The Jaded Local: An Action Sports Hall of Fame

Industry insider insights!

Great moments in halfpipe watching history. PHOTO: MIKE ROGGE

There comes a time in every Ski Journalist’s “career” when he must make a stand, when the truth must be told, no matter the cost. This, like the time I brodied former editor-in-chief Derek Taylor’s car straight into a Targhee snowbank, is one such time.

Recently, current editor-in-chief John Stifter wrote on this cybernetic media platform about plans for an Action Sports Hall of Fame. Noting accurately that the Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpenning, Michigan, is a travesty of a mockery of a sham, Stifter is cautiously optimistic about a Hall that puts skiing in it’s place as part of the timeless legacy and gift to all Mankind that is Action Sports.

But, quite frankly, it would be shameful to raise money for that when we still haven’t licked the cancer thing. Stuff like this is why people in other countries want to blow America to smithereens.

War orphans in Somalia? Amputee child soldiers with AIDS? Malaria? F that. I’m donating my money to something that matters: the Action Sports Hall Of Fame!

If an advanced alien civilization visited this planet and saw an Action Sports Hall of Fame, I guarantee they would vaporize the Earth with a shudder before the infestation spread. The movie Idiocracy pretty much blew, but still: A Hall of Fame for Youth Lifestyle Marketing? For privileged children twirling through the air to promote toxic snack food and liquid crack? For core demographic branding? For dropping edits?


Seriously, the best thing that could happen to the Action Sports Industry is if the entire thing was parachuted into Afghanistan and we could watch via drone camera. You want to progress the sport? Let’s see you do it in a minefield. Whoever makes it out alive…gets to live. And hopefully dedicates themselves to doing something a little more useful.

If the actual Action Sports Industry, the surf-skate-snow Orange County youth fashion industry was in charge of the Hall of Fame, the ski wing would be in the frickin' broom closet. Because for a lot of those people, Skiing is the fat kid that mom made them invite to the birthday party.

And for good reason. Ski resorts and skiers used to fuck with them, the ski industry tried to poach their business, and pro freestyle skiers are totally biting their act. Skiing is their parent's sport. There’s only one real reason why skiing is tolerated at all in that world, and that’s because the guy that owns Red Bull is Austrian and really likes skiing, and pretty much everybody is on his jock because he spends more money than anyone.*

*This is probably not true. But still. The only reason I can even write anything that might suggest that Red Bull might not be the super most awesomest thing ever is because they don’t buy magazine ads. In fact, they have their own magazine now, as part of their not-at-all ominous bid to vertically integrate every aspect of the Action Sports Biz. “Ja Dieter! Und now vee own zee athletes, zee cameras, und zee magazine! Soon we will control the minds of America’s youth with our hideous tasting stimulant beverage und inspirational imagery of dangerous Feats!”

It’s weird how people lose perspective when they have money. If I owned Red Bull I wouldn’t bother with any of it. I’d spend all my time in my castle, chasing a platoon of high-end icily beautiful Austrian escorts through the marble corridors and tickling them, using my fifty-foot Champagne Slide, and cackling madly. “Hahaha, I’m rich!” I’d cackle. “Now who wants the Tickle Feather?”

You can see why they won’t let me have a corporate credit card.

At any rate, I did come up with a few ideas for exhibits and installations that could be in The Hall:

First off, the building should be shaped like a giant flat-brimmed cap. With a GoPro mounted on top. And constructed of stickers, t-shirts, and packaging from copies of Tony Hawk Pro Skater.

Engraved over the entryway: “It’s all about shredding with my bros.”

A special wing dedicated to the pioneering black freeskiers who’ve integrated the sport. When that happens.

The Frito Lay Hall of Iconic Handrails.

Most Effective Sponsor Callouts.

Great Moments in Creepy Youth Marketing Strategy
“Hey, how about marketing to fetuses? Shaun White Infant Formula! In the commercial the baby actually does a nollie kickflip out of his mother’s vagina in super-slow-mo…”

A Branding Pavilion where you can actually get branded with a red-hot cattle brand in the shape of your favorite corporate logo!

A broom closet in the back converted into the Women’s Annex, with like, flowers on it or something.

A memorabilia display including:

– The bandana Kent Kreitler wore when he started to go bald.
– CAT scans of really good concussions.
– Most inspirational tweets from physical therapy.
– A list of twenty things Seth Morrison hates.
– Tanner’s bong.
– A high-five machine.

Ok, I know, so maybe I’m being a little harsh. Afghanistan has enough problems already, and God only knows where the progression level would be at if it wasn’t for our friends in the corporate snack or no-contract cellular phone business. We might still be doing daffies, for God’s sake. And then where would we be?

Like I said, the actual Ski Hall of Fame is kind of a joke, and it would be nice if we had something a little more, um, ski-oriented. Like a place located in, say, a ski town, that celebrated the uncelebrated, the unknown soldiers of our sport. We need a ski hall of fame dedicated to True Ski Greatness.

Hard-ass patrollers with ice in their mustaches. First-year lift-ops from Oklahoma. That guy who’s always slaying it in the trees. Ex-racers who make out with you in the hot tub. Happy beaters on vacation. The people of the High Altai in Mongolia who have survived for thousands of years by hunting game in deep powder with fat skis and skins. Legendary Ski Town Bartenders (Kevin at the Mangy Moose). Shellshocked rental monkeys during Christmas. Anyone that sets the booter on a powder day. The skiing troops that attacked a Nazi research lab in Norway, derailing Hitler’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons and possibly saving Western Civilization. Howie Henderson.

But I don’t really see the connection between that stuff and, well, anything from Orange County.