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Webichode #44 “Where’s that Spot Again?”

The crew from Kelowna BC is back with their latest Webichode, numero 44.

Helluvalyfe: Big White Opening Weekend

The west coast has been getting hit from Mammoth to BC, and The Business Ltd. were there for some powdery goodness at Big White’s Opening Day up in BC.

Oil Country – The Teaser

The first full-lenght from the Oil Country crew out of Canada is coming for free in early November. Featuring: Tanner Davidson, Dwayne Wiebe, Andy James, Darcy Keller, James Banks, Tyler Lightfoot, Tim Nelson, Eric Corbin, Sean Marko, Manu Calvo

Put it in the Bowl: Boardn at Sun Peaks Resort

Wonder if the rails at Sun Peaks Resort give you extra energy?

riders: Geremy Guido, Tommy Van & Deni Salja do some boardn

Northern Comfort FULL MOVIE

Straight outta the woods of Western Canada, Northern Comfort, showcases the regions backcountry and street scene

Riders: Nathan Riley, Guillaume Fortin, Jean-Guy Michaud, Johan Rosen, Lucas Robinson, Johan Nordhag, Mike Solty, Johan Vogt, Maria Thomsen, Miles Fortoloczky, Johan Jernberg, Justin Cahill, Danny LeBlanc, Jonas Toolanen, and Tommi Ollikainen

ReTales: Friends Don’t Let Friends Ride in Eddie Bauer

I don’t know how they found me, but they did. The other day I opened my mailbox and along with a bunch of unsolicited credit card offers there was an Eddie Bauer catalog. I have no idea why they think I would want their catalog, the only connection I have to the brand is that I once drove my brother Dan’s decrepit and floundering Ford Explorer over Loveland Pass. Anyway, rather than  dump it in the garbage with the rest of the junk mail, I decided to see what the west coast’s LL Bean ripoff was up to. I bet they are still pushing flannel layered over a $90 cotton Henley. … Wait, what the fuck is this shit?

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Apparently Eddie Bauer is selling their “First Ascent” line by showing how they sent their “team” to the BC interior. And you know what, I don’t blame them. With the Olympics looming just on the other side of the holidays, the boring non-snowboarding public is about to get a few weeks of Bob Costas crooning in their ear about the tenacity and dedication of China’s halfpipe team of robo-children. And some segment of that non-snowboarding public will see Scotty Lago blow it again and thing “hey, clearly this can’t be hard, I should try it out.” So they will pack up the family, head to the slopes, and buy their first lift ticket.

Now some of them will head right to the hill in their crew neck sweatshirts and stone-washed jeans, and good on them. But some will realize that their normal winter apparel will not be enough to face the frigid conditions they will encounter when they venture outside. They could go to that place off 946 called “The Half Pipe,” but those guys have tattoos and the parking lot always smells weird. Instead they will go to the mall and head to a store with a famous history of outfitting Americans for the harshest alpine conditions, which isn’t really a bad thing. I mean, more people on the mountain is good news for everything but the lift line. I’m not even mad that they aren’t buying from a “core” brand. Everyone starts somewhere, and if  buying at the mall makes them more comfortable learning to ride, then so be it. What has me concerned is the type of thing they will be buying.

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The Heyburn 2.0 jacket. 10k waterproof breathable, powder skirt, core vents, all standard fare for a first-timer jacket. Except for two things- first off it is a shell, and for whatever reason newbies are terrified of layering. But most importantly it is $279 dollars. Brands like Burton or The North Face are regularly accused of charging more than they need to simply because they can, and maybe they do. But none of them would have the cojones to charge you $300 for jacket that will still leave you slightly damp and kind of cold. Realistically this isn’t even the first time that a mainstream retailer has tried to turn a profit on outdoor culture. What it does represent is a creeping trend that threatens the very nature of our “sport.” First it is jackets from Eddie Bauer, then it is luxury lifts and now old white dudes are talking about snowboarding instead of golf. Posh suburban moms will trade in their tennis rackets for goggles.

I don’t expect that anyone who reads this would ever buy an Eddie Bauer Jacket to ride in; we like to think you are all more knowledgeable than that. But you might know someone who would. If someone you know is considering riding for the first time this season, make sure they know that they shouldn’t be paying that kind of money for that kind of gear. Send them to your favorite shop, tell them what to look for, and give them realistic expectations of what first timer gear will cost. Because unless we do, other brands will see the success of the “First Ascent” line, and they will start moving in the same direction. At first the influx of cash will be a good thing, but the problem will be when the industry realizes how much money can be made by pandering to middle aged white people rather than brokeasses like you or me. Parks will recede to smaller and smaller corners of all but the most dedicated mountains, replaced with large open blue groomers. Secret tree runs will be overrun when a new surface lift starts taking them straight to your favorite drop in point. Ski patrol will start actually enforcing “slow skiing” areas. I’m not ready to live in that world.