The Action Sports Chain of Command

After a brief talk with photographer Robbie Sell about why skiers want to be snowboarders, and so on, I decided that it is imperative we, snowboarders, learn our place in this “extreme” chain of command. Why is this important? Obviously because it is funny, and using  stereotypes is fun.

Robbie described the chain of command like this:


Robbie’s Diagram. Skiers represent the dumpster. diagram: Nick Lipton

Mr. Sell only got the ball rolling. How far can we belittle others to create a larger, more complete chain of command in extremity? As far as we want to of course. But first we must explain Robbie’s example. Skiers have begun imitating snowboarders with their twin tipped skis, “stylish” attire, and park riding. Snowboarders have always wanted to be skateboarders. Skateboarders wish they could be Rockers, and with dumb-asses like Bono running around, it is obvious many Rockers would like to be God. But who wants to be a skier? Who is below this and that? Who is king? Only true research and a sharp sense of how to stereotype  others can provide us with answers.

To really expose this chain we must start at the bottom and work our way up. Obviously we cannot  consider snowskaters, kite boarders, skibladers, razor scooters, or any of those other silly make-believe sports into our equation. Including such activities could lead us into the troubled waters of soap shoes, heelies, and other gimmicks that should have never been invented. Along that same line of thought we are going to ignore BMX and MOTO-X simply because they have nothing to do with anything. So we begin with wakeskaters and rollerbladers, the lowliest of credible “extreme” individuals. The diagram below is my interpretation of how things could grow from there:


My idea of who is boss.  diagram: Nick Lipton

To explain this exquisite diagram we will again start at the bottom. Rollerbladers and Wakeskaters are just silly people doing silly things, but some are making a living off of these activities so congratulations to them. Wakeskaters don’t want to move up the food chain, they are confused and believe what they are doing is actually cool. Rollerbladers on the other hand, easily lead into skiing. Two feet doing two different things and you aren’t a total laughing stock, yahoo!

I feel skiing and wakeboarding are on the same level. Both are considered “legit” by the X Games, but they are both less cool than snowboarding. So while skiers and wakeboarders won’t admit they have secret hard-ons for snowboarders, their copycat antics lead me to believe differently.

Snowboarding is of course less cool than skateboarding, no argument there. We deal with forgiving snow, an attached board, and a rather mellow learning curve. Skateboarders on the other hand deal with concrete, bails that can tear your leg off, and a steep learning curve. For example, how long did it take you to learn that 360? That nosepress? Now how long did it take you to learn kickflips? Can you kickflip? Exactly.

Moving on we must recognize that surfers exist. I can’t really swim, and being eaten by sharks sounds like bullshit to me, so fuck surfing. On the other hand those guys are doing their thing, it’s hard and it’s the original in board sports. Surfers deserve their top spot, even if it is shared.

Skateboarding leads into something, and that something is Rock Stardom. Every other skater these days is either a shitty rapper or a wannabe rocker. If they aren’t, they sure dress like it. So the envy towards Rock Stars is rather obvious.

Rock Stars have it made. They’re rich, they buy stuff like the Batmobile, and they do whatever they want. What more could they possibly want? Thanks to Bono, Ozzy Osbourne, and a number of other Rockstars it is obvious they want a God, or Satan-like status in society. Being God, Satan, or whatever mythical beast is obviously the Trump card of all. Good for those guys.

What does this all mean? It means we have people to feel better than. So the next time you’re feeling blue because a 7-year-old backside-flipped a ten-stair or some band made a great song, just remember, you can always look down on skiers, rollerbladers, wakeskaters, and a large variety of other individuals.

An Incestual Hump Day with Yobeat CEO Brooke Geery

Bitchin’ Boss Brooke Geery showing off her first cattoo.

Yobeat CEO and Publisher Brooke Geery would like to dedicate 2013 to herself. Or, that’s what I thought when I was asked to interview the boss on her own site. Apparently our staff blew it, the pros who were supposed to fill this spot blew it and the only interview we have is classified due to some sponsors requesting their rider not look like an asshole for like a minute or two. So, since you guys complain, bitch and moan whenever we don’t spoon feed you your precious Hump Day, here it is, a very incestual Hump Day with the Queen Bee herself, Brooke Geery.

What the fuck does Yobeat mean?

I started Yobeat when I was 15 with my friend Rachel, who I’d met in the Snowboarding Online Chat Room on AOL. This is when AOL cost $3 an hour and it wasn’t ok to meet people on the Internet yet. Anyway, Rachel lived in Boston, and I lived in Rutland, VT and we met inititally at a steakhouse in Woodstock while our parents nervously hovered over us. Fast forward a bit, we became really good friends and decided to start a zine. But since we didn’t have money, we used the 2GB — or maybe it was 2MB — of free space that AOL provided and it became a website. As for the name, it’s a joke based on trashy teen rags like Tiger Beat and Teen Beat. Since Rachel was from a real city, with actual black people, the joke was that they read “Yobeat” instead.

In the 15ish years of Yobeat glory, who are some of the most famed employees?

Employees is a bit of a misnomer and it’s always just kinda been friends helping out until now, but a short list of contributors people might give a shit about: Todd Richards, Danny Larsen, Colleen Quigley, Preston Strout, Seth Butler (who went on the start the Journal) and Sarah Morrison (who was famous on the Internet before being famous in the internet was a thing). Oh, and we were the first place to publish Tim Zimmerman‘s photos. I’m sure I’m missing some. Jeff Brushie wrote us a really angry email once. Does that count?

Brooke Geery looking her absolute best.

How many angry emails have you gotten in your career?

I couldn’t count so I’ll just tell the Jeff Brushie story. We used to have a gossip column called “vilification” in which I would write all the stuff I knew/cared about (which was limited as it was 1998) and at one point I called out Jeff Brushie for getting sympathy points from the judges because he was, “Old, fat and washed up.” Little did I know, people actually read Yobeat, including Brushie and he wrote me an all-caps email telling me to, “Learn to go over the lip before I talk all my shit.” It’s still online, let me find the link…

Speaking of making it over the lip, is it a prerequisite that to work for Yobeat you have to suck at snowboarding? Is that why the site is so bitter?

I think you might be projecting your own feelings on to the site. “Bitterness” was never the intention. Yobeat has always just been real, and if something is wack, we’re going to call it out. As for being good or bad at snowboarding to work at the site, that doesn’t matter. I don’t hire pro snowboarders to write because pro snowboarders get paid to do 720s, not blog. Or at least, they used to. I think the new crop of kids coming up with have to do both…

Brooke looking her absolute worst, and possibly pooping her pants.

You once ran the wakeskate world, correct? What was that like?

Yes, the rumors are true. After college got a job working for Alliance Wake, where I started and ran a wakeskate website. It was awesome, I got to travel to warm places, ride around on boats with tan, in shape dudes and stay with rich people all the time. However, when Yobeat started to take off, I realized that my attention would be better focused on that, so I passed the torch on. I don’t really miss standing in knee deep muck taking photos, but other than that, I have fond memories of the places and people.

What have been the best and worst memories of your time at Yobeat?

I’d have to say the best memory was when you sold our first ad. I never really imagined that Yobeat could work and that was the moment that I was like holy shit, this could be a real thing. Another great moment was when we took a trip to Whitefish last year and got the media hook up — comped tickets, room etc etc. As for worst, probably the fact that I wake up at 5 am every morning and can’t get back to sleep because I am driven to update the internet. But then again, most people probably don’t jump out of bed because they want to do their jobs, do they?

The highest Brooke has ever been off the ground.

How many enemies have you made along the way?

I used to make a lot more enemies when Yobeat was smaller and I was just freelancing. People didn’t understand why this loud mouthed little girl was calling them out for being stupid, had opinions, or was anywhere other than the kitchen. But a wise man once said to me, “They only hate you until they realize you have power. Then they’re scared of you.”

So you don’t take credit for ruining Josh Sherman’s career?

Ha, I forgot about Josh Sherman. Yeah, he was not a fan of mine after we went on a trip to Quebec together, but I think we both learned something from that one. I learned I have NO DESIRE to be a snowboard photographer and I can’t speak for him, but he is now running his own company, which is maybe a better place for him than in front of the camera.

Where do you want to take Yobeat? Would you quit in an instant if someone offered you the right price?

That’s something I ask myself a lot. Right now, no, I’m not trying to sell it to the highest bidder. The reason I love doing Yobeat is because I get to do anything and everything I want (including giving myself a damn interview) and having to answer to someone would change that. But like they say, money talks, so never say never.

The Yobeat staff would like to apologize on behalf of Brooke’s hands.

What’s the worst part about being the boss?

Dealing with you. Next question.

Is it true you’re also a tattoo artist?

Yes. I gave Jerm his first tattoo. I was going for a charcoal look, which is why the lines were so squiggly. Either that, or it was because I was drunk and had never given a tattoo before.

You live in Portland, Oregon so you must have tattoos, chickens and a drinking problem right?
I have a tattoo – which I actually got in Chicago, two chickens – which are Jared’s, and I wouldn’t call it a problem.

Brooke is proud of this for some reason, so we included it. Comment away.

Why hasn’t Yobeat adopted Facebook commenting to cool down the anonymous hate like every other site?
Because Yobeat is a community and anonymous commenting is why it’s grown so much. And we deal with trolls the old-fashioned way — by tracking their IP addresses and calling them out publicly.

Where does Yobeat draw the line? How far is too far?

I just told our managing editor this actually. If it makes you feel slightly uncomfortable, then it’s Internet gold. But everything is taken on a case-by-case basis and I abide by the old adage, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

Why aren’t there random drug tests at Yobeat?

There are. Next question

Brooke plans on riding 100 days this year, at least. Her life is probably better than yours.

What’s the proudest moment of your snowboard career?

Beating Hannah Teter in a halfpipe contest at Okemo. She was 9, but whatever.

That beats owning Kyle Clancy’s virginity?


Do you think the kids that will read this even know who Kyle Clancy is?

I don’t care. I’m making you take that question out. I just got invited to a premiere in Austria; do you think they’ll fly me there?

No, you’re not that important.