I’ve mentioned before that the most commonly asked question I get is “What snowboard should I get?” and I usually answer it by giving people 2-3 choices of good snowboards in that category.
What’s interesting is what happens next.
Name brand wins 9 out of 10 times
People pick the name brand over the other snowboards, even if I mention that the other snowboard is hands down the best pick for that category. That means they’ll favour boards from brands like Burton, K2 and DC over other boards that I say are actually better overall.
For example, if someone asks me what park/freestyle snowboard they should get, I might recommend 2-3 snowboards. For this instance let’s say I recommend these 3 snowboards:
- Arbor Blacklist
- Burton Hero
- K2 Parkstar
I’ll also tell them that the Arbor Blacklist has been killing it this season and it’s probably the top park board of the year. However, I give them the 2 other choices so that if they happen to visit a resort then they can try out a few different boards and compare.
In this situation, 9 out of 10 people end up picking the Burton Hero or K2 Parkstar even though I just said the Arbor Blacklist was the top pick.
Why do people pick the name brand?
They pick the name brand because they’re familiar with it. They’ve already seen the logo all over the ski resorts and plastered on athletes like Shaun White.
Even though I tell them the Arbor Blacklist is the top pick and overall the better snowboard, they already associate Burton and K2 with snowboarding and quality and therefore they become the ‘safer’ choices out of the 3 boards, rather than the brand they’ve never heard of.
Now I’m not saying this is good or bad. Heck, my main snowboard is a K2 Parkstar, and I’ve owned a few Burton boards, so I definitely don’t have anything against bigger snowboard brands.
I’m just saying this is what happens when we get bombarded daily with advertising and start to subconsciously associate certain logos and names with quality and snowboarding.
What does this mean for us?
Be aware of how brand affects our decisions. Brand advertising affects all of us, not just beginners buying snowboards. You can’t really stop advertising affecting your decisions, but you can be aware of it.
At the end of the day it’s about keeping an open mind when you’re checking out new snowboard gear and making smart decisions on what you should buy.
Don’t just buy based on what you’ve heard or seen about a certain snowboard brand. Research it yourself, see how it really is and make an informed decision that’s based on fact, not just our own bias.