How To Turn Pro?

May 27th, 2010

The Mark Catsburg Blog…

In response to the “so you wannabe pro” article in Issue #3 of Transfer Mag . I thought I would help out some of the less talented snowboarders out there with some tips on how to pull the wool over the eyes of potential sponsors and fellow snowboarders.

Being sponsored requires talent, sure, but it’s sort of a bummer ain’t it? Can you do a front board? Can you backside 5? That’s enough, surely! You ride the park every day, you high five the park crew, you vibe out kids that are better than you, because it’s simply not possible to be better than you. Bro, you deserve some new boards. Let’s see how you can go about getting everything you are entitled to.


Let your talking do the riding:

You: “Did you see that!”
Anyone who bothers to listen: “No, what?”
You: “Man that was the sickest thing I have ever done! I saw you do that back seven so I got so amped I turned around and did a switch backside nine! I was right behind you though so you must have missed it.”
Anyone who is dumb enough to believe you: “Wow man…”


Did you do it? no way, you might have died if you tried it, plus you were too close to the guy in front of you that you freaked and either flailed a straight air or just went around the take off and pulled a dope landing pose on your way out. What matters is that you might have done it. You said you did, so your friend is a dick if he denies it at the bar later. Whatever anyway, that switch back nine you did was sick.
Talk about snowboarding and how good you are non-stop to anyone who will listen. Even if they stop bothering to listen to you, just keep talking, someone else will overhear you if you speak loud enough.

Always have an excuse:

You would hit that new jump in the park in a heartbeat! I mean you have been talking about those switch back nines for ages. If only your shoulder wasn’t playing up, plus your board’s not waxed enough, and last time you overshot by 60 feet, but still landed it and now you have a heel bruise. Not to mention (but do mention it) that you are so hungover from partying for 12 days straight, are still stoned, you forgot your knee brace and you left your headphones in the car, plus you gotta go call your team manager. Damn, you would have killed it today otherwise.


All the gear and no idea:

Buy everything fresh every season all the time. Don’t mix and match brands, stick to one or two. All sponsored guys have good sticker jobs, so co-relate your stickers to your gear, and make sure they are laid out good. All the sponsored guys stickers are matching, so do that too. I mean, you have the freshest gear, and a good sticker job, you must be pro!

Sponsored by association:

Make friends with the other sponsored kids at your mountain and never be seen riding without them. These guys are your one way ticket to rockstardom. When people watch you from the chairlift and can name everyone you are with, then the inevitable question will arise… “who the hell is that guy?” That’s your starting point. Once the people are talking about you, you are on your way. “Oh that’s what’s-his-name… he can do switch back nines but his shoulder is playing up today I think…”



One Trick Pony:

Unfortunately, a downside to trying to go pro, is that sometimes you will actually have to do some snowboarding. Pick a trick that is relatively easy for you, and do it all the time, over everything. Add a 180 to it eventually, then do that all the time, and only that trick in every comp you enter – even if you never land it, just try it. Then at the after party it will be obvious that you were having an off-day. Too easy. Filmers can always cut the landings, and photographers don’t care if you stuck it or not if the photo is good enough.


Be at every after party / movie premiere:

Go to as many snowboard related events as you can. The booze is usually free, so you can talk to drunk pros about how good your next video part is going to be and how hard you have been killing it and usually they will listen for at least a minute. Plus pro’s have a reputation to uphold so they aren’t allowed to be an asshole to you, because then you will slag them off on some website and say how they don’t even deserve to be hooked up. Also, when they are done listening to your tired stories they will handball you to one of their friends and you can start over.



Throw tantrums:

No trick can ever be good enough for you. If you landed a perfectly good front board shake your head on the run out anyway, it’s obvious you were trying a 270 out. Try the hardest tricks imaginable and then freak out when you don’t get it. Throwing your board will get you points, but throwing your boots is even better. Whatever, you have thirty pairs in your car. Constant swearing, arms in the air and pissed off’ness are key to tricking people that you are way better than you look. It’s not your fault the rails are crappy and the takeoffs haven’t been raked in the last 20 minutes. This place sucks you are out of here.

Do all of these:

Great Tantrum video example:


Dress Ridiculous:

Because you would have to be sponsored to wear some heinous shit like that… surely, you must be…


Get a shop sponsor:

Shop sponsors are a piece of cake. Nobody who works there will probably ever see you ride anyway. Go there enough and spread the rumours about your amazing feats and you can easily get hooked up with some stickers and a 15% discount.

All of these tips will help you kick start your career in snowboarding. Once you are on your way, its basically a snowball effect. Your phone will be ringing, and you’ll will be hanging out with the dingo on the regs.