even the communal garden beanie has not escaped a re-vamp. Check the cover of issue 79 or for that matter any shot of a Scandi on a board and you might be forgiven for thinking that they had all hot-washed their hats and then stretched them to the limits of the wool to make them as long and droopy as possible. Bring back the bobble, I say. At least you can hold onto a bobble when pissed and dirty dancing to Euro disco.
Oh, what the hell, I hate to criticise, let’s resolve to love all the weird and wonderful aspects of snowboarding from the retro to the reprehensible. After all, we are all here to do one thing and that is ride.