This video is sure to spark up a bit of fury deep within some readers. When it dropped into my inbox this morning I wasn't too sure what to make of it either, but after giving it a good 30 seconds of intense thought, Boarder Kontrol isn't as silly as it sounds.
Understandably the name isn't a strong point. It conjures up images of dickhead NSA agents giving you the eyes at American airports, and we all remember Chris Moran's piece about referring to our sport as 'boarding', right?
Understandably the name isn't a strong point. It conjures up images of dickhead NSA agents giving you the eyes at American airports.
But silly mistakes aside, this bit of kit might actually have potential. Experienced riders will no doubt dismiss it but if it gets a load more people involved in snowboarding then what's not to like about it. The Australian company Streetboardz that have produced it are adamant it is only for absolute beginners and should only be used in the nursery area.
Experienced riders know that speed is your friend but saying that to a complete novice is like your pilot announcing he's never flown a plane before. They'll be running for the nearest crepery before you can say 'Boarder Kontrol is for the masses'. This nifty little gadget, then, allows you to control your speed, learn your turns, stop you ending up a crumbling mess and generally get you stoked to progress!
They'll be running for the nearest crepery before you can say 'Boarder Kontrol is for the masses.'
On the other hand, should snowboarding remain natural and unfiltered? We've been throwing beginners in at the deep end for years, riding the same boards as seasoned veterans and still the ratio of snowboarders is rocketing. The Boarder Kontrol could just delay the learning process. As soon as you unleash them on the mountain, beginners might be dependent on the tool to control their speed, turn and stop. That's not snowboarding, that's pretending.
So is this just another money-making fad or does it have real potential in snowboard schools around the world? Let us know your thoughts.